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iFixit tears down the new 15-inch MacBook Pro, 2011 model


iFixit got its hands on a brand new 15-inch MacBook and tore the machine down to its Tri-wing screws and heat sinks. The latest generation machine shares a lot of similarities with its aluminum unibody predecessors including the same case design and a similar layout of internal components. Most of the changes internally were made to the logic board components.

Besides the obvious processor and GPU differences, iFixit notes the wireless card now sports four antennas instead of a three which may improve performance. Other minor changes include the addition of a few extra heat sinks, including one for the GPU, a SuperDrive with a new model number and some modifications to the clips which hold things in place. Click through to check out more goodies from the iFixit teardown.

For those that like the nitty gritty details, here are the highlights of the internal components:

  • Intel BD82HM65 Platform Controller Hub
  • AMD Radeon HD 6490M GPU (labeled as AMD 216-00809000)
  • Quad-Core Intel i7-2630QM Mobile Processor (labeled as 2V041112A0127)
  • Broadcom BCM57765B0KMLG Integrated Gigabit Ethernet and Memory Card Reader Controller
  • Intel L051NB32 EFL (we assume this is the Thunderbolt port controller)
  • Samsung K4G10325FE-HC04 1 Gb (128MB) GDDR5 SGRAM graphics memory, a total of 2Gb (256 MB)
  • Cirrus 4206ACNZ audio controller
  • SMSC USB25138 USB 2.0 Hub Controller Family
  • Lattice Semiconductor LFXP2-5E Low-Cost Non-Volatile FPGA (Field-programmable Gate Array)
  • 77.5 Watt-hour battery (same capacity of previous models)
  • PC3-10600 RAM (same RAM used in the current 21.5" and 27" iMacs, but different from earlier Apple noetbooks)

It is interesting to note that iFixit found some quality control issues in this new model. The company found a stripped screw near the subwoofer and an unlocked ZIF socket for the IR sensor, two oversights that should not be found on a brand new machine with a price tag close to $2000.

Overall, iFixit rates this MacBook Pro as a 7 out of 10 for its ease of repair. Most of the inside components are accessible to the average technical user except for the battery with its tri-wing screws and the LCD which has a front glass panel.

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