Our friends over at iFixit are doing their ritual teardown of Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook, and while the new device is essentially the same as the previous generation save for some refreshed components, the repair guide site also noticed some tweaks as far as repairability goes.
Most notably, Apple replaced a tri-wing screw with a much more common Phillips screw, which is always a plus for allowing easier repairs, although it continues to use its proprietary Pentalobe screws on the exterior of the case. That might be the only new positive for the updated MacBook, however, as iFixit also notes that it discovered hinge screws for the device which are “filled with some sort of substance that disintegrates when you insert a screwdriver.” The site speculates that it appears to be an Apple effort at “tamper-evident screws,” which in theory could allow the company to know if a third-party or DIY repair attempt has been made voiding warranty. Or as iFixit put it, “make you feel like a hoodlum for repairing your own machine.”
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Those pesky tri-wing screws are gone, replaced with lovely standard Phillips screws—but tamper-evident hinge screws make you feel like a hoodlum for repairing your own machine.
The only other notable differences with the machine versus the previous generation, according to iFixit, are minor tweaks to the USB-C hardware:
And at the other end of the MacBook, it seems the USB-C hardware has also changed. The cable is now perma-fixed to the USB board, condensing the two components into a single unit…Also, the silicon is new and moved from the cable itself to the USB board.
And here are the chips found on the device’s logic board:
- Intel SR2EN Intel Core m3-6Y30 Processor (4M Cache, up to 2.20 GHz)
- Toshiba TH58TFT0DFKLAVF 128 GB MLC NAND Flash (+ 128 GB on the reverse side for a total of 256 GB)
- Micron MT41K256M16LY-107 4Gb DDR3L SDRAM
- Universal Scientific Industrial 339S0250 Wi-Fi Module
- Broadcom BCM15700A2 (as seen in several other MacBook models)
- National Semiconductor 48B1-11
- Toshiba TH58TFT0DFKLAVF 128 GB MLC NAND Flash
- Apple 338S00066 (Likely an iteration of the 338S00055 SSD controller found in the 2015 Retina MacBook)
- Samsung K3QF4F4 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM (x2, for a total of 8 GB)
- Texas Instruments/Stellaris LM4FS1EHSMC Controller (Replacement codename for TM4EA231)
- SMSC 1704-2 Temperature Sensor
- Texas Instruments SN650839
- Texas Instruments TPS51980A
- Texas Instruments CD3215B01 61AHXHW
- Intersil 95828
But due to RAM, processors, and other components being soldered to the logic board, a glued-in battery assembly, and a display fused with the glass, the MacBook gets the lowest repairability score possible from the site with a 1 out of 10.
You can check out the full teardown here.