MacBook Pro Retina 2013 teardown: Tough fix, good parts

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina has a lot going for it, but repairability isn't one of them.

(Credit: iFixit)

It should come as no surprise that the 0.7-inch-thick 15.4-inch MacBook Pro Retina isn't easy to repair. iFixit said its repairability is still rock bottom.

Thin laptops, especially those from Apple, aren't known for easy accessibility or repair as their cases are often completely sealed.

That hasn't changed with the 2013 MacBook Pro Retina.

iFixit gave the MBP got a repairability score of 1 out of 10 (10 being the easiest to repair), matching the 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina 2012 model.

You can thank Apple's penchant for proprietary pentalobe screws, RAM that's soldered to the logic board, a proprietary solid-state drive (which, by the way, has changed to a PCIe format), and a booby-trapped battery (chances are high the user will 'shear' the trackpad cable if battery removal is attempted, iFixit said).

That's the bad news. The good news is the 'Haswellification' of the MBP Retina, referring to Intel's new power-efficient 4th Generation Core processor with Iris Pro graphics.

'The 15' MBPr now has a sleekified heat sink with just a single thermal pad, thanks to the more closely integrated GPU,' iFixit said.

Haswell, among other tweaks, also delivers an extra hour of battery life with the same capacity cells.

And Apple is again using DRAM from Elpida (now owned by Boise Idaho-based Micron Technology). In this case, the Elpida J4208EFBG 512 MB DDR3 SDRAM (16 chips for 8 GB total).

Elpida DRAM is often used in Apple's iPhone too.

Also of note is an Intel DSL5520 Thunderbolt 2 Controller.

The teardown is in progress so more updates to come, including the new 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina.


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