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Ifixit takes apart Apple's latest Imac to find modest changes

Claims it is fairly easy to repair
Wed May 04 2011, 17:08

HARDWARE TEARDOWN OUTFIT Ifixit has taken apart Apple's latest Imac, finding that the latest generation of Apple's all-in-one PC has many similarities with the older models.

Ifixit took apart a 21.5in Imac powered by an Intel Core i5-2800S processor with 6MB of cache. The AMD GPU can be detached from the main motherboard, or logic board as Apple calls it, meaning that if the GPU bites the dust, Apple does not need to replace the whole motherboard.

Apple's latest Imacs are the first to feature Intel's Thunderbolt I/O technology, though Ifixit found a different controller than in Apple's Macbook Pro, the first Apple device to sport that data transfer interface. This could be down to the fact that the 27in Imac sports two Thunderbolt connections and perhaps Apple didn't want to have separate chips for each Imac model.

Other chips on the motherboard include a Broadcom BCM57765B0KMLG gigabit Ethernet controller, a Cirrus 4206BCNZ audio chip and a SMSC USX2061 chip that Ifixit believes is the USB 2.0 hub controller. The Broadcom BCM2046 bluetooth chip is the same one found in the first Macbook Air, which originally came out in 2008.

All of these chips are found behind the 21.5in LED backlit screen supplied by LG Electronics. LG has been a long time supplier of displays to Apple for its Imac. One of first 24in Imacs that was taken apart in The INQUIRER's labs a couple of years ago also sported an LG unit, so it seems that Apple doesn't want to give that business away to Samsung just yet.

Ifixit gave Apple's latest Imac 21.5in model a 7 out of 10 score for repairability. That's a bit impressive, considering how much kit Apple manages to pack into relatively small spaces behind and under the screen. µ


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