The “New” MacBook Pro

November 8, 2011 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — Phillip

With the recent wave of mildly-updated “new” products from Apple, we were skeptical that the “new” MacBook Pro would be significantly different from the one it replaced. But, being the inquisitive folk we are at iFixit — and feeling it was our civic duty to investigate the matter, come hell or high water — we pulled out the checkbook and bought one, just to be sure.

Our initial skepticism was validated after pulling off the lower case with our trusty Phillips #00 screwdriver: nothing appeared to have changed. But a closer look within revealed that Apple did make some teeny-tiny modifications to its “new” laptop. Sadly, those changes did not involve any magic unicorns.

Everything seems to be identical to the previous generation at first glance.

The number of graphics memory chips has grown, resulting in double the graphics memory (how about that!) from last year’s model. Looking back at the last MacBook Pro teardown, we find Apple left room for an extra 2 Gb of graphics memory, which they apparently took advantage of this time. The only other big changes worth mentioning are the updated Radeon graphics processor and slightly faster i5 and i7 processors. If you’re keen on details, click on the logic board images below for a full-resolution peek. Fair warning for 56K users: the images may take a while to load, as they’re ginormous.

The growing population of graphics memory can be seen at the bottom center of the logic board.

Shiny new processors!

All in all, any changes to the new Pro are only hardware updates, leaving the internal and external design untouched. We get our hopes up every time Apple says they’ve got something new for us, but recently have become a bit disappointed with their definition of “new.” Undoubtably, the updated MacBook Pro is a little faster and yes, it’s a great computer, but if they’re not going to make significant changes to their machines, can they stop piquing our interest with the n-word? These things don’t run cheap!

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