iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

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

We're doing a teardown of the newest (and largest) iMac in Apple's line-up -- the 27" Intel iMac! We disassembled this iMac on October 21, 2009.

Want up-to-the-minute updates? Follow @ifixit on twitter.

Check out the super-fast video slideshow of the teardown! It has banjo music!

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Edit Step 1 iMac Intel 27" EMC 2309 and 2374 Teardown  ¶ 

  • We spared no expense to bring you the latest and greatest. We have in our studio the biggest iMac money can buy.

  • The new iMac dwarfs the 20" iMac we took apart earlier this year.

  • The most obvious feature of this new iMac is the new 27" LED backlit display. The display boasts a 2560x1440 resolution, 16x9 full HD.

  • Also in the box is a brand new Magic Mouse. We already tore it apart.

  • Most of Apple's promotional photos show the iMac both running and sans power cord. It looks a lot nicer that way, but unfortunately our unit required the power cord before it would turn on.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Nine ports. These are identical to the previous revision, but the Mini DisplayPort has a new trick up its sleeve.

  • This iMac sports a cool new feature that allows you to display video from external sources on the internal display. Apparently, that's to hook up your Blu-ray player externally since the machine still doesn't include an internal Blu-ray drive.

  • Unfortunately, this feature requires an adapter. Where is the adapter? Not in the box. The manual says "Required cables and adapters are sold separately" Not that we're surprised, all you get in the way of cables is a power cable. Yes, Apple thinks cables are from the devil.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Like earlier iMacs, the RAM slots are hidden beneath an access door at the bottom of the iMac. A Phillips #2 screwdriver makes quick work of the three screws.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • You can now install a whopping 16 GB of RAM in your iMac! In a very welcome move, Apple doubled the number of slots, enabling you to install four 4 GB PC3-8500 chips.

  • Naturally, we just had to see for ourselves. Apple's not kidding, if you have the cash, you really can have 16 GB of RAM in your iMac! 16 GB will set you back $1,400 from Apple, or $400 from us.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • The new iMac features an edge-to-edge glass. This is different from the 4 mm aluminum bezel that surrounded the glass on the previous iMac. Hopefully Apple's got some pretty strong magnets to keep the glass where it belongs. After upgrading the RAM in our iMac, we noticed the glass was slightly out of alignment on one side.

  • Two suction cups, two steady hands, and the enormous glass panel lifts up.

  • Hopefully you're not following along at home, as this can be a little tricky. If you do have an older iMac that needs surgery, we now have detailed repair guides for many iMac models.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • The LCD panel is held in place with eight T10 Torx screws.

  • After the screws are free, pivoting the LCD assembly yields the first glimpse of the treasures that lie beneath.

  • Before you can lift up the LCD, carefully disconnect the vertical sync cable from the logic board.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • The LG manufactured LCD panel weighs in at nearly 11 lbs! Then again, it is a massive 27" beauty.

  • The resolution is a very impressive 2560x1440. That's the same horizontal resolution as a 30" Apple Cinema Display!

  • This display uses In-plane switching (IPS) technology, providing a wider viewing angle and better color reproduction than cheaper Twisted nematic (TN) technology.

  • The panel is very glossy. It's great for spying on those behind you, as well as watching movies.

  • It appears to be model number LM270WQ1. A Google search of that model currently yields five results, and only one of those is in English.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • This isn't nearly as pretty as the front, but there's some things worth noting here.

  • There are four cables that connect the LCD to the iMac:

    • DisplayPort

    • Temperature sensor

    • LED backlight

    • LED backlight sync

  • The key thing to note is that there's no special shortcut from the LCD to the external Mini DisplayPort connector. The signal will need to go through the logic board, so you'll need to have your iMac powered on if you want to display from an external video source.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Ever wonder what was behind that monolithic black display? Here you go: 27" of display-less iMac. (Actually, we're pretty sure the 27" measurement is completely meaningless now that the display is gone.)

  • Notice how the stand is pivoted fully upward. Without the added weight of the LCD panel, there's not nearly enough force against the spring to maintain the normal neutral buoyancy.

  • The hard drive occupies the center of the unit, while the optical drive and fan are clearly visible on the right.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Two T10 Torx screws hold the hard drive in place.

  • Once they're removed, the hard drive easily pivots up and out of the system.

  • The 27" iMac ships with a 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA hard drive (Apple offers an optional 2TB drive for an additional $250).

  • There isn't really room in here for a second drive, but you could certainly swap this one out yourself. You could hypothetically install an SSD, but this seems like such a good a media computer that it would be a shame to limit it to current SSD capacities.

  • This + that = easy Time Machine internal backup!

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Disconnecting antennas and removing the AirPort Card.

  • A single T6 Torx screw secures the standard PCI-e wireless board to the custom board it's mounted on.

  • Even after removing the silver EMI shield, it's challenging to read the main Wi-fi chip. It's an Atheros AR9280.

  • The two identical chips near the antenna connectors are SiGe Semiconductor 2593A20 power amplifiers.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • A few screws later, and....

  • The power supply is out.

    • Oooh, pretty colors!

    • Both the blue and red parts are capacitors. Unfortunately they didn't have enough markings on them for us to identify their capacitance.

    • Their Capacitance is 27.5 for both reds, the one blue against the board is 15, and the other two visible blue ones are 20. (all in micro-farads)

  • The power supply puts out 25.8 amps at 12 volts, for a total output of 310 watts. That's the biggest power supply we've seen in an iMac.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • The Bluetooth board is in the corner of the computer, grounded to the case. We began the removal procedure by disconnecting the blue antenna cable.

  • The board is one of the few components held in place by a T8 (as opposed to T10) Torx screw.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • This may be the most underwhelming component in this iMac, the 8x SuperDrive.

  • The fact that there is no Blu-ray drive in here is a bag of hurt.

  • C'mon Apple, iMacs in 2005 had 8x SuperDrives. The SuperDrive just doesn't seem so super anymore.

  • The good news is, it's a standard 12.7 mm, slimline SATA optical drive. The drive Apple should have included is this Panasonic UJ-135 Blu-ray drive.

  • Apple lacks software support for playing copy-protected Blu-ray movies, so if you install a Blu-ray drive, you'll have to boot into Windows to enjoy the show.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Apple made good use of the extra available space to include large, quiet fans with lots of low speed blades.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Removing the massive logic board requires two hands. With the RAM cavity opened underneath the iMac try to help pushing the logic board with the thumb towards the upper part (towards the isight camera), to ease the release of the logic board.

  • Notice how far apart the GPU and CPU are, and how they have separate heat sinks leading to opposite sides of the computer. This rather complex thermal engineering work allowed Apple to upgrade the iMac to use Intel's desktop processors.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Apple finally added an SD card slot to the iMac. This may be one of the most inexpensive features Apple could have added, but should prove very useful. Now we can throw away all our USB SD readers!

  • Just one T8 screw secures the slot to the case. The chip is labeled GL137A.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Removing the Infrared (IR) sensor needed to use the Apple remote.

  • In the second picture we are removing the central wiring harness and lifting out the logic board.

  • This computer has more linear feet of wire than any iMac we've ever taken apart.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Speakers! Big speakers.

  • We tested the sound before we disassembled it, and were quite impressed. Apple has super-sized the iMac's audio in proportion to the increased screen size.

  • While the speakers are in the bottom corners of the iMac, Apple has wisely placed the microphone at the top (near the iSight). That should make it possible to use the internal audio setup for video chats.

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • With the logic board removed, we gain access to a couple of more fans.

  • We removed their screws and rotated each fan out of the computer.

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • I can has heat dissipation? To keep the iMac cool and happy, Apple's included six temperature sensors, three fans, and two gigantic heat sinks.

  • View high resolution shots of the front and back.

  • To put the massive size of the heat sinks in perspective, check out the relative size of the USB ports on the bottom left of the board.

  • Notice the PRAM battery on the logic board (circular silver disc) for storing date and time when the power is disconnected. When changing the battery be careful to not to force the plastic top that holds the battery into place.

  • The processor is socketed, but there's a "Warranty void if removed" sticker above one of the heat sink's screws.

  • Our 3.06 GHz E7600 Core 2 Duo processor is a LGA 775 Socket T CPU. There are some Core 2 Quad chips that use the same socket, but we don't know if they would work. The i5 and i7 quad-cores included in the high-end 27" iMac use a different socket, LGA 1156 Socket H.

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Removing the GPU daughterboard.

  • Our low-end 27" model ships with an ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics processor packing 256MB of GDDR3 memory.

  • The sheer quantity of labels on the back of the graphic card daughterboard is overwhelming. What were they thinking?

  • (It's obvious that Apple's engineers didn't design that daughterboard. It's a standard card used in a number of products.)

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Is this an antenna leading into the back Apple logo? We think it is...wonder why?

  • The Apple logo is no longer just for looks, it now has a job to do. Earlier aluminum iMacs had an aluminum front and a plastic back. In contrast, this iMac features an all-aluminum enclosure, which is great for looks, but terrible for Wi-Fi. The Apple logo is the only plastic area on the back of the iMac, and Apple has integrated an AirPort antenna into that space.

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • After such a tedious teardown, you can't blame us for just piling everything up into one ginormous heap of parts.

  • However, curse our guilty conscience, being the nice and awesome professionals we are, we felt an urge and a slight sense of responsibility to do it right.

  • The final layout picture for all to see. Enjoy!

  • If you're feeling this teardown wasn't enough to satisfy your craving, indulge yourself in the Magic Mouse teardown, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood iFixit.

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Cannot wait for the mac mini server teardown.

elurker, · Reply

I cannot wait for the 21.5" iMac teardown comparison to this regarding the mDP video-in capabilities. Great job!!! Very nice and impressive work :)

Vrumm, · Reply

Quote from elurker:

Cannot wait for the mac mini server teardown.

We're not planning on doing a teardown of the Mac mini server (we're already done three teardowns this week), but our friends over at macminicolo.net did a teardown of the new mini.

Luke Soules, · Reply

Awesome pics... I'm craving one of these iMacs, big time.

It wasn't mentioned: what's the brand of the internal HD?

dcp, · Reply

hi

i wnat to know if i can't remove the foot of the new imac 27 to travel with this

julesdakar, · Reply

apple screen isn't lcd it's led

hiimbob, · Reply

Quote from hiimbob:

apple screen isn't lcd it's led

It's an LED-backlit LCD.

David Patierno, · Reply

Can anyone confirm if it would be possible to feed a SATA cable into the Memory Door area, thus allowing the cable to exit via the memory door opening? I can't tell from the pictures if there is enough room to get the cable into that area and then out the door. Obviously with the door removed the cable would feed out so it's more a question of getting the cable into that area. Then I could modify the door to allow the cable to feed out while still remaining closed.

Bruce Gates, · Reply

Apple has the option for both a Serial ATA Drive + a Solid State Drive. How do both of these drives fit into the enclosure? Can you add the second after purchase?

Mark, · Reply

That would be interresting to know. Sounds like it would be quite easy to add this SSD later.

Simon Haugsten Hansen,

hey i have one iMac late 2009 27'' model, with ATI Radeon HD 4850 512 MB GPU, and a 2.66 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU. do you guys know how i can upgrade them, (if possible)? I don't care about the warranty cause it's expired anyway

Raj Patel, · Reply

I'm missing unboxing step what is inside etc.

Thanks for nice work !

Jasiu, · Reply

Brilliant teardown. Couple of points;

1. Is there a "spare" SATA connector, and what would it take to add an external port ? From your earlier posting I think there's room on the back panel.

2. Cable management - and this has always been a bugbear on the whole iMac range - why not cut a slot in the stand to feed all cables through for neatness ?

3. Have you tested the HDMI input, and what does it look like ? Would you watch TV on this with the addition of a USB tuner ?

4. Let's see it go back together...:-)

Seriously, fantastic teardown. I showed the Mrs and she hit me, yelling NO, NO... go figure...

moldor, · Reply

Hi brothers,

On your pictures, is it a 24" faicng the 27.1" ?

SuperTiti, · Reply

Quote from moldor:

Brilliant teardown. Couple of points;

1. Is there a "spare" SATA connector, and what would it take to add an external port ? From your earlier posting I think there's room on the back panel. [...]

I too am wondering if an eSATA port can somehow be added. To me, that's the biggest thing that's missing from the latest Macs. I've heard about the forthcoming Apple/Intel Light Peak optical interface but nothing is going to beat native SATA for an external storage interface (no bridge/translation necessary).

derektom, · Reply

Yep! There it is! Bigger, wider and brighter!

Vrumm, · Reply

Quote from SuperTiti:

Hi brothers,

On your pictures, is it a 24" faicng the 27.1" ?

The comparison shots show a 20" Early 2009 iMac next to the new 27" iMac.

Luke Soules, · Reply

Quote from luke:

The comparison shots show a 20" Early 2009 iMac next to the new 27" iMac.

Thanks ! So, as an owner of a 24" I think a 27" won't be that great change I was expecting...

SuperTiti, · Reply

Why is the 21.5" iMac does not have video-in capabilities? What is the difference in those two MotherBoards?

Vrumm, · Reply

What is the stock configuration of DIMMS? 4x1GB? 2x2GB?

PhotoTim, · Reply

Quote from PhotoTim:

What is the stock configuration of DIMMS? 4x1GB? 2x2GB?

This iMac came with 2x2GB chips.

Luke Soules, · Reply

Is this the complete step for accessing the RAM space to add more RAM? (I plan to add 2x2GB more.) That is, just open the access door and there it is?

dano3006, · Reply

Quote from dano3006:

Is this the complete step for accessing the RAM space to add more RAM? (I plan to add 2x2GB more.) That is, just open the access door and there it is?

Yup, just remove the access door and pull the black plastic strip attached to each RAM tray away from the bottom edge of the iMac to eject the chips.

Andrew Bookholt, · Reply

Could we replace the original edge-to-edge glass for a Multi-Touch model?!?! Would it be a possible mockup?!?! It would be very nice in Business Shows to present de digital leaflet and keynotes. And at home to be just set it as enormous "tablet". the point is how to make it for a low price?

Vrumm, · Reply

hi!

how is the glas mounted on the enclosure? only by magnets? is it real glas or perspex? thanks for your answer!

Robert

robert, · Reply

Hi can you describe better how the glass attaches to the frame. Is the black border on the glass metallic so it can be supported by the magnets. Thanks.

Zoom, · Reply

Quote from robert:

hi!

how is the glas mounted on the enclosure? only by magnets? is it real glas or perspex? thanks for your answer!

Robert

Im pretty sure its real glass and yes it is only held in place by magnets

AussieMac, · Reply

I own a 27" iMac that has this edge-to-edge glass broken at left side.

Monitor is still intact. I cant exactly understand how to remove this surrounding glass.

Do i need to use the suction cups on the surrounding glass so to remove it from the magnets? Cause on the photo the cups are placed on the Monitor..

Thanks

gUrU, · Reply

Quote from gUrU:

I own a 27" iMac that has this edge-to-edge glass broken at left side.

Monitor is still intact. I cant exactly understand how to remove this surrounding glass.

Do i need to use the suction cups on the surrounding glass so to remove it from the magnets? Cause on the photo the cups are placed on the Monitor..

Thanks

There have been a number of reports on the Apple forums of the glass being broken on the bottom left side. If you have an Apple store nearby, you can ask them to replace the glass (they will have to get the replacement glass shipped to the store), otherwise call Apple support to obtain a replacement machine.

dotm8rix, · Reply

Quote from gUrU:

Do i need to use the suction cups on the surrounding glass so to remove it from the magnets? Cause on the photo the cups are placed on the Monitor..

Thanks

Actually, in both photos the suction cups are attached to the glass. The display is recessed about .125" below the glass panel, and the two components are not connected. To remove the glass, lay your iMac stand-side down on a table. Stick two suction cups along the top edge of the glass and pull it away from the rear case of the iMac. Rotate the top edge of the glass panel slightly away from the rear case of the iMac to clear the mounting pins, then slide the glass toward the top edge of the iMac to free the flat tabs along its lower edge.

Andrew Bookholt, · Reply

Is the LCD itself glossy, or just the glass? I am considering getting a 27" iMac but hate the glossy display -- would it be feasible to run it with the glass removed? Maybe sealing the edges with some carefully-placed electrical tape or something...

cromas, · Reply

Quote from cromas:

Is the LCD itself glossy, or just the glass? I am considering getting a 27" iMac but hate the glossy display -- would it be feasible to run it with the glass removed? Maybe sealing the edges with some carefully-placed electrical tape or something...

yes, the display is also glossy

AussieMac, · Reply

I think I have break the sync cable... Can anyone tell me what will be the effect of it? Thanks.

Antonio, · Reply

Strangely I found that reinstalling the 8 screws to keep the LCD panel in place my T-10 torx kept demagnetizing. (I only have a slight magnetization in place to keep the screws from falling inside)

mark, · Reply

Please tell me that display is matte?!!

Toushi, · Reply

Quote from Toushi:

Please tell me that display is matte?!!

Definitely not. It's quite shiny, in fact.

Kyle Wiens, · Reply

Quote from kyle:

Definitely not. It's quite shiny, in fact.

Darn it. From the pictures it looked matte.

Toushi, · Reply

Quote from kyle:

Definitely not. It's quite shiny, in fact.

Ah, shite.... I wanna matte display !!!

moldor, · Reply

If you want a matte screen, you should add your detailed petition at http://macmatte.wordpress.com where there are 600+ detailed petitions.

MacMatte, · Reply

Quote from moldor:

Ah, shite.... I wanna matte display !!!

haven't seen a matte mac display since... CRTs

mavis, · Reply

Quote from mavis:

haven't seen a matte mac display since... CRTs

Most of the CRT's I've had weren't matte. Thus the reason I had glare shields for most of them :)

macavenger, · Reply

Quote from macavenger:

Most of the CRT's I've had weren't matte. Thus the reason I had glare shields for most of them :)

24" iMacs had matte displays (model identifier iMac6,1) when first introduced (all white)...one of two reasons I haven't upgrade my 6 24"iMacs.

The other reason Bluetooth full size keyboards (model A1016, white) are only available today with a USB cord. I don't have the specs on the new cabinet width, but the 24" iMac: is nearly 23" wide. A 17" wide, full size keyboard is too big to put in front of a 27" iMac?

Progress?

BobForsberg, · Reply

I agree on the lack of a numerical pad--disappointing. I wonder how long until someone does an indepth review of that display? LED IPS displays are $$$ especially if this one renders color as well as some of the other high displays. That makes the price of this machine so much more reasonable.

joelsvoice, · Reply

LED Display - is it RGB LED? Is it side lit or back lit?

wkchan, · Reply

Quote from wkchan:

LED Display - is it RGB LED? Is it side lit or back lit?

RGB LCD with LED backlight. It is not an OLED display, which is a common source of confusion (OLED vs LCD, LED backlight vs CCFL).

Diggsby, · Reply

Quote from Diggsby:

RGB LCD with LED backlight. It is not an OLED display, which is a common source of confusion (OLED vs LCD, LED backlight vs CCFL).

Hmmm ... my origin question was not too clear.

I meant to ask:

1. if the LED backlight uses "RGB/tri-color" LEDs or just "white" LEDs (as in the MacBooks).

2. if the LED backlight on the edge of the display or the back of the display.

LG makes a 1920x1200 17.1" LCD panel, LGD01b3, with RGB LED backlight, edge-lit. The LGD01b3 display has a wide color gamut, high contrast with vivid colors but suffers from non-even backlight color (I call it "wild gamut" because I can never get the color profiling right).

Cannot find any info on this LM270WQ1 LCD panel and was hoping that the Teardown guys can tell if the backlight uses RGB LEDs and if the panel was edge-lit.

This LCD panel is IPS and if it also uses RGB LED, then the iMac 27" is really a price break through!

But on second thought, went through the specs and never see "wide gamut" being mentioned -- so likely at this price point, it is likely just a white-LED backlight.

wkchan, · Reply

Quote from kyle:

Definitely not. It's quite shiny, in fact.

Can you please clarify if the actual screen underneath is also glossy? Not matte? If I take off the glass, will I basically have a matte iMac? Thank you in advance!

tokyogiants, · Reply

Quote from tokyogiants:

Can you please clarify if the actual screen underneath is also glossy? Not matte? If I take off the glass, will I basically have a matte iMac? Thank you in advance!

The glass and the LCD itself are both highly glossy.

Andrew Bookholt, · Reply

Quote from andrew:

The glass and the LCD itself are both highly glossy.

Thank you! One last question... Is there any way that I can take off the glass on the glossy LCD without ruining the monitor? Thanks!!!

tokyogiants, · Reply

Please disregard the previous question. I just don't know enough about monitors and I dread buying a Mac with a glossy screen.

tokyogiants, · Reply

I'm also interested in an answer to wkchan's question regarding whether the imac is backlit by white or tri-color LED's. Thanks!

dotm8rix, · Reply

OK, I still don't think we have a definitive answer as to how the new displays are actually "lit". Has it been confirmed whether the screens are edge-lit or back-lit?

Also, regarding some recent display anomalies... I've been involved in a few discussions over at Ars Technica [URL=http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/1...]here[/URL] and [URL=http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/foru...]here[/URL].

Ed M, · Reply

Re: Mini DisplayPort, you write:

> you'll need to have your iMac powered on if you want to

> display from an external video source.

This means "powered on and running OSX", right?

So, this iMac won't become a decent second display if the logic board goes south, or after quad 2.66GHzs are no longer "fast enough" to read email on?

reynhout, · Reply

I'm wondering the same thing. No one has done a run through of how using the display port as input works, yet.

Quote from reynhout:

Re: Mini DisplayPort, you write:

> you'll need to have your iMac powered on if you want to

> display from an external video source.

This means "powered on and running OSX", right?

So, this iMac won't become a decent second display if the logic board goes south, or after quad 2.66GHzs are no longer "fast enough" to read email on?

Serengeti007, · Reply

Isn´t it possible to make a mDP "HUB" by the DisplayPort connector shown on this picture?

Vrumm, · Reply

"DisplayPort has Direct Drive"

Vrumm, · Reply

What is "led backlight sync"?

fredmundstiegler, · Reply

With a bit of work, that would make a great desktop image

zoara, · Reply

Hey, I am still a Big Mac!!! Don´t mess with me. My brother mini, doesn´t have a display and no body cares ;P

Vrumm, · Reply

Thatd be great to have a High-resolution full-on photo of the internal at the resolution of the new 27" iMac for a background wall paper.

it would look so b@d@ss to have that as a desktop wallpaper sort of like an XRay image

XIII, · Reply

DO YOU ALSO SELL THE 2 GB PC3-8500 RAM CHIPS

GRW,

I'm quite irritated with Apple for not providing a slot for a second 3.5" drive. They're the masters of Tight Squeezes; they clearly could have shuffled things around slightly more to add a second drive bay.

A gorgeous media computer like this simply craves twin terabyte drives running in RAID.

MD5Hash, · Reply

So how many fans does this iMac have? The final image with the parts arranged neatly looks like it has three.

doctordon, · Reply

Quote from doctordon:

So how many fans does this iMac have? The final image with the parts arranged neatly looks like it has three.

Yes, there's three fans total. One for the CPU, one for hard drive, and one near the optical drive.

Luke Soules, · Reply

I second that! That would be an awesome screen background.

Quote from XIII:

Thatd be great to have a High-resolution full-on photo of the internal at the resolution of the new 27" iMac for a background wall paper.

it would look so b@d@ss to have that as a desktop wallpaper sort of like an XRay image

Thrak, · Reply

Hops.

I just upgraded my brand new iMac 27"'s processor from I5 to I7 2.8 GHZ, but must have done some mistake by re mounting it, and the screen keeps black, and makes one beep every 3 seconds.

Any suggestions?

Manuel Agus, · Reply

[quote|Manuel Agus]Hops.

I just upgraded my brand new iMac 27"'s processor from I5 to I7 2.8 GHZ, I cant get the CPU thermostat to work, and I don't even find the connector for it.

Manuel Agus, · Reply

Step 16

Which one is the GPU and which one is the cpu? the radeon red color is not thereT_T

peaksen chua, · Reply

I noticed that the picture doesn't show any Kapton tape on either end of the Airport cable. Is that the way the iMac came or was the tape removed before the picture was taken?

Richard Murray, · Reply

You say that there isn't room for another drive; does that also go for 2.5" SSDs? Are there extra SATA ports on the logic board for more than the single drive anyway?

CrimsonS, · Reply

Quote from CrimsonS:

You say that there isn't room for another drive; does that also go for 2.5" SSDs? Are there extra SATA ports on the logic board for more than the single drive anyway?

You could fairly easily replace the optical drive with a 2.5" hard drive or SSD. We sell an enclosure that enables you to install a SATA drive instead of the optical drive. There are no extra available internal ports that we noticed.

Luke Soules, · Reply

Hi Luke,

To confirm, this enclosure is compatible with the latest Quad-Core i7 27" iMac, correct? Also, do you know of any external enclosures where I could use the superdrive once removed? Or can you recommend an external DVD burner to purchase as a replacement once the internal one has been replaced by an SSD drive?

bradwill,

If i install a SSD instead of the optical drive, could i boot up OSX from the SSD and use the internal 3,5 HDD for media Stuff?

Quote from luke:

You could fairly easily replace the optical drive with a 2.5" hard drive or SSD. We sell an enclosure that enables you to install a SATA drive instead of the optical drive. There are no extra available internal ports that we noticed.

cocoJim, · Reply

Quote from cocoJim:

If i install a SSD instead of the optical drive, could i boot up OSX from the SSD and use the internal 3,5 HDD for media Stuff?

That should work just fine. You would just select the SSD in Startup Disk as soon as you get the drive in there with OS X installed.

Joe, · Reply

What model WD 1TB is this one? the Caviar Black or the RE4 model?

franquinet, · Reply

Quote from joe:

That should work just fine. You would just select the SSD in Startup Disk as soon as you get the drive in there with OS X installed.

There should be a 3.5" drive with both an SSD and a high capacity HDD on it (dual SATA). The SSD wouldn't need to be that big, say 32 or 64GB , since the most active files and swap space would reside there. I guess it would only apply to the iMac though.

Given how much the SSD in my MBP has sped things up, I almost feel installing an SSD in a new iMac is a necessity.

MatTrue, · Reply

You would have to downgrade the internal Hard Disk to less than the size of the optical bay HD or use the optical bay HD as the boot drive for Time Machine backups.

The Time Machine backup disk must always be larger than the disk it backs up from, AFAIR.

TonyWong, · Reply

Quote from TonyWong:

You would have to downgrade the internal Hard Disk to less than the size of the optical bay HD or use the optical bay HD as the boot drive for Time Machine backups.

The Time Machine backup disk must always be larger than the disk it backs up from, AFAIR.

Nope, you can choose what you backup, and if it fits, it'll do it.

Magneto, · Reply

Which 1TB hard drive is used - is it the Hitachi?

And I wonder which drive they've chosen for the 2TB option?

string, · Reply

Quote from CrimsonS:

You say that there isn't room for another drive; does that also go for 2.5" SSDs? Are there extra SATA ports on the logic board for more than the single drive anyway?

You can maybe use SATA port multiplier and, from photos, I would say that there is enough space for 2,5" SSD behind GPU heat-pipes ? right ? (although maybe it is not best idea to put SSD close to heatpipes :D)

kovacm, · Reply

Quote from franquinet:

What model WD 1TB is this one? the Caviar Black or the RE4 model?

It's a Caviar Black, model WD1001FALS.

Luke Soules, · Reply

Quote from kovacm:

You can maybe use SATA port multiplier and, from photos, I would say that there is enough space for 2,5" SSD behind GPU heat-pipes ? right ? (although maybe it is not best idea to put SSD close to heatpipes :D)

I'd like to try the following:

SATA 1: 120GB OCZ Vertex SSD

SATA 2-> port multiplier

1: 120GB OCZ Vertex SSD

2: SATA to eSATA and thread out cable from iMAC

Then put the SSDs in software RAID 0 and still have a nice eSATA port coming out...

Of course this would require the SATA controller to support port multipliers, any idea what chipset it is??

zeigerpuppy, · Reply

HI, is there any heating sensor will have to be disabled, if I replace the optial drive with SSD. I notice someone replace the HDD with SSD, then the heating sys reports error and the fans go nuts. So how about optial drive, the same?

simonzhao, · Reply

Specifically what HDD model was in the iMac? Does it have 16mb or 32mb cache also?

Thanks.

amtechfox, · Reply

Quote from franquinet:

What model WD 1TB is this one? the Caviar Black or the RE4 model?

It is a 1TB Seagate.

Manuel Agus, · Reply

Apple added a build-to-order option for a 256GB SSD in the 2010 iMacs, and you can have both the SSD and a 1- or 2-TB hard drive. Anyone know where the SSD goes? Can you buy a 2010 iMac without an SSD and add one yourself?

Michael, · Reply

This article was written about the "Late 2009" edition. The Mid 2010 update now has the option for both a Serial ATA Drive + a Solid State Drive. How do both of these drives fit into the enclosure? Has there been substantial changes to the internals to allow this? Can you add the second after purchase?

Mark, · Reply

The tech specs for the 27" iMac say it can be up to 365W, so I suspect the Quad Core variant has an even larger power supply.

djfriar, · Reply

Quote from djfriar:

The tech specs for the 27" iMac say it can be up to 365W, so I suspect the Quad Core variant has an even larger power supply.

I think Apple may be talking input power, while we're talking output. An input of 365 watts and output of 310 watts is 85% efficiency, which is typical for a good power supply.

Luke Soules, · Reply

Quote from luke:

I think Apple may be talking input power, while we're talking output. An input of 365 watts and output of 310 watts is 85% efficiency, which is typical for a good power supply.

And I learn something new from this site yet again. :)

djfriar, · Reply

Whatinhell is the second board by the PS? It's definitely something not seen before.

NikkiWraith, · Reply

Quote from NikkiWraith:

Whatinhell is the second board by the PS? It's definitely something not seen before.

I believe that's the backlight board for the display.

Ben Eisenman, · Reply

Are there any slot loading blu-ray drives we can replace this with?

Toushi, · Reply

Quote from Toushi:

Are there any slot loading blu-ray drives we can replace this with?

Yup, the Panasonic UJ-135-A will work just fine.

Kyle Wiens, · Reply

Quote from kyle:

Yup, the Panasonic UJ-135-A will work just fine.

Can this trik be done also on a iMac 24" - 2007 (2.4GHz) ?

rudver, · Reply

Blu-ray display 1080p. What is the experience indeed of watching a movie with that black bar tags? And wait I am not considering here in "FullScreen" Youtube, mobile DTV, iTunes Movies and DVD "Super" Drive. All of that might seems very "distorted" by the 2560x1440 resolution. The ATI will have to work a lot to upscale all of this.

Vrumm, · Reply

Quote from Toushi:

Are there any slot loading blu-ray drives we can replace this with?

A stand alone Blu-ray might be in the works, similar to the external usb/firewire devices for the MacBook Air.

Built in, they really are a "bag of hurt", as Steve pointed out.

BobForsberg, · Reply

What about putting a SSD drive in here instead

rapdigital, · Reply

Quote from kyle:

Yup, the Panasonic UJ-135-A will work just fine.

The web site says 12.7 mm while the original drive says 12.5 mm. Small difference, but could be a problem closing the case or aligning the disc in the slot.

BradMacPro, · Reply

Quote from BradMacPro:

The web site says 12.7 mm while the original drive says 12.5 mm. Small difference, but could be a problem closing the case or aligning the disc in the slot.

I think they were just a bit lazy with the measurements here.. look at the image of the superdrive and google the code. I'm pretty sure that it is actualy a 12.7, not .5 (i've NEVER seen a 12.5 drive.. anywhere), so it will be a perfect fit.

I recommend the UJ-235A over the 135 they mention in the article too, as it can burn blu-ray discs at 4x.

iTems, · Reply

Quote from iTems:

I think they were just a bit lazy with the measurements here.. look at the image of the superdrive and google the code. I'm pretty sure that it is actualy a 12.7, not .5 (i've NEVER seen a 12.5 drive.. anywhere), so it will be a perfect fit.

I recommend the UJ-235A over the 135 they mention in the article too, as it can burn blu-ray discs at 4x.

iTems, you're right, that's a typo. It is indeed a 12.7mm drive, so there's no difference between the SuperDrive and Panasonic's slim Blu-ray drives. If you want to burn Blu-ray (and have a bigger budget), the UJ-235 drive should work fine as well.

Luke Soules, · Reply

Hey Luke,

Just installed Panasonic's UJ-235A into my mid 2010 27" iMac & it accepted a disc but that's all it's doing. Clicking 'About this Mac' then 'More Info' & the drive is detected - OS X recognises it & lists all its capabilities but can't see it in Finder, VLC or any other program. The keyboard eject button doesn't work. Tried getting the disc out using the 'drutil eject' command. The drive makes a noise like it's going to eject, but doesn't.

Have you, or anyone else, installed this drive & had any luck using it.

Any suggestions would appreciated.

Thanks! Paul

Paul Rossi,

imacs in 2003 had superdrives too!

Chris Green, · Reply

Is it possible to put a 1TB WD laptop hard drive here instead? I would think you would need some sort of mounting apparatus.

silvergirl1283, · Reply

I accidentally slipped in a SD memory card into the superdrive thinking it was the SD slot. Does anybody know it would be possible to take apart the superdrive?

Danny Huynh, · Reply

Quote from Danny Huynh:

I accidentally slipped in a SD memory card into the superdrive thinking it was the SD slot. Does anybody know it would be possible to take apart the superdrive?

The guide to remove the optical drive can be found here. Please do not use this teardown as a repair guide, as there are many many steps missing. As explained at the top of the page, "Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions." A guide for opening up your optical drive can be found here. Hope that helps!

Andrew Bookholt, · Reply

"feat of wire"? That's quite feat!

rpmurray, · Reply

A nice deconstruction as always.

Hahaha step 23 had me in stitches... the Apple logo now serves as a secret antenna for wifi.

How sly of Apple.

Just a thought... My Unibody Macbook Pro has a fairly enclosed design where is the wifi antenna inside?

I think its a shame that Apple have neglected the stunning internal design of the early iMac G5s!... they were a work of art inside.

But now... theres all this cable and clutter... I wouldnt mind if they made the imac less tapered on the back (it'd still be the thinnest and most stunning all-in-one) if they would make better cooling and repairing easier with the internals better laid out.

IMHO.

Still love the new iMac tho!

lemas1, · Reply

Quote from lemas1:

A nice deconstruction as always.

Hahaha step 23 had me in stitches... the Apple logo now serves as a secret antenna for wifi.

How sly of Apple.

Just a thought... My Unibody Macbook Pro has a fairly enclosed design where is the wifi antenna inside?

If it's anything like the original Macbook Pros, which I used to be a technician for, they wrapped the antennae cables around the edges of the screen. Since those screens are now 100% glass, I wouldn't be surprised if they left the wires there since it's the only part of the system not made of aluminum!

MD5Hash, · Reply

just curious, after pulling this baby apart, how would you rate its value on a parts basis?

golook, · Reply

Quote from lemas1:

Just a thought... My Unibody Macbook Pro has a fairly enclosed design where is the wifi antenna inside?

In the iFixit teardown of the unibody MBP, they mention that the wireless antenna is located in the black plastic display hinge.

waffle911, · Reply

Quote from lemas1:

I think its a shame that Apple have neglected the stunning internal design of the early iMac G5s!... they were a work of art inside. But now... theres all this cable and clutter...

Yes, seriously!

http://files.macbidouille.com/mbv2/news/...

A swansong for the G5, I guess ;)

Diggsby, · Reply

Equally gorgeous on the inside, a Black PCB, very classy.

That's quite some ventilation though, can't imagine what the 4850 would use in the way of copperware...

deetex, · Reply

Quote from Diggsby:

Yes, seriously!

http://files.macbidouille.com/mbv2/news/...

A swansong for the G5, I guess ;)

Yes, it is/was a beauty to behold, but that was largely due to the fact that there were several "user installable" parts. For example, midplane board, hard drive, RAM, etc. Funny thing is that people still needed help simply installing RAM! Apple rethought this strategy, because subsequent iMac models did away with this clean internal design (and so many user-installable parts).

Jeremy D, · Reply

Quote from Jeremy D:

I'll take that flame bait, but not hook, line and sinker...

First of all, you must be easily amazed, because Apple has always had higher premiums on their components. They can only leverage their monopoly on stuff like NAND flash memory prices.

Not a "magic" WD hard drive, but neither are the Seagate drives (their other drive supplier). Apple generally maintains more strict product tolerances from vendor for things like RAM latency, hard disk burn-in and MTBF. This usually means Apple staff "qualifies" goods before getting them into your hands. This adds to cost--esp if Apple has their own special recipe of firmware to drop onto drives (e.g. server-grade drives).

Ok, I'll stop there.

All Mac users missed the myriad adverts touting "2TB hard drives only $179!", because we're ignorant Mac zealots.

You can go back to building your frankenstein PC--complete with blinky blue/green/red UV-lighted case mod and we'll stick with our stupid Macs.

Maybe you should remove this site from your bookmarks and/or Google search history, too? Oh, wait... you're a web troll--it's your job to categorically dismiss "stupid" Mac users.

I guess your mission is accomplished. &&!&!

well, im sorry that you feel that way, mac was the best personal computer, of the 1980's and early 1990's and i do agree that the technology is ususally a step behind the standard, and a higher price than what it's worth, but "Mac Zealots" is kind of an overstatement, sure some people like macs, some people love macs, and some people hate macs, but for my self, i am a PC, and a Mac, I've been doing PC work since the 486, but the mac always has and still has an advantage over a PC, (My Core 2 Quad PC would out-perform any mac mini, any day) but PC's have something macs will never have, (open development, expandability, most 3rd party hardware and software, and for the longest time, a standard CPU archetecture) and macs have something PC's will never have (a rock solid, and secure OS, a sleek style, look, and computing power higher than that of an equaly speced pc)

Chris Green, · Reply

[quote|macs have something PC's will never have (a rock solid, and secure OS, a sleek style, look, and computing power higher than that of an equaly speced pc)[/quote]

The term PC does not mean windows bud. You forgot about linux, mainly, Ubuntu. Rock solid OS, OPEN SOURCE software that is community maintained, and the speed to run circles around any mac of equal spec, all with a flexibility and low price of building a PC one part at a time. YOU can choose exactly what goes in it.

Joe C, · Reply

Quote from Chris Green:

... but "Mac Zealots" is kind of an overstatement, sure some people like macs, some people love macs, and some people hate macs, but for my self, i am a PC, and a Mac...

@Chris - the intent of my post was to take the pi$$ out of what appeared (to me) to be Mac flame-bait from. "Mac zealot" was a self-depricating reference to steal Joe C's "thunder" if/when using said term himself.

The point is that life is not as black and white as "I'm a Mac"/"I'm a PC"--as Joe C insightfully points out in his later post re: "PC" definition. Apple's and Microsoft's ad campaigns try to stoke this outmoded argument. We know how common it is for people to work on Windows PC at the office and Macs at home.

But "PC" statistically refers to Windows PCs (given the slight market share Linux has).

(Reasonably) technically savvy users reading/posting to this site should be somewhat aware of how versatile, lightweight and supported different flavors of Linux can be--compared to Macs and/or Windows PCs.

Nevermind . . . this a waste of everyone's time. Sorry for the trivial distraction. Thanks Joe C. Happy New Year.

Jeremy D, · Reply

Is it possible to drop in a quad core later? I am thinking about getting this one and dropping in the quad later when I have the money.

Toushi, · Reply

You mean this thing has a generic-sized portable graphics card that can be swapped with something else? Brilliant. Should have shipped with a 1GB card at least.

AeronPeryton, · Reply

Quote from AeronPeryton:

You mean this thing has a generic-sized portable graphics card that can be swapped with something else? Brilliant. Should have shipped with a 1GB card at least.

I really hope so. The graphics card it the only thing that is stopping me from getting one right now!

Simie, · Reply

Quote from Toushi:

Is it possible to drop in a quad core later? I am thinking about getting this one and dropping in the quad later when I have the money.

There's not that much difference in price between the two - I think you're better off getting it from day 1.

moldor, · Reply

Great work Guys, and done with lightning speed just after the release. Hats off and looking out for The Apple Tablet That Will Rule Them All, grin

multimedia, · Reply

Is there any mini-DisplayPort "chip" controller? I mean what differer at Mother Board, in order to not allow video-in at the 21.5" iMac. I really want to now!!! What is the specification and model of the mDP? Is it mDP 1.0 or 1.2? Is it compatible to the HDMI 1.4, yet?

Vrumm, · Reply

Does the 21.5 inch model also use a socketed CPU? I have a low-power quad core (Q9550S) waiting for a worthy home...

alienlogic, · Reply

Quote from Toushi:

Is it possible to drop in a quad core later? I am thinking about getting this one and dropping in the quad later when I have the money.

No. This iMac uses a different socket than the i5 or i7. If you want a quadcore iMac, just buy one ;)

TakkU, · Reply

What's the chipset used in the Core2Duo logic board?

Chispa, · Reply

Quote from TakkU:

No. This iMac uses a different socket than the i5 or i7. If you want a quadcore iMac, just buy one ;)

There are quad core chips out there that are not i5s or i7s. I am just as curious what is the socket type, if it is a LGA 755 type I could see the potential to put in a Q9550S.

trance2, · Reply

Quote from trance2:

There are quad core chips out there that are not i5s or i7s. I am just as curious what is the socket type, if it is a LGA 755 type I could see the potential to put in a Q9550S.

I so want to drop in a Q9550 into my new iMac. If it weren't for that warranty voiding sticker.. Anyone want to try? In theory it should work. Works in my Hackintosh just fine.

negatv, · Reply

Quote from Toushi:

Is it possible to drop in a quad core later? I am thinking about getting this one and dropping in the quad later when I have the money.

Can we put a extreme i7 in the quad core model??? and how about a ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4870 X2 in place of the existing 4850 card??

nimoryan, · Reply

Quote from nimoryan:

Can we put a extreme i7 in the quad core model??? and how about a ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4870 X2 in place of the existing 4850 card??

OK so duh on the processor so let change that to 2.93ghz i7 and the 4870 x2 video card

nimoryan, · Reply

Come on guys, show us what's under the heatsinks, that would be great, i want to upgrade my cpu, but i want to see it first

Chris Green, · Reply

Quote from Toushi:

Is it possible to drop in a quad core later? I am thinking about getting this one and dropping in the quad later when I have the money.

Oh, a wonderful idea! I'd love to see the iFixit folks give this a try and report on the change in performance. Then they could sell us the proper CPU and provide the instructions for accomplishing the task.

barryjaylevine, · Reply

Does anyone know if there are any mainboard (off the video card) graphics chips (e.g., scaler), or are the DisplayPort signals routed directly from the GPU to the LCD panel and DisplayPort connector?

Chris, · Reply

Concerning C2D Quad-core replacements:

After looking at the CPU specs in detail for the E7600 and E8600 C2D parts and comparing them to the various available C2Q parts, it seems to require one of the 45nm QxxxxS parts to even have a chance of working, with the Q9505S or Q9550S being the most likely of the higher-end ones. The power regulator specs/etc. are different for the non-S parts.

I'd be happy to try it, pretty sure the worst thing that will happen is that it won't boot due to lack of C2E (Stop-Grant) support or confusion about having 4 cores instead of 2. It could also come up but refuse to recognize the other 2 cores.

Erich Boleyn, · Reply

Quote from Erich Boleyn:

Concerning C2D Quad-core replacements:

After looking at the CPU specs in detail for the E7600 and E8600 C2D parts and comparing them to the various available C2Q parts, it seems to require one of the 45nm QxxxxS parts to even have a chance of working, with the Q9505S or Q9550S being the most likely of the higher-end ones. The power regulator specs/etc. are different for the non-S parts.

I'd be happy to try it, pretty sure the worst thing that will happen is that it won't boot due to lack of C2E (Stop-Grant) support or confusion about having 4 cores instead of 2. It could also come up but refuse to recognize the other 2 cores.

Hmm. Is a Q9550S CPU the only thing that you are lacking?

kmohanram, · Reply

it's possible to remove graphic card and replace it with the same but 512mb vram?

vinyltrack, · Reply

I'd be interested to know if you can replace it with a better one. You say these are generic parts? Where can we get them? Or are they only available to manufacturers?

Simie, · Reply

I really want to know if this is true!? i need to upgrade... bad.

Jason,

Please add pictures with the heatsinks removed both for the GPU and the Logic Board

ibrian, · Reply

So is that still a laptop card, or like the proc, are we getting desktop class cards now?

joelsvoice, · Reply

Quote from ibrian:

Please add pictures with the heatsinks removed both for the GPU and the Logic Board

I agree! You never take the heatsinks off! Come on!

ericathornton, · Reply

What's the name of that supposedly standardized slot? I've only ever seen Apple use it; I recall it was the same in the previous two revisions as well.

MD5Hash, · Reply

Quote from MD5Hash:

What's the name of that supposedly standardized slot? I've only ever seen Apple use it; I recall it was the same in the previous two revisions as well.

AXIOM (ATI) respectively MXM (NVIDIA). IF Apple uses that (do they?)

ibrian, · Reply

I don't get it. On this model you can change the graphic card?

Bilstoy77, · Reply

so is it possible to replace graphic card in any 27 inch imac?

i was rly sad when i have seen that 512mb card in i7 model

xyras, · Reply

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