Apple’s new iMac may be backordered by the end of June, but iFixit has already got its hands on one. And every now and then, they ruined the whole thing. On top of that, they spent Apple “going to make this thing as thin as possible,” but found some quiet surprises along the way.
The most interesting finding is the sheer amount of space inside the machine. As observed by iFixit, almost all silicone is centered on narrow horizontal strips at the top (display board) and bottom (main logic board). This leaves the area behind the curtain almost completely empty, with two giant metal plates occupying more space. Interestingly, they are part of the speaker system. Such as Vadim Yuryev of Max Tech Notes on Twitter, The plates are “actually used to amplify the sound and bass of the speakers by leaning more into the air.” Ifixit confirms that the “impossibly thin (approximately 1. 1.5 mm opening)” plates act as amplifiers and describes that “their wide surface area is much larger than the internal section, and therefore more air, and fuller sound.”
Roman Loyola / IDG
As far as the motherboard, it’s the “smallest iMac logic board ever” and includes SK Hynix (memory), Kioxia (storage), and Broadcom (Ethernet), as well as power management controllers designed by Apple and of course the M1 system on a chip. For cooling purposes, the iFixit handles the iMac handles differently than other M1 Macs. “It is actively cooled by a pair of M1 fans. Each fan flies inside the logical board, where the heatsink pulls away from the M1 with a copper heating pipe and two short heatsinks. Apple is detailed in its iMac introduction video.
The logic board has “a mysterious button with three LEDs underneath it” that stumped the iFixit.
As far as the Touch ID keyboard, iFixit found a sensor that looks very similar to the iPhone Touch Touch ID sensor, as well as a security feature that doesn’t connect the same keyboard to two different Macs.
Roman Loyola / IDG
And it probably goes without saying, but the new iMac can’t be fixed easily. iFixit gives iMac a 2 out of 10 repairability score, which is even lower than previous iMacs.
Michael Simon was the iPod iWalk covering Apple. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC – to replace the drive out with the IBM ThinkPad lift-up keyboard. He is still waiting for that style to return to tbh.