2020 iMac Teardown Reveals Internal Changes and Similarities

A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac.

The 2020 27-inch ‌iMac‌ was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and studio-quality microphones.

MacRumors forum user TwoH summarizes the changes:

- Camera is attached to the LCD, so have to take extra care to remove a third cable when opening up the ‌iMac‌.
- Lack of mechanical HDD (and SATA connectors on logicboard) - but this was obvious.
- Extra microphone(s) stuck to the case, notably an extra cable made connecting into the logic board close to the backlight. Other connects around the same position as the 2017/19 models.
- Solder joints for the 4 & 8TB model iMacs.

no hard drive
The biggest change inside the 2020 27-inch ‌iMac‌ is the lack of mechanical hard drive, as all models now come with SSDs by default. OWC notes that the disassembly now seems faster for this reason. There are no longer any SATA connectors in the machine and a small SSD is soldered directly to the motherboard. Instead, there are new solder joints for an expansion board to hold additional SSDs in the 4TB and 8TB configurations. In the 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations, the expansion board is not present.

The lack of mechanical hard drive has left a large amount of unused free space within the machine. It is of note that Apple did not choose to implement the additional cooling present in iMac Pro in this space, likely due to cost.

Another internal change is the additional microphone adhered to the bottom of the case, with the other microphone in the same position as previous years. The new 1080p webcam is attached to the LCD, so particular care has to be taken to remove a third cable when opening the machine.

expansion
OWC did point out solder joints and mount that may be where the 4TB and 8TB models have flash storage expansion board.

Beyond these minor changes, the internals are much the same as previous models, with the same power supply, cooling, socketed CPU, and headphone jack. Although the speakers are purportedly upgraded, they do not appear to be any visually different within the machine.

Due to the 2020 ‌iMac‌ sharing almost all of its internal components with previous models, it will likely be no more expensive or difficult to repair than previous models. Similarly, most parts from previous years should be compatible with this new model.

The only part of the 2020 ‌iMac‌ that is still readily upgradeable is the RAM, which is accessible via a small door on the back of the device.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

xgman Avatar
23 weeks ago
Kind of a shame about the fan. These are high priced units regardless of config, and the idea that the better cooling fan was too expensive to be included is curious.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zen_Arcade Avatar
23 weeks ago
Good machine, but upgrade prices are still unconscionable.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nathansz Avatar
23 weeks ago
it seems pretty silly that they didn’t use that’s extra space for more cooling
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
femike Avatar
23 weeks ago
" It is of note that Apple did not choose to implement the additional cooling present in iMac Pro in this space, likely due to cost."
This is pathetic. From a trillion dollar company selling one of their core computers, they cannot spend some time engineering in a 2nd fan to help with the already poor thermal performance. Not to mention the paltry 256gb upgradable storage for an almost $3000 desktop computer (in this country). This is just a don't-care and greedy attitude and shows utter contempt for it customers.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jcswim312 Avatar
23 weeks ago
I’m still using my 27 inch retina 5K iMac that I bought in 2014 and it still is pretty fast

It’s nice that Apple made one last Intel iMac but I am going to hold out for the redesigned iMac with Apple Silicon that will probably come out next year
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Taipan Avatar
23 weeks ago
So Apple decided to save a dollar by removing the SATA port and replaced the possibility to add an internal drive with 3.5“ worth of air. Thank you.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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