iFixit tears down the new 15-inch MacBook Pro, Thunderbolt port and all

Mon, Feb 28, 2011


Per usual, iFixit was quick on the trigger in acquiring and tearing apart¬†Apple’s brand-new and Thunderbolt equipped 15-inch MacBook Pro. Inside were few major changes, aside from the notebooks new Thunderbolt port which is the fourth largest chip on the logic board. In opening the device, do it yourselfers might be glad to know that Apple isn’t using those quirky pentalobe screws it’s using on the iPhone 4.

In the photo below, the Thunderbolt port is in the top left corner. Highlighted in green is the Thunderbolt controller.¬†“We believe the chip’s footprint is a testament to the potential of this port,” iFixit writes.

Some other points of interest include the fact that Apple scattered a slew of temperature sensors throughout the notebook (not too shocking really) and that users can disconnect the battery without having to physically remove it first should they want to make any repairs. iFixit also writes that users can daisychain up to 7 separate devices using Thunderbolt. By way of comparison, Firewire allows chaining for up to 63 devices while USB doesn’t support daisy-chaining at all.

Also note that the new 15-inch MacBook Pro sports the same 77.5 Watt-hour battery as its predecssor, though Apple is now advertising 7 hours of battery life as opposed to 8-9 on the previous model. Apple explains this change as being the result of more accurate battery testing methods.

Lastly, the wireless card on the new MacBook Pros utilizes Broadcom’s BCM4331 chip which provides “three transmitting and three receiving streams of data in both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands. Increased number of streams and antennas results in faster speeds, longer range, fewer dropped connections, and better overall wireless coverage.”


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