iFixit Dives Inside Thunderbolt MacBook Pro

With less than a day of availability, iFixit has already gotten ahold of, and disassembled, Apple’s brand new MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt Port. As usual, the team photographed the process so everyone can see exactly what’s inside Apple’s latest portable computer without voiding their warranty.

Unlike some Apple products, the new MacBook Pro is fairly easy to disassemble and repair. The bottom cover is easy to remove, too, since it uses standard phillips screws. That’s good news, since you need to remove the panel to upgrade your RAM and hard drive.

Apple’s redesigned MacBook Pro

iFixit notes that the controller chip for the Thunderbolt interface is surprisingly large. In fact, it’s the fourth largest chip in the new MacBook Pro.

Thunderbolt, formerly known as Light Peak, is Intel’s new high speed peripheral connector. It sports two-way 10Gbps speeds, making it faster than USB or FireWire, and supports video connections. Thunderbolt supports up to six devices in a chain, which Apple told The Mac Observer is a requirement to limit power overloads.

The tear down revealed that the new MacBook Pro includes four wireless antennas instead of three. The extra antenna should help with Wi-Fi performance.

Apple introduced its updated MacBook Pro models on February 24. The 13-inch model ships with a dual-core Intel i5 processor, and the 150 and 17-inch models ship with a quad-core Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. All models include 4GB RAM standard, and the 15- and 17-inch models include AMD graphics cards.

Overall, iFixit was impressed with the new MacBook Pro. They were also, however, concerned about the quality control during manufacturing.

“A stripped screw near the subwoofer enclosure and an unlocked ZIF socket for the IR sensor should not be things found inside a completely unmolested computer with an $1800 base price,” They said.

The complete teardown is available at the iFixit Web site.