21-inch iMac Teardown Shows Dual Mics, Replaceable RAM & Glued On LCD
iFixit has released a comprehensive teardown of Apple’s new 21.5″ iMac, scoring it as a 3 out of 10 (down from 7 last year).
The new iMac, with its ultra slim bezel proved to be a disappointment to the iFixit team, because both the glass and the LCD are glued to the iMac frame with strong adhesive, which negatively impacts repairability.
[quote]The late 2012 iMac 21.5? — code-named EMC 2544 — is an exercise in disappointment for us. We were quite worried when we saw that super-thin bezel during Apple’s keynote, and unfortunately we were correct: the glass and LCD are now glued to the iMac’s frame with incredibly strong adhesive. Gone are the lovely magnets that held the glass in place in iMacs of yesteryear.[/quote]
The logic board (Apple’s name for its motherboard) appears to contain both the Ivy Bridge i5 and the GPU, unlike previous iMacs, which used a separate MXM daughterboard for their GPU. The computer’s expansion ports are mounted directly onto the logic board—the SD card slot, headphone jack, four USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, and a gigabit Ethernet port. As Apple has said, there is no Firewire port.
In good news, RAM, hard drive and CPU are all possible to replace, should things go wrong or should users want to upgrade their memory or internal storage. The bad news, though, is that unlike on previous generation iMac, none of these pieces are easily accessible. iMacs used to at least have user-accessible RAM trays on the underside of their face, which actually made it really easy to swap out upgrades. Now, while it’s still not soldered to the motherboard like on the latest Retina MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs, getting at the RAM requires removing the screen, and also behind the logic board, meaning you’ll have to essentially take the iMac completely apart to change things up.