Video Overview

Introduction

The first of the long-awaited updates to Apple's pro-level laptops is on our teardown table, but what the heck is it? MacBook Pro Without Touch Bar? MacBook Pro With Function Keys? MacBook Pro With Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports? No one quite knows what to call it—but we know exactly what to do with it. Read on for our teardown of the MacBook Pro Late 2016 (Escape Edition).

Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for the latest news from the repair world.

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your MacBook Pro 13" Function Keys Late 2016, use our service manual.

We've waited many a full moon for an update to the MacBook Pro. What  will we find? We know the basics: 13.3” LED-backlit IPS “Retina” display with 2560 × 1600 resolution (227 dpi), P3 color gamut 2.0 GHz "Skylake" dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz) with integrated Intel Iris Graphics 540
  • We've waited many a full moon for an update to the MacBook Pro. What will we find? We know the basics:

    • 13.3” LED-backlit IPS “Retina” display with 2560 × 1600 resolution (227 dpi), P3 color gamut

    • 2.0 GHz "Skylake" dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz) with integrated Intel Iris Graphics 540

    • 8 GB of 1866 MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory (16 GB configuration available)

    • 256 GB, 512 GB, or 1 TB PCIe-based SSD

    • Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports supporting charging, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, USB 3.1 Gen 2

  • This model features function keys instead of that newfangled Touch Bar. If that's what you're interested in, stay tuned! We'll be back in a few weeks with a teardown of the new Touch Bar MacBook Pro.

I get that the new touch bar will replace the Function keys, but what if you use Function keys in Excel etc ..... how will you perform these functions with the new macbook pro ?

gregnrichardson - Reply

Two Thunderbolt 3 ports populate the left side of this laptop... and that's all. The USB-C form factor is versatile, but you'll likely need a fistful of adapters to interface with your existing hardware. On the right side,  a lone 3.5 mm headphone jack.
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports populate the left side of this laptop... and that's all.

    • The USB-C form factor is versatile, but you'll likely need a fistful of adapters to interface with your existing hardware.

  • On the right side, a lone 3.5 mm headphone jack.

    • Wait, what?

    • After all the hubbub about how the headphone jack is antiquated hardware that doesn't deserve a space on the iPhone 7, this seems... odd.

    • But hey, who are we to judge? It's a widely used standard and we're 100% on board with that. Just know that you can't plug in your iPhone 7's Lightning EarPods, as the necessary dongle doesn't exist.

  • Completing our inspection of the outer case, we note the new model number: A1708.

if they not put jack, when they can't show dj staff on presentation

Px pik - Reply

The reason they didn't want it in the iPhone is because it takes up too much space in such a thin, small device. A laptop, even a new, thin one, still has a bit more breathing room and a port like that has less of an impact. I feel like you guys know this, know that *we* know this, and just added that comment to rile people up. =P

prokanda - Reply

It's not just a "headphone jack" it's also an optical audio port. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202730

Kirke - Reply

are you sure? on that page the late 2016 is not listed...

diendi -

S/PDIF optical digital audio out is also not listed in the system information. Pretty sure it's just a headphone jack.

Jeff Suovanen -

I don't think it's odd to have a jack. A laptop and a phone are different machines. People use laptops to watch movies and edit multimedia...

Zaphod B - Reply

I believe the removal of the jack from the iPhone was to increase it's water resistance. Not as much of an issue with laptops.

imtimrob - Reply

Although we're dying to send emojis with a tap of the Touch Bar, this 'Book is missing the headlining feature of the 2016 MacBook Pro series—it sports physical function keys instead. However, we do spy an XL (extra-long) escape key that sets this row of function keys apart. Taking a pause before diving deep into the belly of the beast, we pull out our old rose-gold friend, the Retina MacBook 2016 for comparison.
  • Although we're dying to send emojis with a tap of the Touch Bar, this 'Book is missing the headlining feature of the 2016 MacBook Pro series—it sports physical function keys instead.

  • However, we do spy an XL (extra-long) escape key that sets this row of function keys apart.

  • Taking a pause before diving deep into the belly of the beast, we pull out our old rose-gold friend, the Retina MacBook 2016 for comparison.

    • The Pro looks like a giant beside its pink sibling, sporting a significantly larger trackpad.

    • Also, the speaker grilles have migrated down from the upper edge of the keyboard to flank it on the left and right sides, now possible due to the Pro's extra half-inch of depth.

  • Here's one last X-ray preview of the internals. Time to get our hands dirty!

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  • After six years of removing proprietary pentalobe screws from MacBook laptops, we can remove the six of them from the back of this laptop with our eyes closed.

  • Six screws! That's the fewest we've seen on a unibody MacBook of any vintage, with 8 on the 2015 MacBook and 10 on most MacBooks Pro.

The screws for the bottom cover is a T5 right? The six screws.

Also, do you know if it's possible to buy a set of replacement screws for the cover?

One of my screws is stripped, I can unscrew it but if I do I can't use it again for sure.

Calby - Reply

I did mean P5 and not T5, the same size that it is for the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro 2015?

Calby - Reply

One more question, are all the screws the same size (length)?

Calby - Reply

  • Well, this is new. We're momentarily stumped by the new, extra-secure lower case, before we crack the code to remove it.

  • A suction cup helps lift the lower edge enough to get an opening pick in, to pop hidden clips on each side. After that, you slide the entire lower case down and you're home free.

    • All of the extra clips and hooks help the lower case serve as case-stiffener, in lieu of the normal amount of screws.

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Code cracked and panel removed, we move on to disconnect the battery and realize things are strange. This wide-headed T5 screw serves as a super-secure press connector for the battery. Folding the connector back reveals some copper pads. Two large ones for positive and ground from the battery, and several smaller points. Perhaps... Test Points?
  • Code cracked and panel removed, we move on to disconnect the battery and realize things are strange.

  • This wide-headed T5 screw serves as a super-secure press connector for the battery.

  • Folding the connector back reveals some copper pads. Two large ones for positive and ground from the battery, and several smaller points. Perhaps... Test Points?

    • A test point is an exposed metal pad that allows for electronic circuit diagnostics. Think of it as a portal to the circuit, revealing continuity, allowing for test signals, and providing additional spots to short the board.

suspect the small pins are i2c or similar communication points to connect to whatever electronics within the battery (or some temperature sensor or something)

sxpert - Reply

Following our intuition, we try for the trackpad next, and are pleasantly surprised at the ease of its removal. This represents a huge improvement over the previous 13" MacBook Pro, where the trackpad was trapped under the battery. We find some familiar digital hardware piggybacking on the trackpad:
  • Following our intuition, we try for the trackpad next, and are pleasantly surprised at the ease of its removal.

  • We find some familiar digital hardware piggybacking on the trackpad:

    • ST Microelectronics STM32F103VB ARM Cortex-M3 MCU

    • Broadcom BCM5976C1KUFBG Touch Controller

  • We also find the Taptic Engine, AKA the magic electromagnet behind Force Touch, to be simply secured with screws and spring contacts.

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  • Emboldened by our trackpad success, we tackle the battery next.

  • Our confidence is quickly crushed by tenacious adhesive. Bring on the frustration and flashbacks.

  • Good thing we're armed to deal with tacky-battery warfare at iFixit. We charge into battle with heat and plastic cards.

    • Also a good thing, with the trackpad out first we're finally able to pry at that super-annoying center cell, a common source of repair annoyance.

  • Through perseverance we liberate the battery. Let us continue the good fight!

I have to wonder how long this step took. I have to wonder if you have to re-heat the adhesive to re-install.

Unclebugs - Reply

do you sell these batteries ?

Ali Aziz - Reply

Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits
At 54.5 Wh, this battery doles out ~27% less power between charges than last year's edition—although with just three cells instead of six, it might be a tad easier to remove. That said, this Pro actually packs more oomph than its Touch Bar-equipped sibling, whose battery clocks in at 49.2 Wh. Plus, Apple claims this battery's good for 10 hours of wireless web browsing, equivalent to both last year's 13" MacBook Pro and the 41.4 Wh Retina MacBook 2016.
  • At 54.5 Wh, this battery doles out ~27% less power between charges than last year's edition—although with just three cells instead of six, it might be a tad easier to remove.

    • That said, this Pro actually packs more oomph than its Touch Bar-equipped sibling, whose battery clocks in at 49.2 Wh.

    • Plus, Apple claims this battery's good for 10 hours of wireless web browsing, equivalent to both last year's 13" MacBook Pro and the 41.4 Wh Retina MacBook 2016.

  • Up top, we find this battery control board which — unlike the impeccably manicured components surrounding it — is coated in thick epoxy à la Apple's Lightning-to-headphone dongle.

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Turning our attention to the very well-shielded SSD, we start by peeling up this massive patch of protective tape. Per Apple, we know the SSD itself uses a high-speed PCIe-based interface—but this form factor and pin configuration look new.
  • Turning our attention to the very well-shielded SSD, we start by peeling up this massive patch of protective tape.

  • Per Apple, we know the SSD itself uses a high-speed PCIe-based interface—but this form factor and pin configuration look new.

  • Time to pry those shields off and see exactly what Apple cooked up here...

    • It's nice that Apple has kept their removable SSDs a first-out component, simplifying upgrades.

This is much more for important for data recovery than for upgrades. Just imagine the horror when you spill a bit of coke on your mac and 512 GB of your data are gone. This way you can swap the SSD to your new Macbook Pro and just go on as nothing happened.

jirituzil - Reply

Are you sure it won't also be fried along with the other components?

plink53 - Reply

Chances it will stay alive are very high as it is a small component and shielded from both sides.

jirituzil - Reply

Looks like a PCIe 3.0 x8?

dicalp - Reply

Any chance the shield is meant to reduce the chirping/grinding sounds of the SSD? Does it differ from the Early 2015 in ways that would be likely to impact the amount of high frequency noise from the SSD?

Marius Bendiksen - Reply

As for swapping the SSD for a new computer - are we sure that the computer doesn't key the computer's UUID or something to the flash translation table (or some other part) of the flash? Even if you *don't* have FileVault encryption turned on?

jimwitte - Reply

Will you ever find a compatible SSD on alternative market? Is it an option to buy the 256GB model and upgrade it by yourself?

Emanuele io - Reply

But it might indicate that Apple will offer an "upgrade"path in the future (Optane/XPoint when Intel figure out how to make it work? Yeah, I know, wishful thinking). Or could they stuff some other chip on that board? Instead of using 4 chips for the SSD, use two higher-density chips and put an M2 chip in the remaining space?

("Our latest baby - the second generation M2 motion co-processor. Packed with new and exciting features.. we're sure you're going to love it!" me writing Apple's press release for them..)

jimwitte - Reply

Does the 2017 model also feature removable SSD?

nicholasaujalay - Reply

yes, it does. though i wish i could find one of the ssds

Andre Johnson -

Let's take a look at what's powering this sideways storage slate: SanDisk SDRQKBDC4 064G 64 GB NAND flash memory (x4 for a total of 256 GB). Apple 338S00227
  • Let's take a look at what's powering this sideways storage slate:

    • SanDisk SDRQKBDC4 064G 64 GB NAND flash memory (x4 for a total of 256 GB).

    • Apple 338S00227

    • Texas Instruments 58879D MOSFET

    • F4432ACPE-GD-F likely Micron 512 MB DDR2 RAM

      • On a hunch, we hunted under this chip.

    • Success! A reflow revealed: Apple 338S00199 SSD controller

      • This marks the first time we've seen Apple's super-custom SSD controller in a removable PCIe SSD. Let's hope these suckers will be available for future upgrades!

From the information shown in the OS X, the SSD controller should be the same one used in the MacBook released early 2016. F4432ACPE-GD-F could be 4Gb LPDDR3 from Micron.

JJ Wu - Reply

Is this controller proprietary and required for use or will other companies (OWC) be able to provide replacement/larger SSDs for this MBP?

plink53 - Reply

It is Apple proprietary NVMe SSD controller.

JJ Wu -

Micron has a part number which is similar to F4432ACPE-GD-F.

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en...

https://octopart.com/edf4432acpe-gd-f-es...

F4432ACPE-GD-F could be Micron's 4Gb LPDDR3.

JJ Wu -

SSD controller inside Apple Macbook 2016. It is AP0256J.

http://www.macotakara.jp/blog/archives/0...

SSD controller in the Apple MacBook Pro 2016. It is also AP0256J.

http://www.macotakara.jp/blog/macintosh/...

The difference is PCIe lane numbers. In the MacBook 2016, it is 2-lanes PCIe 3.0 and it is 4-lanes PCIe 3.0 in the MacBook Pro 2016.

JJ Wu - Reply

> first time we've seen Apple's … controller in a removable

Did you not see late 2015 iMac and MacBook Air? Both contain Apple NVMe blades.

http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/new-...

http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2015...

http://blog.macsales.com/33572-owc-unbox...

unsubstantiated - Reply

Recall that Apple purchased Anobit, an Israeli SSD controller company back in 2011.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2011/12/app...

Another Guest - Reply

Good day~sir,

Could I ask a question here?

Where can I buy Texas Instruments 58879D MOSFET? I have a CSD18536KCS which is an N-Channel NexFET power mosfet also from Texas Instruments, can I use it instead of 58879D?

Thank you in adavance .

mini - Reply

We stumble upon another familiarity in this MacBook as we begin speaker extraction: vibration dampening screw gaskets, similar to those found in the iMac. These speakers supposedly deliver more oomph than previous gens', and clearly need a more robust mounting system to keep from shaking your laptop off your lap.
  • We stumble upon another familiarity in this MacBook as we begin speaker extraction: vibration dampening screw gaskets, similar to those found in the iMac.

    • These speakers supposedly deliver more oomph than previous gens', and clearly need a more robust mounting system to keep from shaking your laptop off your lap.

  • One speaker, two speaker, black speaker, black speaker. This teardown is starting to have a nice rhyme to it.

https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/ig... - Is the black thing on the left side of the screen just an empty place holder? Thinking of the "Pro" Pro (not this "Air" Pro) models with a dedicated graphic card have two fans, this model should have more space inside.

Doc Brown - Reply

If I'm seeing what you're seeing, I think you're talking about the rectangular space where the SSD was connected?

Sam Lionheart -

What are the silver round-rectangle things on the edge of the speakers assembly? Are those what actually creates vibration? (I really need to read up on modern speaker technology - my knowledge stops at coil-and-cone speakers..)

jimwitte - Reply

Given our excitement surrounding the logic board removal (and the amount of ornaments and wrapping paper just unleashed in stores everywhere), you might think Christmas came 54 days early. We begin to look for the "advanced thermal architecture" Apple boasted in its press release the way a child might rifle through her stocking on Christmas morning. ...We're a little disappointed that advanced architecture really meant "relocation of the heat sink screws to the backside of the logic board."
  • Given our excitement surrounding the logic board removal (and the amount of ornaments and wrapping paper just unleashed in stores everywhere), you might think Christmas came 54 days early.

  • We begin to look for the "advanced thermal architecture" Apple boasted in its press release the way a child might rifle through her stocking on Christmas morning.

  • ...We're a little disappointed that advanced architecture really meant "relocation of the heat sink screws to the backside of the logic board."

    • That claim was a little bold courageous if you ask us.

If you check apple website, the touchbar version has 2 fans instead of one, and th 15 inch has "twice as many blades"

jozefferko9 - Reply

Thermal architecture has a lot more than heatsink path area and location to it. It has to do with where the sources are postioned, conductivity and length of the path from sources to sinks, etc. unless you build up thermal models for comparison, I do not think you can claim that this system is not susbstantially different.

davidtheil - Reply

Just wondering why is the thermal paste applied just on a portion of the surface. That doesn't bode well for the thermal conductivity between the chip and the heatsink.

mbaris18 - Reply

Only those are the chips. The non covered part is the PCB substrate

dennis97519 -

Looks like way too much thermal paste to me. Shades of 2011...

john - Reply

A lot of people have complained about Apple obsession with overly-thin computers, and would prefer more battery over a 6 mm reduction in thickness any day (myself included). The simplest way would seem to add more battery under the palm rests, and just left the rest to be "wasted space". Would that that necessarily make the thermal properties of the machine as a whole better? Or would it just create air turbulence inside or make things worse - overheating some other component rather than venting the heat to the air that's blown out the hinge slots? Does the MBP 2016 have *any* other air vents other than the slots under the screen hinge and the keyboard? And does the keyboard really do anything in that regard?

jimwitte - Reply

I swear that big chip has the same proportions of the Motorola 68000

dheady - Reply

Can someone tell me where the Power Pins are?

Does anyone have the exact size/data of it? I would like to render it…

Yuna Braska - Reply

We tackle the front side of the logic board: Intel Core i5-6360U processor with Intel Iris Graphics 540
  • We tackle the front side of the logic board:

    • Intel Core i5-6360U processor with Intel Iris Graphics 540

    • SKhynix H9CCNNNBJTML LPDDR3 high-speed synchronous DRAM

    • Universal Scientific Industrial 339S025 Wi-Fi Module

    • Intel JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 controller

    • Texas Instruments 58873D Synchronous Buck NexFET Power Block MOSFET Pair

    • Broadcom BCM15700A2 camera processor

    • Micron MT41K256M16TW-107 512 MB DDR3L SDRAM

It is not Intel DSL6510 Thunderbolt 3 controller. It it not DSL6540 either.

From the chip marking, it should be Intel JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 controller.

http://ark.intel.com/products/94031/Inte...

JJ Wu - Reply

What is the 512MB SDRAM by the Thunderbolt controller for?

Luke Elliott - Reply

That is for Broadcom BCM15700A2

JJ Wu -

Can you shed more light on WiFi module, like antennas and specs? Cheers

chipped - Reply

i5-6460U or i5-6360U?

Segno - Reply

can you replace or switch out the CPU or is it soldered onto the logic board?

Daniel Pan - Reply

This just a shame. W u line i5 in a 1700$ notebook.

Rusko Ranchet - Reply

We flip the logic board over to the reverse side and keep scouring:
  • We flip the logic board over to the reverse side and keep scouring:

    • Making a second appearance, SKhynix H9CCNNNBJTML LPDDR3 high-speed synchronous DRAM

    • Texas Instruments SN650839 66AL7XWGI (as seen in the 2016 Retina MacBook)

    • 2x Texas Instruments CD3215B03 66AQ8YW G1

    • Winbond SpiFlash W25Q64FV 64 Mb serial flash memory

    • Texas Instruments TM4EA231 H6ZXRI system management controller

    • Cirrus Logic CS42L63A Audio Codec

    • Intersil 95828 HRTZ X630MRR

Looks like the USB-C jacks have a separate daughter board, which plugs into the system board, or is it soldered? Would be a major repairability feature IMHO

Arne Schoch - Reply

Looks like it is soldered, this is going to end up ugly if you manage to break the ports.

Tom Chai -

Can anyone please link a (free) datasheet from the Audio Codec chip? I'm curious to sound quality. How the Macbook Pro Retina mid 2015 (13", 15") sound quality is compared to this new (?) one. Thanks.

Xardas22222 - Reply

Is there two audio chips from Cirrus Logic? There is Cirrus Logic CS42L63A Audio Codec. And, on the upper right corner, there is one chip next to CS42L63A. It has marking "CIRRUS". Is that also audio codec?

JJ Wu - Reply

Given Apple's renowned port-removing courage, it wasn't unreasonable to think the headphone jack would find itself getting voted off the island prior to this round of MacBook Pros. Miraculously, the headphone jack survived... but given that it's a single modular unit (with two attached microphones) taped to the bottom of the fan, it could easily be dropped in favor of a Lightning or USB-C connector at the next Tribal Council MacBook release.
  • Given Apple's renowned port-removing courage, it wasn't unreasonable to think the headphone jack would find itself getting voted off the island prior to this round of MacBook Pros.

  • Miraculously, the headphone jack survived... but given that it's a single modular unit (with two attached microphones) taped to the bottom of the fan, it could easily be dropped in favor of a Lightning or USB-C connector at the next Tribal Council MacBook release.

  • Next, we take a closer look at the speaker grilles: Most of the holes are actually just dents posing as holes. The only through-holes are dedicated to the four speaker drivers and the two microphones.

Taping the two microphones to the only moving component of the entire system doesn't seem a brilliant solution.

Paolo Lorini - Reply

Placing the two microphones so close to CPU fan is really not a good idea. The other side of the case would be a better place for microphones. Don't understand why Apple makes such a design.

liq74 - Reply

Before we hit Retina, we scrape out a fancy fan. These blades are supposedly super quiet due to their asymmetrically spaced blades. Interestingly enough, while Jony Ive was jazzed about "thinner, variably spaced fan blades," this tech has been included in certain MacBook Pro models since 2012.
  • Before we hit Retina, we scrape out a fancy fan. These blades are supposedly super quiet due to their asymmetrically spaced blades.

    • Interestingly enough, while Jony Ive was jazzed about "thinner, variably spaced fan blades," this tech has been included in certain MacBook Pro models since 2012.

  • There's also a significant amount of space not taken up by blades—that's probably another sick thermal system feature. Plus it looks nice in the video.

So... correct me if I'm wrong but does this mean if one of these fancy fans breaks I have to remove my logic board to replace it? -_-

turcottesh - Reply

The space not occupied by blades is called spiral housing and is to increase the pressure recovery and the fan is therefore able to increase the flow. Pretty much standard in normal fans, pumps and turbines.

Rainer Riegler - Reply

It's probably not the same design as the touch bar version, as this one much like a improved version of the rMBP13, while the touch bar version are having different lengths of blades (as official website suggested). I'm interested to see what the touch bar version offers.

Xizhi Ma - Reply

Time to mosey on down to display town, we decap some shields and take a peek at the hardware powering those pixels: B1332BDPA 090BX 1605
  • Time to mosey on down to display town, we decap some shields and take a peek at the hardware powering those pixels:

    • B1332BDPA 090BX 1605

    • National Semiconductor 67A800U 49B1-04

    • Texas Instruments 65CLKEI TPS65157

    • NXP LPC812 ARM Cortex M0+ 32-bit MCU

    • Texas Instruments TPS65158 High Resolution LCD Bias IC for TV

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At MacBook's edge we come across a shiny bar (held in by 12 P2 Pentalobe screws) that also serves as an antenna. That's the 6th kind of bit! Remember the days you could upgrade your RAM, double up on storage, and drop in an SSD  with a Phillips driver and a free afternoon? iFixit remembers. Behind the antenna bracket, we spy some fancy tech along the Pro's spine.
  • At MacBook's edge we come across a shiny bar (held in by 12 P2 Pentalobe screws) that also serves as an antenna.

    • That's the 6th kind of bit! Remember the days you could upgrade your RAM, double up on storage, and drop in an SSD with a Phillips driver and a free afternoon? iFixit remembers.

  • Behind the antenna bracket, we spy some fancy tech along the Pro's spine.

  • A spring mechanism rolls a flat cable up when the display is closed, and unravels when the display opens. This seems to make it a bit easier to close the lid.

    • Perhaps shaving a few ounces off the display assembly meant the new MacBook Pro couldn't rely on gravity to close nicely as much as previous models have.

This step may reveal the most significant change in the new MacBook Pro models, and one that I was hoping for as it showed up in the most recently released MacBook Air series. I believe we are looking at a flat molded ribbon cable which is carrying the display signal. And why is that so significant?

.

The nasty bundle-of-wires these machines have suffered with for the previous 15 years almost universally wear out after about three years. I have a stack of them, and have replaced this cable in dozens. Once Apple changed to hermetically joining the cable to the display unit, it was very very difficult to replace the cable without mangling the display. So a failed cable would necessitated replacing an otherwise operation display.

.

As far as I know, the Pismo was the last pro level Apple laptop to sport the hinge-ribbon-cable arrangement and mine still works great after all this time. Perhaps in spite of the ram being soldered down, Apple has at last produced a worthy laptop?

ciradrak - Reply

This may be the most significant change in the new model. It looks like there is a flat ribbon cable to carry the video signal. Those are far more durable than the nasty bundle-of-wires which Apple laptops have been cursed with for the last 15 years. I might bother to buy one.

ciradrak - Reply

Tiny typo: "alone the Pro's spine." should read "along the Pro's spine." :)

Paolo Lorini - Reply

I see the base model has now a 2x2 wifi module, whereas the model year before had 3x3, if I remember correctly.

Steven Zhang - Reply

"...held in by 12 P2 Pentalobe screws...That's the 6th kind of bit."

No, it isn't the 6th kind. The back was held on by pentalobes.

If you mean the 6th kind/size combination, then every notebook, tower, rack server I've ever had would qualify.

alex - Reply

the Pismo was the last pro level Apple laptop to sport the hinge-ribbon-cable arrangement

So Apple used a better ribbon cable arrangement with the Pismo, and then moved *back* to the budle-of-wires-that-always-breaks?! (And it seems like a ribbon cable would also be easier to make)

jimwitte - Reply

We'll skip tearing down the display itself—we've been down that road before—so how about a lovely X-ray instead? Here you can see the camera board with its long data cable, the solid metal Apple logo, and even the little magnets  embedded in the lid for sleep/wake functionality. We gently detach the gutted shell of the keyboard/upper case from the display, and take a closer look at the fancy new hinge system. Sometimes seemingly standard hardware deserves an Ooh and an Ahh: These small, precision hinges are likely injection molded, allowing for thinner and more precise parts.
  • We'll skip tearing down the display itself—we've been down that road before—so how about a lovely X-ray instead? Here you can see the camera board with its long data cable, the solid metal Apple logo, and even the little magnets embedded in the lid for sleep/wake functionality.

  • We gently detach the gutted shell of the keyboard/upper case from the display, and take a closer look at the fancy new hinge system.

  • Sometimes seemingly standard hardware deserves an Ooh and an Ahh: These small, precision hinges are likely injection molded, allowing for thinner and more precise parts.

    • More importantly, more complex parts can be produced with less waste than traditional machining, which in our book makes it a win.

what's the material of injection molded hinges?

Jin Choi - Reply

Hopefully LiquidMetal!

SJDragonetti -

Btw, thanks again for the informative teardown!

Jin Choi - Reply

Having had hinge problems once with a Gateway laptop, these in the new MacBook look durable.

Larry Nolan - Reply

The Apple logo plate seems (in the x-ray picture) to have a horizontal divide about a quarter of the way down, passing between the fruit and the stem.

What's that about?

alex - Reply

> horizontal divide, between the fruit

Maybe a sign that Apple is "cutting the stem"? Not sure if that's good or bad though.. Or maybe Apple does (is planning) to use the same "stem" piece of the inlay in other products with a bigger "apple" part, and this allows for the one piece of the metal inlay to be reused or is easier to make?

jimwitte -

Can you remove the apple logo? Can it be replaced with a clear logo to make it illuminate like the previous model?

Shawn B - Reply

The Butterfly 2.0 keys are indeed updated! Check this sweet MacBook/MacBook Pro (with function keys) rollover! The Pro's keycaps (first image) are a little taller at the edges, making keys easier to find with your fingers.
  • The Butterfly 2.0 keys are indeed updated! Check this sweet MacBook/MacBook Pro (with function keys) rollover!

  • The Pro's keycaps (first image) are a little taller at the edges, making keys easier to find with your fingers.

  • The dome switch under the butterfly mechanism also appears to be heftier and better mated to the keycap than the ones in the MacBook (second image).

LoL this keycap is broken, just like what happened every time I tried to clean the keyboard.

Fei Song - Reply

Does iFixit have the resources/equipment to determine a metal alloy's composition? I'm asking here because of Apple's patents on "Liquidmetal" things like dome switches, hinges, and springs inside Taptic engines. Some LM fans swear that the patents mean that Apple actually uses them in products, but we never see that disclosed in teardowns.

Retiarius - Reply

Yes, good question. I need to see a return on my massive LQMT investment!

SJDragonetti -

Apple has definitely used liquid metal in products. In particular on the release tool for the iPhone / iPad SIM trays.

alex -

> I need to see a return on my massive LQMT investmen

Yes! Since early August to now, because of the MBP, Liquidmetal gained a whole *2 cents*! From 0.15 to 0.17!

jimwitte -

How easy would it be for someone to remove and replace the keys? Say for a different keyboard layout.

trumpettj - Reply

Bump!

I'd really appreciate it if ifixit were to try this for me before I ruin my new MacBook Pro with touch bar.

trumpettj -

Are each keys individually LED backlit like MacBook or some other lighting mechanism ?

Azaz Patel - Reply

Hopefully those are of better quality. Those newer MBP have keys that flat that the surface is quickly torn down (partly missing surface by abrasion or poor quality after 10 months was considered by Apple service as normal and out of warranty)

Martin - Reply

Can you share how the key can be displaced? (I need to change the location of some keys.)

Musto - Reply

I tried gently prying one with a guitar pick and it cracked. Had to send it in for a repair a mere week after purchasing it :(

matthewyaple -

Do function keys ("f" row) have the same locking method as the one on the photo?

Something is stuck underneath one of the keys on my Mac =(

phoganov - Reply

I resolved my issue with a stuck key. I used compressed air can to blow everything from underneath the button and now it works perfectly!

phoganov -

Did you remove any of the keys or just blow air towards the key from the side? Think i have the same problem with my spacebar... :(

anderswennberg5 -

I unfortunately sloshed some coffee onto my keyboard, first time in twenty years I have screwed up like this. Apple wants $620 for the "repair". Would greatly appreciate a little more information on safely removing and replacing keys.

Eric Jacobsen - Reply

... for example, though it is clear that pressure needs to be applied from all four corners, it would be useful to know if the prying should happen from the sides, or the top and bottoms of the keys.

Eric Jacobsen -

I wonder is the butterfly 2 actually "rubber-free?" Which means it's all plastic, so there's no worry about the aging.

Xizhi Ma - Reply

And for the grand finale: All those beautiful bits all in one place! Don't forget: Apple had some slick computer-generated imagery of their new machines' internals, but we got the real thing! Today's hi-res X-ray images were brought to you by the amazing team at Creative Electron.
  • And for the grand finale: All those beautiful bits all in one place!

  • Don't forget: Apple had some slick computer-generated imagery of their new machines' internals, but we got the real thing! Today's hi-res X-ray images were brought to you by the amazing team at Creative Electron.

Add Comment

Final Thoughts
  • The trackpad can be removed without first removing the battery.
  • Proprietary pentalobe screws continue to make opening the device unnecessarily difficult.
  • The battery assembly is entirely, and very solidly, glued into the case, thus complicating replacement.
  • The RAM is soldered to the logic board. Pay for the upgrade now, or be stuck with 8 GB forever. There is no chance of upgrade.
  • The proprietary PCIe SSD still isn't a standard drive. Cross your fingers for future compatible drives; for now, you're stuck with what you've got.
Repairability Score
2
Repairability 2 out of 10
(10 is easiest to repair)

54 Comments

So, no dual-fan thermal architecture for the non-touchbar version

ant0225 - Reply

This version (non touchbar) is also using TDP 15W CPUs. The 13" one with touchbar is using TDP 28W CPUs (and has probably two fans).

therealmarv -

@chenyu apple's press renders and product site show the 13 inch mb pro with 2 fans

friendsrock80 -

Dual fan is found on the 13" MacBook pro with a touch bar becuase the TDP on the CPU is much higher. (28W). It's also in the 15" MacBook Pro with an 80W TDP, and bigger heat pipes.

Finally, It's a bit sad that you guys didn't compare this year's heat sinks to last years. Do some flow rate testing on the fans, and give us dimensions and weight of the heat sinks from last year to this year. Without making any proper measurements, you cannot make *any* claims about the thermal system being "advanced" or not.

Winter Charm - Reply

It seems, like the version with the Touchbar will have redesigned speakers and up to 2.5x louder bass. This version without Touchbar has definitely no subwoofers shown on the MacBook Pro web page at apple.com.

Niko Millo - Reply

What display panel they use?

Abdurrahman Al Sheyyab - Reply

Previously you have provided straight down shots of the MacBook Pro insides before disassembly - but this time you did not. Can you please be more consistent? I like to use these images as background wallpaper.

Eric - Reply

Expertly done with an entertaining mix of beautiful photos, comedy, and shameless iFixit product plugs. Thanks for the effort, guys, and well done as always.

techt - Reply

Now put it all back together and see if it still works

iwbarker - Reply

Urgh. When Apple first moved to PCI-E SSDs, the proprietary connector was understandable because the SATA consortium had fallen behind where Apple wanted to go.

But now, you can carry as much PCI-E bandwidth as Apple wants over a standardized m.2 slot.

Having yet another proprietary Apple pinout is quite annoying, considering. The cost of upgrading my mid 2014 rMBP 15's SSD is still absurdly high owing to that.

tipoo - Reply

It is absurd. The M.2 standard is just fine for everyone. I have no idea why Apple's priority is on skinny.

Steven Zhang -

I don't mean to sound snide, but if you buy an Apple device, you can hardly complain, because you know that Apple purposely designs planned obsolescence in their hardware. Apple introduced almost every bad practice, which the rest of the ICT industry is now copying:

1. Proprietary connectors for SSD (first Mac Air)

2. Soldered RAM (first Mac Air)

3. Soldered CPU (first Mac Air)

4. Non-removable battery which is glued to case (and sometimes soldered connection) (first iPod, first Mac Air, first iPhone)

5. Metal unibody case

6. Sealed case with custom screws

7. No expandable memory in high-end phones and media players (first iPod, first iPhone)

8. All glass front cover which is prone to cracking (first iPhone)

9. Thinnest edge bezel which decreases protection from drops (iPhone 4)

10. Glass back (iPhone 4)

11. All thin as possible

Once Apple does it, the rest of the industry copies it, because Apple has the highest profits and receives the best reviews. For this reason, I boycott Apple products.

amosbatto -

amosbatto:

I don't think planned obsolesce is planned for most of Apple's devices. E.g., the iPad 2 was still supported as of this moment through iOS 9.3.5. I do not know of any other tablets from 2011 that are actively updated by their makers today. The iPhones and iPods are the same. Soldered CPUs were introduced by Intel, who phased out PGA-type of CPU interconnects beginning with transition to BGA. Soldered RAM is a double edged sword - while you can't upgrade, you can max out to 16GB of RAM (which is default for a few years now on the 15" MBP), as well, Intel supports faster memory clocks on LPDDR3, which is not available as SODIMMs. As DDR3 SODIMMS are limited to 8GB/DIMM, this isn't an issue. You were never going to be able to upgrade beyond 16GB in the first place as higher density DIMMS are only for DDR4+. The batteries have been a common trend in portable devices since MP3 players. I support Gorilla Glass-types of screen covers as they withstand usage better than polycarbonate.

Steven Zhang -

Steven Zhang

"It is absurd. The M.2 standard is just fine for everyone."

It clearly isn't fine for everyone, or Apple would be using it.

Why is a hard call, but given Apple's use of a custom SSD controller, they could be doing things that other interface architectures simply don't support.

Owning the whole chain, end to end, opens up all sorts of possibilities, for example for speeding up virtual memory paging related I/O. If that were the case, then I doubt that Apple would tell you anything other than that it's much faster in some situations, as indeed they did.

alex -

Huh. Looks like only the 15" got the half length fan fins between each full one? Or maybe just Touchbar models? Which would be a bit penny pinch-ey for the latter case, but either way they introduced it as if each new MacBook Pro had it...

tipoo - Reply

Is the Wifi indeed 2x2 now ? It was 3x3 before.

Steven Zhang - Reply

Hi iwas thinking about buy a new macbook pro, Which recommend me, new macbookpro 13" 256gb no touch bar or macbook pro retina 256gb 13"? because it looks like the new version is worst than new one isn`t it?

javierdelkas - Reply

javierdelkas:

The graphics, the monitor and the touchpad are much nicer in the new Macbook Pro 13". If you treasure any of those, go for the new one.

Steven Zhang - Reply

People asking about graphics decisions in Apple's laptop line just need to think about 1 piece of information - TDP 15/28W for the Intel processors. The Radeon Pro 400 series in the 15" MBP has a TDP "less than 35W". People clamoring (like me initially) for dreams of a Pascal based nVidia 1060/1080 realize the GTX1060 mobile has a TDP of 75W....I would venture that is near or exceeds the TDP for the entire system. This is in line with the 900M series, but provides desktop GPU performance, but still......hot.

Apple did use the 750M at a TDP of 50W in the 2014 Retina 15" MBP, the the machines have gotten thinner since that time.

Jon Steuernagle - Reply

hi all, is the 3,5 audio jack just and normal jack or is it "hiding" the TOSlink digital audio interface as previous model?

on the Apple products page is not specifically written as on previous MacBook Pro...

diendi - Reply

I also would like to know if the audio jack is capable of optical out! Previous MacBook Pro stated that in the Tech Specs but the latest version does not mention optical out. Thanks!

Superkloton - Reply

@diendi and @Superkloton: Regarding digital audio, here's a screenshot of the system report from my early 2011 MacBook Pro, which clearly shows the S/PDIF hardware—alongside the system report from the new MacBook Pro Escape, which... doesn't. Based on this, I'd say Apple dropped the digital audio out and wants you to run everything through Thunderbolt/USB-C.

Jeff Suovanen -

@jeffsu Thank you, I think this is true. In the meantime, more reports regarding this surfaced saying it doesn’t have optical out.

Superkloton -

Does the new Universal Scientific Industrial 339S025 wifi support MU-MIMO?

Harold Ront - Reply

is it possible to change the physical keyboard layout from the us to the german version?

philippwehlen - Reply

Is the machine completely sealed, or where air gets out of the chassis? If it has some cavities where air gets out of the chassis, can air (and dust) also get in? How the chassis is similar to, or different from the previous design in this regard?

Doc Brown - Reply

Based on the tear down, I would say that the cooling system is similar to the pre-2013 MBPs in the way it moves air. It sucks air in from the hinge area and exhausts it via a different portion of the hinge area. This system is less dust-prone compared to the 2013+ models where there are additional slats near the sides to aid cooling. Those slats point downwards and from typical usage (laptop on laps, laptop on bed, laptop on table, etc), the downward pointing nature of the intake picks up a lot of fine fibers and dust from whatever surface is beneath the laptop. I noticed this exact behavior on my 2013 MBP as compared to the earlier 2011 MBP (without slats and hinge-only intake and exhaust).

Steven Zhang -

Anyone know the charger system for four port of USB-C?

Joy Chen - Reply

Apple fanboy defending the scam tech. Its funny how they react despite a doomed technology.

While most of us learn, research, evaluate and value the innovation such as Microsoft and enjoy our life as a mortal being.

Why become a sheep when your life is short and they "apple" don't even bother about your existence?

In the end, It doesn't matter at all.

jlieu92 - Reply

I have no idea what you are trying to say. What is "scam tech" ? What makes it "doomed" ? Microsoft innovative ? Your post is full of hyperbole. It sounds like you became a sheep with a different ranch.

Steven Zhang -

Strange then that Microsoft has been remodelling their whole business to be more like Apple, e.g. producing complete systems that they control from end to end, and largely failing, e.g. effectively writing off their Nokia acquisition.

alex -

You sound like the opposite of me... I have a high IQ, that means you probibly don't ;)

Gigabit87898 -

Where is iCloud/ find my mac chip in this bord?

Vishnu - Reply

Why do you want to know?

Gigabit87898 -

Do you mean the Winbond SpiFlash ?

Kevin Gill - Reply

Well, Apple is so fed fat with its 'iDevices', that there is no need to build decent computers anymore, as they used to! I guess, its just a matter of time until they sell out the computer section to Lenovo / Dell! ( That would be a real win! )

Me, myself, I call these 'new' model the ultimate 'iCrap' ! Before spending that amount of bucks, i'd rather get a Dell Core i 5/7 Laptop & build myself a Hackintosh

Alexander deLarge - Reply

You're so right. Still using my 2012 15 inch non retina MBP with 2,6 GHz i7, expanded with 1 TB SSD and 2 TB HDD + 16 GB RAM. And until they make an actual laptop again and not tablet which happens to have a keyboard attached I'm not buying anything else. Sadly that probably won't ever happen again, so I hope it works another 4-5 years from now.

Andy -

me I am already feeling the need to replace my '08 Alu and I am already considering going the Linux way all the way and be done with this new ultra thin and shiny Dark Empire with the rest of iStuff to get out of the picture along my core Alu machine

MiKa -

Very detailed and humorous teardown; thanks!

franklyanne - Reply

Hi,

thanks for the nice teardown. One question, the fan, can it be replaced without removing the logic board? With my past laptops I always had to replace moving parts, but I really don't like to touch too many flat cable or the logic board. So I wonder how complicated it will be to replace the fan once will it be completely covered with dust...

Cheers

Duc

Duc Bao Ta - Reply

You must remove the logic board, because the screws for the fan are on the opposite side. However, Apple's modern fans are very long lasting and the hinge-intake airflow design is much less prone to dust build up than laptops with air intakes at the bottom. You should be able to just remove the back panel and blow compressed air into the heatsink from the outside to release all the dust and fiber buildup.

Steven Zhang -

OMG! What futurist crap! New ssd patern, from sandisk! And what is this crazy USB-c thing? Maybe next decade I buy a only USB-c computer

Alber Einsten - Reply

I bet that future third party SSD will appear like those forecmacbook air.

The MacBook Pro with touch bar can't have any chance for ssd upgrade.

However all chips can be replaced with a little experience and proper tools.

Agnostos Gnostos - Reply

however, the basic reason to buy an Apple machine is to NOT have to mess with its hardware/software that much particularly when you have to pay north of 1,857.87€

MiKa -

So each time you trip over the USB-C charging cable you pocket out good $$ for a new motherboard? Way to go, Apple!

MiKa - Reply

Apple has ALWAYS created things that were different, always did things that were different than the rest of the industry. Back then Apple was considered a niche market and most of the industry pundits wrote Apple off as oddballs with a cult-like following. Back then Apple bucked the industry standards. Back then Apple was still the "little guy"... Back before the release of the iPod and the iPhone. Apple wasn't really considered to be much competition to the market which left a huge share for all the other players.

Microsoft was the guys to beat and everyone hated on every thing they did and you were a drone if you used that OS. Amazing how things have changed... but actually, how much they've stayed the same. People love to hate on the guy at the top of the heap.

David Doyle - Reply

Is it possible to replace the usb-c ports without replacing the motherboard? Is there a separate small board with usb-c on the motherboard or not?

Evgeny - Reply

I would have liked to have seen if the camera indicator LED is powered from the same source as the camera itself. This is an important security feature in other MacBooks, and only iFixit can keep Apple accountable as we move forward. Still got that display lying around?

iEvan - Reply

Maybe you could have a see about this: displays

mini -

I've had this problem with the 12" macbook. A speck of dust broke the shift key within 3 weeks, so I got a full refund since it was covered under the Australian Consumer Laws 30 day return policy, since Apple won't admit the structural fault in their new butterfly style keyboards.

I then got the 13" macbook pro 2016 with a "new and improved" butterfly keyboard to have the same thing happen 2 weeks after purchase. Returned it again, got another one.

I'm just going to repeat this process every 30 days until the next model is released, hopefully then the newer model won't be so susceptible to flecks of household dust.

Or I start using my macbooks in a hermetically sealed room with a cryovac suit on.

Here is a conversation with Applecare about the problem that Apple refuses to identify when you go in store with stuck keys:

https://www.4shared.com/music/8YeBZN75ca...?

sinphild - Reply

How simple is it to clean logic board corrosion on this model? What are the minimum components to remove before you have access to the logic board?

paul.hanna - Reply

2017 model have removable SSD?

nicholasaujalay - Reply

2017 non touch bar with removable SSD?

Martin Langer - Reply

to just take the display top off do you have to still do a complete teardown?

swimmer35 - Reply

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