Teardown of New Mac Pro Reveals Surprising Amount of Accessibility, Circular Daughterboard

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Apr 12, 2001
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iFixit has performed another one of its traditional high-quality teardowns on the new 2013 Mac Pro, revealing a host of very powerful components and a design that allows the computer to be surprisingly accessible and repairable.

The new Mac Pro includes a rear lock switch that allows the device's cylindrical casing to be removed with ease, allowing the user to easily access and replace components such as memory modules, SSD drives, and more. A teardown performed by Other World Computing (OWC) earlier this week also revealed that the Mac Pro includes a removable CPU, which may be useful to users who want to upgrade their machines in the future. Non-proprietary Torx screws are also found throughout some parts of the machine as well, which makes for easier repair.

Another internal to note in the Mac Pro is its power supply, which appears to be located in between the I/O panel and the logic board. The power supply itself appears to be rated at 450 Watts, and relies solely on Apple's highly touted single fan cooling system in the Mac Pro to keep a low temperature. This, in unison with the triangular heat sink that cools the graphics card and GPU, allows the Mac Pro to idle at a quiet 12 dBA.

Furthermore, the logic board, dual graphics cards, and I/O port board found on the machine appear to connect to a single daughterboard, or interconnect board, found at the base of the machine. However, unlike the other parts of the computer, the daughterboard appears to use a tight cable routing system and various new proprietary connectors.

As is tradition for iFixit's teardowns, the company has assigned a repairability score to the 2013 Mac Pro based on the accessibility of the various components. While iFixit disliked the inability to add additional internal storage and the tight cable routing system in some places, the new Mac Pro's repairability scored a high 8 out of 10, with the firm crediting the computer for having non-proprietary Torx screws, an easily accessible case, and a user replaceable CPU.

Article Link: Teardown of New Mac Pro Reveals Surprising Amount of Accessibility, Circular Daughterboard
 

impulse462

macrumors 68000
Jun 3, 2009
1,909
2,501
Is it wrong that I've been way too overly excited for this teardown despite the fact that I can't afford a Mac Pro?

And the 8/10 score is pretty high.
 

DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,181
670
It will only be upgradable if Apple offers up logic boards and graphics cards that are compatible.
 

odedia

macrumors 65816
Nov 24, 2005
1,019
116
I chuckle at the host of nay-sayers a few months back complaining about this "closed system" :). This is probably one of the easiest machines to upgrade.
 

ElderBrE

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2004
242
12
Certainly didn't expect that. Props.

Time to decide if I want to go back to the Official Apple GPU waiting game, or if I even need this kind of power anymore.
 

wlossw

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2012
1,061
952
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Very impressive. Apple has managed to keep the smaller new Mac Pro highly modular. If upgrades do become available in the aftermarket, it will do a lot to silence the nay-sayers.
 
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neuropsychguy

macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2008
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This demonstrates that the graphics will be upgradable but there will be a limited selection of cards (i.e., ones with the propriety adapter or ones that will work through an additional adapter {in the second case, external cards will be the way to go, most likely}).
 

Macboy Pro

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2011
730
52
Proprietary connectors is NOT my idea of upgradeable. If I have to buy Apples upgrade at Apples upgrade price, NO THANKS!
 

majkom

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2011
1,429
725
So now, what will whiners whine about? New mac pro is super powerfull, perfectly designed, user upgradable/repairable... Pro as hell, so whiners, what now?;)
 

neuropsychguy

macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2008
1,270
1,884
I wonder how does a 450W power supply could drive 2 high end AMD cards and a beast of a processor?:confused:
There's a reason the Mac Pro is designed as a wind tunnel (think jet engine). It allows for greater efficiency. The graphics cards and processors are quite energy efficient & add in across the board efficiencies from Apple's design, 450W is plenty of power. Apple is one of the best at electronic efficiency. Anyone can make a beast of a computer that runs on a 1000W power supply but to make a beautiful beast of a computer run on 450W is elegant engineering.
 

Ryth

macrumors 68000
Apr 21, 2011
1,588
153
It will only be upgradable if Apple offers up logic boards and graphics cards that are compatible.
Ding ding. Yeppers. I mean a computer is barely upgradable now for the most part other then RAM and Graphics Card. Most of the time, when you're ready to upgrade which is 2 years after you purchase, the better chips use a new socket, MB, Memory config, etc.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,539
25,250
Proprietary connectors is NOT my idea of upgradeable. If I have to buy Apples upgrade at Apples upgrade price, NO THANKS!
*confused* But Apple's Pro stuff has always had an element of being proprietary. Graphics cards would need to have Apple firmware, so you couldn't buy any old ones. Of course, you could get them and flash them, or they'd work in the OS but not on the EFI boot -- however I'm talking solely from what should be bought & won't void your warranty.

The hard-drive, in its nature being a PCIe SSD in such a small package, can't be anything but proprietary. And the CPU is fully upgradeable, as is the RAM.

yes, you're always going to pay an Apple tax. However if that's your concern when you're shelling out 5 grand for a Pro machine, that will make its money for you 10-times over, this wouldn't be a concern.

Here's the thing: the machine is upgradeable with almost all its core components. That was people's main fear, that when purchasing this you'll be forced into buying a new one if you need to upgrade. Now that this myth has been firmly disproved, it still blows my mind that people can find something to complain about.
 

lewisd25

macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2007
842
580
So...can the GPU board without the SSD slot be replaced with one that has it? It would be nice to have two SSDs internally...
 

DTphonehome

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2003
1,770
2,276
NYC
The engineering in this thing is 10 years ahead of anyone else. Apple is really bringing its A game here.
 

OllyW

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 11, 2005
17,069
6,418
The Black Country, England
There's some impressive engineering design inside that little case. :cool:

So...can the GPU board without the SSD slot be replaced with one that has it? It would be nice to have two SSDs internally...
It looks like they are handed, the photo shows the the fixing holes are on opposite sides.
 
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