Swimsuit season may be over, but Apple's new Late 2012 iMac has been working on its beach bod. Slimming down to a wafer-thin 5mm at its edges, the newest iteration of iMac is by far the slimmest of its kin. We are very curious what sort of diet could cause such a drastic change, so we opened it up to find out!

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crwdns2886882:0crwdnd2886882:0crwdne2886882:0 crwdns2886883:0iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544crwdnd2886883:0crwdnd2886883:0crwdne2886883:0

  1. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown, iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 1, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown, iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 1, image 2 of 2
    • It may not have a Retina display, but the new 21.5" iMac has some commendable specs:

    • 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor with 6 MB L3 cache

    • 8 GB of RAM

    • 1TB hard drive (5400 rpm)

    • NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M graphics processor with 512 MB dedicated VRAM

    • Four USB 3.0 ports and two Thunderbolt ports

    • 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0

  2. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 2, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 2, image 2 of 2
    • In case you haven't heard, the new iMac is really thin…kinda. At its thinnest point (around the edge), it is 5 mm thick. At its thickest, though, it is over 4 cm thick, more than 8 times the thickness of the edge.

    • Since the new iMac is barely thicker than a CD itself, it does not include an optical drive. However, it still does sport a plethora of ports:

    • 3.5 mm headphone

    • SDXC card slot

    • 4x USB 3.0

    • 2x Thunderbolt

    • Gigabit Ethernet

  3. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 3, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 3, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 3, image 3 of 3
    • We find what appear to be cooling vents on the back of the rear case hidden behind the "foot." Unlike previous revisions, the vent is rectangular instead of circular.

    • Even though there are vents at the bottom of the rear case, our guess is that the fan is somewhere in the middle of the iMac—where it's fattest. These slots are probably the exhaust vents that spit out air drawn in from the bottom.

    • Hiding above the Apple logo, we find the small dual microphone grates.

    • It's listening; it's always listening…

    • This iMac's model and EMC numbers hide in their usual spot under the foot: A1418 and EMC 2544.

    • Interestingly, this iMac claims to have been assembled in the USA.

    This text on the foot, where the serial number and other things are etched, is interesting: "Apparaten skall anslutas till jordat nätuttag"

    That's in Swedish. Where was this machine bought? And could you possibly check if that text is present on other new iMacs not actually bought in Sweden?

    Anders Lundberg - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    • We begin to strum away at the adhesive holding the display assembly in place.

    • Unlike in the previous iMac, this glass is held in place with more than magnets.

    • To our dismay, we're forced to break out our heat gun and guitar picks to get past the adhesive holding the display down.

    The display was never held by magnets... only the glas was

    Beckmesser - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Observations on opening the new 21.5 inch iMac.

    To open the new iMac, you've used a heat gun and guitar picks to get past the 'adhesive' holding the display down. You conclude that: "you'll have to masterfully peal off the old double-sided sticky tape and apply new tape in order to reseal this iMac back into original condition". Most think that the display is somehow glued to its aluminum case, and then must be re-glued after operating on the internals.

    By carefully examining many of your photographs, as well as those of Kodawarisan and others, I suggest that the joining of the display to the case may really be some form of a simple micro Velcro fastener that can be released without destruction by heat or brutal force, and unnecessary joint replacement!

    If it is indeed a Velcro joint lining the sides and the top, but not the bottom of the display along the aluminum 'chin', then I suggest that the opening proceed as follows: the suction cup holders should be applied to the bottom square corners of the display, not the top rounded corners as is usually done. The force needed to open the case at the bottom is considerably less than if it were applied to the top rounded corners – this is because there is no Velcro lining along the bottom edge of the display. Note that in the magnetically attached displays there are no magnets along the bottom edge of the display. Similarly, the magnetic joints can be opened with much less force if the suction cup pullers are applied at the bottom instead of the top rounded corners. Finding a proper release of such a Velcro joint would greatly simplify the opening, and closing, of the iMacs.

    I hope you carefully re-examine the tapes lining both the display and the case, and see if these could possibly be Velcro tapes. If these really are Velcro joints this is a simpler and better, and much cheaper way than using magnets. All it takes is to know how to properly open a Velcro joint. Maybe you will be able to put away your heat gun, guitar picks,and replacement tapes for future iMacs!

    Walter Wysoczanski - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    That's a great analysis and all, except it's not Velcro. We wish it was, but it's not.

    Miroslav Djuric -

    • With the iPad-like adhesive severed, we bust out the heavy-duty stuff.

    • Repair faux pas alert! To save space and eliminate the gap between the glass and the pixels, Apple opted to fuse the front glass and the LCD. This means that if you want to replace one, you'll have to replace both.

    • Consolation prize: repairs will no longer involve cleaning dust or fingerprints from the LCD and glass during reassembly.

    • The fused display may look awesome, but at what cost, Apple? At. What. Cost!?

    • The cost is quickly apparent: cutting open the display destroys the foam adhesive securing it shut. Putting things back together will require peeling off and replacing all of the original adhesive, which will be a major pain for repairers.

    Fusing the front glass to the LCD screen means the display looks awesome because there are fewer reflections caused by the air between front-glass and LCD. The image is clearer with fewer reflections. The LCD is also much easier to correctly calibrate using an external display calibrator. Thus fusing the front glass and LCD creates a superior user experience - the Apple experience.

    The downside is you can't just use off-the shelf LCD parts to repair this. But then, the superior user experience completely makes this trade-off worthwhile.

    James Katt - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    April. 2014 the 21.5 iMac can be ordered with a VESA bracket instead of the foot.

    Cha Stefan - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  4. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 6, image 1 of 1
    • We were fairly surprised to see that the new iMac's LCD sports the same model number as last year's—LM215WF3 from LG—even though the LCD is 5 mm thinner.

    • If it's the same, why is it smaller? We surmise that Apple took all the same pieces of the LCD and crammed them into a smaller housing.

  5. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 7, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 7, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 7, image 3 of 3
    • Taking a peek at the display control board reveals a couple of noteworthy ICs:

    • Texas Instruments TPS65161 bias power supply

    • Parade DP627HDE DisplayPort LCD timing controller

  6. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 8, image 1 of 1
    • Talk about a facelift—nothing about the inside of this iMac resembles last year's model.

    • As we tear through this machine we'll be able to take a look at how Apple managed to eliminate a millimeter here and a micron there, one component at a time.

    • Here's a properly-cropped (1920x1080) version of the internals for you to use as a wallpaper. We call it the iMac 21.5" Late 2012 Wallpaper.

  7. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 9, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 9, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 9, image 3 of 3
    • We like hard drives and devices that support dual hard drives, so naturally we start by examining the new iMac's 1 TB drive.

    • By switching from a traditional 3.5" desktop hard drive to a 2.5" laptop drive, Apple designers were able to clear a lot of real estate inside the iMac.

    • Smaller laptop hard drives are also often quieter, thanks to smaller moving parts than their big brothers.

    • Apple turned to HGST—Western Digital's acquisition of Hitachi—to manage the iMac's spinning storage.

    Is that 1TB 2.5" @7200rpm drive available to consumers? I went searching Newegg and only found oversized Seagate

    Jonathan Barker - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Does the drive require any special cables or other device that works with the cooling fans?

    Carl Schultz - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  8. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 10, image 1 of 1
    • A rubbery housing is lightly adhered to the edges of the hard drive beneath the upper and lower hard plastic bezels.

    • This design is far different from what we've seen before. Since the internal components are more tightly packed than before, small vibrations may carry through more components. The rubber housing dampens the vibrations from the spinning hard drive so they are not perpetuated throughout the device.

  9. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 11, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 11, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 11, image 3 of 3
    • You might already know that we carry a 54-bit driver kit to handle any of your mechanical fastener needs. What you might not know, however, is that the included extender can be used to provide extra torque to remove tough screws—such as those holding down the power supply board inside the iMac.

    • This board takes the readily available AC voltage from your wall socket and converts it to tasty DC voltage for the iMac to consume.

    • The specified output is 12.1 V, 15.4 A.

    It says limited to under 2000m of altitude, interesting

    Tom Chai - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  10. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 12, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 12, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 12, image 3 of 3
    • A new fan layout! We are fans.

    • Apple is changing things up quite a bit and has moved from multiple small fans to a single centralized fan.

    • "1" may be the loneliest number, but removing 2/3 of the fans goes a long way towards saving space.

    • Judging by the orientation of the squirrel cage fan, we gather that it draws cool air from the bottom vents, then blows hot air out of the grating in the back of the iMac.

    • We were right.

    Are the fans the same asymmetric style fans as found in the MacBook Pro with Retina Display?

    Jon Trapp - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  11. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 13, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 13, image 2 of 2
    • The webcams in iMacs of yesteryear have always been connected to the logic board with long snaking cables that were relatively fragile; that is no longer the case.

    • A ribbon cable we can only describe as "beefy" keeps the FaceTime HD camera in touch with the logic board.

    At this step, after removing the fan, you can replace the RAM modules without removing the logic board. It looks like possible and easy.

    giampablo - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  12. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 14, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 14, image 2 of 2
    • As we mentioned earlier, the newest iMac features not one, but two microphones.

    • Dual microphone technology has been utilized in mobile devices for years to cut out background noise during phone calls. Now, the same idea is being applied here to improve sound quality during intimate FaceTime chats with your mother.

    • It's not often that we see the microphone(s) and webcam for a computer disconnected from each other. That modularity means positive points towards repairability.

    • Three gold bars antennas come out next with a few spudger flicks.

    • Even though the main Wi-Fi antenna is hidden behind the big Apple logo on the rear case as usual, these three antennas split up Bluetooth and secondary Wi-Fi duties.

  13. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 16, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 16, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 16, image 3 of 3
    • Stop—speaker time!

    • The speakers may look simple, but removing them is nerve-wracking. For seemingly no reason other than to push our buttons, Apple has added a barb to the bottom of the speaker assemblies that makes them harder-than-necessary to remove.

    • After sufficiently wracking all of our nerves, the speaker assemblies allow us to remove them from their sick beat dropping enclosure.

    What function is served by the upper portion/chamber of the speaker assemblies? They seem to be cut off from the speaker drivers with foam inserts.

    portofino901 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Where is the headphone jack located?? I dont see it on the card with the usb and SD card slot.. Where is it? is it standalone?

    David - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Looks to be integrated with the speaker.

    James Berkey -

    Read first, Do later......

    I pulled out the Left speaker, Disconnected the power switch from the power supply and pulled out the speaker, What I failed to look at was that the wire is not part of the speaker but wraps around it and attaches to the power button, Now looks like I need to find a power button cause I ripped the wires out pretty hard.

    Jason Harding - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Did you have any luck replacing the power button? I unfortunately did the same with my 27". I'm looking for a solution. I heard I might be able to chisel it off to re- solder it back together.

    kbranch -

  14. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 17, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 17, image 2 of 2
    • The next logical step was to remove the iMac's logic board.

    • We know, we're terrible.

    • We flip the board over and get our first glimpse of the goodies side, which reveals, well, a lot of goodies.

  15. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 18, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 18, image 2 of 2
    • Good news: The iMac's RAM is "user-replaceable."

    • Bad news: You have to unglue your screen and remove the logic board in order to do so.

    • This is just barely less-terrible than having soldered RAM that's completely non-removable.

    • Our bargain-basement unit has a solid 8 GB of Hynix PC3-12800 RAM.

  16. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 19, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 19, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 19, image 3 of 3
    • Like a young fellow nervous to dance at prom, the AirPort card sits inconspicuously in the corner.

    • After a short hiatus, Broadcom is back to bring WLAN capabilities to the iMac.

    • A Broadcom BCM4331 single-chip WLAN solution dominates the tiny AirPort card.

    • The three Wi-Fi antennas are run by three Skyworks SE5515 Dual-Band frontend chips.

    • New from last year's model, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are integrated into the same card, with the addition of a BCM20702 single-chip Bluetooth 4.0 processor.

  17. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 20, image 1 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 20, image 2 of 3 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 20, image 3 of 3
    • And off comes that honkin' heat sink!

    • And along with it…what's this…the CPU???

    • The new iMac uses a spring-loaded, FCLGA1155 socket to make all those little electrical signals go into, and out of, the CPU.

    So, the CPU can be replaced/upgraded?

    dniolet - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  18. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 21, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 21, image 2 of 2
    • The Intel Core i5-3330S is clocked at 2.7 GHz, but can stretch its legs up to 3.2 GHz if needed.

    • This is the bottom rung of the ladder as far as processors in the iMac go. You can max out a 21.5" machine with a 3.1 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.9 GHz.

  19. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 22, image 1 of 1
    • Major players on the front side of the Lo-Bo:

    • Nvidia GeForce GT 640M GPU

    • Intel E213B384 platform controller hub

    • Texas Instruments Stellaris LM4FS1AH microcontroller

    • 2x Hynix H5GQ2H24AFR GDDR5 SGRAM

    • National Semiconductor VM22AC

    • Delta 8904C-F

    • Broadcom BCM57765A1KMLG gigabit ethernet controller with integrated SDXC card reader

  20. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 23, image 1 of 1
    • Sneakily hidden on the backside of the logic board, we find a few more chips:

    • Intel DSL3510L Cactus Ridge Thunderbolt controller

    • Analog Devices SSM3302 audio amplifier

    • Vimicro VC0359 webcam processor

    • Intersil ISL6364 multi-phase pulse width modulation (PWM) controller

    • Cirrus Logic 4206BCNZ audio controller, the same chip as found in last year's 21.5"

  21. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 24, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 24, image 2 of 2
    • So, ummm...

    • See these traces on the board here?

    • See this other hole on the left?

    • Looks like this is where Apple's proprietary SSD connector should reside.

    • Placing the SSD from the 13" MacBook Pro Retina Display confirms this notion. If the shoe fits...

    • We purchased the "bargain-basement" version of the iMac. We're assuming that the more-expensive version—one that has the built-to-order Fusion drive option—has this connector soldered onto the board, and a 128GB SSD placed into said connector.

    • Looks like there'll be no love for our awesome dual-drive kit from this iMac generation. :(

    The Fusion drive is more likely a hybrid and the SSD connector was intentionally depopulated.

    elvisimprsntr - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    It's been confirmed that the Fusion Drive technology is software based and not the same as a Hybrid Drive. The two drives are separate, and act as one drive via software. Separating them allows for both SATA3 connectors to be used, and allows for more efficient bandwidth for your data, when it moves from one drive to the other. Also, if one portion of the Fusion Drive fails, it can be replaced. So iFixit is correct in their assumptions.

    Mari Marasu -

    The SSD drive was "intentionally depopulated" only because an SSD (or Fusion Drive) is not an option on the base 21.5" iMac.

    Snay Patel -

    Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but do I spy a pair of SATA power and data ports immediately to the left of the RAM chips (as seen in staps 18 and 21)???

    As much as a spare SSD connector would be quite handy (as mentioned in step-24), would it nevertheless be possible to install a 2nd SSD via the (apparent) SATA ports that I mentioned above, or possibly through a Y-Splitter via the HDD port?

    Cheers in advance.

    David Markham - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I just see a single SATA port, that is already taken for the sole HDD.

    You can't split SATA cables either.

    Snay Patel -

    Regarding Step 24 -



    Any Idea if it'd be possible to install OWC's Aura Pro SSD there? For example, if i were to buy the 21.5 inch iMac with a standard 5200rpm 1TB HDD, and then install my own SSD in the supplied connector, would it still work?



    I'm assuming that with the 27 incher, the 768GB Flash option from Apple will be using this connection? So i'm also thinking that it would just be a much cheaper option of buying a cheaper SSD from elsewhere and installing it myself? Any thoughts?



    The Aura Pro 480GB SSD -

    Craig Shields - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I found a connector for SSD there on my iMac that came with 1TB HDD! Found it when I had to remove the main board to upgrade the Wi Fi card to 802.11ac:) I might be very lucky or some base 21.5" iMacs have the connector even though the one in this teardown didn´t have it.

    Runar Vaernes - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Hi Runar,

    it would be nice to know whether you have the base (2.7ghz) or the stronger (2.9ghz) version.

    I have the stronger one, that could be ordered (BTO) with SSD but I don't find any information about SSD connection soldered onto the logic board... neither any picture.

    Zsolt -

    2.7 came with or with out the PCI-e SSD connector, it should be on all others...

    Only way to tell is to take apart the 2.7 and look...

    Matthew Smith - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    I have iMac 2012Late 13.1 21.5" 2.7GHZ There is no method to check without remove mainboard?

    Michał Sekściński - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  22. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 25, image 1 of 1
    • Though the rear case is the last piece we reach, it's where the design of the new iMac began.

    • In order to carefully join together the pieces of the case, Apple turned to friction stir welding, a process previously reserved for applications such as ship building and aerospace.

    • Friction stir welding is more like joining clay than welding—it doesn't melt the workpieces, but rather softens the area between them and forces material together, creating a strong weld with no weakened heat affected zone.

    How about removing the foot/stand to install a VESA adapter? Same way with a business card like before?

    fernandopenah - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    At a minimum can you let us know if removal of the stand is either the same or can it be removed at all to install a VESA adapter. If I have to take a hacksaw to this thing then I will be rethinking buying it to begin with.

    Herb -

    What is the connector near the bottom of the case (right hand side) for?

    CityZ - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    headphone jack cable connector

    Roeland De Windt -

    Can't see where you see Friction Stir Welding. To my knowledge, the assembly is just made using traditional Spot Welding, which is common for metal sheet assembly.

    Jerome Samson - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  23. iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 26, image 1 of 2 iMac Intel 21.5" EMC 2544 Teardown: step 26, image 2 of 2
    • iMac 21.5" EMC 2544 Repairability Score: 3 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)

    • You can still replace the RAM, hard drive, and CPU inside this machine.

    • The glass and LCD are now fused together, and there are no more magnets holding the glass in place. That means it's heatgun time!

    • Most replaceable components (like the RAM) are buried behind the logic board, meaning you'll have to take apart most of the iMac just to gain access to them.

    • Budget-minded folks can no longer add a second hard drive to the base iMac unless they are super-fond of soldering missing proprietary connectors onto the logic board.

    • You'll have to masterfully peel off the old double-sided sticky tape and apply new tape in order to reseal this iMac into original condition.

    The ram in the 27' model can be removed much more easily.

    Made in USA reminded me about the original Macintosh

    Honam1021 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0


May, You can write some

more about – back – of LCD display?

Mirek Szatkowski - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

I'm guessing they broke the glass which is why we don't see the display in the end picture.

William Whaley -

William: Nope, we just wanted to do something different this time around. It's a terrible PITA to take a decent photo of such a large piece of reflective glass.

Post-teardown image, just for you:

Miroslav Djuric -

Could you guys get the same tools apple has for their service tech to remove the LCD. They do not used heat gun at all. It's a type plastic round wheel mounted on a plastic handle. They just more it around between the monitor and the chassis end the monitor is easy removed.

Jose -

There is a door at the back of the case, you can open it to change ram, no need to open the mac to do so.

tzr155 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Not on the 21.5", the door is only on the 27".

filthygas -

Not in the 21.5” models only the 27”

Dan -

that is not true, this 2013 iMac Model has RAM seated behind the logic board and only accessible by taking it all apart first

Edit: apparently all of us commenting, do not see these previous responses before commenting lol

Hunter Martin -

"There is a door at the back of the case, you can open it to change ram, no need to open the mac to do so."

That door exists only on the 27" iMac. As the author explained, on the 21.5" iMac, the RAM board is BEHIND the logic board so a door would not give you access, anyway.

portofino901 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

The back of the logic board faces the back of the machine, so a door would work. I suppose Apple just thought that aesthetics were more important than upgradability.

CityZ -

The vent behind the stand has been there since the original core 2 duo iMacs.

Declan Hunter - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

The vent was there on the g5 iMacs in 2004

William Whaley -

I suspect attempting to reseal such a large sheet of glass after removing it is very likely to damage it. Can you comment?

Christopher Toon - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

You'll have to find a suitable double-sided sticky tape and peel off the old tape from both sides of the machine. Then, align the glass properly and stick it back on.

It shouldn't be damaged as long as you're very careful during both disassembly and reassembly.

Miroslav Djuric -

I took my iMac to an Apple Store in France for a mainboard replacement. I won't say where, but when I actually saw it, the glass was chipped quite badly at the base, where the metal touches the glass. So it does happen. Had a tense conversation with the manager and they replaced the screen/glass.

Alas a month later apparent RAM problems (beep beep beep, machine refusing to go oo sporadically). They then changed the ram, saying it was unrelated.. 3 weeks later the ram issue resumed... AppleCare, to their credit, almost immediately then offered to replace the whole machine which i didn't expect but it's a relief. Im sure my iMac situation was unusual, but things dont always go as planned when a problem starts and they start ungluing these machines and moving bits about!

William Dowell -

Pity about the glued glass! Is the new sandwiched screen to heavy for magnets?

fallenartist - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

They said that display is 5mm thinner, so I assume that it would be lighter as well. Magnets certainly would've worked here.

I'd like to think however, that the reason why they used glue instead of magnets is because it would save space along the edges, allowing the iMac to maintain the illusion of being impossibly thin.

Dinidu Perera -

No mention of what screws are used in each step?

William Whaley - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

They don't mention such details in teardowns, but rather in repair guides.

CityZ -

Based on the images of the screen being taken off and the aluminum case, it does appear there could have been magnets used in lieu of the foam. I'm wondering if an entrepreneurial site (cough: iFixit) might be able to come up with a custom kit that replaces the foam with a magnetic mounting kit? ;-)

mutatio - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

spoiler alert: MacRant

This model marks another low for Apple systematically manufacturing unserviceable computers and other devices. So much for "green" Apple (beautifully designed cardboard box the contents of which are nigh to impossible to upgrade by the end user). Imagine needing a guitar pick to pry the screen off a $1500 Mac! This is planned obsolescence at its worst. Why couldn't they have put a port on the back so that drive and ram could be upgraded or replaced.

Don't get me wrong, I am not too inept to break out my heat guns, putty knives and spudgers.I believe it's just criminal how Apple is gluing and special screwing their products together in China, and the average Joe American cannot replace a hard drive or add more memory without a complete teardown. Stop dumbing your products down, Apple!

George - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Looking at the picture in step 8 and seeing where the RAM is located in the later pictures, would it be possible to change out the RAM without lifting out the logic board? It looks like there's a gap big enough to reach in an unlatch them. And is there any special voodoo with the hard drive (do you need to use the same manufacturer or could you replace it later with any other)?

Richard Murray - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

you can replace with any HD, remove fan, then you can replace ram without removing LB - done myself

Amadeusz Juskowiak -

Can anyone comment on whether not the new iMacs are VESA compliant? I wanted to mount one of the new 27" iMacs on my existing swing arm that is attached to my workstation. I can't tell from any of the literature is your are still able to remove the base on the new models.

Keith - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

No, not Vesa compatible.

Arman -

More a question for Arman. Obviously they didn't weld the stand in. So just saying no is not enough. Can you at least indicate if the stand can be removed as part of Apples design, and if so then the answer is yes we can fabricate an adapter.

Herb -


Did you guys have this unit up and running prior to its teardown? Don't suppose you came across the Model Identifier Code and could share that information? Also was it running 10.8.2?

many thanks.

Daniel Tucker - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Quo vadis Apple !? As far as I'm concerned, this sucks! The old slogan should be changed into: Stink different!

Alexander deLarge - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

For anyone who's wondering...

- you can open the iMac without heat gun, using just Plastic Playing Card (poker-like) instead of guitar picks, same results, easier and faster

- you can mount any 9.5mm x 2.5" (or little heigher, there is plenty of space inside) disk - any SSD should work (using Vertex 4)

- any RAM 1600MHz, CL11 should work (using ValueRAM 2x8GB CL11 1600MHz here) and... you don't need to unscrew nor remove the logic board - just unscrew fan, then use toothpicks (yeah, or something sturdier) to unclip RAM, mount new RAM, screw fan and you're done

- removing old tape is simple, it peels off easily, i used 3M 5915 6mm 16mil tape, results are almost perfect, you may find other thin (14mil would be the best) tape with strong glue and foam

Have fun!


PS 7/10 repair score

Amadeusz Juskowiak - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Being adventurous as most, I instead elected when replacing a 1 TB to 3TB HDD in my 2010 27" iMac to have an authorized dealer (hence no warranty problems!) replace it for $55 (I bought my drive) .... less then the cost of combined iFixit tools. FAR less hassle doing it myself. I was able to satisfy my vicarious voyeuristic self by looking at all of your tear down photos!

This is a inexpensive option for those that want the upgrade with out the hassle, or worry of voiding your warranty.

It's not that I am adventurous, I have replaced LCD in my original macbook and top cover on Power Book, however the older I get, the less hassle I need in my life. When I get my new 27", I'll have it done the same way, all will be Apple Care warranty ok upgrades by dealer

michaelsullivan - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

how thick was the replacement 3t drive

kz900z1b -

just recieved the new 27' i can post pics of ram removal its fairly simple.

elip - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

since the glass are not magnetic as the earlier models. Is there anywhere to buy a new glass only, i broke mine at it looks like crap. But my LCD is fine... please help

patrick - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Does this mean that the CPU is infact replaceable, for example moving from the 1.4 dual to a 2.7 quad ?

liam - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Does anybody know if it is possible to add an additional disk to the 21.5 late 2013, 14,2 model?

Does this model also have the SSD slot as the discussed model?

Sos Mac - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Might sound silly- is there a backlight inverter board located on this machine, anywhere?

yafilme - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

just brake my glass :( it was terrible... now need to get new :)

Anushka - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Grab the chance to play Mac Slots for American Players at the best and most trusted online casino playing slots.

Shaun Parker - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

can the hard drive 9.5mm be replaced with a 15mm

kz900z1b - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Is thee anyway I can replace the graphics card in this model. ie the Nvidia GeForce GT 640M GPU ? Cheers Mal

Malcolm - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0



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