Introdução

We dropped $4,999 to get our hands on the hot new space gray Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard—and Apple was generous enough to throw in a brand-new iMac Pro for no extra charge! Let's take it apart and see what makes it tick.

Know before you pro—follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest teardown news.

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your iMac Pro, use our service manual.

Our teardown iMac Pro sports these "entry-level" specs: 8-core, 3.2 GHz Intel Xeon W processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.2 GHz
  • Our teardown iMac Pro sports these "entry-level" specs:

    • 8-core, 3.2 GHz Intel Xeon W processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.2 GHz

    • 32 GB (4 × 8 GB) of 2,666 MHz DDR4 ECC

    • AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56 GPU with 8 GB of HBM2 memory

    • 27" display with 5120 × 2880 resolution and support for one billion colors (P3 color gamut)

    • 1 TB SSD

  • Higher-end configurations with up to 18 processor cores will be available in a few weeks' time—if you're looking to spend $13,000 USD or more, that is.

  • We're prepared to sacrifice this unit in the name of science... but we're sure hoping not to. Fingers crossed that it goes back together in one piece!

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We can hardly contain our excitement as we unbox the magnificent Space Gray accessories—Magic Mouse, Magic Keyboard, and *gasp* ... a black Lightning-to-USB cable.
  • We can hardly contain our excitement as we unbox the magnificent Space Gray accessories—Magic Mouse, Magic Keyboard, and *gasp*

  • ... a black Lightning-to-USB cable.

    • We'll be back to continue the teardown after we recover from shock and peek out the window for signs of airborne ungulates.

  • Weirdly, there is still absolutely no provision—dongle or otherwise—for using the Lightning EarPods you get with your iPhone 7, 8, or X on your iMac Pro. Does it seem odd that these incompatible products are coming from, of all places, Apple?

  • Let's peel back the iMac Pro's fancy fabric wrapping and check the port situation ... just to be sure.

Every iPhone has an adapter for that headphone jack right there on the back where it always was.

Devin - Responder

Not so, Devin. That adaptor is to plug regular headphones into an iPhone, not Lighting EarPods into a Mac, for example.

steve strike -

Don’t be the person using plug in, free EarPods on a $5000+ computer.

Frank Reedy - Responder

Here's the connectivity sitrep: 3.5 mm headphone jack SDXC card slot
  • Here's the connectivity sitrep:

    • 3.5 mm headphone jack

    • SDXC card slot

    • Four USB 3 ports

    • Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports

    • 10 Gb ethernet port

  • In case you were wondering, this here is Apple model number A1862.

  • We tried sticking RAM in these slots on the back. It didn't work.

Hmm. Must be DDR6.

George A. - Responder

George it’s been stated: “Apple is using standard 288-pin DDR4 ECC RAM sticks”

Dan - Responder

Humor is appreciated, but sometimes not recognized…

Another Guest - Responder

Dan and George, I’m almost certain it’s DDR7. Apple would never be caught with something as outdated as DDR6 in a high-end machine like this.

Ben Lambert - Responder

If anyone happens to look back at these comments in about 2040 when DDR6/7 SDRAM is a brand-new thing, you guys are going to have them very confused.

Jeff Suovanen -

Curious about the 3.5mm jack, does it have optical support? Or can it be replaced with one that does? :)

Derek Halman - Responder

We're betting the opening procedure will be the same as it was on the iMac 5K—which is to say, if you can use a pizza cutter, you can open an iMac Pro. With all that glass out of the way,  we have a perfect view of the iMac Pro's pristine interior. Say, wouldn't this make a lovely wallpaper for someone? With all that glass out of the way,  we have a perfect view of the iMac Pro's pristine interior. Say, wouldn't this make a lovely wallpaper for someone?
  • We're betting the opening procedure will be the same as it was on the iMac 5K—which is to say, if you can use a pizza cutter, you can open an iMac Pro.

  • With all that glass out of the way, we have a perfect view of the iMac Pro's pristine interior. Say, wouldn't this make a lovely wallpaper for someone?

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The first component out is the enormous dual-fan cooler. Looks like Apple sacrificed the 5K's full-size desktop hard drive (not that you'd want that in a pro machine) to make some room here. Also sacrificed to the cooling gods: the external RAM access hatch. Sad face.
  • The first component out is the enormous dual-fan cooler.

  • Looks like Apple sacrificed the 5K's full-size desktop hard drive (not that you'd want that in a pro machine) to make some room here.

  • Also sacrificed to the cooling gods: the external RAM access hatch. Sad face.

  • In exchange, we get a big rear vent and an 80% increase in cooling capacity.

Compared to a Tower-Workstation the cooling solution is tiny for a 120-140 W TDP Xeon and a 175W Vega 56 PRO ?!

Animarkzero ‍ ‎‎ - Responder

One of the challenges here is that the very very tiny and supremely delicate wire connectors are super easy to damage. Terrible design. Not something I would ever try again.

heywardjr - Responder

AirPort card functions are consolidated onto the main board—for some unknown reason, Apple ditched the modularity from the 5K model. But we did pick up this funky new retaining clip for the coax cables. The power supply connects to the logic board by way of not one, not two, but four shiny terminals secured with Torx screws. This design is much closer to what we saw on the 2013 Mac Pro than the plasticky connectors we're used to ripping out of the iMac 5K.
  • AirPort card functions are consolidated onto the main board—for some unknown reason, Apple ditched the modularity from the 5K model. But we did pick up this funky new retaining clip for the coax cables.

  • The power supply connects to the logic board by way of not one, not two, but four shiny terminals secured with Torx screws.

    • This design is much closer to what we saw on the 2013 Mac Pro than the plasticky connectors we're used to ripping out of the iMac 5K.

    • It also makes accessing logic board components (apart from the RAM of course) much, much easier. With the power supply tucked back into the rear shell, we can remove the board right away. Let's do that!

At least the coax connectors won’t pop off ;-} Not that they tended to do so this is over kill.

Dan - Responder

@sam - Could use a second image showing the other two PS connections to the logic board.

Dan - Responder

Those other two are easy to slide out.

heywardjr - Responder

There are quite a few screws to remove to get the motherboard out. Getting the board out means tilting it to the right as you gentlybslide it out. It tough as the usb and thunderbolt ports are right there. I ended up damaging the ethernet port doing this piece. Would never do this again! I highly recommend not doing this upgrade yourself. I had to take the unit back to the reseller and get it repaired under the $129 extra I paid for accidental damage. This operation completely voids the Apple warranty according to the reseller because you remove the motherboard they will know because of the non Apple ram.

heywardjr - Responder

With the board out, the first order of business is inspecting the RAM. There's no way around it: getting here was a major undertaking compared with the dead-simple RAM access hatch on the back of all previous 27" iMacs. That said,  we have a spot of good news: these are standard 288-pin DDR4 ECC RAM sticks, with standard chips on board:
  • With the board out, the first order of business is inspecting the RAM.

  • There's no way around it: getting here was a major undertaking compared with the dead-simple RAM access hatch on the back of all previous 27" iMacs.

  • That said, we have a spot of good news: these are standard 288-pin DDR4 ECC RAM sticks, with standard chips on board:

  • We waste no time in testing a little upgrade: How does four 32 GB modules for a "Maxxed" total of 128 GB sound?

  • After speedily reassembling everything, we're pleased to report that the result is epic. If you want to try it at home, pick up a Memory Maxxer RAM Upgrade kit.

Any idea what the far right RAM module black label (shield) is for? It doesn’t look like it offers much as its not tied to chassis ground.

Dan - Responder

Heatpipes are on TOP! of thermal block? Half the pipe is cooling the air instead of the processor?!

Are Apple Engineers mildly stupid or did they have other problems or was this the cheapest solution?

If you take a look at any good custom CPU-cooler the heat-pipes are touching the Heatspreader directly for a reason.

Animarkzero ‍ ‎‎ - Responder

Back to the business of taking things apart: next up are these twin SSDs. Under a couple stickers we find some Torx screws. Off they go! Each blade is designated Apple EMC 3197, model 656-0061A.
  • Back to the business of taking things apart: next up are these twin SSDs.

  • Under a couple stickers we find some Torx screws. Off they go!

  • Each blade is designated Apple EMC 3197, model 656-0061A.

  • Popping the shields off, we encounter some chips:

    • SanDisk SDRQF8DC8-128G (four per card, two top and two bottom, for a total of 512 GB × 2 = 1024 GB)

    • Apple 338S00285

  • Unlike a standard SSD, which has the controller logic onboard, these raw flash modules only have an interface buffer—the PCIe/NVMe controller lies elsewhere. More on that in a bit.

Of course, since there is no SSD controller (see below), you can’t really call these “NVMe SSSDs”. They are flash storage devices, but they only form an “SSD” when connected to the controller, which is part of the T2. And that PCIe bus (assuming it is PCIe), is carrying data between the flash chips and the SSD controller, which means it is definitely not NVMe.

Looks like this is a new and unique Apple-designed flash memory storage system.

But one where upgrades could theoretically cost a bit less than normal, since replacement flash boards won’t require SSD controllers (assuming that custom Apple chip isn’t too horribly expensive to reverse engineer, of course).

shamino - Responder

Yes, not a NVMe/PCIe SSD drive! Just the raw flash chips in a frame. The data width is kinda narrow as well…

Still a very different design than the Function Key MacBook 13” SSD https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/ig... It’s design appeared to be a wider PCIe bus (x8).

So the question is how wide is the I/O here as that will be the limitation of how big the flash unit could be besides the limitation in the physical size. Why would Apple go with such a small footprint unit? At least make the space larger so in the future a larger unit could be put in. There’s doesn’t appear to be space to put a larger unit in

Dan - Responder

Here’s an example of a similar device “Linus TechTips: DIY SSD made of SD Cards!”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3frnBoqq...

Here it’s using SD cards with a SATA controller. In the case of Apple they are using a PCIe interface via the T2

Dan - Responder

To gain speed beyond what other NVMe/PCIe SSD’s can offer, Apple interleaves across the two flash modules. Think how RAM is interleaved https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interleave... Apple is using the same technique here.

Dan - Responder

Do you want to know what's hiding under this enormous heat sink? So do we. After twirling away a few more Torx screws and tossing aside the mounting springs, we have an answer: One GPU, which sadly is BGA-soldered in place. And at the opposite side, one workstation-class Xeon processor—not soldered in place. It's too early to say how feasible a CPU upgrade might be—the chip appears to be custom-made for Apple by Intel. But upgrades seem at least theoretically possible.
  • Do you want to know what's hiding under this enormous heat sink? So do we. After twirling away a few more Torx screws and tossing aside the mounting springs, we have an answer:

  • One GPU, which sadly is BGA-soldered in place. And at the opposite side, one workstation-class Xeon processor—not soldered in place.

    • It's too early to say how feasible a CPU upgrade might be—the chip appears to be custom-made for Apple by Intel. But upgrades seem at least theoretically possible.

    • It might be nice if your $5,000+ workstation could get an upgrade once in a while, rather than a full replacement... right?

Need safety glasses to protect your eyes from the flung screws ;-} Don’t loose them!

Dan - Responder

What socket type is the Xeon CPU? Does it have an integrated heat spreader?

Jeremy Agostino - Responder

We've cleared the board, and it's time for a rundown of the silicon: Intel Xeon W-2140B (Skylake, 14 nm—likely an underclocked W-2145 to keep the temps in check), 3.2 GHz CPU with Turbo Boost up to 4.2 GHz, paired with what could well be a standard LGA 2066 socket
  • We've cleared the board, and it's time for a rundown of the silicon:

    • Intel Xeon W-2140B (Skylake, 14 nm—likely an underclocked W-2145 to keep the temps in check), 3.2 GHz CPU with Turbo Boost up to 4.2 GHz, paired with what could well be a standard LGA 2066 socket

    • AMD S5J68 1747 GPEW0333S3 SS63HBN181747US40104 Radeon Pro Vega 56 GPU with integrated 8 GB of HBM2 memory (on-package)

    • Intel X723D733 E1 05780 (SR3PV?) - likely platform controller hub

    • AQUANTIA AQtion AQC107-B1-C PCIe to multi-gigabit ethernet controller

    • Pericom Semiconductors PI3PCIE3412AZHE PCIE 3.0 mux/demux switch

    • Apple/Universal Scientific Industrial (USI) 339S00428 00012021 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module

    • Genesys Logic GL3227A SD 4.0 memory card controller, and Texas Instruments LP8565A13 (likely LED backlight driver)

The Platform controller hub- if it’s the same one as other LGA2066 motherboards- I would be willing to try another LGA2066 processor if everything else checked out. Luckily I use PC which is fully upgradable.

George A. - Responder

Someone can use the board to built a super laptop. It has everything on 2 pcb. It is not even that big.

Vic Lau - Responder

ooh nice, is there a photo with the RAM and CPU populated?

(okay maybe not the CPU, that one’s easy to photoshop in)

srnblu - Responder

FoxCon assemblers are over doing the thermal paste on the GPU’s! Getting it all over the caps! I hope it’s not conductive paste!

Dan - Responder

Dan- all GPUs have way more thermal compound than needed because they don’t have an integrated heat spreader like the xeon shown earlier. It helps to cool them and conductive thermal compound isn’t used.

Calvin H -

An interesting question here related to T2 and the SSDs is why they have the Pericom PCIe mux. It seems from the earlier section that the SSD assemblies are raw flash enclosures, or perhaps at most a custom Apple chip doing Toggle to Flash and PCIe out to the T2. One possibility is that the mux allows for one SSD slot to be unpopulated— if it is empty, the mux configues 2x the PCIe lanes to the T2 from the one populated slot. Another possibility is that mux can re-route the SSDs to the Intel PCH bypassing the T2 under some circumstances. It would be interesting to follow the traces and get the block diagram of the PCH, T2, Pericom mux, and SSDs.

Mike Shapiro - Responder

Mike, The Pericom PCIe switch is more likely for the USB-C ports

Dan -

imac pro 不是万兆网卡么 千兆芯片什么鬼

张良春 - Responder

原文为PCIe to multi-gigabit ethernet controller,更正为PCIe至多千兆位以太网控制器。感谢指正!

Charles Wang -

More specs on xeon W-2140B microprocessor:

https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/intel/xeon_...

irvbromberg - Responder

is the chipset c422?

Aida Delmiro - Responder

Flip side: Cirrus Logic CS42L83 audio/DAC
  • Flip side:

    • Cirrus Logic CS42L83 audio/DAC

    • 3x Primarion PXE1110CDM 1YUS7Q84 H1746 8F4 PMC005 and Primarion PXE1610CDN 1YUS7Q84 H1745 807 PW005

    • 2x Intel JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 controller

    • International Rectifiers IOR 35217-01 C740P GSGK

    • Macronix MXIC MX25L4006EZNI CMOS serial flash memory

    • NXP L6524 I/O expander

Should be Cirrus Logic CS42L83 audio/DAC

Sean Davis - Responder

How about an explanation for what a `PXE1110CDM 1YUS7Q84 H1746 8F4 PMC005` is?

michaelmiller - Responder

It is the “Digital DC-DC Multiphase Controller” solution from infineon.

https://www.infineon.com/cms/en/product/...

JJ Wu -

Last but far from least, hovering near the SSD slots, we have two custom Apple chips: Apple T2 339S00467 layered over SK Hynix H9HKNNNBRUMUVR-NLH LPDDR4
  • Last but far from least, hovering near the SSD slots, we have two custom Apple chips:

    • Apple T2 339S00467 layered over SK Hynix H9HKNNNBRUMUVR-NLH LPDDR4

    • Apple 338S00268—this chip's a bit of a mystery. In our initial excitement we thought it was the rumored A10 Fusion coprocessor, first seen in the iPhone 7, but the package size is too small (roughly 7.4 mm each side). Best guess: this is an Apple/Dialog Semi power management IC.

  • The successor to the T1 chip introduced in 2016's MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, the T2 is tasked here with all the functions of the SMC, image signal processing for the camera, audio control, and SSD controller, and Secure Enclave, and a hardware encryption engine. Whew!

  • The downside to all this added functionality and security is a major headache if your iMac Pro ever has to be restored.

Apple 338S00268 should be PMIC for Apple T2.

JJ Wu - Responder

I believe it to be an i/o bus.

Antonio Corcella - Responder

Shouldn’t the T2 be what was rumored as A10 (iBridge)?

MrUNIMOG - Responder

With the logic board out of the way, we can extract the 500 Watt power supply. Manufactured by AcBel Polytech Inc., it accepts 100-240 Volts AC, and packs a little silicon of its own: STMicro 4NB0K 5 GK14X650
  • With the logic board out of the way, we can extract the 500 Watt power supply.

  • Manufactured by AcBel Polytech Inc., it accepts 100-240 Volts AC, and packs a little silicon of its own:

    • STMicro 4NB0K 5 GK14X650

    • STMicro L6599AD B857725

    • NCP13368G PFTJ38

The unit has two power feeds one is clearly marked as 12Volts Is the other also 12Volts?

Dan - Responder

You guys should let people know not to touch the circuitry of the AC/DC PSU. There is danger in touching certain parts of the internals of PC AC/DC PSUs, even if the PSU has been left alone for a long time the capacitors could still be holding charge. Not only are you showing people how to access the PSU, but you aren’t letting them know to be extremely cautious about handling it.

Steve - Responder

You’re right about the dangers, and as stated in the banner at the top, this isn’t meant to be used as a guide. There are no instructions here and hence no guidance on what to do or not do. iFixit teardowns are a first look at the hardware and construction highlights, nothing more.

Jeff Suovanen -

This iMac's shell is looking a bit bare, but we're not done yet: the "enhanced stereo speakers" are next. Early reports are that these speakers live up to the hype: they're the best-sounding speakers you can get on a Mac.
  • This iMac's shell is looking a bit bare, but we're not done yet: the "enhanced stereo speakers" are next.

  • Early reports are that these speakers live up to the hype: they're the best-sounding speakers you can get on a Mac.

  • ...until, we suspect, you can pair it with a Homepod—which should take the whole experience to the next level. We won't know for sure until the Homepod finally hits shelves sometime in 2018. (Is it just coincidence that it looks a bit like a Mac Pro?)

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  • We've scoured this chassis for parts, and there's not much left—except for the outrageously awesome spring-loaded hinge mechanism that supports the display.

  • If you opt for Apple's VESA mount adapter kit, you'll get to indulge in a rare moment of Apple-sanctioned disassembly of your iMac Pro: inserting a card in the back disengages the spring, unveiling the row of Torx screws securing the stand.

    • This is probably the one and only time Apple will sell you a screwdriver and tell you to have at it.

    • Of course, if you're reading this, there's a good chance you're already fully prepared.

The older 2011 iMac design foot is back!! Thank You Apple!!

Now people can pack their systems in a much smaller hard case when they need to travel with it! Or change their mind between the foot and a VESA mount going either way!

Dan - Responder

Can you use that adapter for an iMac 21.5” (2017) too?

Alfred Hansen - Responder

Sorry Guy the hinge part is internal which would need to be replaced to the other version.

Dan -

I wonder if you can order this spring mechanism as a replacement part and put it into a normal 5k 27” iMac

magnuskleditzsch - Responder

Knowing Apple I doubt it mechanically fits! We’ll need wait until we see the parts listing for the system

FYI: The current foot/VESA mounts for the 21.5 or 27” Thin Mac’s are dedicated. They are not user interchangeable like the iMac Pro!

Dan -

Time to take a closer look at that display. Turns out it uses the same display panel we found in the iMac 5K: LG Display model LM270QQ1. That said, the cabling arrangement and webcam hardware have been moved around—so you can't swap displays between models. We peel up the long strip of shielding along the bottom to reveal the chips:
  • Time to take a closer look at that display. Turns out it uses the same display panel we found in the iMac 5K: LG Display model LM270QQ1.

    • That said, the cabling arrangement and webcam hardware have been moved around—so you can't swap displays between models.

  • We peel up the long strip of shielding along the bottom to reveal the chips:

    • Texas Instruments NH245 8-Bit Dual-Supply Bus Transceiver

    • Texas Instruments BUF16821 Programmable Gamma-Voltage Generator and Vcom Calibrator

    • Parade Technologies DP665 LCD Timing Controller

    • Texas Instruments TPS54320 3A synchronous step-down SWIFT™ converter

    • Texas Instruments TPS65168 High Resolution Fully Programmable LCD Bias IC for TV

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That's a wrap friends. Time to reassemble this beast with some fresh thermal paste and see how it fares as a gaming rig.
  • That's a wrap friends. Time to reassemble this beast with some fresh thermal paste and see how it fares as a gaming rig.

  • In case you were wondering: Yes, it goes back together just fine. We'll have a step-by-step upgrade guide for you soon!

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Considerações finais
  • The RAM and CPU are both modular, meaning repairs and upgrades are a go—despite what Apple tells you.
  • The dual SSDs are modular, but custom-made by Apple, complicating replacement.
  • Cutting the tape to open the iMac isn't too hard (with the right tools), but it must then be replaced to complete any repair.
  • Key replaceable components are buried behind the logic board, requiring a lot of disassembly for access.
  • The loss of the external RAM access hatch makes for much more challenging upgrades compared with the 27" iMac 5K.
  • The GPU is BGA-soldered in place—potentially a major drawback on a "pro" workstation. No easy graphics upgrades are possible, so choose your configuration wisely.
Pontuação de reparabilidade
3
Repairability 3 out of 10
(10 is easiest to repair)

OOH FIRST COMMENT! either way, Apples getting closer and closer to the point where a mac will literally be one single part that will not be modular in any way. Apple says they save the environment as much as possible while sweeping the fact that they make their machines as hard to fix as possible under the carpet.

Aiden Baker - Responder

Wow you got here first!

Padraic Hoselton -

Apple bounces back and forth between more and less modularity with most new architectures. Claiming that there is some obvious trend here is silly and baseless.

Mark -

Liquid cooling? SSD in RAID 0?

Peter Gamble - Responder

It’s one SSD controller on two sticks of dumb NAND, no need for a RAID.

tipoo -

Liquid cooling requires a quite grand radiator/pump ! So NO this wont be possible in this very tightly packed overheated ALL-IN-ONE-MAC(PC)!

Animarkzero ‍ ‎‎ -

What does the SSD shows at “Apple - About This Mac - System Report - Hardware - Storage?

Peter Gamble - Responder

The SSDs are hardware-encrypted by the T2. If the drive(s) are removed, the data is unreadable.

TheIronGiant - Responder

The modules are just Raw Flash it’s not a real SSD

Dan -

@Peter Gamble, probably a special controller on those things, because they didn’t find a controller for the SSD’s on the logic board.

“Conspicuously absent here is any sign of an SSD controller. More on that in a minute. “

“ The successor to the T1 chip introduced in 2016's MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, the T2 is tasked here with all the functions of the SMC, image signal processing for the camera, audio control, and SSD controller, and Secure Enclave, and a hardware encryption engine. Whew! “

Meaning that the T1 is controlling how the SSD’s send and receive data and the SSD’s are designed to work with the T1. Mind you that the T1 is an arm based co processor (if I’m not mistaken). They’ll probably do some testing but I would bet that they are not being controlled by an AHCI spec.

Nathan Lanier - Responder

No iMac Pros were harmed in the making of this teardown. :)

Gigabit87898 - Responder

I will wait for Mac Pro to come out before I pull the trigger on any of these beasts.

Rae - Responder

First teardown 2018! iFixit Lives!

George A. - Responder

Each stick of NAND not having an SSD controller validates what I was thinking. Since the T2 houses the SSD controller, calling this a RAID isn't quite right, since each drive doesn't have a controller, it's just one controller looking in two places.

tipoo - Responder

Think of it more like a bank of RAM. Each operation is bounced between the two modules (inter-leaved)

Dan -

The DIMMs (PC4-2666V-RD1-11) are not DDR4 ECC (Unbufferd) RAM, but DDR4 ECC-Registered ones.

M_Isobe - Responder

Correct! I think George was joking.

Dan -

Beautiful Teardown.

Tim Asp - Responder

I really want a iMac Pro but 21” Screen.

K Sec - Responder

“It’s one SSD controller on two sticks of dumb NAND, no need for a RAID”.

Really? Do you mean that the iMac Pro has 2.8 GB/s read & 3.3 GB/s write without RAID 0? Why not use then a single SSD blade-stick instead if two?

Peter Gamble - Responder

Think of it more like a bank of RAM. Each operation is bounced between the two modules (inter-leaved)

Dan -

Shouldn’t be much of a surprise that there’s no need for Raid 0 since standard iMac and MacBook Pro have similar Flash speeds also with a single SSD.

MrUNIMOG -

dgramatzki - The speed is much faster for both read & write on the iMac Pro’s SSD setup than what the MacBook Pro’s offer.

Dan -

Is the SSD encryption mandatory? Can it be turned off or disabled? Thanks.

Peter Gamble - Responder

Is the SSD paired to logic board? If the logic board fails, can the data in SSD be recovered? Thanks.

Peter Gamble - Responder

Is it possible to run Windows 10 via Bootcamp on it?

Hjalti á Lava - Responder

Don’t see why not!

Liam Powell -

Hi!

Maybe instead of teardown the whole iMac it would be easier to cut holes in the back around RAM?

Jaromir Kopp - Responder

I hope you’re kidding!

Dan -

Himm no A10 ARM CPU? Where the rumors false?

Skater Stimm - Responder

No iPhone APU, but the T2 chip does have a micro-controller (SMC) and also deals with encryption both functions could be run on an ARM based solution.

Dan -

The T2 might have some similarities to the A10, just as the T1 had to the Apple Watch SiPs. Perhaps that’s where the rumors came from.

MrUNIMOG -

It is so beautiful …Just black, from motherboard to RAM,from fans to speaker

iliya - Responder

Try to repair on a Black PCB….. nice eyestrain!

Animarkzero ‍ ‎‎ -

“With all that glass out of the way, we have a perfect view of the iMac Pro's pristine interior. Say, wouldn't this make a lovely wallpaper for someone?”

So do you have this pic in 5k? Or hopefully bigger to be able to crop it to 1:1.

ymppa - Responder

2 things. First off, did you guys really not think to try and replace the CPU with a standard Xeon part? Second, has anyone documented the installation of the VESA mount?

Andrew spoelstra - Responder

If you look at the VESA mount instructions that came with the Apple VESA mount for the iMac 27” 2011 its the exact same part! Apple was roasted on switching out to a fixed foot or fixed VESA mount. It took awhile!

But, I’m thinking if people really need it, one could upgrade their older 27” 2012 > 2017 models using the same parts this model has as it looks like the same mount points. Will need to double check to be sure,

Dan -

Really nothing is “Pro” in this design. Apple learned nothing. They want to continue to sell their super proprietary nonsense hardware. As a pro, you expect easy exchangeable, compatible components, like RAM, CPU, GPU, harddrives, and PCIe-slots, 2 x 16x, etc. In the highest available standards. The new Mac”Pro” just is the new regular iMac. I bet the upcoming MacPro will be a total disaster.

interference - Responder

“Pro” is not a universal term. For some users, this Mac will be great. For others, not so much. What you want and need isn’t what everyone else wants and needs.

Dongboat -

The numbers tell us it’s a more powerful box than anything Apple has produced so far. So from that perspective it’s a Pro box.

As to being the kind of box a Pro would own that gets into what his/her needs are. This system will serve many pro level user.

It still may not meet the real heavy weight users and clearly it’s a closed system with limited upgradability. That’s where the Mac Pro will be the true expandable system.

I’m hoping we see the AMD ThreadRipper CPU in it! Heavy weight pro’s need lots of threads and PCIe lanes, which is were the ThreadRipper shines!

Dan -

@DAN Threadripper has a TDP of 180W !!

How in the world do you think this will end with the Mac Pro(sumer) if Apple is not willing to cool the Xeon W in the iMac Pro properly!

Animarkzero ‍ ‎‎ -

Glad you guys got it back together! I’d hate to lose a $5K machine for no good reason :/

Liam Powell - Responder

It’s okay if it’s in the name of SCIENCE!

Kevin Stuckey -

I am curious about the SSD. I don’t like the idea of RAID-0 in a “pro” machine. Double the chance of failure, and a failure of one drive means loss of data on both. I am hoping it can be configured as two separate drives, so I can have half a TB for macOS, and half a TB for Bootcamp/Windows10/Autodesk bloatware like Revit. Curious how the inscription works in Bootcamp too. Does it require some special Windows driver for the T2 SSD controller? Mine arrived today, 2 days early, but I have no time to do more than open the brown box. Which was a mistake, because now I get to look at the picture on the inner box for three days before I can actually set it up. The agony. ;)

Also curious how soon someone with a maxed out machine breaks the screen, writes the whole thing off, and “upgrade CPU and SSD” parts are available second hand. I would assume you could even replace the MB this way to upgrade the GPU as well. It will be a niche market in a niche market, but it WILL be a market.

Gordon Price - Responder

Please, let is know if you can configure it as two separate SSD.

Peter Gamble -

You could already open another box while writing this.. :D

Igor Leskovar -

It’s not a RAID’ed drive but something similar! Think of it like how RAM inter-leaving works this is who Apple is doing it. Inter-leaving the operations across the two SSD' sets.

As for RAID the type of RAID makes a big difference! As well as what the drives are. Here using SSD’s it’s a lot more reliable than a spinning disk HDD. So if this was a RAID 0 drive I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Then there is Apple’s new file system! Which offers a better write operation so data loss is less likely. We have some large RAID 0 drive sets (all SSD’s) and they are very dependable. Our HDD RAID sets are all RAID 5 and we sync them in pairs to make sure we don’t loose anything.

Frankly, the dependability of your power will be a bigger risk! I hope you have a good back-filling UPS for your new system.

Dan -

Mini U.2 PCIe NVME SSD?

Phy Belong - Responder

Nope something new! Raw flash inter-leaved. The T2 chip manages the read/write to the modules. If you remember back in the original IBM PC day we press fitted DIP memory into sockets on the logic board. At one point we had stacked chips soldered onto each other! This is in the same approach Apple is using, just within Flash.

Dan -

Here’s a good image of these old stacked chips: https://eda360insider.files.wordpress.co...

Dan -

It is a bit sad to make a ‘PRO’ machine with an underclocked XEON to keep the temps in check.

Form over function rules at Apple

reuze - Responder

Why do you say that?

Sure the server based chips run faster but at a cost, more power is needed and heat created. The Workstation class chips make sense.

The real question is when does it throttle (load wise). If it doesn’t then Apple has found the sweet spot for this design. So we’ll need to wait for the results from people testing it out.

Sure, I think a lot of people are waiting for the other shoe to drop, the specs of the new Mac Pro!

Dan -

Um, why? How would this be any different than if they had used an overclocked version of a slower chip? The speed is what it is, carefully balanced with other system hardware.

Mark -

“Think of it more like a bank of RAM. Each operation is bounced between the two modules (inter-leaved)”.

Then it is equivalent to RAID 0 in relation to data protection: if one SSD fails, all is lost. Or if the controller chip fails. Or if the main board fails in this case, since the SSD is paired with it. You cannot take the SSD out for troubleshooting or data recovery or booting in other Mac.

Peter Gamble - Responder

This is no different than with a single-board SSD, not more points of failure than that. This isn’t hard drives where each HDD adds a spinning disk and doubles the risk of failure.

MrUNIMOG -

@dgramatzki

I see a big difference. If data is stripped between two SSD, it is like RAID 0 for data protection by definition.

Peter Gamble -

The data isn’t striped. As already alluded to, that implies to separate controllers on two separate drives. This is one controller accessing chips on two separate boards. As the previous poster pointed out, this would be no different that putting all the chips on a single board, just less flexible in terms of space. which is at a premium inside this enclosure.

Mark -

@mark

You said: "The data isn’t striped. As already alluded to, that implies to separate controllers on two separate drives. This is one controller accessing chips on two separate boards. As the previous poster pointed out, this would be no different that putting all the chips on a single board, just less flexible in terms of space. which is at a premium inside this enclosure”.

Data not stripped on SSD? Do you have a proof of that? How can it achieve 3.3GB/s write and 2.8GB/s read without RAID 0 ?

Anyway, even if data is not striped, do you mean that if one SSD fails, data can be recovered on the other? If not, it is like RAID 0 in relation to data protection.

Peter Gamble -

Interleaved flash is not the same as RAID!

There is no recovery with RAID 0, you’re thinking RAID 1 (mirroring). There is very little risk here, HDD’s are much more prone to failure than SSD’s. In any case you should have a current backup.

Dan -

Miss the “old” Mac Pro 2008-2012. Think what this mac could have been with updated hardware.

I think that Apple does not love companies and "pro". Definitively.

It's like Apple said << Long life to assembled PCs >>. OK. I will buy an assembled PC.

The Outsider - Responder

All you complainers seem not to have heard that there’s a new Mac Pro coming out some time in the future, explicitly announced by Apple to be modular and upgradeable?

MrUNIMOG -

(i am replying to ‘dgramatzki’ … )

‘The Outsider’ is talking about a beautiful modular design of more than a decade ago…

Since then nothing really happened until that round one came in 2013…

Apple is now so briljant to reinvent a modular system …. again in …. 2018?

yes there is enough to complain…

reuze -

What iMac from a decade ago had a “beautiful, modular design”?

Mark -

Thanks so much for the breakdown. Was worth reading and looking at all of the images and comments..

rickgarcia - Responder

Can’t imagine those two heat pipes having much cooling capacity. That thing is gonna overheat like a MAC mini.

Randy - Responder

Can’t imagine a pair of heat pipes having enough cooling capacity. Just have a feeling this will overheat like a MAC mini. Why don’t they ever employ some kind of self contained liquid cooler?

Randy - Responder

The old Mac pros had “self contained liquid cooler”.

https://everymac.com/images/other_images...

Christoffer Rasmussen -

As a holdout waiting for a replacement for my 2010 Mac Pro Tower I’m saddened that this all in one because I’ve have iMacs sitting in boxes because the screens were cooked along with some of the internals. My Tower has gone through 3 monitors over the years that I cheaply replaced.

wahakaa - Responder

Uh, every one of those iMacs can be repaired. What site are you on again?

Mark -

Great teardown and review.

In summary:

- One can upgrade RAM later on - saving a lot of $$ up-front. I got mine w/ 64GB - which should suffice until then.

- GPU does not matter, this one is “good enough” to be considered Pro workstation. Nothing stops one from adding another GPU via Thunderbolt 3 to PCI-e making it actually quite upgradeable (prosumers of this type of device already have a ton of storage via Thunderbolt on their desk, adding another box w/ a GPU is not a big deal)

- CPU is actually upgradeable. Sure, someone’s yet to test this but I am 99.9999% certain this is the case, so down the line in 2-3 years, pop it open, add a new-er xeon in and voila.

All in all - awesome machine. It actually replaced my whole VMware LAB, as I can now run it all on this iMac, in Fusion.

Petar Smilajkov - Responder

Just looking at the CPU speeds on the Apple site. As mentioned here, the 8 core is not the same part available to anyone from intel. It is slower. The 10 core is also slower. But the 14 and 18 core chips Apple use match the speed of what intel has on their site. The faster 8 and 10 as well as the same speed 14 and 18 all run at the same 140 Watt Total Design Power. Thus Apple may not be using the lower speed 8 and 10 core to save on heat. Apple likely has to deal with the 140W TDP of the 14 and 18.

Perhaps Apple are saving money by buying the 8/10 core chips from intel that don’t pass the first test?

Kemal NottaTurk - Responder

It would seem that way, until you consider the cache sizes.

Apple has a much bigger L3 caches than Intel offers in their Xeon Ws.

Aweizd Zsakul -

Thanks guys, What a wonderful teardown of the iMac Pro 2018. The pictures and the read was spot on and surely worth the time spent. I appreciate now, knowing what I buy, before I put down the money, and my late 2011 27” iMac needs a new partner this year.

I have planned to upgrade the memory and the SSD, but it is for sure a much greater job than upgrading the 2011 iMac. Armed with the ifixit teardown it’s time to prepare the action.

Steen Ricks Olsen - Responder

500W is far too little to host a full-fledged Xeon W and a Vega 56. I think Apple relies on thermal throttling and underclocking so performance doesn’t get “too high”. How will it ever support 18 FRICKIN’ CORES and a VEGA 64?!

Ethan Zuo - Responder

Do you know what type of Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chipset iMac Pro using?

Chen Lei - Responder

Hi, the display is definitely different than the Late 2014/2015 iMac. In that teardown, you posted an image of the model number/serial number sticker from the display. It would be much appreciated if you did the same for the iMac Pro.

Kris - Responder

@knyc Sure thing! Here you go.

Jeff Suovanen -

Thank you Jeff, I don’t suppose you guys know where to find a spec sheet for this panel? I’m trying to understand the differences in the backlight technology between this one and the one from the 2014 model.

Kris - Responder

Unfortunately no, I haven’t seen a spec sheet anywhere as yet. There are a few prior revisions listed on public sites like Panelook, but they don’t include the iMac Pro panel… so far.

Jeff Suovanen -

Hi

What's the specifications of the motherboard of the iMac

Ntuthuko Zimu - Responder

In this configuration (motherboard to be vertical once re-assembled), would liquid metal thermal “paste” accumulate and drip down to other parts of the motherboard over time due to constant heat and gravity?

Benjamin Chen - Responder

Would have been nice to see more info on the display, just googling LG LM270QQ1 brings up -SDA2, -SDB1, -SDC1, etc.

Jake Snyder - Responder

See the first link in Step 16—the panel is labeled LM270QQ1 (SD)(D1).

Jeff Suovanen -

Technically, you could add multiple external GPUs for upgrades through the thunderbolt 3 ports

Lucas 9810 - Responder

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