iFixit Tears Down the New 2013 Mac Pro – Apple’s Most Repairable Modern Mac!

Posted in Apple News, Mac on 31/12/2013 by J. Glenn Künzler

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What’s small, black, powerful, looks like a waste bin, and costs upwards of $3000? Apple’s new Mac Pro, of course! But despite it’s tiny size, and Apple’s tendency to make their products as inaccessible as possible, many nuggets have appeared revealing that the new Mac Pro is actually modular, and extremely accessible for part repair and replacement!

Mac Pro Teardown

The latest and most complete account of the new Mac Pro’s repairability comes from the guys at iFixit, who have finally gotten their hands on a new Mac Pro, and ripped it to shreds to show us all exactly what makes it tick. Here’s a few highlights!

  • Here’s a strangely un-Apple-like design choice: simply sliding the lock switch allows us to remove the outer casing of the Mac Pro. No stubborn pentalobe screws here!

  • Good news, everyone! The RAM in the Mac Pro Late 2013 is easily accessible and replaceable.

  • With a twist of a T8 screwdriver, the SSD assembly is easily removed from the device.

  • While it took a bit of a trek, a CPU upgrade appears entirely possible—and well worth it, with an alleged cost savings of $1050 for an upgrade to 12 cores.

And a nice summary:

  • Mac Pro Late 2013 Repairability Score: 8 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)
  • For being so compact, the design is surprisingly modular and easy to disassemble. Non-proprietary Torx screws are used throughout, and several components can be replaced independently.
  • The easily-opened case is designed to make RAM upgrades a snap.
  • The fan is easy to access and replace.
  • While it will require a bit of digging, the CPU is user-replaceable—meaning intrepid fixers should be able to save considerably by upgrading from the base-level processor configuration.
  • There is no room, or available port, for adding your own internal storage. Apple has addressed this with heaps of Thunderbolt, but we’d personally rather use the more widely compatible SATA if we could.
  • With some proprietary new connectors and tight cable routing, working on this $3,000 device without a repair manual could be risky.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY (Um…sort of…)

  • Contrary to popular belief, the new Mac Pro is closer in design to an aluminum beverage can than a trash can.

The teardown also notes that, while the graphics cards are removable as well, they’re also proprietary, meaning that manufacturers will have to get permission from Apple to make replacement or upgraded graphics cards, and those cards will likely work only on the Mac Pro – no other devices at all.

All in all, the new Mac Pro, despite its size, appears to be one of the most repairable computers Apple has made in a number of years – and that’s something worth smiling about. Check out the gallery below to see some epic images from the teardown!


Author

J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.