iFixit teardown of M1 MacBooks gives us our first glimpse of the M1 up close | GeekComparison

As expected, iFixit has torn down two of Apple’s three new M1-based Macs: the MacBook Air and the 2-port, 13-inch MacBook Pro. What they found is somehow both surprising and unsurprising: almost nothing has changed on the laptops aside from the inclusion of the M1 chip and directly related changes.

The biggest change is without a doubt the elimination of a fan in the MacBook Air. iFixit notes that given the Intel MacBook Air’s history of overheating in some cases, it speaks volumes about the M1’s efficiency that so far it seems like the Air will do just fine without that fan. Also missing: the T2 chip, which we noticed in our Mac mini review, has been completely replaced by the M1 in all of these new Macs.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro looks even more like its predecessor. The T2 chip is also gone, but the laptop retains the exact same fan and cooling system, without any differences. Reviews of the 13-inch MacBook Pro claim the fan doesn’t spin as often as it used to, but iFixit here concludes that’s due to the shift from an Intel chip to the M1, not an improved cooling system. The fans on the Intel and M1 Pro are interchangeable.

What isn’t interchangeable is a bunch of parts in the Air and parts in the Pro. iFixit laments that the similar silicon between the two machines could have presented an opportunity to make repairs easier by allowing parts from one to be used to repair the other, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

And overall, the M1’s performance and efficiency gains over the earlier models are offset by the fact that user serviceability and reparability aren’t moving in a more open direction, because the M1’s unified memory architecture suggests that Apple that is not. planning to upgrade or replace RAM soon.

iFixit hasn’t yet given the laptops a repairability score, but those two comments suggest the scores wouldn’t be any higher than previous models (those machines also didn’t have expandable RAM.)

Read iFixit’s full teardown post for more photos of the insides of these laptops and some additional insights.

Frame image by Samuel Axon

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