Desktops and Notebooks: Apple iMac Features Fast Intel, AMD Chips, FaceTime HD Cameras: iFixit

 
 
By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2011-05-04
 
 
 

New Apple iMac Family

On May 3, Apple introduced new iMacs. The smaller, with a 21.5-inch display, features a single Intel ThunderBolt port and starts at $1,199, while the larger features a 27-inch display, two ThunderBolt ports and a starting price of $1,699. (Image courtesy of Apple.)

New Apple iMac Family

Ports Lineup

The ThunderBolt ports are signified by a lightning bolt icon—two of which (with a little squinting) can be seen here. (Image courtesy of Apple.)

Ports Lineup

Lid Up

iFixit purchased a 21.5-inch model for its teardown, affixed two heavy-duty orange suction cups to its LED-backlit glossy widescreen TFT (thin-film transistor) display and separated the glass panel from the front bezel. iFixit then removed several Torx screws and lifted the LED display to reveal the iMac's innards.

Lid Up

Break Out the Soldering Iron

In hardcore fashion, the teardown team removed the Bluetooth board, secured it in a special vise and desoldered the shield to reveal the "chip goodies" hiding underneath. These included a Broadcom Bluetooth IC and a multipurpose flash chip that was the same as the one they found in the first MacBook Air.

Break Out the Soldering Iron

Thermal Paste

After popping off the CPU heat sink, the team got a look at the iMac's Intel Core i5 processor. Happily, they announced, the "CPU and GPU on this machine have proper amounts of thermal paste applied." The same wasn't the case with the newest MacBook Pro, shown here.

Thermal Paste

Logic Board

Among the notable chips on the iMac's logic board are: Its Intel Core i5 CPU, outlined in red; the Intel platform controller hub, in orange; the Intel Thunderbolt port IC, in black; and the Broadcom integrated Gigabit Ethernet and memory card reader controller, in yellow.

Logic Board

27-inch iMac

In conclusion, iFixit reported, the iMac's front glass panel and LCD are easy to remove; the RAM, hard drive and optical drive can be replaced with "relative ease"; the CPU and GPU are possible, though not easy, to replace; while getting out the logic board is a downright pain.??í (Image courtesy of Apple.)

27-inch iMac

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