iFixit has completed its third teardown of the new MacBook Pro models, following the entry-level and Touch Bar 13-inch units with the top-of-the-range 15-inch version. The tl;dr is that the machine’s innards are almost identical to the 13-inch model.

One interesting find, also present in the smaller version, is a ‘connector to nowhere’: a port on the logic board that isn’t connected to anything. Comments on the previous teardown speculate that this might be to pull data from the soldered-in SSD …

Soldering the SSD chips to the logic board may make for more reliable connections and slimmer machines, but the decision does come with two obvious drawbacks. First, as discussed, you can’t upgrade them. Second, if the logic board dies, so does your data.

But if the speculation is correct, there may be a way for Apple to connect to intact SSD chips on an otherwise dead logic board to extract the data.


One difference iFixit did find is in the trackpad.

Compared to the merely Supersized trackpad in the 13″ MBP, the 15″ trackpad is a figurative Big Gulp. Apple threw in an extra Broadcom touch controller IC to handle all of that extra touchable glass.

One other difference, and a surprising one, is that the fan blades are not only larger than the ones on the 13-inch machine – as you might expect – but a completely different design.

iFixit updated its previous piece to note that while the speaker grilles on both models are mostly cosmetic, a few of the holes do in fact go all the way through. It still appears, though, that most of the sound comes out through the air intake vents on the side.

Unsurprisingly, iFixit gives the machine the same 1/10 repairability score as the 13-inch model. Get ready to make Apple a little richer.

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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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