Video Overview

Introduction

Two weeks ago, we tore down the new entry-level 13" MacBook Pro to discover it was thinner, lighter, faster, and (sad face) less repairable than most any other pro-level laptop. Today, we turn our tools on its Touch Bar-equipped launch mate. Will this machine surprise us with some upgrade-friendly features, or will it be as disposable as the box it comes in? There's only one way to find out: it's teardown time!

Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to keep in touch with the latest and greatest hardware teardowns and repair news!

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

Image 1/2: 13.3” LED-backlit IPS Retina display with 2560 × 1600 resolution (227 dpi), P3 color gamut Image 2/2: 2.9 GHz Skylake dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 3.3 GHz) with integrated Intel Iris Graphics 550
  • Today's million-dollar question: Is this a scaled-up version of the 13-inch "Escape Edition," or a scaled-down version of the 15-inch Touch Bar unit? Here's what the tech specs tell us:

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

    • 2.9 GHz Skylake dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 3.3 GHz) with integrated Intel Iris Graphics 550

    • 8 GB of 2133 MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory (16 GB configuration available)

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

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

    • Touch Bar with integrated Touch ID sensor

    • Force Touch trackpad

"Today's million-dollar question: Is this a scaled-up version of the 13-inch "Escape Edition," or a scaled-down version of the 15-inch Touch Bar unit? Here's what the tech specs tell us:"

So we'll need the teardown of the 15" to be sure.

alex - Reply

Image 1/2: The Touch Bar is pretty, but it's missing ... [http://gizmodo.com/nyan-cat-on-your-touchbar-is-the-easiest-way-to-justify-1788651982|something|new_window=true]. Image 2/2: [https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/27/apple-says-no-fun-allowed-on-the-touch-bar/|We won't tell Apple if you won't.|new_window=true]
  • A rudimentary inspection of the outer case reveals the expected FCC certifications, and a new model number: A1706.

  • The Touch Bar is pretty, but it's missing ... something.

  • We're itching to grab our screwdrivers and get to work—but first, let's whip out the other Late 2016 13" Retina MacBook Pro for some quick comparisons ...

Add Comment

Image 1/3: Do you miss your function keys? Hold down the Function key to see your missing function keys. Chameleon Mode, engage. Image 2/3: One thing that ''is'' noticeably different is, of course, the port situation on the starboard side. This Touch Bar-equipped machine packs two extra Thunderbolt ports, so you have twice as many places to plug in your dongles. Image 3/3: Throwing both machines onto the scale, we find the Touch Bar version weighs about 20 grams less than its counterpart. We're chalking the difference up to this laptop's smaller battery.
  • According to Apple, this MacBook Pro's dimensions match exactly with those of the "Escape Edition" machine we tore down a couple weeks ago. Do we believe it even for a second? Yes we do.

  • Do you miss your function keys? Hold down the Function key to see your missing function keys. Chameleon Mode, engage.

  • One thing that is noticeably different is, of course, the port situation on the starboard side. This Touch Bar-equipped machine packs two extra Thunderbolt ports, so you have twice as many places to plug in your dongles.

  • Throwing both machines onto the scale, we find the Touch Bar version weighs about 20 grams less than its counterpart. We're chalking the difference up to this laptop's smaller battery.

  • Finally, we note a pair of side vents on the underside of the Touch Bar version, similar to the ones we've spotted in previous Retina MacBook Pros—but absent from the Function Key model.

Add Comment

Image 1/3: Let's play "Spot the Differences!" On the left we have the Touch Bar MBP, and on the right is the Escape Edition MBP. Image 2/3: Touch Bar features: a smaller battery, two fans, double-ended heat sink, no SSD card, and lower speakers (that don't actually line up with their grilles). Image 3/3: Function Key features: way more components that you can actually remove right off the bat—namely the SSD, speakers, and battery (well ... [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Function+Keys+Late+2016+Teardown/72415#s144784| sort of|new_window=true]).
  • Blasting through the pentalobe-and-suction-cup-dance normally reserved for iPhones, we beast the lid off with a familiar sliding maneuver.

  • Let's play "Spot the Differences!" On the left we have the Touch Bar MBP, and on the right is the Escape Edition MBP.

    • Touch Bar features: a smaller battery, two fans, double-ended heat sink, no SSD card, and lower speakers (that don't actually line up with their grilles).

    • Function Key features: way more components that you can actually remove right off the bat—namely the SSD, speakers, and battery (well ... sort of).

  • On the Touch Bar model, it looks like we can only remove the trackpad and headphone jack before hitting a logic board barrier.

Seems to bad that they put a *smaller* battery into the Touch Bar model. It has a faster processor (2.9 to 2.0 i5), which presumably uses more power. It has a faster memory bus - that might change power usage, and it has two more thunderbolt/USB-C ports (or maybe two thunderbolt/USB-C and two USB-C-only) I don't know whether that would add a bigger power drain unless all four ports are being used.

Could Apple have simply added half an inch thickness and stuffed in more battery cells without turning it into a "thermal bomb"? (Of course they'd never do that because Apple's thin-ness obsession..)

jimwitte - Reply

Why does Escape Edition MBP has only one fan where as Touch bar MBP has two?

samprockstar - Reply

Escape edition has a TDP of 15W, while the Touch Bar edition has a TDP of 28W. Almost twice the heat, so need two fans during heavy duty tasks.

Yin Wang -

Image 1/3: These copper pads are for the positive and negative terminals of the battery. Image 2/3: Apple also seems to have included a connector that goes ... ''nowhere''? Image 3/3: Could it be a diagnostic port? Circuits and firmware do need testing—although we have seen a fair amount of [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test_point|test points|new_window=true], which usually cut it.
  • It appears 2016 is the year of the new connector, as this is the second time we've seen the new approach to the battery bridge.

    • These copper pads are for the positive and negative terminals of the battery.

  • Apple also seems to have included a connector that goes ... nowhere?

    • Could it be a diagnostic port? Circuits and firmware do need testing—although we have seen a fair amount of test points, which usually cut it.

  • We also find the modular headphone jack this time without microphone hangers-on. Here we thought these were a thing of the past.

  • Nearby we spot a water damage indicator sticker, waiting patiently for the day you spill iced tea on your Touch Bar and it can fulfill its purpose in life by turning pink.

Does it really have no mic input for headsets? Or did you mean something else?

Malcolm Hall - Reply

Too many lines to be a diagnostic port, look at the shielding as well, this is a high speed interface.

I'm thinking Apple realized it need a means to access the soldered SSD if the rest of the system died. So this is a jumper block to connect the onboard SSD to either the onboard CPU or externally to another system to access the data on the SSD via the connection. Its also possible it may allow one to add in a daughter board, additional SSD storage.

Dan - Reply

That would be my thought as well Dan, they have to give themselves some way out when you fry your machine.

Jonathan Larson -

Add in a daughter board *where*? (Unless they want to go the way of Google's sadly defunct Ara project..)

jimwitte -

Dan, diagnostic ports often have high speed interfaces (e.g. JTAG and HSSTP) in order to debug onboard controllers.

Michel Kakulphimp - Reply

Yes, thats true it would be on the faster side, but not so fast as to need the extra shielding. Also look at its location and besides a diagnostic port would have fewer lines. I'm very sure you are looking at a 8 lane PCIe interface given the number of lines (1x8+2x4). That would leave the two 4 lane interfaces are for the Thunderbolt chips.

Dan -

So are you saying its 3.5mm jack is just TRS not TRRS?

Joe Blair - Reply

The "diagnostic port" is definitely a "emergency exit" port to access the files from the SSD when the rest of the machine is dead.

Lukather - Reply

Definitely based on.......?

alex -

Until someone gets access to the service manual or training we are just guessing here. Common sense and experience can lead us to the most probable function.

Gaining access to a dead systems SSD is a likely function, the other would be for diagnostics. I'm discounting the diagnostic function as one only needs about 20 lines to setup HSSTP for a low end setup. Remember the MacBook Pro is not that complex a device to need more than the basic setup (this connector is offering 42 pins + 4 grounds as well as a full shield)

Dan - Reply

Image 1/2: We can also happily report that the trackpads from these respective models are identical, and likely cross-compatible. Image 2/2: The cable routing, however, is different to accomodate the modified logic board design. So, if you're planning on replacing a busted trackpad, be sure to hold on to the original flex.
  • Much like the Function Keys model, the trackpad in the Touch Bar unit slides out easily after dispatching ten T5 Torx screws.

  • We can also happily report that the trackpads from these respective models are identical, and likely cross-compatible.

    • The cable routing, however, is different to accomodate the modified logic board design. So, if you're planning on replacing a busted trackpad, be sure to hold on to the original flex.

  • In case you missed it, here are the ICs we identified the first time around:

    • STMicroelectronics STM32F103VB ARM Cortex-M3 MCU

    • Broadcom BCM5976C1KUFBG Touch Controller

    • Maxim Integrated MAX11291ENX 24-Bit, 6-Channel Delta-Sigma ADC

What those ics responsible for?

Sos Mac - Reply

Wheres the taptic engine? There's three settings for feedback level, so it's in there somewhere.

samsung154 - Reply

Image 1/2: The symmetrical logic board keeps guard over the remaining components, so we spudger off its connecting cables and wrest it free from the case. Image 2/2: The heat sink is attached to the logic board with screws on the bottom. With the board out of the case, we're able to remove the heat sink for inspection—with a heat pipe running in each direction, it's got [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Function+Keys+Late+2016+Teardown/72415#s144827|twice the pipe|new_window=true] of the entry-level model.
  • We're ready to remove the rest of the peripherals. It'd be great to get a look at the battery, fans, heat sink, and speakers. Except we can't.

  • The symmetrical logic board keeps guard over the remaining components, so we spudger off its connecting cables and wrest it free from the case.

  • The heat sink is attached to the logic board with screws on the bottom. With the board out of the case, we're able to remove the heat sink for inspection—with a heat pipe running in each direction, it's got twice the pipe of the entry-level model.

Does anyone have any idea of who makes the heat piping? Or do they make them in-house?

jimwitte - Reply

Image 1/2: Intel [http://ark.intel.com/products/91166/Intel-Core-i5-6267U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_30-GHz#@specifications|Core i5-6267U|new_window=true] processor with Intel Iris Graphics 550 Image 2/2: Intel [http://ark.intel.com/products/94031/Intel-JHL6540-Thunderbolt-3-Controller|JHL6540|new_window=true] Thunderbolt 3 controller
  • We now look at the moustache logic board to see what chips make this MacBook a Pro:

    • Intel Core i5-6267U processor with Intel Iris Graphics 550

    • Intel JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 controller

    • SanDisk SDRQKBDC4 064G 64 GB NAND flash memory (x2 for a total of 128 GB)

    • Samsung K4E6E304EB-EGCE DDR3 DRAM (4 x 2 GB for 8 GB total)

    • Texas Instruments SN650839 66AL7XWGI, and TI/Stellaris LM4FS1EH SMC Controller (Replacement codename for TM4EA231)

    • Murata/Apple 339S00056 Wi-Fi Module

    • R4432ACPE-GD-F

Why are they using 4x2 GB RAM modules? Is this making any sense? Didn't they just use one?

Albert Zweistein - Reply

That is JEDEC LPDDR3 spec and the spec intel processor supports.

The LPDDR3 chip supports 32-bits data width and to support 128-bits LPDDR3 data width intel processor supports . It needs 4 four LPDDR3 chips.

JJ Wu -

A couple of possible reasons:

- Wiring for 4 chips would be necessary to support the 1TB SSD option (4 x 256GB)

- Access is faster when solid state storage is spread over more chips (wider bus).

Neil Maller - Reply

Not sure I follow you here. The RAM interface is independent of the SSD interface (PCIe).

Dan -

Intel Core i5-6267U processor only supports LPDDR3 upto 1866Mhz (base on Intel link). If the LPDDR3 in the MacBook Pro has maximum data rate is 2133Mhz. Is the maximum data rate 2133 or 1866 Mhz?

Nguyen Hung Son - Reply

Apple control so much of what they use that it gives them potential to go a long way outside the box.

Given that they totally control the SSD controller, then there are things that they could do to greatly improve paging performance to fast SSD. And those things could well involve wanting the widest memory path that they can get.

alex - Reply

Could "R4432ACPE-GD-F" be "F4432ACPE-GD-F"? That should be the SSD controller which is the same one in the MBP w/o Touch Bar.

JJ Wu - Reply

which network card is in it?..........

Abhishek Jindal - Reply

Image 1/2: SanDisk SDRQKBDC4 64 GB NAND flash storage (as seen in the Escape Edition's [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Function+Keys+Late+2016+Teardown/72415#s144820| removable SSD|new_window=true])—bringing the total to 256 GB Image 2/2: APL1023 343S00137 (likely the custom Apple T1 chip that pairs with the Touch Bar)
  • Flipping the logic board over, we find no shortage of components, including:

    • SanDisk SDRQKBDC4 64 GB NAND flash storage (as seen in the Escape Edition's removable SSD)—bringing the total to 256 GB

    • APL1023 343S00137 (likely the custom Apple T1 chip that pairs with the Touch Bar)

    • 2x Texas Instruments TI CD3215C00 68C7QKW G1

    • Intersil 95828 HRTZ X630MRD

    • (Apple?) 338S00193-A1 16348HCI

    • WinBond SpiFlash W25Q64FVZPIQ 64 Mb serial flash memory

    • NXP 66V10 NFC controller, containing Secure Element 008 and NXP PN549 (as seen in the iPhone 6s)

Does the NFC chip mean that the MBP could theoretically be used with Apple Pay? Or is there some other reason they would have included it? (Apple, *futureproofing*? The devices are almost hermetically sealed, so there's probably no possibility of even an "Apple blessed" upgrade option) Chipworks has their docs on it, but they cost many hundreds or thousands of dollars each (do they perhaps have a student discount?)

jimwitte - Reply

It's only for the secure element. If my memory is right, the iPad also has a similar controller but doesn't support NFC.

Dean Lubaki -

Image 1/1: 2x Pericom [https://www.pericom.com/assets/Datasheets/PI3WVR12612.pdf|PI3WVR12612|new_window=true] HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2 Video Switch
  • More chips on the flip:

    • 2x Pericom PI3WVR12612 HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2 Video Switch

    • Cirrus Logic CS42L83A Audio Codec

    • National Semiconductor 66A82NU 48B1-004

    • Texas Instruments TPS51916 memory power synchronous buck controller, and TPS51980A synchronous buck controller

    • Texas Instruments TMP513A PMIC

    • 2x Fairchild Semiconductor FDMC7570S PMIC

    • Fairchild Semiconductor FDMC86106LZ PMIC

Does anyone have a datasheet for the audio logic? (CS42L83A) I cannot find one on the internet.

Xardas22222 - Reply

The two buck controllers drive the display and keyboard LED backlights.

Dan - Reply

Did you mean the backlight of the display, or the whole display?

Xizhi Ma -

Image 1/3: While this is the first ''Mac'' computer to feature a fingerprint reader, the tech has [http://www.technewsworld.com/story/37017.html|been around since at least 2004|new_window=true]. Image 2/3: [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+5s+Teardown/17383#s52330|Welcome|new_window=true] [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+6+Plus+Teardown/29206#s69186|to the|new_window=true ] [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+7+Plus+Teardown/67384#s136506|family|new_window=true]. Image 3/3: The hardware helping drive this nifty feature contains a button coupled with  [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitive_sensing|capacitive sensors|new_window=true] that can distinguish fingers. Yay for biometrics.
  • Another new feature of the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is the addition of Touch ID.

  • The hardware helping drive this nifty feature contains a button coupled with capacitive sensors that can distinguish fingers. Yay for biometrics.

    • That button also doubles as the power button, so fixing a power button may be a more costly affair than it once was.

  • The Touch ID button is topped by sapphire crystal, which should protect the fingerprint scanner from scratches.

Are you seeing any water protection around the Touch ID button and case? This is one part I see needing to be regularly cleaned (just like on the iPhone) to get rid of oils so it actually works.

plink53 - Reply

@plink53 - Looking at the images it doesn't look like any sealant was added where the part meets the body. I would have expected a gasket or sealant caulk traces to be seen, none are. Thats also true with the Touch Bar & Track Pad as well.

Dan - Reply

as if capacitive buttons just break

James Deng - Reply

"...fingerprint reader, the tech has been around since at least 2004...."

try 1994

But Apple's works. Not just as a demo, but on an everyday basis.

alex - Reply

Samsung and Micron/MicronPC/MPC laptops had fingerprint readers and security software using them since the late 1990's. Dunno if Samsung continued to do so after MPC went out of business in 2008, cutting off that channel for selling Samsung's high end laptops in the North American market.

galane - Reply

My Touch ID is loos...Is that a common problem?

DTO - Reply

mine is loose too, not sure if it will cause problems

xhz -

Image 1/3: Now that our beloved MagSafe connector [http://ifixit.org/blog/8527/apple-no-magsafe/|has been retired|new_window=true], a wayward step on the power cord is much more likely to damage your ports—so, it's heartening to see the USB-C hardware can be replaced separately (although you'll have to remove the logic board to get to it). Image 2/3: While both USB-C modules look identical to our eyes, [http://www.macrumors.com/2016/10/28/macbook-pro-tb3-reduced-pci-express-bandwidth/|Apple notes|new_window=true] that only the left-side ports offer full-bandwidth Thunderbolt 3 performance. Image 3/3: With that, we can finally extract the fans. These highly-touted blowers measure 43 mm in diameter—a shade less than the [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Function+Keys+Late+2016+Teardown/72415#s144863|45 mm fan|new_window=true] we found in the entry-level MacBook Pro (but  hey, you get two of them).
  • Hanging off each end of the logic board, we find a small, modular USB-C board.

    • Now that our beloved MagSafe connector has been retired, a wayward step on the power cord is much more likely to damage your ports—so, it's heartening to see the USB-C hardware can be replaced separately (although you'll have to remove the logic board to get to it).

  • While both USB-C modules look identical to our eyes, Apple notes that only the left-side ports offer full-bandwidth Thunderbolt 3 performance.

  • With that, we can finally extract the fans. These highly-touted blowers measure 43 mm in diameter—a shade less than the 45 mm fan we found in the entry-level MacBook Pro (but hey, you get two of them).

I think it was a big mistake to loose the MagSafe concept for the power cord. I've tripped on my cord a few times thankfully the cord disconnected before the laptop took a spill.

Dan - Reply

Could the USB-C hardware-connector spec be made with a magnetic clasp? Or does Microsoft have a patent on doing that for something with more than 5 pins?

jimwitte -

Image 1/3: The speakers are ''not'' located under the speaker grilles. The speaker grille doesn't even go clear through the case. Image 2/3: These speakers likely blast their impressive sound through the side air vents. Image 3/3: The "grilles" are seemingly cosmetic, maybe to unify the product line. Curiously, the [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Function+Keys+Late+2016+Teardown/72415#s144836|Function Key edition|new_window=true] also suffers from some fake holes, albeit different ones.
  • Gently nestled between MacBook's edge and the keyboard are two speaker grilles—carefully crafted vents that channel sound waves out of the MacBook Pro straight to ... Wait.

    • The speakers are not located under the speaker grilles. The speaker grille doesn't even go clear through the case.

    • These speakers likely blast their impressive sound through the side air vents.

  • The "grilles" are seemingly cosmetic, maybe to unify the product line. Curiously, the Function Key edition also suffers from some fake holes, albeit different ones.

  • Teardown Update: Alright, most of these holes are cosmetic, but after yanking out the tweeters in the following step, it's clear that some of these are through-holes that carry sound out of the Mac's enclosure.

It looks to me like these speakers are simply ported— a common technique used in home theater speakers to achieve bigger sound. Also, the way this is laid out the speakers are further away from the logic board too, which might allow Apple to crank the bass further up, knowing that potentially chip-breaking low-frequency sound waves have more distance to dissipate.

Slipp D - Reply

All those perforations probably shave off quite a few grams of weight compared to a solid slab of aluminium.

matthiasbartosik - Reply

Perhaps - then why didn't they put *more* of them in? Since weight seems to be second only to thin-ness on Apple's list-of-priorities.

jimwitte -

"These speakers likely blast their impressive sound through the side air vents."

Eyes are useful, but for some things Ears can be a better tool?

alex - Reply

I have this Mac. If you cover those "fake" holes, it sound totally different. Try it in an Apple store and you'll see... hear?

Lok - Reply

Image 1/3: We spy with our little eyes what might be a teeny speaker, wedged in the corner above the "true" speaker. Image 2/3: Judging from the through-holes under the smaller speaker, we assume this is a tweeter designed to produce high frequency audio. Image 3/3: We loved the cute rubber-bumper sound-isolating screws holding down the speakers in the [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Function+Keys+Late+2016+Teardown/72415#s144824|Function Keys MBP|new_window=true]. Looks like the Touch Bar opted to use extra gooey glue instead.
  • Met with resistance from heavy adhesive, we employ a combination of an opening pick and a spudger to pry the right speaker off the upper case.

  • We spy with our little eyes what might be a teeny speaker, wedged in the corner above the "true" speaker.

    • Judging from the through-holes under the smaller speaker, we assume this is a tweeter designed to produce high frequency audio.

  • We loved the cute rubber-bumper sound-isolating screws holding down the speakers in the Function Keys MBP. Looks like the Touch Bar opted to use extra gooey glue instead.

In the 13 step you said the speakers aren't under the speaker grills, but in this step I see that the tweeter is under the speaker grills. Is that true?

Antonio R - Reply

Hmmm, two-way audio system in a Mac laptop? Interesting.

hugostonge - Reply

It is a two way sound system. If you cover the top "holes" with your hands the high frequency cuts out. However, it's hard to tell if all the holes are drilled or just enough for the tweeter. In any case it sounds great and is LOUD. I suppose the function key model though will sound better.

Hector Ordorica -

  • We're so close to the Touch Bar we can almost, well, touch it.

  • Apple seems to be staking its claim on the cool tech, by slapping a P2 pentalobe screw over the Touch Bar entry point.

  • We pluck an interconnect cable from the lower enclosure—this links the logic board to the Touch Bar display and likely hosts some display silicon. We find:

    • STMicroelectronics 32A 8628

"We're so close to the Touch Bar we can almost, well, touch it."

except that you broke it in step 13, so mind you don't cut yourself.

alex - Reply

The power/Touch ID button needs to be replaced at the same time as the logic board, or vice versa as they're paired at the factory presumably. So a power button means you have to transfer ALL the data from one SSD to the next!!

Positive Intent - Reply

  • Things are about to get heated. We call upon our friend the iOpener to assist us in removing the Touch Bar.

  • Kids, gather 'round! Today we'll learn how to accidentally break the Touch Bar. Our efforts to separate the OLED panel from the upper case resulted in the digitizer separating from the display. You live and you learn.

  • Adding insult to injury, the Touch Bar flex cable is routed underneath the upper case, making removal just a tad bit more annoying than we expected.

Add Comment

Image 1/3: Broadcom [http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Broadcom-Limited/BCM5976TC1KUB6G/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMuKfYsiLTIqmAKRZYrdhotwk4xv%2fYgez8E%3d|BCM5976TC1KUB60G |new_window=true] touch controller Image 2/3: Removing the OLED strip is difficult enough, but our efforts will not be in vain! Maybe a little in vain. Okay, our efforts were crushed (along with our hopes and dreams). The Touch Bar is fragile. Image 3/3: To add to the fragile mystery that is the Touch Bar, we stumble across an unmarked chip. Given the location, it is likely a display driver of sorts.
  • Human touch needs to be processed by a brain. Touch Bar needs to be processed by a chip. With some surgery we find the Touch Bar brain:

  • Removing the OLED strip is difficult enough, but our efforts will not be in vain! Maybe a little in vain. Okay, our efforts were crushed (along with our hopes and dreams). The Touch Bar is fragile.

  • To add to the fragile mystery that is the Touch Bar, we stumble across an unmarked chip. Given the location, it is likely a display driver of sorts.

  • After scraping out all that business we uncover a three-microphone array. What is the leftmost one even listening to? The fan? The keyboard? Who knows!

The third microphone is probably there to remove fan noise + keyboarding clicking noise.

Tobias Due Munk - Reply

Nah - I'd guess it's either Apple and/or the NSA listening in on sex chats.. (Oh, sorry, that was my inner Steve Bannon..)

jimwitte -

Does photo 2 here serve as confirmation that the leftmost part of the touch bar is inactive, meaning that a soft escape key cannot be properly located far enough left to be directly above the backquote/tilde key?

John Pane - Reply

But it's actually touchable. If you touch the leftmost part of the touch bar, esc-key will be pressed (and highlighted).

Andrey Startsev -

The mic is probebly for Siri as in iphone use the upper mic for siri and not the "talking" buttom mic.

Sos Mac - Reply

Image 1/2: Well, five-ish cells. With a nominal voltage of 11.41 V, the two outer pairs are wired in parallel and together have the same charge capacity as the center one, to yield three ~3.8 V cells in series. Image 2/2: You'd better hope your "Pro" career is short; this battery replacement is a doozy.
  • At last we carve out the (mightily adhered) 5-cell battery.

    • Well, five-ish cells. With a nominal voltage of 11.41 V, the two outer pairs are wired in parallel and together have the same charge capacity as the center one, to yield three ~3.8 V cells in series.

    • You'd better hope your "Pro" career is short; this battery replacement is a doozy.

  • The battery board hosts a TI BQ20Z451 (a possible variant of the BQ20Z45-R1 line, seen in MacBook Pros forever)

  • Listing a 49.2 Wh capacity, this battery seems a little piddly compared to the Function Key edition's 54.5 Wh—especially considering it's driving a lot more functionality (pun intended).

  • Dotting our i's, we slap these batteries on a scale: the Function Key-equipped MacBook Pro battery weighed in at 235 grams, while this battery weighs just 197 grams.

    • The weight disparity probably helps account for a lighter Touch Bar edition, but the battery seems to rate more watt-hours than the decrease in weight would suggest.

Hello this rMBP 13,3" with touch bar , the battery how many mHa ?

Portable External Battery perspective I'm interested in

Imre Office - Reply

How could the touch bar edition feature a smaller battery but yet about the same batter hour of usage at 10 hours?

honorousjack - Reply

Those cells look tiny. I hope next year's model has a capacity of at least 70 watt hours with two cells in each one.

balkicityfossils - Reply

What about the keyboard? Can it be replaced?

Jakob Zimmermann - Reply

Do you really have to take 18(!) steps in order to remove the battery of a touch bar model? Seems a little exaggerated to me.

Roderick - Reply

This isn't a guide—it's just an overview of the hardware.

Jeff Suovanen -

Image 1/1: Disappointed that we didn't get around to the display? It's the same procedure we found in the [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+13-Inch+Function+Keys+Late+2016+Teardown/72415#s144845|new_window=true|13" Function Key teardown]—antenna bar, springy ribbons, the works.
  • Here's the Late 2016 13" MacBook Pro with all its Touch Bar glory!

  • Disappointed that we didn't get around to the display? It's the same procedure we found in the 13" Function Key teardown—antenna bar, springy ribbons, the works.

Nothing about the wifi card?? Is there a wifi card or its also solderd to the board?

Sos Mac - Reply

Final Thoughts
  • The trackpad can be removed without first removing the battery.
  • Proprietary pentalobe screws continue to make working on the device unnecessarily difficult.
  • The battery assembly is entirely, and very solidly, glued into the case, thus complicating replacement.
  • The processor, RAM, and flash memory are soldered to the logic board.
  • The Touch Bar adds a second, difficult to replace, screen to damage.
  • The Touch ID sensor doubles as the power switch, and is paired with the T1 chip on the logic board. Fixing a broken power switch may require help from Apple, or a new logic board.
Repairability Score
1
Repairability 1 out of 10
(10 is easiest to repair)

64 Comments

what a mess inside. especially given the spaces around the batteries, and the off position of speakers, looks like the chassis was optimised for the non-touchbar version (much cleaner layout, removable SSD, no gaps), and touchbar addition was a later decision. Maybe initially they envisaged only the 15" would have touchbar.

a similar case of "odd unused chassis space" happened with the first gen 13" retina macbook pro, which had empty space under the trackpad. Was probably a late decision to use small form SSD over 2.5" SSD. this empty space was used up on subsequent updates.

to me the touchbar version has way too many compromises. the biggest issues are: smaller battery, while using a processor with a higher TDP. and non upgradable SSD (arguably the only component that might require future upgrade, unless you want to pay extraordinary money right now).

Kim Zhou - Reply

How do you do a power rest if the machine hangs? Before you held down the power button for a few seconds. Would that work with a touch ID button?

Maxim - Reply

It still is a physical button. Just like the iPhones (except iPhone 7).

mamufek -

I would assume that you still do - the Touch ID sensor is still a physical button, so there's no reason it doesn't work like a normal button as before. However, to stop it shutting down the machine with a single click, I'd imagine macOS has some code in it saying "if the power button is pushed while the computer is on, it's probably for Touch ID things, so don't shut down".

WilliamTM -

in fact you have to press it long to act like a power button says the apple support page :P

oowaschbaeroo -

First generation computers tend to lend themselves to some issues. However, given the price bump and the Apple brand I was expecting more, much more. The concept seems nice, the hardware implementation not so much. Laptops are to be mobile, so sacrificing battery life for weight is not a design decision that appeals to me. With Skylake I was expecting the REAL battery life to surpass 12 hours...

Paulo Neves - Reply

MacBook Pro with SSD RAID 0 inside?

Peter Gamble - Reply

Not here, sorry ;-{

Dan -

So can you move the touch ID sensor to another mac? Does it still work? Or are we going to have an Error 53 for Mac and a connect to iTunes screens.

Miles Blakesley - Reply

Of course you can't. It's like the TouchID on iPhones and iPads. It's paired with the T1.

Gianluca Borchia -

probably everything works execpt touchID, hopefully apple learned their lesson

Ethan Chow -

Whoever writes these teardowns, dear sir/ma'am, you deserve a medal.

nysarne - Reply

I 2nd that! Great job folks!

Dan -

Lack of repair-ability is understandable and unavoidable in today's world of disposable gadgets. If my $500 laptop craps out, so be it. However, $2000 worth of computer is not disposable. I would never buy another macbook.

jhjh - Reply

It's not unrepairable. It's just unrepairable by unequipped amateurs, which is where iFixit sell their bits and pieces.

And those same things that make it more difficult to repair, also make it less likely to go wrong in the first place.

Again, not in iFixit's commercial interest to encourage.

alex -

I guess I see things a bit differently than Alex here. True IFIXIT is a business as such they do need to make money, but its more than that. The vision is to not create waste by repurpose or repair. The more Apple goes down this path of non-repairable it kills their own mission of being ecology minded. People don't want to throw away a $2 - 3 K system just to get a bit more memory or storage. They want some expandability! Likewise, being forced to replace major assemblies to deal with a small part failure is also wasteful!

Dan -

Random question - what do you end up doing with the things you tear down after? Do they all go back together again (and end up in full working condition)?

Andrew - Reply

As you can see they've already ruined a lot of things, so this is not going back together.

Tom Chai -

From the IFIXIT team: "Not to worry—we definitely don't let our teardown devices go to waste. Oftentimes we will use them to create a full set of repair guides. We create some in-house and also send devices through our edu program to teach technical writing. You can learn more about that here. After that, we make sure they find a good home, or dispose of them responsibly."

Dan -

Wait, no split fin fans in the touchbar 13" either? I thought their website showed the touchbar 13" as having them...?

nitesh singh - Reply

'On the 15-inch MacBook Pro, an innovative split blade design allows for more blades and delivers increased airflow.'

http://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/

unsubstantiated -

Somebody should tell the Apple guys at the wheelhouse that an iLaptop is not an iPhone before it is too late and most of us have jumped the iShip before some new Jobs guy has emerged to save it after all the latest course these guys have set.

MiKa - Reply

If you compare in Step 4 the two versions of the MacBook, you can see the version without the touch has the vent openings for the second fan too.

TheLOD2010 - Reply

"The speakers are not located under the speaker grilles. The speaker grille doesn't even go clear through the case."

Yet the tweeter can clearly be seen in the red box in this image:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/j13u5ev3ypekr8...

Okay then iFixit....

Nicholas Griffin - Reply

Noted and the text was corrected clarifying the openings are for the twitter speaker.

Dan -

Does step 17, photo 2 serve as confirmation that the leftmost part of the touch bar is inactive, meaning that a soft escape key cannot be properly located far enough left to be directly above the backquote/tilde key?

John Pane - Reply

The area is the interface to the ribbon connector that goes to the logic board. I do agree the placement is troubling. I suspect the designer wanted to be symmetrical with the other side as the Touch ID/Power Switch is the same amount of space so the Touch Bar is cropped in on that side. I'm surprised as well they didn't think this through. I would have brought the Touch display all the way to the left edge and used the underside for the connection point. There is no reason it couldn't be a bit asymmetrical.

Dan -

> There is no reason [the Touch Bar] couldn't be a bit asymmetrical.

Except that Jobs liked symmetry..

jimwitte -

As long as the battery is glued in and the ssd and ram are not upgradeable, i'm not buying one. I'm glad I bought a mid-2012 non-retina when I did.

darthd - Reply

You want retina.

Kim Zhou -

Sure I'd love to have a retina display with the benefits of the older case design! Is Apple listening?

Dan -

what a shame! apple think all their users are stupid. they probably are 99% right. Who cares if you cant upgrade the ssd? The next step will be solder the battery too? What else they can invent to suck the idiots money? I fell terrible windows pc are so much worst... for now who cares about upgrade at least the ssd will be in the hunt for the old models. And sandisk? common, this is only to change to samsung ssd next year and announce a twice fast ssd?

Alber Einsten - Reply

"What else they can invent to suck the idiots money?" How does a book for 300 bucks sound?

http://www.theverge.com/2016/11/15/13635...

Thomas J -

it's crazy apple designed a separate 13 inch function key model instead of just shrinking down the touch bar model, sure it might save money on the long run, but design and testing and manufacturing two completely different 13 inch would mean ........................................................................................people from macbook air department would still keep their jobs.

Dan Fu - Reply

This is the mate to the 13" Function key model Here is the 15" Touch Bar Teardown. What are you saying here, you want the new MacBook to have the Touch Bar?

Dan -

Am I reading the data sheet for the ram correctly? The Samsung ram was released in 2012, and is rated at ~1066MHz??? Is this somehow run in tandem to yield 2133MHz?

Briefly looking through some of the early Geekbench scores, it seems the new rMBP doesn’t have much of an edge, if any over the predecessor. Upon looking closer, it seems the memory tests are slower on the newer model. This doesn’t add up per Apple’s claim! Is this yet another crippling disappointment?

Brian B - Reply

I guess the third microphone will become "visible" in the 15" model. In this 13" model it must be switched off (for sure).

weruaga - Reply

Why da fcuk do you need to open it?!

IT JUST WORKS!

Ok, the Sandisk SSD can break down, that can happen. But everything else is working forever.

Andron MacBeton - Reply

You do realize that the SanDisk SSD is now soldered onto the logic board, it may be the first to die, but if it dies the entire board is useless and thus you will need a logic board replacement. Lets hope you keep backups because without a removable SSD there's no chance of getting your data recovered.

jesusfrk258 -

It appears you do not grasp the concept of why repair guides are created:

~1 Some people (like me) just LOVE knowing how things work - that's how we become engineers, and are able to repair things and design other things, make informed decisions (which we can confidently pass on to others with less inclination or interest to know this stuff.)

~2 Because repairing your own device teaches you independence and VALUABLE skills which are transferable and profitable, and also enjoyable to learn and practice.

It's also fine to be a consumer who DOESN'T, but it's illogical for you to criticise or chastise those who DO take them apart, kapish?

Matt Foot -

GOLD contacts, not copper; the copper is the underlying substrate that is the PCB trace.

Matt Foot -

With respect, iFixit, leave the puns to us English folks, your attempts are extremely contrived and... well... they don't work and detract from the articles you feel the urge to force them into. PLEASE, just don't try to be funny - we come here to see things stripped down, not for comedy - others do it way better.

Thanks :)

Matt Foot -

Could the extra microphone be there to pick up fan noise in order to subtract it from the desired (External) signal?

turmunder - Reply

Thank you for teardown.

Ali2 - Reply

With respect, iFixit, add additional puns. We love your extremely contrived attempts at humor. They simply work, never detracting from the articles. They are as welcome as caviar on toast. Please, be funny! We come here for two things, stripping and comedy. No one else does it better.

Thanks {:-)

sarre9 - Reply

Hello,

Does anyone know if these new Macbook pros have 3x3 Wi-Fi antennas like the 2013 models ?

Thank you !

Dan - Reply

This model appears to have 3 transmit antennas (see image of the back without cover, near right fan). I think this is a 3x3 wifi model. The non-touch bar model is 2x2.

Steven Zhang -

Curious what the shielded port is for. I am skeptical that it is for reading the SSD, since the SSD usually needs communication with the SMC, CPU and requires 3.42v and 3.3v S0 voltages to power it (among other circuits/signals). Unless the reader tool which plugs in independently powers the SSD ICs, I think it will be unlikely.

I think there is a high chance it is just a shielded diagnostic port, to better protect it from liquid damage. On older models (Macbook Air is a good example) if the diagnostic port gets liquid damaged, Apple can no longer use the port to read important voltages. It can also prevent the Macbook from working correctly, which is why a lot of diagnostic ports get removed by 3rd party repair centres.

In time, we will see I guess...

Reece - Reply

I've had many laptops over the years and at the end of use I always removed the data disk in order to protect my privacy. Now I have security/privacy concerns about the soldered SSD. If the logic board (or the SSD itself) goes wrong, how can you ensure that the data is removed?

Bob K - Reply

Nah, it's pretty simple. Turn on FileVault encryption (you already have it on don't you?), and then when you remove your userID and recovery key you make the SSD unreadable.

Spinner Monk -

Alternatively, you could remove the logic board and destroy the SSD by smashing the data chips. I'd be a bit of a waste, but it's secure!

TheComputerCellar -

Sir ifixit engineers if the touch bar is fragile I think it will be broken when taken by non experts or local repair technicians.what to do unless we replace it we do not need to touch it.for replacing keyboard is it necessary to remove touch bar I am asking this because it is so fragile.i know you're experts.pls help ifixit engineers as soon within less time I am waiting for you

muhammed dilshad - Reply

Sir pls help I look your website everytime for disassembly

muhammed dilshad - Reply

Sir ifixit where is the harddisk and dvd drive.plshelp as soon as possible

muhammed dilshad - Reply

Why apple is making it's laptops unrepairable

muhammed dilshad - Reply

Ives has too much input at Apple. He has developed an anorexic approach to design. He has slimmed down the look of MacOS from a 3D look to a flat bland desktop. Functional and repair sacrifices were made to make the equipment "The thinnest we ever made it" The touch bar is a nice idea but it can only be fixed by replacing the entire top of the computer. I have replaced just the keyboard for a MBP for just $40. It's held in with over 30 very small screws and was a lot of work. Still fixable though. Apple just replaces the whole top. We couldn't be foiled with special screws. Just solder and glue everything in place now. The touch bar is, in effect, part of the upper frame. USB C is great as a multiport but the loss of Magsafe is just wrong. We are back to our laptops flying off the tables again. Oh wait - More broken Macs that have to be replaced! Soldered in drives for the sake of thinness, look how this compulsion worked for Karen Carpenter.

Carl Manuelian - Reply

got one and i love it. couldn't be happier. might be an idiot, but at least a happy idiot :)

Daniel - Reply

Why is there 5 batteries and not 3? One big would have bigger capacity than 2 smaller.

longpeoplehair - Reply

Where is the wifi Chipset for the 802.11 and Bluetooth? why didnt you guys list it for the 15 inch model and you listed it for the 13 inch?

Moe Khan - Reply

Hey there Moe Khan! In step 8 there is the Murata/Apple Wi-Fi chip. This is likely a combination of both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Unfortunately this is a proprietary chip, so there is no publicly available data sheet (at least as far as I know). This means we can't confirm that this is FOR SURE a Bluetooth chip. We are just "pretty sure". I hope this helps you! (I also responded to your post on the 15" MBP with Touch Bar).

Scott Havard -

From the Samsung part no decode, it should be LPDDR3.

cl chao - Reply

what kind of adhesive do you use to put the battery back as well as the trackpad and other adhered parts?

Joshua - Reply

Hello I am contacting you from the Experimac East Orlando store. I was wondering if the Display was easily removable or if i would have to do something with the Touch Bar to remove the screen. Looking forward to more Tear Downs, thanks again iFixit Team!

Store Manager - Reply

Hello. I just broken my screen. What are the chances that it can be fixed?

Mahrukh Isa - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 230

Past 7 Days: 1,504

Past 30 Days: 7,154

All Time: 206,585