© iFixit Teardowns | November 01, 2013

MacBook Pro Retina 15" Teardown

We're going a bit teardown-crazy over here, but that's expected — everyone's trying to release their products just in time for Christmas. Today we have a tale of two MacBook Pro Retina teardowns, a 13" and a 15" variant.

Up first is the 15" model, which is essentially the 2012 unit with a couple of performance upgrades. We did a "quick-n-dirty" teardown on that machine, since very little changed in 2013. It scored the same terrible 1 out of 10 repairability; believe it or not, the machine became slightly *harder* to fix. Now people can't replace their headphone jack without replacing the logic board. So unless you're keen on soldering, replacing the headphone jack just became a $1,000 fix. Note that this is now your only 15" option; Apple stopped selling the non-Retina 15" MacBook Pro. Of more interest is the 13" version, which we're still working on. It has a completely reworked interior from what we saw last year, and we're working hard to note all the changes.
MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Highlights: The 15" Retina now has a PCIe-based SSD instead of the mSATA drive of yesteryear. The new Samsung-based SSD contains the following ICs:
  • Samsung K4P4G324EB-FGC2 512 MB Mobile DRAM
  • Samsung S4LNO53X01-8030 SSD Controller
  • Samsung K9HFGY8S5C 32 GB NAND Flash Modules (8 chips for 256 GB total)
One of the few differences: It now has a sleekified heat sink with just a single thermal pad, thanks to the more closely integrated GPU — which we attribute to the "Haswellification" process, as we call it. Apple added a new AirPort card that supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi.The Broadcom BCM4360 on this AirPort card enables operation on the 5 GHz band at speeds up to 1.3 Gbps, while a Broadcom BCM20702 Bluetooth 4.0 Processor gets Bluetoothy things done for your convenience. Also in residence are a pair of Skyworks SE5516 dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WLAN front-end modules.
Some noteworthy revisions come on the logic board, including the all-new Haswell Core i7 processor, Iris Pro Graphics, and Thunderbolt 2 support:
  • 2.0 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.2 GHz) with 6 MB shared L3 cache
  • Intel Iris Pro Graphics
  • Elpida J4208EFBG 512 MB DDR3 SDRAM (16 chips for 8 GB total)
  • Platform Controller Hub
  • Intel DSL5520 Thunderbolt 2 Controller
  • Cirrus 4208-CRZ Audio Codec, similar to Cirrus CS4207
----- Source: Here's the goods for all to see. / © iFixit
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