Are the new rMBP's user repairable?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by marc55, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. marc55 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    The reason I ask is I can replace parts on my current Dell, but I had read a review on the rMBP which indicated the battery was glued onto the case and was not user replaceable. Is the keyboard, SSD replaceable, or other parts user replaceable? I don't know, maybe all the newer computers are built so as you have to have them brought in for every little repair.

    Thank you
  2. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    Not really user repairable no. Here are the issues:

    1. They use uncommon screws requiring new screwdrivers
    2. The RAM is soldered and not upgradable
    3. The battery is glued to the case thus not user servicable
    4. They do not sell replacement batteries to consumers even if you wanted to risk a self replacement.
    5. The SSD stick uses a new PCIe interface and as of this time only Apple is shipping them. Apple does not sell them to consumers for self-upgrades or self-replacement.
    6. The WiFi card combines Bluetooth and 802.11ac on a single card which appears to be manufactured specifically to apples size specifications making it non-standard and certainly difficult to source a compatible card if not impossible. Again Apple does not sell these to consumers for self replacement.
    7. The display is bonded to the cover glass creating a single assembly. This means if you shatter the glass you will need to purchase an entire display panel which includes the front glass and the back metal casing. This significantly increases costs.
    8. The audio jacks are now on the main motherboard instead of being on a daughter board so if you wear out the single audio out port you need to replace the entire motherboard or get soldering.

    So in short, this is the least repairable MacBook Pro in history, even less repairable than last years model due to the audio jack and PCIe SSD.
  3. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    No it is not.

    No, not all new computers are built this way. But in a cash grab and design over function push, apple has transitioned to a non-user serviceable product line.

    You can still purchase a refurb cMBP from Apple, that will allow you to upgrade the RAM and storage. I recommend that route if you are interested. I chose the mid-2012 cMBP a while ago, and plan to skip at least this iteration of MBPs, in hopes that more reasonable options present themselves in the future - increased base stats, better iGPU in future intel offerings, better BTO options, more apple serviceability options, etc...
  4. LaravelNick macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2013
    No, as with all newer Apple computers, they are not designed to be user repairable / upgradable.

    iFixit have recently given the new Macbook a repairability score of 1/10.

    They're just a disposable item and if a component fails, they just expect you to buy another.
  5. JohnCalif macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2011
    Southern California
    Related question if they can be repaired even by Apple or if they have to be replaced for many problems.

    When the retina display first came out, a review stated it was virtually non-repairable by anyone, I think even Apple. The suggestion was get Apple Care and just plan on them replacing the unit if there are any issues.

    I realize some of the replies above suggest some things can be done by Apple repair, but I think I remember the article as stating even upgrading the memory would be difficult and just buy it in the configuration you ultimately need.

    Apple Care is only good for 2 years and I would want to use the computer for maybe 4 years. After 2 years would I have any options besides getting a new computer?

    Is this the same issue with the non-retina MacBook Pro?
  6. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    The memory is NOT upgradable, it's soldered to the logic board and not done in any way that would allow you to remove it for upgrade or for Apple to repair, it's been this way on both versions of the RMBP so far. If you meant memory as in mass storage (many people say "memory" when they should mean "hard drive"), that was covered in a previous post. At this time, only Apple is shipping cards with the correct interface to work with the latest RMBP.
  7. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    What country are you in? In the US, AppleCare adds two years to the included one-year of hardware coverage, giving you a total of three years of coverage.
  8. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    Besides the incorrect information outlined above, applecare lasts for an additional 2 years on top of the 1 year included warranty. Giving a total of 3 years and not 2.
  9. undesign macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2013
    That's why I refuse to buy any of the new MacBook Pros. Planned obsolescence at its best.
  10. JohnCalif macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2011
    Southern California
    Thanks for the info and clarification. In the US and didn't realize AppleCare extended for 3 years. Good to know.
  11. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2010
    I would rather have than then a laptop triple the size and weight of the rMBP.

    Would you rather have one of those sager laptops? Which lets your change the graphics card, processor, HD and ram? My friend has one and just his power supply weighs more than my 15in rMBP.
  12. undesign macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2013
    Wait... are you under the impression that the alternatives to a MacBook Pro are *ALL* oversized?

    And here I was, thinking that laptops like the Samsung Series 7 and 9 we're real...
  13. Jaben3421 macrumors regular

    Sep 18, 2011
    There are some that are even thinner and lighter than the rMBPs. The Acer Aspire S7-392 is the computer I would get if I didn't have my rMBP and it's thinner and lighter than the rMBP.
  14. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Wow, and it uses soldered-in RAM like the rMBP too.
  15. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    Three years total from the original date of purchase. If you buy a Mac today but elect not to get AppleCare until December 1, 2014, your warranty will be valid until December 8, 2016.
  16. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2010
    I am saying all the alternatives to a 'customizable' Macbook Pro are oversized.
  17. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Blatant oversimplification and ignorance at its best :p The rMBP uses maximal amount of fastest-available RAM supported by the chipset. So even if your laptop has user-replaceabel RAM, it will never fit more or faster RAM than a rMBP (provided you chose the RAM option when you buy). Now, the storage - the SSD in the rMBP is already faster then anything possible with the SATA3. So again, with a 'normal' laptop, you will never be able to reach the performance characteristics of the rMBP's storage.

    So - what kind of planned obsolescence are you even talking about? Any other comparable laptop on the market cannot be upgraded past the performance specs of what you can have in the rMBP today - and never will be. If you want to complain about something, complain about Apple's component prices, that would at least be understandable.

    Besides, the industry is moving to non-serviceable computers anyway. Apple is just (as so often) slightly ahead of the time.
  18. undesign macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2013
    Your example wasn't an alternative. It was a desperate attempt to slam PC manufacturers and prop up Apple.

    How could you call a behemoth of a laptop as an alternative?


    Only your last comment was relevant to the complaint about planned obsolescence. Its the fact that its non-servicable. Once anything breaks, you're finished.
  19. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I have difficulties seeing these Samsungs as competitors to the rMBP - they are closer to the MBA. They use ULV CPUs and significantly slower SSDs. They also seem to be more expensive then comparable Macs. E.g. look at the new ATIV Book 9 Plus: $1800 for the 4500U CPU/256Gb SATA3 SSD/8GB non-replaceable RAM. For the same money, the 13" rMBP comes with 512GB faster storage and a faster graphics. The Samsung does seem to have a better screen though.
  20. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Allow me to be boring and quote wikipedia: 'Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design is a policy of planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time'

    The rMBP does not fall under these criteria - it uses high-performance components which ensure that it performing as good or better as any laptop of the current hardware generation. Again, it does not matter how much you upgrade your conventional laptop - it will never have more or faster RAM then the rMBP - in fact - it will actually always have slower storage, limited by the SATA3 interface.

    As to the 'once anything breaks' - look at these forums. People here are regularly reporting that repairing the cMBP at an authorised service is every bit as expensive as repairing the rMBP. If you are referring to RAM failures - they are so rare with the soldered-on memory that they can be safely disregarded. SSD failures are more serious, but if your SSD is faulty it is likely to fail within the first year - for which you have the warranty coverage.

    In the end - if you will allow me this one last rant - modern computers are getting closer and closer to modern cars. There is not much you can do with those yourself except maybe changing oil and tyres. And there is a good economic reason to it. Computers get so fast that they are essentially homogenised. In the next decade or so, we are looking at obsoletion of GPUs and possibly even RAM. Current HMC prototypes suggest placing RAM close to the CPU die to increase performance, it is possible that in the future (once certain technological hurdles are overcome), the CPU and RAM will be actually stacked on the same dice. The functions of the modern GPUs will be performed by specialised super-SIMD units in the CPU (AVX-512 is a good hint in which direction we are going). Of course, this does not excuse Apple for ignoring hardware standards - but then again, I always considered software standards much more important.
  21. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2010
    I wasn't, I was saying that if you want customizability/serviceable laptop your going to get an oversized one.

    What exactly is the point you are trying to make? You keep going back and forth
  22. BigHam macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2013

    1. Will there be an option in say 12 months were one could upgrade the stick? And is it compatible with current OWC sticks?
  23. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    I'm not a fortune teller so I can't say what will happen in 12 months. But the current sticks OWC sell are not compatible with the 2013 Haswell Retina MacBook Pro.

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