Mac Professional teardown finds a largely conventional desktop inside

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  • There is a switch to unlock and lock the PCIe expansion slots.

  • The CPU can be accessed in the same way as other desktop PCs.

  • One side of the motherboard.

  • The other side of the motherboard.

  • iFixit tried to grate cheese on it, but said it didn't go so well.

iFixit, a group that sells electronics repair tools and evaluates devices for repairability, released a detailed outline of Apple's new Mac Pro. Despite some minor complaints, the people at iFixit gave the device good grades. In an unusual tune for Apple products, they called the Mac Pro "beautiful, surprisingly well composed, and a master class in repairability".

While a modern Mac usually requires special tools and a lot of careful opening, iFixit managed to get inside the Mac Pro simply by using the twist grip on top – there were no proprietary screws or glue. Removing the housing also cuts off power to the machine for safe operation.

Both the CPU, RAM and PCIe cards can be accessed and replaced as easily as is the case with most other desktop PCs. However, the SSD is a different story. It has a modular SSD, but is "tied to the T2 chip, which means that user replacements are a no-go." You can add more storage elsewhere, but you can't really replace the built-in drive.

No special tools are required to replace the working memory. Access to the CPU is similar to that of other desktop tower PCs. You will find it in a standard socket after unscrewing and removing the heat sink. You can remove it and replace it if necessary.

As a side note, iFixit tried to grate cheese on the surface in relation to many jokes about the appearance of the Mac Pro, but surprisingly found that it could not be used efficiently for this purpose.

iFixit praised the overall build quality and found a handful of design features that make it clear that the machine is designed to be opened and maintained. While Macs are often rated 1 out of 10 points for repairability, the Mac Pro received 9 out of 10 points, which is only due to the lack of a replaceable SSD and the difficulty and cost of finding new parts.

Apple's Mac Pro was specifically developed for use in professional environments such as video editing locations, 3D modeling studios, and the like. It's good to keep up with high-end workstations from specialized companies like Boxx or from dedicated partners of larger PC OEMs. It is also largely made in the U.S. instead of China or India, which further increases the price.

Mac Pro's tight targeting makes sense for Apple's current strategy with the Mac, but there is still a dedicated niche of Mac users who want this ease of service for a more consumer-oriented (and less expensive) desktop. Unfortunately, that's not yet the case, but any version of a 2019 user-serviceable Mac tower is still interesting.

Listing Image by iFixit

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