Introduction

We disassembled this computer on October 15, 2008.

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your MacBook Unibody Model A1278, use our service manual.

Image 1/1: Smaller packaging, they say, means fewer planes to transport the same number of products.
  • Apple boasts that, "The new MacBook packaging is 41 percent smaller than the previous generation" and is made from recycled material.

  • Smaller packaging, they say, means fewer planes to transport the same number of products.

  • Follow our updates on twitter.

Add Comment

Image 1/1: To be fair, though, it's about 12 percent thinner than its predecessor (0.95 in vs. 1.08 in) and 10 percent lighter (4.5 pounds vs. 5 pounds).
  • It looks like a MacBook Air from the top, but it's about 25% thicker than the thickest part of the Air, and almost 6 times thicker than the thinnest part.

  • To be fair, though, it's about 12 percent thinner than its predecessor (0.95 in vs. 1.08 in) and 10 percent lighter (4.5 pounds vs. 5 pounds).

Add Comment

Image 1/1: 85-page user's manual
  • In the box:

    • 85-page user's manual

    • Restore DVDs

    • 60-watt AC adapter

    • AC adapter extension cable

    • Cleaning cloth

  • As with previous MacBooks, there's no video adapter included. There's an empty spot in the box where it would fit nicely, but there's no adapter to be found. Apple offers the DisplayPort adapter for $29 extra.

Add Comment

Image 1/1: It may be hard to tell from the image, but there are now 8 lights on the battery indicator, and it's conveniently located where you can actually see it.
  • There's a new Mini DisplayPort (fourth from the right), and a complete lack of a FireWire port.

  • It may be hard to tell from the image, but there are now 8 lights on the battery indicator, and it's conveniently located where you can actually see it.

Add Comment

Image 1/1: For those hurt by the financial crisis, a coin is no longer required.
  • Opening the battery latch.

  • For those hurt by the financial crisis, a coin is no longer required.

Add Comment

Image 1/1: The new MacBook uses the same hard drives as previous MacBook models.
  • The hard drive is on the left, and the battery is on the right.

  • The new MacBook uses the same hard drives as previous MacBook models.

  • Shameless plug: If you're not ready for a new machine, you can upgrade the hard drive in any Apple laptop. We have free guides for most models that make hard drive replacements easy.

Add Comment

Image 1/1: Still, Apple claims that you'll get 5 hours of wireless productivity (with the display brightness set to 50 percent).
  • The battery is 45 watt-hours compared to 55 on the previous generation. It's also almost 20 percent lighter (302 g vs. 402 g).

  • Still, Apple claims that you'll get 5 hours of wireless productivity (with the display brightness set to 50 percent).

Add Comment

Image 1/1: Like the last black MacBook, the standard hard drive on the 2.4 GHz model is 250GB SATA and 5400 rpm.
  • The hard drive is held down by a single Phillips screw.

  • Like the last black MacBook, the standard hard drive on the 2.4 GHz model is 250GB SATA and 5400 rpm.

Add Comment

Image 1/1: To replace the hard drive, you'll need a T6 Torx screwdriver to transfer the hard drive mounting screws to the new drive.
  • Disconnecting the hard drive.

  • To replace the hard drive, you'll need a T6 Torx screwdriver to transfer the hard drive mounting screws to the new drive.

Add Comment

Image 1/1: One 3 mm Phillips in the top left corner.
  • The bottom panel is attached by 8 screws:

    • One 3 mm Phillips in the top left corner.

    • Four 3.5 mm Phillips along the bottom.

    • Three 13.8 mm Phillips along the top.

what type of screws are those, i'm missing those threws

step 10

rosie - Reply

Image 1/1: It looks like the only really hard part to replace will be the upper case and keyboard.
  • Removing the bottom panel provides access to the RAM, optical drive, display hinge, fan, and logic board.

  • It looks like the only really hard part to replace will be the upper case and keyboard.

Add Comment

Image 1/1: 2GB (two 1GB SO-DIMMs) of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM are included. Apple will upgrade the RAM to 4GB for an extra $150.
  • Removing the RAM

  • 2GB (two 1GB SO-DIMMs) of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM are included. Apple will upgrade the RAM to 4GB for an extra $150.

  • Apple claims this machine maxes out at 4GB RAM, but the Montevina chipset appears to support up to 8GB.

  • Shameless plug: You can upgrade your existing MacBook or MacBook Pro to 4 GB. We'll also be offering the RAM for the new Unibody machines in the near future.

It's been tested... 6GB max. Why? Who knows, but the computer will not recognize 8GB (and a 4GB chip for this machine is still stupid expensive...)

fairleymac - Reply

Nope, not true. I am currently running 8 GB (2 x 4GB Corsair) in my Late 2008 Unibody MacBook.

Given, it was probably adjusted in some later update in the 5 years since you posted that comment. Still, useful to know.

Kevin K - Reply

Yes Kevin it id useful for me I have late 2009 Macbook Uni.

Ice - Reply

Image 1/1: Disconnecting the subwoofer and optical drive cables.
  • We've now exhausted the installation instructions Apple printed on the back of the battery cover.

  • Disconnecting the subwoofer and optical drive cables.

I am having a hard time disconnecting the subwoofer cable from the logic board. Does it pop straight off? Is there a trick?

pjohn07 - Reply

Be very careful here. Mine had a small piece of foam on too. Peal this off carefully. Don't peel from the corner of the plastic square. Slide wire side gently away toward optical drive. If possible hold down very thin sides of retaining clip while pulling away.

web1 - Reply

Image 1/1: Three 2.5 mm Phillips.
  • The optical drive is held in by the following 4 screws:

    • Three 2.5 mm Phillips.

    • One 3.7 mm Phillips.

  • Apple gives the following specification: 8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW).

Add Comment

Image 1/2: The optical drive shows a manufacture date of October 2008. That drive sure got from the factory to us fast! Image 2/2: The optical drive shows a manufacture date of October 2008. That drive sure got from the factory to us fast!
  • The optical drive, now SATA.

  • The optical drive shows a manufacture date of October 2008. That drive sure got from the factory to us fast!

Add Comment

Image 1/1: This may be the most beautiful laptop we've disassembled. Apple has a right to be proud of their engineers and manufacturing team.
  • Removing the logic board.

  • This may be the most beautiful laptop we've disassembled. Apple has a right to be proud of their engineers and manufacturing team.

I'd love some more detail on which screws need to be removed in order to remove the logic board.

pjohn07 - Reply

Quote from pjohn07:

I'd love some more detail on which screws need to be removed in order to remove the logic board.

This is a teardown, and should not be used as a repair guide due to many missing steps. The repair guides for this machine can be found here.

Andrew Bookholt - Reply

Image 1/3: Part numbers found thus far: Image 2/3: Penryn [http://processorfinder.intel.com/details.aspx?sSpec=SLB4N|Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile Processor P8600] 5827B394 SLB4N AV80577P8600 2.40/3M/1066 Image 3/3: [http://download.cypress.com.edgesuite.net/design_resources/datasheets/contents/cy7c638xx_8.pdf|Cypress USB Controller] CY7C638 33LFXC 0825 KOR 633013

If you were to double or triple the resolution of the huge image, then we could read the part numbers and perhaps help in mapping out the circuit

Tom Dowad - Reply

are there different types of logic boards that I can replace mine with? and where can i get them

matt - Reply

Image 1/1: Part numbers found thus far:
  • The bottom of the logic board.

  • Part numbers found thus far:

SN802043 is the actual part number (The numbers 87K JR7C G4 are different on each IC batch produced). This part is hard to get (unless you live in USA) and is not listed in Texas Instruments website http://www.ti.com If anybody in UK has this part, please Add a comment.

Gurjinder Virdee - Reply

Image 1/2: The new MacBook received a welcome speaker upgrade. In the second image, the old plastic MacBook's speakers are on the left, and the new MacBook's speakers are on the right. Image 2/2: The new MacBook received a welcome speaker upgrade. In the second image, the old plastic MacBook's speakers are on the left, and the new MacBook's speakers are on the right.
  • Removing the right speaker and subwoofer.

  • The new MacBook received a welcome speaker upgrade. In the second image, the old plastic MacBook's speakers are on the left, and the new MacBook's speakers are on the right.

Add Comment

Image 1/1: Amazingly, the new display assembly weighs slightly less than the previous MacBook's plastic display assembly.
  • The elegant new glass and Aluminum display assembly.

  • Amazingly, the new display assembly weighs slightly less than the previous MacBook's plastic display assembly.

could this be replaced with a newer macbook air 13.3inch screen thereby increasing this macbooks resolution?

Calum Macrae - Reply

Image 1/1: Looking for more pictures? We've also disassembled the [link|/Guide/First-Look/Mac/MacBook-Pro-Unibody|new MacBook Pro].
  • All major components - only 4.5 pounds, not bad for a full-featured, metal laptop.

  • Looking for more pictures? We've also disassembled the new MacBook Pro.

Add Comment

2 Comments

My comp turns on and the screen turns white and stays white. If I hook it up via hdmi it works fine through my tv. Need help on what it could be

Joey c - Reply

While disassembling my MacBook 2008-11 model as seen in these pictures, I was careful to lay out and label each part to reassemble after attempting to repair from water damage. When I lifted the hard drive a small black rectangular bracket about 1/2 wide with a small square on the back and an extruding piece against the black hollow square tha appears would go over a screw hole; dropped to the floor. It has part number ZYI-4 as best I can make out. Does anyone know where this goes? I cannot figure it out. Thanks!!!!

Sara - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 29

Past 7 Days: 249

Past 30 Days: 1,114

All Time: 348,222