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Teardown of New Mac Pro Reveals Surprising Amount of Accessibility, Circular Daughterboard

iFixit has performed another one of its traditional high-quality teardowns on the new 2013 Mac Pro, revealing a host of very powerful components and a design that allows the computer to be surprisingly accessible and repairable.

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The new Mac Pro includes a rear lock switch that allows the device's cylindrical casing to be removed with ease, allowing the user to easily access and replace components such as memory modules, SSD drives, and more. A teardown performed by Other World Computing (OWC) earlier this week also revealed that the Mac Pro includes a removable CPU, which may be useful to users who want to upgrade their machines in the future. Non-proprietary Torx screws are also found throughout some parts of the machine as well, which makes for easier repair.

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Another internal to note in the Mac Pro is its power supply, which appears to be located in between the I/O panel and the logic board. The power supply itself appears to be rated at 450 Watts, and relies solely on Apple's highly touted single fan cooling system in the Mac Pro to keep a low temperature. This, in unison with the triangular heat sink that cools the graphics card and GPU, allows the Mac Pro to idle at a quiet 12 dBA.

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Furthermore, the logic board, dual graphics cards, and I/O port board found on the machine appear to connect to a single daughterboard, or interconnect board, found at the base of the machine. However, unlike the other parts of the computer, the daughterboard appears to use a tight cable routing system and various new proprietary connectors.

As is tradition for iFixit's teardowns, the company has assigned a repairability score to the 2013 Mac Pro based on the accessibility of the various components. While iFixit disliked the inability to add additional internal storage and the tight cable routing system in some places, the new Mac Pro's repairability scored a high 8 out of 10, with the firm crediting the computer for having non-proprietary Torx screws, an easily accessible case, and a user replaceable CPU.

Related roundup: Mac Pro

Top Rated Comments

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11 months ago
Is it wrong that I've been way too overly excited for this teardown despite the fact that I can't afford a Mac Pro?

And the 8/10 score is pretty high.
Rating: 32 Votes
11 months ago
The engineering in this thing is 10 years ahead of anyone else. Apple is really bringing its A game here.
Rating: 31 Votes
11 months ago

Proprietary connectors is NOT my idea of upgradeable. If I have to buy Apples upgrade at Apples upgrade price, NO THANKS!


*confused* But Apple's Pro stuff has always had an element of being proprietary. Graphics cards would need to have Apple firmware, so you couldn't buy any old ones. Of course, you could get them and flash them, or they'd work in the OS but not on the EFI boot -- however I'm talking solely from what should be bought & won't void your warranty.

The hard-drive, in its nature being a PCIe SSD in such a small package, can't be anything but proprietary. And the CPU is fully upgradeable, as is the RAM.

yes, you're always going to pay an Apple tax. However if that's your concern when you're shelling out 5 grand for a Pro machine, that will make its money for you 10-times over, this wouldn't be a concern.

Here's the thing: the machine is upgradeable with almost all its core components. That was people's main fear, that when purchasing this you'll be forced into buying a new one if you need to upgrade. Now that this myth has been firmly disproved, it still blows my mind that people can find something to complain about.
Rating: 30 Votes
11 months ago

I wonder how does a 450W power supply could drive 2 high end AMD cards and a beast of a processor?:confused:


There's a reason the Mac Pro is designed as a wind tunnel (think jet engine). It allows for greater efficiency. The graphics cards and processors are quite energy efficient & add in across the board efficiencies from Apple's design, 450W is plenty of power. Apple is one of the best at electronic efficiency. Anyone can make a beast of a computer that runs on a 1000W power supply but to make a beautiful beast of a computer run on 450W is elegant engineering.
Rating: 28 Votes
11 months ago
The haters were wrong. And nowhere to be seen. Why am I not surprised?
Rating: 25 Votes
11 months ago
simply piece of art!
Rating: 22 Votes
11 months ago

Proprietary connectors is NOT my idea of upgradeable. If I have to buy Apples upgrade at Apples upgrade price, NO THANKS!


I know you're just trolling, but the SSD in the MBA is also "proprietary", and still a couple companies have come out with replacement SSDs that use that connector. So it's extremely likely that you're going to see a a bunch of third-party upgrades for the Mac Pro. People who buy these machines are not looking to save a few bucks using the cheapest component possible. They'll gladly pay for a quality upgrade of they need one.
Rating: 20 Votes
11 months ago
This looks like it just came out of some high-budget sci-fi movie.

Rating: 17 Votes
11 months ago
8/10 is shockingly high in 2013! I was not expecting this degree of access and I am very impressed. Also, a twelve core processor with dual workstation GPU's and a SINGLE fan all at 450 watts?
If you know anything about computers that would have to impress you.

I think Phil Schiller was right in his cockiness!

Funny enough I think they should have mentioned all these new facts back at the announcement. It would have quelled much of the criticism.
Rating: 17 Votes
11 months ago

Proprietary connectors is NOT my idea of upgradeable. If I have to buy Apples upgrade at Apples upgrade price, NO THANKS!


So then why would you have bought a Mac Pro if you are complaining about price
Rating: 17 Votes

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