Mac Pro Late 2013 Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions.

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

This guide has been found to be exceptionally cool by the iFixit staff.

After making its debut during the WWDC 2013 Keynote, the reimagined, reformulated Mac Pro finally arrived at iFixit's doorstep. Join us as we turn the (very) Late 2013 Mac Pro inside-out.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for all the latest news and updates!

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Edit Step 1 Mac Pro Late 2013 Teardown  ¶ 

  • The new Mac Pro has been released, and we've managed to get our hands on the entry-level model, "inexpensively" priced at $2,999.

  • Tech Specs:

    • Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 with 10 MB L3 cache and Turbo Boost up to 3.9 GHz

    • 12 GB (three 4 GB modules) of 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC memory

    • Dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics processors with 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM each

    • 256 GB PCIe-based flash storage

    • 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Contrary to popular belief, the new Mac Pro is closer in design to an aluminum beverage can than a trash can. (Not that there's anything wrong with trash cans—some of our favorite astromech droids are shaped like trash cans.)

  • The back side (if a cylinder can have a back side) contains the power button and electrical inlet, as well as a tidy array of ports:

    • 3.5 mm speaker and headphone jacks

    • Four USB 3.0 ports

    • Six Thunderbolt 2 ports

    • Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports

    • HDMI 1.4 out

  • Looks like neither trash nor fixer can get in through the top of this bin. Time to investigate that enticing lock switch...

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Here's a strangely un-Apple-like design choice: simply sliding the lock switch allows us to remove the outer casing of the Mac Pro. No stubborn pentalobe screws here!

  • What other improved repairability features will we find in this soda can desktop computer? Only time and spudgers will tell.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • With the cylindrical cover removed, we get our first peek inside the Mac Pro.

  • The dual graphics cards dominate the initial view. Their symmetry is broken only by the SSD cage nestled up alongside the second graphics card.

  • Giving the Mac Pro a little spin, we find neatly positioned vertical RAM slots at either side of the I/O panel.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Good news, everyone! The RAM in the Mac Pro Late 2013 is easily accessible and replaceable.

  • The 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM (three for a total of 12 GB) modules are labeled as Elpida EBJ04EG8BFWB-JS-F.

  • According to Apple, the RAM in the Mac Pro is configurable to 16 GB (four 4 GB), 32 GB (four 8 GB) or 64 GB (four 16 GB).

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • With a twist of a T8 screwdriver, the SSD assembly is easily removed from the device.

    • For those playing along at home, we have only removed one screw, and the SSD is out. (Side note: the screw wasn't even proprietary!)

  • On board we find some rather familiar friends:

  • This combination of hardware makes the Mac Pro's SSD suspiciously similar to those we've seen in the latest refresh of MacBook Pro Retina and MacBook Air.

    • To the point that only the last few digits of the model numbers are any different. Hmmm...

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Regulatory markings have been relegated to the bottom cover/air inlet, where we find a few more informative tidbits:

    • The Mac Pro Late 2013 is identified as model A1481 with an EMC Number of 2630...

    • ...and it's rated for 100-240 volts AC, making it a willing international travel partner.

  • There can only be one fan. The Mac Pro is vented by a single fan, which pulls air from under the case, through the core, and out the top of the case.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Teardown update: You asked, we answered. We popped the plastic roof off the fan module and found a whole new stash of precision engineering.

  • Snug in a nest of antennas, the AirPort card fits onto a small adapter board that also connects to the fan below.

  • Those three large screws secure the fan, with vibration-dampening rubber bumpers, like we've seen in iMacs.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • More deja vu as we uncap the AirPort card and find what looks to be the same configuration found in most Apple products today:

    • Broadcom BCM4360 5G Wi-Fi 3-stream 802.11ac gigabit transceiver

    • Broadcom BCM20702 single-chip Bluetooth 4.0 HCI solution with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) support

    • Skyworks SE5516 dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN front-end modules

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • The gold antenna array pops out, and sees all.

  • With the fan released, it looks to be powered by a Nidec brushless DC motor, model number AG720K01.

  • The motor controller IC reads A5940LPT.

  • We noticed a few cavities around the edges of the impeller filled with some sort of epoxy (on both sides). We suspect it's for fine-tuned balancing, to keep the fan running smooth and quiet.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • A view from above: The Mac Pro utilizes a giant triangular heat sink ("Thermal Core"), shared by the dual graphics cards and CPU.

  • Looks like the Mac Pro has taken some design pointers from the recent AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule bodies: a thin, vertical design with individual boards on separate sides.

  • We use our spudger to pry the graphics card data connectors from their sockets. This FCI Meg-Array connector is the same type used for the G4 & G5 PowerPC processor daughtercards, and looks to be a fully custom way of hooking up PCI-E, with many pins in a pressed-in connector.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • With the Mac Pro's structure dominated by the central heat sink, we'd best start by peeling parts off.

  • A clamp and four screws hold each of the dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics cards in place.

  • Amidst the usual processing power and cost comparison with a similar home-built desktop PC, these graphics cards may be the key to Apple finally undercutting homebrew systems on a pure power basis.

  • While this stacks up fairly well for current Apple GPU offerings, the proprietary nature, and lack of an elegant external GPU option, may age this device before its time.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • The back side of each graphics card contains:

    • AMD FirePro D300 graphics processor

    • Elpida W2032BBBG 2 Gb (8 x 2 Gb = 16 Gb = 2 GB) GDDR5 VRAM

    • Intersil ISL 6336 6-Phase PWM Controller with Light Load Efficiency Enhancement and Current Monitoring

  • The front side has the following ICs:

    • Fairchild Semiconductor DD30AJ

    • IR C F3575 CCIRP

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • But wait, there's more. Just one more: a second, slightly different FirePro card.

  • This GPU—same make and model—hails from Taiwan, unlike its Chinese-made twin.

  • The other important difference to note is that this card (and only this card) hosts the slot for the SSD. This seems to us like a potential opportunity for expansion—perhaps higher storage configurations make use of two of this variety, for doubling up on SSDs?

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • The FirePro bone's connected to the... um...

  • A novel disc-shaped daughterboard ties everything together at the base of the machine. Having spudgered away the ribbon cables, we flip it over for a closer look.

  • Dominated by inscrutable proprietary connectors, we can only hope the ICs on this interconnect board will tell us more about its purpose.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • The logic board, dual graphics cards, and I/O port board all connect to this single board.

  • Wrangling all that data requires a small posse of ICs. We find:

    • Intel BD82C602J Platform Controller Hub

    • R4F2113 NLG A02 AE03376

    • ICS 932SQL435AL 3817528F

    • Texas Instruments LM393 Dual Differential Comparator

    • MXIC 25L6406E 64M-BIT CMOS Serial Flash

  • The back of the daughterboard features the same mysterious 980 YFC LM4FS1BH found in the Mid 2013 MacBook Air refreshes.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Pulling up a black cover grille, we discover where Apple hid the power supply: it's sandwiched between the I/O panel and the logic board.

  • The power supply's connecting cables are cleverly conceived, but a bit tricky to remove. Our handy Torx driver is helpful here...

  • ...and with that, the I/O board and power supply peel away as a unit.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • The logic board is the next logical step. The CPU is the last to go, left clinging to the side of the heat sink via a thin smear of thermal paste.

  • After teasing it away with a spudger, we decipher its markings:

    • Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5-1620 v2 with 10 MB L3 cache, clocked at 3.7 GHz, Turbo Boost up to 3.9 GHz.

  • While it took a bit of a trek, a CPU upgrade appears entirely possible—and well worth it, with an alleged cost savings of $1050 for an upgrade to 12 cores.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Let's identify the ICs on the rear of the logic board:

    • LGA 2011 (Socket R) CPU socket

    • SMSC 1428-7 3233E5A

    • IR C F3575 3X3YP

    • NXP PA9517A Level Translating I2C-Bus Repeater

    • Texas Instruments 58872D

  • The front side of the logic board:

    • Intersil ISL 6367 Hybrid Digital Dual PWM Controller

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Hard to port! Port board, that is.

  • Notable ICs on the back of the port board:

    • Broadcom BCM57762 Gigabit Ethernet Controller

    • Intel DSL5520 Thunderbolt 2 Controller

    • Fresco Logic FL1100 4-port USB 3.0 Host Controller

    • Parade PS8401A HDMI Jitter Cleaning Repeater

    • Delta 8904C-F

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • The front side of the port board:

  • Also along for the ride is a standard BR2032 CMOS battery.

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • With a rated output of 12.1 Volts and 37.2 Amps, we're looking at a 450 Watt power supply. The power supply has no dedicated cooling, and relies on the main system fan to keep cool—allowing the Mac Pro to idle at a whisper-quiet 12 dBA.

    • For comparison, we found a 450 Watt PSU in our recent Steam Machine teardown. The Steam Machine's SilverStone power supply featured a "silent running 80 mm fan with 18 dBA minimum."

  • And a quick look at what's left on the behemoth of a heat sink: Heavy gauge, flat power cables run from the PSU to the logic board and graphics cards, and remain intertwined in the heat sink.

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • With the I/O panel cover belly-up, we spot one last trio of unidentified ICs, labeled as follows:

    • Two M430 V380 H 39K CX88 G4

    • One M430 V380 H 39K CX7S G4

  • We speculate they may be Texas Instruments MSP430 16-bit Microcontrollers.

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Mac Pro Late 2013 Repairability Score: 8 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)

  • For being so compact, the design is surprisingly modular and easy to disassemble. Non-proprietary Torx screws are used throughout, and several components can be replaced independently.

  • The easily-opened case is designed to make RAM upgrades a snap.

  • The fan is easy to access and replace.

  • While it will require a bit of digging, the CPU is user-replaceable—meaning intrepid fixers should be able to save considerably by upgrading from the base-level processor configuration.

  • There is no room, or available port, for adding your own internal storage. Apple has addressed this with heaps of Thunderbolt, but we'd personally rather use the more widely compatible SATA if we could.

  • With some proprietary new connectors and tight cable routing, working on this $3,000 device without a repair manual could be risky.

Required Tools

TR8 Torx Security Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T7 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T5 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

TR9 Torx Security Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

Universal Drive Adapter

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iFixit Lock Pick Set

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Inspection Scope

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Frictionless Ratchet

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Portable Anti-Static Mat

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Popular Products

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Comments Comments are onturn off

The microcontrollers on the inside of the port panel must be for the illumination that lights up the ports. Somewhere there's a sensor that knows when you're turning the thing around too. Do they use a MEMS sensor for that?

satiee, · Reply

The connectors shown in Step 8 appear to be identical to the CPU sockets used in the PowerPC G3 & G4 processors. Good connectors, solid, never had an issue with them. No need to reinvent the wheel.

Dennis Murphy, · Reply

What chip handles wifi?

benaggus, · Reply

should be hidden inside the fan, packed together with most of the beamforming antenna array and an extra antenna into the I/O housing Apple got really innovative this time, they managed to squeeze everything into this tiny can

Tom Chai,

It is under the Roof, the black cover in the middle of the fan. The card handles Airport and Bluetooth. There are four antennas connected to the card.

Greg Homyak,

Which of these chips have NSA backdoors?

EDIT: All of them apparently.

highthereva, · Reply

wow great guide.. finally answered some questions I had: "how the f the boards talk to each other" and "where's the PS"

gabklein, · Reply

As usual, a great teardown. Thanks. The Mac Pro is an amazing piece of engineering, Apple did a great job, a work of art. Really nice, only Apple. You don't see hardware like this from other computer makers. I did not see a picture of the flex cables that have the big 300 pin connectors in any of the pictures. I would have thought they would have at least been in the last picture.

Tinker, · Reply

I want a USB 2.0 from mac pro because in my lab two devices supported with just USB 2.0

How can get a USB 2.0 from mac pro?

Is there any device convert thunderbolt to USB 2.0 or USB 2.0 HUB

Bahram, · Reply

There are 4 USB 3.0 Ports above the 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports on the I/O Panel, and USB 3.0 is fully backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 in the USB 3.0 Spec. Just plug your hub of choice into one of these four ports.

Joseph Keller,

As an electrical engineering who does circuit design and layout, this is thing of beauty. The industrial designers, EEs, and layout engineers really tried to make the design look very very elegant.

Heath Holcomb, · Reply

How do I Connect two standared monitors that use DVI.? If I don't hAve a apple display.

jncw03, · Reply

Just plug in two mini display port to DVI adapters; they usually go for under $10 a piece.

Clark Cox,

Clever, clever, clever! Now if Apple designers would just apply this same brilliance to make their laptops, particularly the MBA, equally accessible. As a writer, I can't afford gear I can't fix easily. I'm stuck with an aging white MacBook until Apple delivers on that.

--Michael W. Perry, My Nights with Leukemia: Caring for Children with Cancer

Mike Perry, · Reply

The MBA isn't about to get any easier to repair. No way. Despite Al Gore (Mr Environment) being on Apple's board of directors, most of Apple's products are essentially throwaway.

However, if you want a relatively easy to fix Macbook you should grab one of the non-retina 13" Macbook Pros before they're discontinued. I bought one to replace my white Macbook and it's much more powerful. And it's easy to e.g. replace the hard disk.

btashchuk,

jncw03: Use a Mini-DisplayPort to DVI adaptor. Monoprice.com has inexpensive ones. Note that there's a separate adaptor for dual-link DVI. You can also get Mini-DisplayPort to HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort.

ex2bot, · Reply

I probably found who is behind the unknown chip 980 YFC LM4FS1BH.

If you search for LM4FS1 you probably find one of the following manufactures Burr-Brown (BB), Chipcon, GrayChip, NSC (National Semiconductor), Harris (RCA Electronics Pte), all owned by Texas Instruments and Micron, as I did on this web page.

So it looks like it's a special version of a Cost-Effective System Management Controller Chip.

Hope that does help others to get more detailed informations.

Alle the best for 2014.

support, · Reply

How does this thing get an 8/10?

"While it will require a bit of digging, the CPU is user-replaceable"

- even a non-proprietary component is difficult to replace

"There is no room, or available port, for adding your own internal storage."

- storage is never enough & yet it ain't upgradeable!

"Apple has addressed this with heaps of Thunderbolt, but we'd personally rather use the more widely compatible SATA ..."

- internal storage not addressed cos Thunderbot is external storage!

- SATA's the idiot proof choice

"With some proprietary new connectors and tight cable routing, working on this $3,000 device without a repair manual could be risky."

- repair manual needed? WTF!

How can anything be considered repairable when proprietary parts of any sort are needed? How can one repair anything without parts?

This should have been at most a 1 or 2 out of 10.

I thought iFixit was the most important thing in recent years to rein manufacturers in. Apparently its caved to and slave to Apple's marketing pressure too!

Astar, · Reply

Oh, I don't know, maybe because you're wrong on almost every point you made?- even a non-proprietary CPU is difficult to replace

Tedious does not mean difficult. Nothing in the teardown implies it is significantly more difficult than most PC MOBOs.

"storage… ain't upgradeable!"

Nonsense! PCIe is NOT proprietary, and anyone, ANYONE can manufacture an upgrade drive.

"internal storage not addressed cos Thunderbot is external storage!"

No, EXPANDABLE storage was addressed, which was the stated issue.

"SATA's the idiot proof choice"

So, this is a pro machine. It is not for idiots. Oh wait, you're referring to…?

Also, you have NO evidence that ANY of the connectors are proprietary. As for repair manual needed, that's the WHOLE POINT OF THIS SITE!!! WTF, indeed.

As for "proprietary parts" care to name a PC that doesn't require such parts?

Mark,

Let's see...the only components replaceable off-the-shelf are the cpu & the ram--or would you add the SSD to that? And you think this merits an 8 out of 10 "repairability score"? As a far as "repairability" goes, if you cannot replace the individual components as needed you cannot repair it. Whether or not you have to tear stuff apart to disassemble it has nothing whatever to do with whether or not it is repairable. Try again. The Mac Pro is actually a 2 out of 10 on the repairability index while it may very well be an 8 out of 10 on the disassembly index--but a "disassembly index" tells us nothing about the ease or lack thereof in its repair (ie, if you can take something apart with thumbscrews but cannot buy replacement components as needed you cannot repair it, can you?)

Walt Covington, · Reply

Sigh. Can't you people at least attempt to find out what you're talking about before you troll?!?

"the only components replaceable off-the-shelf are the cpu & the ram--or would you add the SSD to that?"

Of course you'd add SSD to that. Why on earth not?!? And how about BOTH graphics cards. NOTHING in them is proprietary, and AMD is free to make compatible boards. As to the rest, you have no idea which parts Apple might have available for repairs, such as I/O boards, etc..

Besides which, most issues with circuit level logic are the result of single capacitor or SMD resistors going bad. If you can't replace those yourself, you have no business calling yourself competent at component repair. Try again.

Mark,

"...perhaps higher storage configurations make use of two of this variety, for doubling up on SSDs?"

And where are you going to find the extra 4x PCIe channels?

henry3dogg, · Reply

nice little gimmick machine by apple ,but useless in most cases for REAL work ,and that power supply is gonna overheat and blow ,mark these words

darren mallard, · Reply

And you have evidence to back this up? Well?

Mark,

Where is the internal speaker loacated?

Michael, · Reply

Maybe varies the pitch (sic) if the fan blades.

henry3dogg,

The speaker is connected to the I/O board and is shown in the very last picture. Zoom in to find it. There's a two pin connector that connects it to the board and it looks like two screws to secure it. iFixit took the picture of the I/O board with the speaker already removed, but then included it in the final image.

ryebread02,

There are so many Darth Vader pieces you can also use it as a Star Wars disguise !

adrigiraud, · Reply

How clarity in explaining what's happening incl

the photo work where you can really zoom in.

Thank's and a merry new year.

Torben

Denmark

Torben Hellborn, · Reply

Apple's design is typical Apple consumer bait for an under-powered PC compared to an equivalent PC of the same cost. It is not repairable or upgradeable with generic components, using parts that are either unobtainable by end users or, if they are available, cost a lot more than equivalent PC parts.

The last Mac Pro I owned was the "innovative" liquid cooled G5 which leaked corrosive chemicals that dissolved the innards turning the computer into toxic waste. Fortunately, for me, that didn't happen but its reputation caused that Mac Pro model to plummet to junk bond status in the used Mac market. Like the current Mac Pro, it used proprietary graphics cards which cost a fortune to replace or upgrade. I recently sold it loaded with thousands of dollars worth of still very useful software for the most I could get for it, $150. Fortunately, this Mac Pro isn't liquid cooled. Compare that to the Apple fanatic disparaged PC which cost less for the same capabilities and has a much longer useful life.

Brian, · Reply

You seem to have this thing for posting completely baseless comments with NO evidence to support them whatsoever.

"Apple's design is typical Apple consumer bait for an under-powered PC compared to an equivalent PC of the same cost."

Oh really? Please list the machines capable of handling real time 4k video with similar graphics cards for less than the cost of the Mac Pro. Good luck with that. As soon as you actually bother to do the research, you'll find that just replicating the graphics cards will over flow your budget!

"It is not repairable or upgradeable with generic components."

Please explain how you think it is possible to innovate in a field, and pouch the boundaries back, using "generic components".

(cont)

Mark,

"The last Mac Pro I owned was the "innovative" liquid cooled G5 which leaked corrosive chemicals that dissolved the innards turning the computer into toxic waste. Fortunately, for me, that didn't happen but its reputation caused that Mac Pro model to plummet to junk bond status in the used Mac market."

What complete and utter nonsense! First, very few machines suffered from leakage issues, and after Apple replaced the LCS system with a Panasonic-fabbed LCS, there were essentially ZERO machines that suffered the problem. Beyond that, you have NO evidence that this issue resulted in used value falling. Please feel free to post a year by year comparison vs OTHER Mac Pros (not just of the G5) that refute this by showing a marked differentiation in depreciation coefficients between machines.

(cont)

Mark,

"Like the current Mac Pro, it used proprietary graphics cards"

First, the current Mac Pro does NOT use proprietary cards, it requires special drivers. But you could make that argument of ANY OS. Just because Windows is the defacto standard does not mean its products work without software support. And since the only way to allow Mac Pros to use those cards would be to replicate the Windows 6x driver architecture, which IS proprietary, your point is rather silly and hypocritical.

"I recently sold it loaded with thousands of dollars worth of still very useful software for the most I could get for it, $150."

Leaving aside the fact that it is illegal to sell a machine with preloaded soft are like that without the install disks, your machine is at least SEVEN YEARS OLD. Try giving away your 7yo PC!

"Compare that to the Apple fanatic disparaged PC which cost less for the same capabilities and has a much longer useful life."

Name one.

Mark,

Just a quick question regarding a 450 watt psu:

As an ex-pc guy who dealt with nothing but 800-1200 watt PSUs, is this really expected to be enough to power for 2 GPUs with 2 processors and 4GB of RAM each, let alone everything else?

I currently have a 27' IMac and I am always amazed at how cool it runs even under full load with graphics apps running full tilt. I know Mac "has a way" with things but even with the 27" Ive always wondered about the PSU and what kind of overhead is available. Fully taxed PSUs seem to not last too long in my experience.

- Dont go hatin' - I even named my dog Mac

YYZ, · Reply

In the accompanying video the presenter pointedly states...

"All the available ports have been consolidated onto one card, so if one of your USB or thunderbolt ports goes bad, you'll need to replace all of the ports on your machine, to fix it."

What a strange issue to raise.

A more realistic comment would be that they've split the traditional mother board into a separate processor support board, port board, and interconnect board and cable.

So if one USB port goes bad, you only need to replace all of the ports, rather than all of the ports, CPU support chipset, CPU socket, memory sockets, power regulation, ..... as you would on most other machines.

Or, of course, on either design you could just add some replacement ports via PCIe.

Bluntly, this machine is far less wasteful on component failure than the typical modern motherboard centric machine.

henry3dogg, · Reply

As is typical of Apple's, a replacement Mac Pro IO port board will cost as much as a PC motherboard.

Brian, · Reply

And being that PCs typically have the I/O ON the MOBO, that is about tit for tat, since repairing the I/O would require MOBO replacement, per se.

Besides, you have no idea what the replacements are, anyway.

Troll.

Mark,

If the cost of replacing the Mac Pro's I/O board is the same or close to what it is for a new PC motherboard, it isn't tit-for-tat because a new PC motherboard replaces virtually all of the computer's components except for memory and the CPU and comes with a new warranty whereas replacing the Mac Pro's I/O board does not, it only replaces a subset of components and the declining or expired Apple Care warranty on the Mac Pro continues. Even if the cost for the replacement for the Mac Pro's I/O board is lower than a PC motherboard, which it probably wouldn't be by much, the replacement of a PC motherboard because of broken I/O port would probably be just the cost of the port connector and a bit of time to open the case, replace the I/O connector (desolder/resolder or unplug/replug) and reassemble the case. Another inexpensive solution available for the PC which is not available for the Mac Pro is to install a PCI expansion card with the I/O ports required/needed.

Brian,

There were a lot of liquid-cooled G5 Mac Pros which leaked but Apple replaced a small percentage of them, virtually all in the USA only. For its cost, the current Mac Pro underperforms compared to a custom built PC of equal cost - look around the Net at benchmark comparisons and you'll find it. The Graphics cards are proprietary, what other computer uses the type of connectors used on the Mac Pro's - try to buy one. I used to be a Mac Fanatic/Macophile too but I got over it.

Brian, · Reply

This is cool stuff. I love that you guys have a sense of humour. A site like this could have turned out a little dry.

dmarois, · Reply

Once again, another iFixit teardown that subtly bashes Apple products for not conforming to their definition of repairability. It is getting tired. And the humor, isn't.

MojoFix, · Reply

How is an 8 out of 10 Apple Bashing? REALLY??!!!

Aaron Glendenning,

I agree. The ability to add internal storage doesn't make a computer more "repairable". It should be a 9.

Paul Burt,

@Mojofix: going to have to agree with Aaron, 8/10 on a device packed with proprietary components and connectors seems kind of high actually. Are you just upset that they put the word "inexpensively" in quotes?

Nathan Macey, · Reply

Name one proprietary connector.

Mark,

PC repair should not require a putty knife. Most Apple products are built like consumer toys that will be thrown on the scrapheap as soon as the new model comes out.

The fact that a Mac Pro can be repaired is not something that should trigger any special praise. These machines have always been different from Apple's other products. People should expect better of them. It's good that the new Pro is as repairable despite their proprietary parts. However, it's just what should be expected.

jedidiah, · Reply

"PC repair should not require a putty knife."

Who says?

And being that this is not required here, WTH is even your point?

"Most Apple products are built like consumer toys that will be thrown on the scrapheap as soon as the new model comes out."

Um, apparently you have never checked the Mac resale market.

You simply have no idea what you're talking about. At all.

Mark,

How large would this be compared to a 5 liter barrel? Like this (it's even in black): http://bembel-with-care.de/shop/images/p...

killercup, · Reply

The volume of the new mac pro is around 5.5 liters, so it would probably be very similar.

Tellow Krinkle, · Reply

Given how easily the outer casing is separated, I would not be surprised if companies like ColorWare to start offering custom color and finish services. Should be fairly easy to bead blast/anodize/paint compared to Macbook Air/Pro.

halfapie, · Reply

@gsf I agree!

I know ifixit hasn't been around that long, and they like to write sensationalist copy about the "right" to repair, but you'd think they'd learn a little about the subject.

satiee, · Reply

Apparently you weren't around for the PowerMac G3 Blue & White or any of the PowerMac G4 models.

Aaron Gleason, · Reply

Apple has used uncommon screws on Macs. One some MacBook models, the battery is held in place with a tri-wing screw.

stevenjklein, · Reply

Apple's top-tier machines have featured screw-less case entry for almost two decades...nothing new here.

Toby Humphrey, · Reply

Can you take that fan assembly to pieces? By a process of elimination, that's where the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth circuitry and at least one of the antennas are.

Dominic Dunlop, · Reply

I agree. Look at the fan power connector, It's a ridiculous connector for a fan. It should also carry data for the wifi module, the 6-antenna array is also integral with the fan, with 1 extra for bluetooth maybe

Tom Chai,

Dominic is correct. The Airport/Bluetooth card and the antennas are housed in the fan area. It is under what is being called the Roof (the black cover in the middle of the fan). It is just adhered by glue, use a couple black sticks to pry it off.

Tom, it is only four antennas. My guess is three for Wi-Fi and one for Bluetooth.

Greg Homyak,

Yes, we can! Check out the update in steps 8-10 to see what we found.

Andrew Optimus Goldberg,

Thank you, Greg. I hope they get the pictures out soon. I saw the airport extereme with 6 antennas, so I assume there will also be 6 antennas in this device. Now the config clears up. As a client device rather than a base station, it doesn't have to work on both bands simultaneously. So the 3 antennas are for 3x3 MIMO wifi, either 2.4G or 5G operation, and an additional 2.4G for Bluetooth. just like iMacs.

Tom Chai, · Reply

According the tear down the fan just lifts off? No screws or anything to unplug? Thats weird.

Nathan, · Reply

So this is a WiFan ?

Vincent Rioux, · Reply

Everybody wants to know if the new Mac Pro can be run on its side or at least tilted (for some kind of rack mounting). If you put the MP back together, can you see if the fan works properly? You mentioned the probability of it being balanced. What happens if it's tilted 45 degrees?

plink53, · Reply

At least one hosting company will be rack-mounting these horizontally. http://www.macstadium.com/blog/new-mac-p...

shamino,

Apple answered my question today with a posting on their website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6099?viewl....

It can be put on its side.

As for the MacStadium, I'd rather see the MPs installed within a ring enclosure (like a wine rack) allowing the maximum amount of airflow around them.

plink53, · Reply

So have I been being unnecessarily OCD about making sure I don't get thermal paste overflow when I build my PCs? There's a ton of goop in there!

Joshua Rogers, · Reply

@Joshua Rogers: No. Apple has been applying far too much thermal paste to its systems as a matter of routine for many years-going back to at least 2008. So much, in fact, that people sometimes see a temperature decrease of about 5*C by reapplying the thermal paste on the Macbooks and Macbook pros correctly. Compared to the mess they make in the laptops, those GPUs are actually pretty clean.

Kevin, · Reply

Do you mean 8 x 256Mb = 2Gb?

Steven, · Reply

256MB = 2Mb

8 bits in a BYTE

James Sasinowski,

In the guide it says

"2 Gb (8 x 2 Gb = 16 Gb = 2 GB)"

It should be

"2 GB (8 x 2 Gb = 16 Gb = 2 GB)"

Thomas Augood, · Reply

Would love it know if the dual SSD video card theory is viable. Frankly I don't understand why Apple didn't do this in the first place (not enough PCIe lanes?)

Dan Thale, · Reply

Would like to know as well, I wonder if could swap another similar GPU board from another unit and see if it works.

Wei,

Definitely not possible.

1) Cards differ physically (aside from the SSD). Look at those two holes up top - they are on opposite sides.

2) There are no PCIe lanes left. And even if there were. They would have to be correctly routed to where you need them. As it is even USB 3.0 doesn't have enough lanes (one 2.0 lane for all four ports - so don't count on running multiple bandwidth intensive devices over USB, use Thunderbolt instead). And BIOS would have to play ball with you (which is doubtful).

Martin T,

I meant throughput, obviously.

Martin T,

I think you need to look up the word 'proprietary'... I would bet that those 300 pin connectors are Molex HD Mezz or something similar. Just because it's not a connector you normally see on the outside of a personal computer, it doesn't mean that Apple has made a custom one. The Mac Pro will not be sold in huge numbers - making custom shape PCBs is simple, tooling up to make custom board interconnects is not and is probably not worth it (even for Apple) at these volumes. Get a magnifying glass out, look at the connector and I'm sure you'll see some branding on there that will lead you to the manufacturer.

As Dennis Murphy says, they look like connectors that have been used before.

satiee, · Reply

The connectors for the two video cards aren't the same. I doubt that one could put two SSD video cards. Sad, but that's why the Thunderbolt.

RobCow, · Reply

The connectors for the 2 graphics cards do appear to be the same, 10x30 arrays, however the back side of the board clearly shows their respective pin utilizations to be quite different as one might expect. Perhaps a future iteration may go in that direction.

xiamenbill, · Reply

Food for thought, if I'm not mistaken the connector that "appears" to have a lower pin utilization is for the Graphics Card with the PCIe SSD

Marty, · Reply

For anyone interested, AnandTech's PCIe layout.

The design really made sense to me looking at board parts in Step 16 and Step 21 with a roadmap!

Seeing what is possible with hardware and peripherals was helpful

Kan, · Reply

Wondering if heat sink will accommodate the new CPU?

Mike, · Reply

Note, BR2032 is the longer lasting (less current output) version of the CR2032. Should not need replacement for life of the machine.

halfapie, · Reply

It will be interesting to see how Apple secures the new Mac Pro to the Apple Store table since they did not add on a Kensington security slot to the computer's body. I suppose the easy nature of how the machine is taken apart makes a Kensington security slot very insecure. Also, if the Mac Pro costs between $5,000 to $10,000, then a thief would easily bring a cable cutter to take the computer away. This makes a Kensington security cable simply very insecure. Thus the lack of security slot on the Mac Pro.

The base of the Mac Pro is one area where some sort of security clamp may be placed - something that is a variant of what can secure the Mac Mini - which also doesn't have a security slot.

James Katt, · Reply

At my local shop they had a special ethernet "brick" permanently attached to the networking port. It was only held on by a tiny nylon cord. I guess it works though.

Matt D,

Hi iFixit guys,

Is it possible to connect the video card containing the SSD to either of the two connectors on the round daughter board? If so, then I hope someone gets a second video card with SSD controller to see if both can work at the same time. It would be huge if this machine can handle two SSDs. Of course it may be very expensive...

Andrew Hanzlik, · Reply

Hi Andrew, we were hoping the same thing! Unfortunately, the cards have their power connections on opposite sides, so they can only be installed in their initial positions.

Andrew Optimus Goldberg,

I think every PCIe channel is already allocated....

henry3dogg,

In both our Apple stores in Bristol the Mac Pros aren't bolted down...yet! They are VERY HEAVY though, so anyone attempting to steal one will have a Hernia by the time they reach the front door.

Jem Brown, · Reply

It weighs 11 lbs... So I'm guessing there aren't a lot of gyms in Bristol? ;)

SFZ,

Maybe the in store display version uses a different housing that is made of a heavier material on purpose? That would be odd though

Randy Little,

Looking at the round IO card, it looks like the two connectors for the video cards are different so I seriously doubt that one could swap in a second SSD capable video card to get more SSD storage.

RobCow, · Reply

The last generation MacPro is 40 lbs vs this new MacPro is actually lighter... 11 lbs.

Rav Norodom, · Reply

Yeah, the old Mac Pro is a hernia inducing item, and a back breaker too.

RobCow,

That might be the most expensive BR2032 ever sold.

Abul Kasam, · Reply

No. The US Space shuttle also came free with a very expensive BR2032

henry3dogg,

Oh yeah, great. All solid caps throughout the unit except the PSU. Why o why?

Guess were issues will begin considered the cooling design.

Apple can do better.

Hans, · Reply

Are you the guy that complained about the type of dust caps on a Ferrari Enzo?

henry3dogg,

Hi ... think I found a mistake ?

The first Pic ... i read 12V-37.2 Amps not 32.2 Amps

MB

backi480, · Reply

Thanks! Got it updated.

Andrew Optimus Goldberg,

My first guess for the MSP430s would be port / power button lighting control, perhaps power button too (is it capacitive, by any chance?), but why would there be 3 of them?

OTOH, they would be a pretty weird choice for glue logic, so it's probably something (else) trivial like that.

oorcinus, · Reply

Whilst widely compatible, SATA is a previous generation technology, support for any storage other than PCIe would be a waste of time in a machine designed to ride out the 4K storm.

Toby Humphrey, · Reply

What proprietary connectors? They all look like they are from a manufacturer's catalog, to me. If you're talking about the giant connectors for the between-board ribbons, they are commonly called "mezzanine" connectors.

Chris, · Reply

There is something like web camera on the port board on the last photo. What is this?

Gennady Krasnikov, · Reply

Internal speaker.

Mark,

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