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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:03 PM   #1
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Teardown of New 21.5-inch iMac Reveals Glued Down LCD and Dual Microphones




iFixit has released a comprehensive teardown of Apple's new 21.5" iMac.

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.
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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.
While the RAM, hard drive, and CPU can be replaced, the entire logic board must be removed to do so, which led the iFixit team to give the 21" iMac a repairability score of 3 out of 10, down from 7 out of 10 for last year's model.


Here are the highlights of the teardown:

-Nothing about the internals of the new Mac resemble last year's model.
-Apple has swapped out the 3.5" desktop hard drive for a 2.5" HGST laptop hard drive, freeing up valuable space.
-The hard drive has a rubbery housing at its edges, which is a new design meant to dampen the vibrations from the hard drive in the closely packed quarters of the iMac.
-There are no longer multiple small fans. Instead, Apple is using a single centralized fan.
-Apple's new iMac has two microphones to improve sound quality when using FaceTime.
-The AirPort card uses a Broadcom BCM4331 single-chip WLAN solution and three Wi-Fi antennas.

iFixit's teardown also included a detailed listing of all of the chips on the logic board.

Despite the repairability concerns, early reviews for the design of the new iMac were largely positive.

Apple's new iMacs went on sale on Friday, Nov. 30. The 21.5" model starts at $1299 and $1499. The 27" iMac starts at $1799 and $1999. The 21.5" model can currently be purchased in the Apple Store, but the 27" models have yet to ship.

Article Link: Teardown of New 21.5-inch iMac Reveals Glued Down LCD and Dual Microphones
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:05 PM   #2
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is this a good or bad thing?
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:07 PM   #3
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i wish there was no glue and only just magnets
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:44 PM   #4
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i wish there was no glue and only just magnets
And multiple fans as on the older iMacs, not one centralized fan.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:07 PM   #5
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is this a good or bad thing?
Is what a good or bad thing?
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:07 PM   #6
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is this a good or bad thing?
a lot of people are about to complain saying that the new iMac isn't repairable. these same people would have never replaced an LCD in their iMac anyway.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:08 PM   #7
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I cannot get enough glue in my desktops.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:18 PM   #8
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I cannot get enough glue in my desktops.
Biologicals and glue are different things
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 04:17 PM   #9
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Biologicals and glue are different things
Granting that I'm not too bright, but if that means what I think it means...nasty, nasty, nasty.

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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:09 PM   #10
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Its not too bad. Its actually adhesive transfer tape according this thread. RAM can be replaced by removing the screen and the fan.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:18 PM   #11
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Its not too bad. Its actually adhesive transfer tape according this thread. RAM can be replaced by removing the screen and the fan.
not quite true. You have to take out the logic board, since the RAM is on the back of it...

..which makes it a lot more difficult in my eyes.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:18 PM   #12
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not quite true. You have to take out the logic board, since the RAM is on the back of it...

..which makes it a lot more difficult in my eyes.
Nope. According to the user in that thread all he had to do was remove the fan.

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I opened up a base 21.5 last night and it came apart with very little effort. The adhesive transfer tape needs to be replaced but it peels away from both surfaces without leaving any residue. I was able to replace the ram with two 8gb sticks i had laying around without removing the logic board but i had to remove the fan. Here are some pics i took during the process.

Image
Image
Image
Image
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:36 PM   #13
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Its not too bad. Its actually adhesive transfer tape according this thread. RAM can be replaced by removing the screen and the fan.
Of course it is... It's the same crap the use to hold ipad, iPod touch's together... Plus it frees up room..
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:40 PM   #14
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Its not too bad. Its actually adhesive transfer tape according this thread. RAM can be replaced by removing the screen and the fan.
Isn't that the same adhesive tape Apple uses on the MacBook Pro's glass panel? If so, I would imagine the LCD could be replaced, but not easily.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 06:42 PM   #15
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Its not too bad. Its actually adhesive transfer tape according this thread. RAM can be replaced by removing the screen and the fan.
jesus dude, who cares about ram? it's the hard drive that's gonna die on you. If you can't replace the most fail-likely part in the computer, the WHOLE thing is a liability.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 07:05 PM   #16
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Its not too bad. Its actually adhesive transfer tape according this thread. RAM can be replaced by removing the screen and the fan.
and the logic board - a pretty major task all things considered.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:10 PM   #17
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a lot of people are about to complain saying that the new iMac isn't repairable. these same people would have never replaced an LCD in their iMac anyway.
Nice.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:48 PM   #18
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a lot of people are about to complain saying that the new iMac isn't repairable. these same people would have never replaced an LCD in their iMac anyway.
that's complete rubbish. Any power computer user (as loosely defined as that may be) knows one of THE most important aspects when buying a desktop is repairability and upgradability, because parts age and fail and have to be replaced. To a lot of people it's a joy too, and hobby to get some more ram, a better hd, an ssd later on, and tweak their computer a bit to extend it's age, or simply for the fun of it.

There are countless users, even novice ones who have added drives, memory, or did other minor tweaks and modifications, and even repairs to their macs. To claim that people complaining about repairability ( eg to throw some more ram in you have to cross your heart and play strip poker for a few hours with the imac so you can pretty much take everything out and go at the very backside of the mobo to get to it) are those who 'd have never done any repairs to it is simply bonkers.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:53 PM   #19
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that's complete rubbish. Any power computer user (as loosely defined as that may be) knows one of THE most important aspects when buying a desktop is repairability and upgradability, because parts age and fail and have to be replaced. To a lot of people it's a joy too, and hobby to get some more ram, a better hd, an ssd later on, and tweak their computer a bit to extend it's age, or simply for the fun of it.

There are countless users, even novice ones who have added drives, memory, or did other minor tweaks and modifications, and even repairs to their macs. To claim that people complaining about repairability ( eg to throw some more ram in you have to cross your heart and play strip poker for a few hours with the imac so you can pretty much take everything out and go at the very backside of the mobo to get to it) are those who 'd have never done any repairs to it is simply bonkers.
I want to agree with you but I think over 90% of the population have never opened a PC...
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 04:02 PM   #20
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I want to agree with you but I think over 90% of the population have never opened a PC...
Pretty sure your wrong, the most common upgrades people make is Memory & Hard drives..
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 04:05 PM   #21
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proprietary SSD connector

It will be very interesting to learn if the SSD connector is soldered on the 27".
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 04:06 PM   #22
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I want to agree with you but I think over 90% of the population have never opened a PC...
That's always been the case though, it's not an excuse for apple to mar how upgradable and repairable their computers are, I think you 'll agree there. Anyway I said countless people have opened up and repaired/upgraded their computers, even 1% of the computer using population amounts to millions of people.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 06:07 PM   #23
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I want to agree with you but I think over 90% of the population have never opened a PC...
Yeah, but 90% of the population doesn't need a computer more powerful than a macbook air. So - why doesn't Apple just stick a macbook air inside an Imac? It would make it x times thinner and lighter. 90% of the population doesn't need thunderbolt. Why doesn't Apple remove those - 5 grams lighter. There are too many USB ports. Most people only need 2. Remove those.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 07:17 PM   #24
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I want to agree with you but I think over 90% of the population have never opened a PC...
However, 90% of the population never even needed a PC in the first place. A smart phone or tablet would have been just fine. People only bought desktop PCs because that is all there were.

So getting down to the issue here I believe the following is at the heart of the matter. If a person is OK with the lack of user access to an iPad or a Retina MacBook Pro and is just going to use whatever the factory provides then I get an iMac.

On the other hand if a user likes or needs to work on a computer's internals and wants to be able to upgrade the machine then devices built in the direction that Apple is heading should be avoided.

As an example my late 2008 MBP has RAM and a HDD that weren't even available at any price when I bought it. The ability to easily upgrade is really important to me. No one side is right or wrong. It just depends on what a user's goals are.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 03:58 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by MacFoodPoisoner View Post
that's complete rubbish. Any power computer user (as loosely defined as that may be) knows one of THE most important aspects when buying a desktop is repairability and upgradability, because parts age and fail and have to be replaced. To a lot of people it's a joy too, and hobby to get some more ram, a better hd, an ssd later on, and tweak their computer a bit to extend it's age, or simply for the fun of it.

There are countless users, even novice ones who have added drives, memory, or did other minor tweaks and modifications, and even repairs to their macs. To claim that people complaining about repairability ( eg to throw some more ram in you have to cross your heart and play strip poker for a few hours with the imac so you can pretty much take everything out and go at the very backside of the mobo to get to it) are those who 'd have never done any repairs to it is simply bonkers.
Nah...don't bother to explain it to them...they will learn the hard way when they have to pay 600€ just to get a Harddrive repaired. And believe me: they will wail!

Me? I love Apple Notebooks and work primarily on a 13" Retina MacBook Pro. I don't care for upgradability there as much, because I know exactly what it can do and what not and after a couple of years you just need to get a new one anyway. I was actually going to buy the 27" iMac but this made this a no buy for me. Instead I just ordered all the parts for a nice Windows gaming rig and a screen which I can use together with my MacBook Pro. All for less then 1500€
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