Teardown of Mid-2012 MacBook Air Reveals Tweaked SSD Connector

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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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The teardown experts at iFixit are currently in the process of taking apart the new 13-inch MacBook Air released yesterday, and while the machine appears to be only a minor update to the previous model, there are undoubtedly some changes that are worth noting.

The most notable change so far is with the solid-state storage. Apple has tweaked the connector design on the MacBook Air's integrated flash storage, making current replacement and upgrade modules from third parties incompatible with the latest models. Other World Computing has also noted this difference and indicated that they are working "full steam ahead" on launching new Aura Pro Express SSDs compatible with the 2012 MacBook Air. Apple announced at WWDC that it was using new 500 MBps SSDs in its MacBook Air, and the new connector design is likely to accommodate the faster data transfer capabilities.




Toshiba SSD in Mid-2012 MacBook Air
Beyond the SSD, iFixit has found very few changes to the MacBook Air. The new models incorporate Apple's thinner Magsafe 2 standard that the company developed as it has sought to find ways to continue reducing the thickness of its notebooks. The new MacBook Air obviously also incorporates Intel's latest Ivy Bridge processors and new 1600 MHz RAM, as well as USB 3.0 support, but these upgrades have yielded very little in terms of changes to the machine's internal layout.




Left I/O board from Mid-2012 MacBook Air, with MagSafe 2 connector at left
iFixit's teardown is still underway, so there may yet be more news to come, and we will update this story with any additional discoveries of note.

Article Link: Teardown of Mid-2012 MacBook Air Reveals Tweaked SSD Connector
 

shurcooL

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2011
921
70
I still don't get the advantages of the new MagSafe 2 port. It's a little thinner, but the original was not thicker than a USB port anyway, so how does making it slightly thinner help at all?

There are disadvantages, including it being wider, creating incompatibility, fall back to T-shaped connector for some reason...

I want to understand in what ways MagSafe 2 is better, anyone have some ideas?

Why would Apple change something unless it's significantly better; they're not known to change things without a good reason.
 

bryanl

macrumors member
May 11, 2008
40
3
Over the years I've built up quite a collection of MacBook power cords all throughout the house, so I can have power where ever I may be sitting. I wonder how much the MagSafe2 => MagSafe adapters are going to be.
 

Stetrain

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2009
3,548
18
I still don't get the advantages of the new MagSafe 2 port. It's a little thinner, but the original was not thicker than a USB port anyway, so how does making it slightly thinner help at all?

There are disadvantages, including it being wider, creating incompatibility, fall back to T-shaped connector for some reason...

I want to understand in what ways MagSafe 2 is better, anyone have some ideas?

Why would Apple change something unless it's significantly better; they're not known to change things without a good reason.
While the old magsafe wasn't very thick, I think that the physical connector needs more strength around it than a USB port does. If the metal above and below the magsafe were too thin I think it could be damaged over time from the force of the magnet clicking in.

The new design seems to put more emphasis on getting its strength side to side.
 

angemon89

macrumors 68000
I still don't get the advantages of the new MagSafe 2 port. It's a little thinner, but the original was not thicker than a USB port anyway, so how does making it slightly thinner help at all?

There are disadvantages, including it being wider, creating incompatibility, fall back to T-shaped connector for some reason...

I want to understand in what ways MagSafe 2 is better, anyone have some ideas?

Why would Apple change something unless it's significantly better; they're not known to change things without a good reason.
They are undoubtedly setting themselves up for a future of thinner notebooks. Even though the old magsafe would still fit on this macbook, why not just start the transition to the new magsafe now?

Same goes with the iPhone. Apple had to get rid of the 30-pin connector someday.
 

Lindono

macrumors member
May 1, 2012
50
0
I still don't get the advantages of the new MagSafe 2 port. It's a little thinner, but the original was not thicker than a USB port anyway, so how does making it slightly thinner help at all?

There are disadvantages, including it being wider, creating incompatibility, fall back to T-shaped connector for some reason...

I want to understand in what ways MagSafe 2 is better, anyone have some ideas?

Why would Apple change something unless it's significantly better; they're not known to change things without a good reason.
It actually was slightly thicker than a USB port, at least it is on my 2011 MBA. They probably just wanted to make it a little thinner and be done with it. 5 years from now, nobody will care.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,605
4,082
Apple should work on making a universal charge/sync cable...

it'd be nice if the iOS devices got something like magsafe...

Edit: Seriously, iOS devices don't need to be plugged in to sync anymore. Why can't they just get magsafe cables for charging? (While we wait for chargers that are cordless.)
 

UnseenLlama

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2007
557
12
Indianapolis, IN
I still don't get the advantages of the new MagSafe 2 port. It's a little thinner, but the original was not thicker than a USB port anyway, so how does making it slightly thinner help at all?

There are disadvantages, including it being wider, creating incompatibility, fall back to T-shaped connector for some reason...

I want to understand in what ways MagSafe 2 is better, anyone have some ideas?

Why would Apple change something unless it's significantly better; they're not known to change things without a good reason.
To fit the new iPhone 5 of course. :D
 

8CoreWhore

macrumors 68020
Jan 17, 2008
2,277
387
Big D
I still don't get the advantages of the new MagSafe 2 port. It's a little thinner, but the original was not thicker than a USB port anyway, so how does making it slightly thinner help at all?

There are disadvantages, including it being wider, creating incompatibility, fall back to T-shaped connector for some reason...

I want to understand in what ways MagSafe 2 is better, anyone have some ideas?

Why would Apple change something unless it's significantly better; they're not known to change things without a good reason.
It might have to do with the fact that the "barrel type" acts like a hook when yanked from behind.

Secondly, by going shallower, it releases easier - so less likely to have a fall. The lighter the laptop, the lighter the grip the connector should have.
 

shurcooL

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2011
921
70
Thanks guys, I'm finally starting to see the advantages of MagSafe 2.

I hope they don't change it yet again anytime soon, so I can start hoarding many power adapters. I like being able to use them interchangeably.
 

smithrh

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2009
2,480
922
Thanks guys, I'm finally starting to see the advantages of MagSafe 2.

I hope they don't change it yet again anytime soon, so I can start hoarding many power adapters. I like being able to use them interchangeably.
Very unlikely that they would change it again soon. They get economies of scale by leaving certain things alone as much as possible.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,195
It might have to do with the fact that the "barrel type" acts like a hook when yanked from behind.

Secondly, by going shallower, it releases easier - so less likely to have a fall. The lighter the laptop, the lighter the grip the connector should have.
Yes, as nice as the “hook style” is to look at, it’s a problem! My Air is on a smallish desk with the cord hanging off the back. People walk there. Nobody has caught the cord with a foot yet, but no doubt one day they will! In fact, it will be me that does it :eek: And my hook-syle magsafe may well yank the Air off the back of the desk! No such problem with the white style magsafes.
 

Pegamush

macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2011
197
0
at least they went back to the T connector, i hate the old "parallel" connector, i broke one after a year or so (the cable slipped off).
 
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