Non-Retina Mid-2012 MacBook Pro Torn Apart

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot



    It's been a busy week of Apple teardowns for iFixit, with the firm announcing today that it has completed its work on the non-Retina version of the Mid-2012 MacBook Pro.


    Given that the non-Retina version has retained the same form factor for a number of years, there are few changes to the internal layout of the components, but a fresh look inside now that the redesigned Retina MacBook Pro has been released offers some interesting comparisons of how Apple is working to reduce the size and weight of its machines.

    In particular, iFixit focuses on the hard drive and RAM differences between the two machines, noting that the proprietary solid-state drive used in the Retina MacBook Pro measures only 3.16 mm thick compared to 9.45 mm for the traditional hard drive in the non-Retina version. On the RAM side, Apple has soldered the chips directly to the logic board in the Retina MacBook Pro, while the non-Retina version still retains removable RAM modules in a stacked configuration measuring 9.15 mm thick.


    Logic board of non-Retina Mid-2012 MacBook Pro with CPU (orange), NVIDIA graphics (red), and platform controller hub (yellow)
    While the Retina MacBook Pro received iFixit's lowest repairability score ever for a notebook at just 1 out of 10, the non-Retina version receives a score of 7 for its use of mostly-standard screws and its easily-accessible battery, optical drive, hard drive, and RAM. But as evidenced by the popularity of the MacBook Air and the strong reception to the Retina MacBook Pro, repairability and upgradability appear to be taking a back seat to size and weight savings in the minds of consumers as Apple pushes the envelope with highly-customized components fabricated to meet the company's design goals.

    Article Link: Non-Retina Mid-2012 MacBook Pro Torn Apart
  2. macrumors 68020


    I prefer upgradable hardware, but it's pretty obvious most consumers don't.

    They're going to do what they're going to do.
  3. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Perhaps the last of the easy to modify MacBook Pro computers. I wonder of sales of this unit will be higher with fears of the hardware lockdown seen in other units.

    Still happy with this upgrade.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    In their griping about the whole RAM thing, did they take the time to measure the length and width of the socketed RAM while they were at it? Just from looking at the size of the SO-DIMMS and their connectors, I'm pretty sure it'd still occupy more surface area of the board than the current patch of soldered RAM chips.
  5. D.T., Jun 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012

    macrumors 68040


    Exactly. People buy machines, use them for a practical life cycle, without that much concern about repair logistics outside of the warranty, especially with Applecare giving you 3 years of not having to worry.

    It’s not like 2-3 year old notebooks from any source are all that repairable. I’ve got old notebooks from a number of manufactures with bad motherboards, keyboards, trackpads, displays, none of which have a replacement source.
  6. macrumors regular

    When you know Apple likes to charge premium for RAM and HDD, hardware upgrade option > Retina display all the way.
  7. macrumors 68000

    I'll take thinner, lighter, and longer battery life over upgrade options any day. I'll just buy the specs I want up front even if its costs a bit more and don't yet require it.

    Apple also needs to know that replacing the board is going to be expensive so consumers aren't going to like it if they can't get it replaced cost effectively after the AppleCare expires. I seriously would spend a little more to get an extended 4 or 5 yr coverage rather than spend 800-1500 to replace internals.
  8. macrumors 68000


    Other than memory, I would say 99% people never upgrade anything on their laptops.
  9. macrumors 603


    There is no causation. People are just buying the new shiny and getting whatever they get as regards repairability and upgradability.

  10. macrumors 601


    Good to know the new MBP is still easy to upgrade. Mine should be here next tuesday or wednesday. :)
  11. Moderator


    Staff Member

    I'd say the reason behind that is because outside of memory the only other upgradeable component is the hard drive ;)
  12. macrumors 65816

    Wow that's quite the compact-looking board!

    So every manufacturer buys loose chips and parts from an Intel chipset, and then a company like Foxconn just puts it all together according to specs?
  13. macrumors 68020


    I'd say 95%, but hey who's counting? lol
  14. macrumors 6502

    Instead of tearing it apart next time just send it to me and I will tell you it is amazing!
  15. macrumors 6502

    I disagree. I work in IT, as well as teach IT related courses. The vast majority of users don't even know they can upgrade their machines. A laptop is limited of course, but even the concept of putting a stick of RAM in a machine makes most users glaze over. Folks buy machines to use them, when they don't work anymore or are too slow they buy new ones, simple as that.
  16. macrumors 65816

    Ability to upgrade both memory (as prices drop) and hard drives is very appealing to me, as well as the price. The retina display is nice but not a big deal for myself so I personally would upgrade, when the time comes, to the non-retina. By that time 16gb of ram will be dirt cheap and bigger hard drives cheaper - but the price for these option from apple will hold fast.
  17. macrumors 6502

    heh, well, the actual numbers would be very difficult to gather accurately.
  18. macrumors 68000

    Agreed, unless you can cross upgrade from different models. Not likely in Apple's case, but some manufacturers have boards that fit in different models.
  19. macrumors regular


    Natural progression. How many people work on their new car these days?
  20. macrumors demi-god


    Good point. I would never touch my car's interior. Of course, I don't know anything about car parts.
  21. macrumors 6502a

    For me, upgrading sucks anyway. Suppose I get a laptop with 8 GB and decide to upgrade to 16 GB. Now I have to pay for 16 GB of RAM, replace it, and then what do I do with the old 8 GB? Try to sell it? Give it to someone?

    I'll just buy 16 GB to begin with and never have to worry.

    By the time 3-4 years pass and 16 GB becomes little, the rest of the machine will be equally outdated - the CPU will be slow, the SSD will be small, the graphics card will be old. Then I upgrade the whole machine at once, and sell the old one for whatever it's worth (or pass on to family).

    When you make things upgradeable, in addition to making the machine heavier/bulkier and with less battery life, you have things like this happen. :rolleyes:

    I do understand for certain people upgradable laptops are preferred, and I'm happy Apple still sells the old MBP so everyone can get what they want.
  22. macrumors 68000

    So now just spend the $100 and max it out to start with. This is only 20-30% over doing it your self. (Unless you like to buy bargain basement ram).
  23. macrumors 6502

    This is my computer: 2.3Ghz, 4Gb RAM, 500Gb HD. It arrives tomorrow. The only difference is that I ordered the Hi Def display. It's good to see that it's so user serviceable.

    I figure I'll keep it about 6+ years. Over that time I expect to be upgrading the RAM and replacing both the HDD and Optical Drive with SS Drives, not to mention opening it up once in a while to blow out the dust bunnies. Then somewhere around 2018-2020 we'll see what Apple is selling.
  24. macrumors 68020

    Maybe all the PRO users should take note that using a PRO labeled product doesn't mean PRO, as in being able to tinker with every component in there or upgrade the system after 3 years (like somebody posted)

    This is what works best:

    Get what you need for what you need it.
    Buy Apple Care and after 3 years buy the latest model, then...

    Get what you need for what you need it.
    Buy Apple Care and after 3 years buy the latest model, then...

    Get what you need for what you need it.
    Buy Apple Care and after 3 years buy the latest model, then...

    Get what you need for what you need it.
    Buy Apple Care and after 3 years buy the latest model, then...

    Get what you need for what you need it.
    Buy Apple Care and after 3 years buy the latest model, then...
  25. macrumors 601


    This is pretty much exactly my plan for my new MBP.

    By 2020, we'll have 64/128GB RAM. :eek:

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