In the calm after the iPhone 5s/c storm, Apple thought it could slip a couple new iMacs by us. Time for us to get our pry on and pop this next generation 27" iMac wide open for a quick tour of the highlights.

We also tore apart the newly refreshed smaller-brother iMac 21.5"—head over to its teardown and check it out too.

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This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your iMac Intel 27" EMC 2639, use our service manual.

  1. Externally, the iMac Intel 27" EMC 2639 looks identical to the previous generation, but the interior specs have been upgraded:
    • Externally, the iMac Intel 27" EMC 2639 looks identical to the previous generation, but the interior specs have been upgraded:

      • 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz) with 6MB L3 cache

      • NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M graphics processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory

      • 802.11ac Wi-Fi

      • PCIe flash SSD available

    • The AirPort/Bluetooth card, conforming to the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, still clings to the back of the logic board — making replacement no easier than before.

      • Not the first Mac to get updated with the new ac standard, we expected to see some similar hardware as in the refreshed MacBook Airs from earlier this year.

    • Chips off the old new block:

      • Broadcom BCM4360KML1G 5G WiFi 3-Stream 802.11ac Gigabit Transceiver—as expected, this is the same chip driving the ac Wi-Fi in the 11" and 13" MacBook Air

      • Skyworks SE5516 Dual-Band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN Front-End Module

      • Broadcom BCM20702 Single-Chip Bluetooth 4.0 HCI Solution with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Support

    • As is now standard across all new iMacs, the new iMac 27" features support for PCIe-based flash storage. This is a pleasant surprise compared to last year's 21.5" model, when we were left sorely disappointed by unpopulated solder pads on our low-end logic board.

    • According to Apple, the inclusion of PCIe flash storage allows for up to 50 percent faster speeds than the previous generation.

    • The Fusion Drive option combines the large storage capacity of a hard drive with the high performance of flash to deliver shorter boot times and faster access to apps and files.

    • Apple's iMac refresh included some sneaky changes to the 21.5" model, and we were more than a little perturbed to discover a soldered CPU.

    • Thankfully, its 27" big brother was saved from the same fate, and power users will still be able to upgrade their processor without a reflow oven.

    • Heavy-weight ICs:

      • 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor

      • Intel platform controller hub

    • As advertised, the iMac 27" now sports a fancy new graphics processor:

    • The B-side of our IC record:

    • iMac 27" EMC 2639 Repairability Score: 5 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)

    • RAM is user-replaceable without opening the case, thanks to the rear access door.

    • You can still replace the hard drive and CPU inside this machine, albeit with some adhesive cutting.

    • Components are modular and fairly easy to remove.

    • Budget-minded folks now can add a second hard drive to the base iMac because the Fusion Drive connector is no longer missing from the logic board.

    • The glass and LCD are fused together, and there are no more magnets holding the glass in place.

    • You'll have to masterfully peel off the old double-sided sticky tape and apply new tape in order to reseal this iMac into original condition.


You forget to mention *HOW* one should mount an extra SSD in the new port.

Do we need to remove the LCD panel or is there a slot you can access through the back, like with RAM?

Christian Bille - Reply

You'll need to remove the LCD and dig your way inside.

Miroslav Djuric -

On the BTO "SSD flash memory only model", is the SSD connected to the rear PCIe port leaving an empty SATA port? So someone could add an additional SATA drive?


Matthias Gasser - Reply

I am also looking for the same info. Anybody has an ans?

imacsps -

Is the Thunderbolt port "Redwood Ridge", ie. DisplayPort 1.2 capable?

Robert Le - Reply

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