Desktops and Notebooks: Apple MacBook Pro Teardown Offers a Look at Thunderbolt, Antennas

 
 
By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2011-02-28
 
 
 

Apple MacBook Pro

Apple introduced a refreshed line of MacBook Pro notebooks Feb. 24, calling them "twice as fast as the previous generation."

Apple MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Pro

In addition to an HD camera, AMD Radeon graphics on the 15- and 17-inch models and next-generation Intel processors, the laptops feature a Thunderbolt port—signified by the lightning bolt logo—which combines PCI Express and DisplayPort technologies. iFixit found the Thunderbolt port has a controller IC thats the fourth-largest chip in the notebook.

Apple MacBook Pro

Logic Board

On the top left of the logic board, the Thunderbolt port is the third "dock" sticking out from the top. In orange is the AMD Radeon HD GPU, in teal is the Broadcom integrated gigabit Ethernet and memory card reader controller, and in royal blue is what iFixit assumes is the Thunderbolt port controller.

Logic Board

Antennas

The MacBook Pros wireless card received a makeover, says iFixit. Where before there were three antennas, now there are four.

Antennas

Thermal Paste

"Holy thermal paste!" said iFixit. "Time will tell if the gobs of thermal paste applied to the CPU and GPU will cause overheating issues down the road." Also strange, said the teardown team, was a stripped screw and an unlocked ZIF (zero insertion force) socket for the infrared sensor.

Thermal Paste

Apple MacBook Pro

The MacBook Pro received a repairability rating of 7 out of 10. The team liked that this version lets a user disconnect the battery without removing it from the laptop, but not how easy it would be to shatter the front glass panel while replacing the LCD.

Apple MacBook Pro

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