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  1. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown, MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 1, afbeelding 1 van 2 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown, MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 1, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • Everyone Mac enthusiasts don't have to wait months anymore to see what's inside the new MacBook Pro.

    • What is it that's got everyone in the tech world buzzing?

    • 15.4" LED-backlit Retina display with IPS with a resolution of 2880 x 1800 at 220 ppi

    • Intel Ivy Bridge Core-i7 processor with Turbo Boost and Intel HD Graphics 4000

    • 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3L RAM

    • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1 GB of GDDR5 VRAM

  2. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 2, afbeelding 1 van 2 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 2, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • A quick inspection of the side of the MacBook Pro with Retina display reveals loads of upgrades:

    • MagSafe 2

    • Two (!) Thunderbolt ports

    • The first of two USB 3.0 ports

    • A standard 3.5 mm headphone jack (boo)

    • The right side of the MacBook houses an SD card reader, the second USB 3.0 port, and a full-size HDMI output.

    • Both sides feature air induction vents for the new cooling system—but more on that later.

    Any sign of a security slot? Even if I was sitting nearby not using it, I'd be terrified to leave one on a desk unless it could be secured.

    junk - Antwoord

    You say, "A standard 3.5mm headphone jack (boo)". What justifies the "boo" in this case? Missing optical, is my best guess. Does it not support the iPhone style inline headset/volume? Is there some other issue with it?

    Owen Imholte - Antwoord

    No, it's just that it's not new and exciting like the other ports.

    David Hodson -

  3. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 3, afbeelding 1 van 2 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 3, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • The new display assembly design left no room for the usual "MacBook Pro" logo on the slim bezel.

    • There's plenty of room for the logo on the bottom of the computer, though. If no one believes that your computer is a real MacBook Pro, just pick it up and flip it over.

    • All these upgrades earned this Pro a new model number: A1398.

    • Go ahead and let that sink in for a minute; Apple finally introduced a new MacBook Pro model number! (It's the little things that make us happy.)

  4. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 4, afbeelding 1 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 4, afbeelding 2 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 4, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • What does an Apple logo or Finder icon made up of 220 pixels per inch look like up close?

    • A bunch of colored, square-ish dots, that's what.

    • All joking aside, the resolution of this display really is incredible. There's no doubt that the cost to manufacture the Retina display is a big reason for the new MacBook Pro's $2200 (starting) price tag.

    Is it me or do I see 5 stuck pixels on that small close-up of the screen?

    msu320 - Antwoord

    Yeah, stuck pixels, but not on MB display but in CMOS sensor fo the camera probably ;)

    Alex -

    • We love a challenge, which is good news, because unlike previous generations of MacBook Pros, the MacBook Pro with Retina display is guarded by Apple's proprietary pentalobe screws.

    • We work with bated breath as our pentalobe screwdriver sloughs off a stack of proprietary screws.

    • Finally, we are in!

    What size of pentalobe is this?

    haloerika - Antwoord

    It's 1.2.

    Btw, where are the 3 longest screw located ?

    Roberto Sonzogni - Antwoord

  5. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 6, afbeelding 1 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 6, afbeelding 2 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 6, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • The MacBook Pro's innards revealed for your pleasure. If you like details, check out the gigantor version!

    • By the way, we don't just make awesome teardowns—we sell parts. And tools! Lots and lots of tools.

    • Like this handy-dandy electronics tool kit that we used to take apart the new iPad. You know you want one. It'll pay for itself the first time you use it!

    • We sell Mac parts & upgrades, parts for iPhone screen repair, kits for fixing the infamous Xbox Red Ring of Death, and tons more.

    • We need your support to continue building the free repair manual for everything in the world.

    What's the deal with the two magnets in the middle of the case, just above the batteries?

    Scott Lawrence - Antwoord

    Hey Scott. Those magnets are used to hold the rear cover close to the body of the MacBook Pro. The screws hold it in place around the perimeter, but the magnets keep the large aluminum panel from acting like a drum, flapping about and such. In the MacBook Air, Apple uses plastic clips to accomplish the same task.

    Brett Hartt -

  6. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 7, afbeelding 1 van 2 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 7, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • The new battery packs quite a punch: 95 Wh at 10.95 V compared to last year's puny 77.5 Wh.

    • Two things haven't changed, though: the 7-hour battery life and the pestering reminder that Apple doesn't think you're qualified to service your own battery.

    • Spoiler alert: they might be right.

  7. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 8, afbeelding 1 van 2 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 8, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • It's always a good idea to disconnect the battery when gutting your gadgets.

    • While Apple seems to have an extensive warning label, it fails to mention potential shocks by failing to disconnect the battery during gadget surgery. Is it possible Apple wasn't expecting us?

    "While Apple seems to have an extensive warning label, it fails to mention potential shocks by failing to disconnect the battery during gadget surgery. Is it possible Apple wasn't expecting us?"

    Actually, I think they did. :)

    Is that normal that the Model number is not the same in and out of the computer? (A1398 & A1417)

    Mr Bob - Antwoord

    Those are the computer and battery model numbers, respectively. They've done that for a while now.

    David Hodson -

  8. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 9, afbeelding 1 van 2 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 9, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • Great news. The battery is no longer screwed into the machine.

    • Horrible News. Apple chose to use the dreaded g-word: glue.

    • We're going to move on to more accessible components first, and then come back to the battery.

  9. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 10, afbeelding 1 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 10, afbeelding 2 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 10, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • Now we are getting to the good stuff, starting with the SSD. We found a 512 GB Samsung flash memory module.

    • The chips are marked:

    • Samsung S4LJ204X01 3-core ARM SSD controller chip - revision seems newer than 830-series SSD

    • Samsung 213 K9UHGY8U7A 20nm MLC NAND chips

    • Samsung 201 K4T263140F 256MB DDR2-800 cache memory

    • Proprietary flash memory is nothing new to Apple. It is, however, new to the MacBook Pro lineup.

    This is the same SSD controller used in the Samsung 830. This is a very good thing. I remember seeing a Toshiba SSD module as well which I think uses a Sandforce controller. Performance characteristics are a bit different. I wonder when one is used over the other.

    Joon Park - Antwoord

    Is this SSD compatible with the one in Air 2012?


    Jon - Antwoord

    The chip number on the RAM is K4T2G314QF-MCF7 (Q, not 0, as noted in Step 10)

    These part numbers also noted in my news post here (linking back to you guys):

    My performance review of the Samsung 830 Series, for those interested:

    I'm thrilled to see such a great controller in the new MacBooks!


    Allyn Malventano

    Storage Editor, PC Perspective

    Allyn Malventano - Antwoord

    The SSD card is using a standard mSATA connector and layout. The size of the board is proprietary, but the pinout and the signal standards are maintained.

    So, it's possible to build a replacement SSD for the macbook pro Retina. I expect our friends at OWC and others to start making 512, 768 and 1024GB upgrades available. Perhaps faster, since they have shown they have access to the same high-speed controllers and chips.


    Martin Bogomolni - Antwoord

    Is it confirm that the physical size of SSD in R-MBP is the same as MBA? If so, that will be a good news for replace or upgrade.

    Tembo Hu -

    K9UHGY8U7A is the same 25nm MLC NAND as in the Samsung 830.

    As others noted, the controller is also identical to the 830 (The MCX). Not a newer revision.

    Samsung new NAND in the 840 is 21nm. There is no such thing as 20nm NAND from Samsung.

    The 21nm MLC is K9HFGY8U5A

    and the TLC is K9CFGY8U5A

    Just want to avoid spreading wrong information

    Anh Man Tran - Antwoord

    I have chatted with two different reps, online, both of whom say that the just-released Retina MacBook Pros come with solid state drives that are soldered onto the motherboard. They also say it can be repaired by Mac, but they avoided the question of upgrading or replacing (if it's beyond in-place repair). Can somebody please look into this?

    bob - Antwoord

  10. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 11, afbeelding 1 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 11, afbeelding 2 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 11, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • At first, the AirPort card in the MacBook Pro looks very similar to the one that we pulled out of the Mid 2012 MacBook Air.

    • Closer inspection, however, reveals otherwise:

    • Broadcom BCM4331 single-chip 802.11n dual-band wireless solution

    • Broadcom BCM20702 single-chip Bluetooth 4.0 HCI solution with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) support

    • Skyworks WiFi Block

    • 2xSE5515 Dual-Band FrontEnds

    • 2.4GHz SE2598L and 5GHz SE5019T transmit power amps

    • 2.4GHz SKY65405 and 5GHz SKY65404 reception low-noise amps

    @mr2incredible Is this upgradable to AC WiFi?

    Padraic Hoselton - Antwoord

    yeah i realy wonder also :)

    katrinetekin - Antwoord

  11. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 12, afbeelding 1 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 12, afbeelding 2 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 12, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • A bracket, some antenna cables, a few screws, and finally we get to the crème de la crème, the fan with asymmetric blade spacing.

    • We jumped at calling the fan inside the Mid-2012 MacBook Air 13" "asymmetrical," but when compared to the fan inside this MacBook Pro, the Air's fan is definitely more periodic.

    • Theoretically, the asymmetry spreads the noise produced over multiple frequencies, making it less noticeable.

    • This fan has been mentioned in almost all press on the MacBook Pro with Retina display. We are surprised at how much attention a minor blade spacing change is getting. It is nevertheless a testament to how much attention Apple puts on minor details overlooked by the rest of the industry, all for the comfort of the end user.

    They used to do the same thing with radiator fans in cars (back when they were belt driven). Not so much for noise reduction, but to reduce vibration (which is pretty much the same thing when you think about it).

    ian351c - Antwoord

  12. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 13, afbeelding 1 van 2 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 13, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • Next up is the I/O board that plays host to one of the two USB 3.0 ports and the SD card reader.

    • We love that this Pro has USB 3.0 ports on both sides. At last we resolved the issues of cables that are 12.5" too short and thumb drives, mouse dongles, and USB toys that are a centimeter too wide.

    • The I/O board also plays host to a Broadcom BCM57100 series Gigabit Ethernet + Memory Card reader controller. The Ethernet controller is accessible through the separately-sold Thunderbolt adapter.

    • ParadeTech PS8401A HDMI Jitter Cleaning 3 Gbps HDMI repeater

    "The Ethernet controller is accessible through the separately-sold Thunderbolt adapter."

    Do you really think this is the controller that is accessed with the thunderbold adapter?

    First: it is on the other side of the computer...

    Second: the adapter itself has the ethernet controller on board?!

    So what do you mean by that statement?

    derbroti - Antwoord

    I would also like to know whether the onboard ethernet is really wired up? It identifies as 14e4:16a3 "Broadcom Corporation Device 16a3 (rev 21)". I do not think it is used in the Thunderbolt ethernet adaptor, since the thunderbolt adaptor has its own onboard BCM57762 ethernet controller. So what is the point of including ethernet in the Macbook itself? Can it be used?

    Chris -

    this might sound dumb at first but i think it actually works with the airport wireless NIC somehow. (en0)

    tjt263 -

    I realize that this is like 3 years too late but its’s for the 10gbps (sort of) point-to-point ethernet connection you can make by connecting two Macs together via thunderbolt.

    Ted -

    how do you get the darned plastic bracket off?

    flow in - Antwoord

  13. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 14, afbeelding 1 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 14, afbeelding 2 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 14, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • The next piece out is the processor and GPU heat sink and exhaust air vent assembly.

    • By pushing the air through a restriction before it gets to the outermost vents, you introduce an additional pressure drop (due to fluid shear stress at the walls) that accelerates the air and pushes it out of the computer faster.

    • With that last obstacle out of the way, the logic board comes out fairly effortlessly.

    Are you sure that isn't an Apple proprietary memory daughterboard connector between the CPU and the top row of RAM chips?? Seems to me that would be an easy way to upgrade from 8GB to 16GB of RAM...

    emoon1 - Antwoord

    interesting, can you elaborate on this?

    tjt263 -

  14. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 15, afbeelding 1 van 1
    • Major players on the front of the logic board include:

    • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M GPU

    • Intel Core-i7 3720QM 2.6 GHz processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz) with Intel Graphics HD 4000.

    • What appears to be an Intel E208B284 Platform Controller Hub

    • Hynix H5TC2G83CFR DDR3L SDRAM

    • Intel DSL3510L Thunderbolt controller

    So I guess there is no easy way to upgrade the RAM...

    You cannot swap new/bigger memory bars.

    Can you confirm?

    Thank you!

    Francois Massart - Antwoord

    You're stuck with the RAM you buy. There's no way to upgrade the RAM unless you switch out the entire logic board.

    Miroslav Djuric -

    The yellow one is almost certainly the QM77 variant of the C216 chipset which would be the PCH as mentioned.

    Microwave_highvoltage - Antwoord

  15. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 16, afbeelding 1 van 1

    Just some random ad…

    Aiden - Antwoord


    Duck - Antwoord

  16. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 17, afbeelding 1 van 1
    • The back of the logic board revealed:

    • Hynix H5TC2G83CFR DDR3L SDRAM 2Gbit 1600MHz chips

    • Hynix H5GQ2H24AFR - 2.5GHz 2Gbit GDDR5 memory chips

    • Texas Instruments Stellaris LM4FS1AH microcontroller with integrated ARM core

    • Renesas R4F2113 H8S series CISC MCU

    • Maxim MAX15119 Apple-specific IMVP7 CPU/GPU power controller

    • Cypress Semiconductor CY8C24794-24L - a Programmable SoC

    Notice that the Lattice FPGA used in previous MBP models to switch the LVDS display signal between the two GPUs ("GMUX") has been replaced with a TI HD3SS212 DisplayPort switch.

    dfskjfksa - Antwoord

    Yellow must be the SMC as deduced from sheet 41, page 49 of "SCHEM,MLB,KEPLER,2PHASE,D2" (the schematics matching this Macbook Pro)

    Microwave_highvoltage - Antwoord

    - Green seems to be the “eDP Mux” from schematics.

    - Magenta is the “PSOC USB CONTROLLER” and related to “KEYBOARD/TRACKPAD”.

    Microwave_highvoltage - Antwoord

  17. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 18, afbeelding 1 van 2 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 18, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • The headphone jack is held in place pretty snugly, but that doesn't stop us.

    • This is where you plug in headphones or speakers. We're not sure why you wouldn't want to share the magic of Apple's specially-engineered speaker system, though…

    Any chance that it can be used as Line In as well? or only using the iPhone headphones mic (4th position of Tip, Ring, Sleeve, Sheath) And optical in and out?

    Will Mayo - Antwoord

    yes i believe it doubles as a line in/line out

    tjt263 -

  18. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 19, afbeelding 1 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 19, afbeelding 2 van 3 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 19, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • …and right on cue, out come the speakers.

    • Apple claims that their custom speakers make the most of "every cubic millimeter" inside the MacBook Pro. For $2200, we sure hope that they wouldn't be plug-and-play.

    • The dual DXEC02 bottom-port Knowles MEMS microphones (with Job Id/Tape Numbers) lie underneath (or on top of?) the left speaker assembly. They use an "adaptive beam-forming algorithm" to cancel out background noise to make it easier to talk to your computer make calls via Skype and improve the speech recognition performance.

    Does the audio port have optical digital?

    Benjamin Green - Antwoord

    From the Apple specs sheet neither this new MacBook Pro or the new MacBook Air have digital outputs. Just looking at the connector in the disassembly photos it appears to be true - Sorry

    Dan -

  19. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 20, afbeelding 1 van 2 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 20, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • A few cables and hefty display hinge screws hold the display assembly in place, but not for long.

    • The Retina display LCD is situated in the display assembly, and it's not going anywhere. Chances are if anything related to the display goes bad, you'll be replacing the whole kit'n'caboodle.

    • Don't forget that the display assembly also includes the FaceTime Camera, WiFi antennas, and Bluetooth antennas.

    • Someone really did not want the battery in the MacBook Pro to come out of the upper case.

    • We tried valiantly with our iFixit 6 Inch Metal Ruler to free the battery from its aluminum confines, but to no avail. Rather than risk puncturing a lithium-polymer battery cell, we left the power source in place.

    • To complicate matters further, the TrackPad cable lies underneath the battery. Attempting to pry the battery off the upper case could easily sever the fragile cable, which would be bad.

    What about heat to free the batteries? Since the case is metal, what are the thoughts of gradually heating the case, until the glue begins to loosen up? Naturally, you'd want to do that with as much other stuff removed as possible.

    I think the key would be a precision heating of the case (not just hitting the batteries with a heat gun), learning what the meltio0ng point is and not going a degree above that!

    John Rees - Antwoord

    Are the battery modules glued to some kind of common rack, which can be then taken out as a whole or are they individually glued to enclosures frame?

    Michael Seydl - Antwoord

    The warning label for the batteries says 100 °C. I bet the glue is hot melt and it turns to butter at some temperature well below that. Apple offers battery replacement service so there has to be some reliable way to un-bond the glue.

    I bet at about medium well (160 °F or 71 °C) the batteries fall right out.

    Dave Adams - Antwoord

    Have your tried a swab of rubbing alcohol on the glue holding the batteries? If it's hot melt adhesive, they'll cleanly pop right off.

    Phil Burgess - Antwoord

    Suggest trying "Undu" - scrapbooker's adhesive remover. Brilliant stuff. (chemical = hexane) Dissolves the pressure sensitive adhesive glue bond, then evaporates leaving the adhesive still sticky for reuse. I have used it on iPhone battery with success.

    B Louis - Antwoord

    So... while I generally agree with everything said here, I wanted to address the battery issue. I've now stripped out 7x highly used and dying, or damaged batteries without damaging them. I use a 1-1/2" wide very stiff (with a dull front edge, similar to this: I them wrap the entire blade in electrical tape to soften edges. Then, coming at various strategic angles (depends on which portion of the battery I'm removing), I go under each. From a top down view with the battery at the bottom and the logic board on top, the two middle portions are the most difficult (with the middle one on the right being the trickiest) to remove. Leave the two middle portions for last... for one, that's where the trackpad ribbon/trackpad guard is, but also simply because u can go underneath the outside portions to get to those (once you've gotten the outside portions lifted away).

    jcarter - Antwoord

  20. MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 22, afbeelding 1 van 2 MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 Teardown: stap 22, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • MacBook Pro with Retina Display 15" Mid 2012 Repairability Score: 1 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

    • Proprietary pentalobe screws prevent you from gaining access to anything inside.

    • As in the MacBook Air, the RAM is soldered to the logic board. Max out at 16GB now, or forever hold your peace—you can't upgrade.

    • The proprietary SSD isn't upgradeable either (yet), as it is similar but not identical to the one in the Air. It is a separate daughtercard, and we’re hopeful we can offer an upgrade in the near future.

    • The lithium-polymer battery is glued rather than screwed into the case, which increases the chances that it'll break during disassembly. The battery also covers the trackpad cable, which tremendously increases the chance that the user will shear the cable in the battery removal process.

    • The display assembly is completely fused, and there’s no glass protecting it. If anything ever fails inside the display, you will need to replace the entire extremely expensive assembly.

    "MacBook Air 13" Mid 2012 Repairability Score: 1 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)." Macbook Pro you mean?

    Jason Martin - Antwoord

    Sorry, it was a late night.

    Miroslav Djuric -

    It’s 15 inches, isn’t it?

    Frank - Antwoord

    it's MacBook PRO, and it's 15'' isn't it?

    Tyler - Antwoord

    I would argue against the last point "display assembly is completely fused".

    Replacing parts with any laptop usually requires a cheap alternative. For he majority of time. It is the RAM, Harddrive, etc.

    You rarely see screens or monitors replaced and when they are replaced you dont just replace the panel you replace the entire screen.

    For DDR ram, in order to run at 1600MHz a better design is to ditch SO-DIMM modules.

    FACT: You can run any RAM at a faster Hz when it is directly soldered to the board.

    asd1815dev - Antwoord

    Can you tell whether there is space and a way to fit a sata drive in for additional disk space?

    Tay Zombulovich - Antwoord

    If you take out one of the fans or the battery cells, sure. I wouldn't suggest doing either of those, though.

    David Hodson -

    So the glass covering the display is gone? Can the writers please confirm?

    A feature of the last few MBPs was the glass display, this is now gone?

    On a side note, I wish random comments like "I wouldn't recommend this to anyone" can be deleted. NO ONE really cares and is not asking for "Joe" off the Internet for his reccomendation.

    Surge - Antwoord

    SSD Upgrade: Check out OWC's Aura/Aura Pro 6G... or Transcends Jetdrive 720 (with a 960GB option!!)

    Applecare: Yes, when buying the retina (especially if like myself... you have the top end models (2.7/2.8GHz i7 16GB DDR3 768GB SSD), you should invest in applecare. Buy it on ebay if you want to save a bit of cash. I got my first 15" retina applecare on ebay (regularly $349) for $245. Granted, that was some time ago. But still, saved $100. And my macbook pro retina was $3400. Well worth the $249, even if just to get the parts for free. LOL. I have since had 4x retina displays replaced because of image ghosting, and 2x replaced because of logic board issues (I own 75+ macs for work). Applecare is worth it for expensive machines. Even if you work on them yourself and are a certified mac tech like me. Still worth it.

    jcarter - Antwoord

    In my opinion the MBP retina 15 is as close as it gets to be a perfect product. I've got the 2012 maxed out version, and still have no need for any upgrade, the 16GB RAM is still way more than necessary, the i7 still screams, and I still have more than 100GB free space.

    At the time I bought it, I was looking for desktopclass performance on the go, plenty of batterylife, 15" Screen and <= 2kg to carry around. It can do all that, which is very impressive to have the paradox of light, but powerfull + powerfull but, good batterylife.

    And thats where realtiy hits. If you would now want to merge these two impressive feats with repairabilty it will get thick and heavier. There is no Hattrick possible here, you can make two out of three work, but one is the sacrifice fo another.

    And if you dont need any uprades in 3 years or more, than it doesnt have to be repairable, opt for Apple Care and youre good to go, and the one and only thing that needs replacement down the road, the SSD, is replaceable.

    JMI - Antwoord

    I agree. I didn't get a maxed out version but mine still runs so fast and the batteries are still like new in my opinion. I feel no need to buy a new Mac yet, I don't even think the Mac seems any slower than it did the day I bought it, even with all of the new OS versions. I use Final Cut Pro to edit multiple 1080p/60 streams and it handles everything. The photo of the Mac with the back off looks like a work of art lol. I hate to sound like a hardcore Apple fanboy but its really good-looking inside and out. This was my first Mac and I can't imagine going back to Windows now.

    chris bizzelle -

    I felt just like @cxk (chris bizzelle) until I upgraded from Mavericks (10.9) to High Sierra (10.13). Yes, I waited that long, because everything Just Worked. But eventually some of my apps were no longer supported and Homebrew was not supported.

    What a difference. Instead of 1-3GB free physmem under my normal app load, I’m at roughly 300MB. takes literally 500 to 800 milliseconds to respond to keypresses requesting things like “delete a message” or “display next message". Instead of ~250 entries in the process table for an idle, no-Apps open state, I’m closer to 300.

    This is clearly not a criticism of the 2012 MBP, but rather of Apple for making a wonderful machine slow by releasing a bloated, poor-quality macOS release. They ought to be ashamed. If I could find a copy of the 10.11 installer, I’d seriously consider going back to an older release. Oh I know — they want me to buy a new laptop instead! I like the features of my current MacBook Pro, thank you very much. Grr.

    Chris Johnson - Antwoord

    I did the same - upgraded from Mavericks to High Sierra - and was also wondering about the low free memory (also about 300 MB). I think it’s because of “inactive” memory. When you close an app, OS doesn’t free up the memory that it used, but rather marks it as inactive, so that if you relaunch the app it will load faster. If another app needs memory, but there is not enough free memory, it will free up some inactive memory to make it availble for the newly launched app.

    Found a question about it on stackexchange:

    Btw, if you use iStat Menus, you can check a box (in iStat Menus 6.0 at least) under the memory section “Hide inactive memory” and it will show only “wired” and “active” memory used, so you get a better feeling of how much memory is available.

    Joakim Borregaard -

49 opmerkingen

You haven't said, Can you see who makes the display?

Igal Neshto - Antwoord

I too would like to know more about the panel.

Nicholas Shanks -

ifixit probably afraid of damaging the pricey display.

User ONE -

what about the keyboard? not replaceable?

xkiller213 - Antwoord

It is, I recently had to do it. The big issue is that the original keyboard is riveted in and so the old keyboard has to be ripped ou, breaking the rivets in the process. This means the new keyboard has to be screwed in instead, and take around 100 tiny screws to achieve this.

Steve Pearce -

no trace of LIQUID METAL share?????

12345 - Antwoord

Apple is ridiculous.

Why continue in this way, far from the idea to be near his customer.

Glue the battery, pffff, can not be explain ....

I will keep away from this computer.

Sorry to see this ....

Mathieu Vilaplana - Antwoord

"You'll be missed!" -- Randal

no way -

Please post information regarding the FaceTime HD webcamera. Thanks!

Martin - Antwoord

I don't particularly see how people can say that they couldn't recommend this to anyone, unless regardless of what it's repairability rating was, you weren't going to recommend it to anyone either way. I mean, most people have, IDK, a mom or a girlfriend, or even just a friend that is comfortable with neither doing repairs and replacements themselves or having you do it? I replaced the memory in my MBP before I ever turned it on, and changed out the HD after I was set up, but I'd be lying if I said everyone I knew was like me. Even myself, if I'm shelling out $2200 (You can max out at $3500ish :O) on a computer I'd probably invest in Apple Care.

Anyways, of course I AM not excited about anything that would be hard to replace, but only because of my own preferences and a few people I know. I know more people than not whom won't be affected by that.

driftej20 - Antwoord

While I agree that these things don't make me want to avoid this machine, I'm not sure the point of suggesting that one's "mom or girlfriend" are the intended audience because they're not technically savvy.

In a world where Linus Torvalds runs a Macbook Air, it's extremely condescending to suggest that a Macbook Pro, due to its non-expandability, is only appropriate for women.

no way -

In any case, if I have a scenario where a faulty RAM needs to be replaced, the only solution then is to only order the entire logic board. Will not that cost you closer to getting a new one. Was this new MBP retina built to last. What would be the possible cost of owership this has to the end user?


Arly Borja - Antwoord

R4F2113 is a Renesas 16-Bit Single-Chip Microcomputer H8S Family / H8S/2100 Series

Dan - Antwoord

As for the soldered-in RAM: I believe that they've figured out what the probability of failure of RAM is, and it must be low enough that it's not likely that RAM will be failing more often than anything else on the board. If you want replaceable RAM, why stop there: you could have a replaceable CPU. And GPU! And why not something else as well. See where it goes? RAM is not special in any way.

Kuba Ober - Antwoord

Thats exactly the point! Engineers have labored to make all of these parts modular and Apple is taking their notebooks in the completely wrong direction. Gaming notebooks have had MXM graphics card slots for a long time now. It is not only environmentally unfriendly to solder RAM to the board, but also prevents upgrades! Boo Apple!

Honorius -

HELLO, from ex. NOKIA COUNTRY (Finland). Nokia is closing Finland-Salo-Factory soon. Will buy Apple iPhone as soon the v.5 is out.

Back to the Apple Macbook Pro - retina. I'd say, do the same disassembly later too. Maybe in one month Apple have done changes to the construction and you'll see that the battery will be connected using screws and also will be changed more easily. What I'm saying is that I think that Apple is trying to mess up with media and is also trying to create an illusion that all the service needs to be done in repairshops. I don't think that even Apple is that dumb that would make products unserviceable.


Mika - Antwoord

I have have computers for more than 20 years now and NEVER had a case of failed ram. I had a Thinkpad that need to replace the... logic board :P They were covered by the 3 year warranty, so I did not pay anything. Also had a HP that needed logic board replacement. Never had problems with desktops.

Witch brings me to my next point: they have warranty, If you are worried about it, buy extended warranty.

The only way to make smaller and lighter notebooks is this, why carry 500g more all day just for the chance to upgrade your ram or pay less in case of a failure out of warranty? Everyone is complaining but it doesn´t make any sense. Buy heavier and larger notebooks them!

Thiago Gallo - Antwoord

All i can hear a big sucking sound, your money being sucked up by Apple. When you purchase this abomination called computer and when it needs repair. This is how they were in the 80's and they have returned to same position in the 2012. Proprietary piece of crap, that is like a expensive Bic lighter, toss it and get a new one.

LeCritique - Antwoord

Apple’s point is that a device done well doesn’t need repairs. Until I dropped a large glass paperweight on my MBP-R 2012 display I had no need for upgrades or repairs. I have a maxed out version & still have plenty of room to expand I still recommend AppleCare.

Sandman619 -

This teardown was for the R-MBP, but what about the non R models? I guess were awaiting a teardown to confirm but from the options on apple it would seem the non-R's have a standard 2.5" drive bay and perhaps removable/upgradeable memory; in which case this might be the better mac to get? I await more info and am checking iFixit every day awaiting another teardown to confirm my suspicions?!?

Steve Hardy - Antwoord

My concern is the length of time that AppleCare can be obtained. It is obvious that a machine this expensive needs extended warranty support. But the day will come that like my Mac Pro 8-Core 3.0 GHz Xeon, extensions to the AppleCare warrantee are not available at any price. I haven't inquired, but it may be that 3 years is the limit, after which the cost of repairs is astronomical, no matter what has gone wrong. My previous MacBook Pro, 17" HD, had a coffee spilled into it. Apple said the repairs weren't covered and wanted to replace, 1 The upper panel, 2. The optical drive, 3. the hard drive, 4, the logic board, 5. the video card, 6. the wifi card, 7. the keyboard... They wanted more to fix the machine than the ring market price for that model. That was one expensive cup of coffee, and it was hard not to be mad at the person who dumped it. Also since all the parts are soldered on, if any covered repair is required, it will probably entail a logic board change, and I would end up sending in the machine. Something I don't like doing will all my precious data on board. I like my Apple equipment, but all this is hard to take.

Douglas Goodall - Antwoord

Imagine if cars were built this way:

- assembled with non-standard fasteners

- consumable parts cast into the engine block

- disassembly requires destroying other parts

Oops ... maybe I shouldn't say that too loudly...

Joe - Antwoord

- It's basically a MacBook Air Pro. They are confusing the MacBook Pro line by doing this. They are also *#%&#@$ off people like me by jettisoning the 17" MacBook Pro. What I did notice is that they got the prices jacked up so high they now are about the same as an old 17" model fully decked out -- This goes for both the basic and Retina models. Yuck.

- Also, this is the first full, formal product release since Jobs croaked. It looks like they are taking a turn toward the closed-source side. I don't like the way this Compaq guy is running things. Late 90s Compaqs sucked for various proprietary hardware design and reliability reasons. I don't want new Macs to suck.

- The score here is basically a ZERO. No Apple computer should ever get a zero on any measure. They are dishonoring Jobs' legacy.

ingyhere - Antwoord

I would have to dispute your "reparability" score.

It looks very easy to open up and replace the components.

What you should say is the "upgradability" is difficult.

Since you sell tools for upgrade, that should be considered a conflict of interest.

Steve Rea - Antwoord

And this teardown explains the 65% Apple care discount for this device. A big ouch for this one indeed. It's a challenge to pry open, tear down, and might have high repair cost after 4 years.

Budi Nugroho - Antwoord

Thes screen is only a one piece or have a plastic protection film ?

My screen have a superficial detail i dont know if i need change the complete screen ? the screen see perfect, only this superficial detail...

Thanks ¡¡¡

DreaDy2013 - Antwoord

can the 802.11ac WiFi card from the late 2013 model work in the mid 2012 model?

cyglenn - Antwoord

I swapped the mid-2012 wifi module with the 2013 wifi module and my iWatch works perfectly to unlock my system (the iWatch is not compatible with the mid-2012 module).

winterg -


Anyone knows how to replace the hinges?

My screen is not aligned with base case properly so I'm thinking to do the hinges replacement.

jh75104 - Antwoord

You can't. But you CAN align them. Remove the bottom, loosen the 6 screws of the hinges, and align the display. Tighten, and you're done. It is a 10 minute job.

Richard Rosenberger -

Why is the teardown of the MacBook Pro 15" Retina Display Mid 2012 not as detailed as the teardown of the MacBook Pro 17" Unibody Logic Board Replacement? This is not nearly as helpful as your other teardowns because of lack of detail. The battery can be replaced fairly easy with the use of Isoproyl alcohol 99.9% pure. Use a syringe to squirt it under the batteries and then work it around under them. Let it set a few minutes to soften the glue and then began prying the batteries up. As you get the batteries to pry up a little, squirt some more alcohol under them again and let it sit a few more minutes. Then begin prying them up again. There is a metal cover between the two middle batteries and trackpad, protecting the trackpad ribbon cable. Make sure you stay between the battery and the metal cover as you pry the battery loose. Take your time and you will have no problem getting the batteries loose. It took me about 30 minutes.

Gregory Dixon - Antwoord

I removed my battery using your method using 91% Isoproyl. It took a little work but it turned out great!! The battery is defiantly removable and not to difficult to do. So happy to see my computer up and running like normal.

Nick Fulton -

I'm surprised no one has tried a heat gun on the battery yet.

mpias - Antwoord

I have, not recommended. Thankfully it was tested on an out of warranty one that was going to be binned anyway, but the batteries warped to the point that they no longer fit properly in the case, due to the fine tolerances. All in all, a completely shite design. What is wrong with a slimline plastic frame to hold batteries in place, and screws to hold the plastic in place? This is a top of the range computer, and it's batteries are held on with tape? Better check they didn't cable-tie the screen hinges ;)

sashahilton00 -

I purchased my RMBP in June 2012. I have used it everyday. My only breakdown so far has been the power cord. I purchased an after market power cord that lasted 6 months. I went to the Apple store last year and purchased a new Apple power cord. So far it has worked well, as has the RMBP. The battery still works, although doesn't keep a charge as long as it did when it was new. I would say it is 70% of what it was when new. I believe this is the best notebook computer I have ever owned. I have had at least 9 notebooks. I have been using computers since 1987. Before I started to use Macs I built my own computers, and enjoyed upgrading my desktops and notebooks. The non-upgradability of the RMBP has not bothered me in the least. I maxed out the memory and the SSD when I purchased it. I did not purchase the Apple Care. Still using my RMBP everyday. Although I plan on upgrading to the next RMBP that is released by Apple.

David Mascot - Antwoord

CAn we upgrade from 8 gb to 16 gb ram ?

OR i get you wrong ?

Kaan Karal -

Agreed! I purchased my RMBP in December 2012 and its still going strong. The only issues I have are the fact that I can't upgrade to 16GB. Didn't want to shell out the extra $400 for the upgrade. The other one is the oleophobic coating has started to come off. Probably didn't help eating in front of the screen. Bad habit. But as David mentioned, this is the best computer I have ever owned and I have had them since the first IBM PC came out 35 years ago! My previous laptop was an HP Pavillion 17" gaming system that I paid more for ($2500) than the RMBP. I have always paid extra to get the best display available. Doesn't make sense that the screen you stare at for 8+ hours a day should be the best. With the two additional monitors plugged into the lightning and HDMI ports I still have a powerful and flexible system. Not to happy about the latest MBP with the USB-C port dongle nonsense. I also for the life of me can't figure out why all Apple power cables seem to last only a couple of years.

Robert Vinci -

Replace the whole display assembly!

I managed to find an exact 15" retina display assembly for $160 (an Apple genius want over $600) and replaced my damaged one. The ifixit's instructions is a straight forward. Make sure that you are calm when you reconnect the 3 tiny connectors back, yes very tiny. Thanks to fixit.

Adisak Ratana - Antwoord

I managed to replace the 15" retina display assembly myself and save big bucks. I found the new exact display assembly for $160 on eBay. Apple store want over $600. when you do the works, pls make sure you are calm and in a good mood. The instruction is a strait forward. Thanks to ifixit.

Adisak Ratana - Antwoord

I removed the battery using "paracord" of strong string to cut the tape underneath the battery in a garotte fashion. Worked a treat. new trackpad and battery win :) search "How to remove 15" MacBook Pro Retina Glued Battery with a Thread" on youtube.

contact - Antwoord

Interesting, I found a few difffernces with mine. Same model and all, but my 512SSD is using a Marvell control chip, Samsung cache chip, and San disk nand flash memory chips. Maybe mine is made by crucial since it almost follows the Crucial M4 drives.

The Marvell controler is the Marvell 88SS9174-BLD2

Samsung cache is K4B4G1646B-HCK0

And the NAND memory is SanDisk 05055 064GA

This is an original MacBook Pro retina mid 2012 15 inch, but Apple did replace the SSD drive under apple care once. Maybe this is a faster one then the original one it came with?

ScottJD - Antwoord How to replace 15" MacBook Pro Retina Glued Battery with a Thread - Part 1

nbeijer - Antwoord

I had to replace my CPU/GPU heatsink paste to keep my 2012 Mac Retina from overheating High Sierra pushes this hardware to the max.

Simon - Antwoord

I punctured the buttery thinking it was the hard drive do not do that it gets extremly hot and smelly

Connor Casidy - Antwoord

One thing that I noticed while opening mine was the difference in the screws on the back — the two screws in the centre near the hinge don’t have lips, while the others do. It took me a while to figure that out because they weren’t sitting flush when putting the back of the laptop on.

Andre K - Antwoord

Can the Bluetooth board be replaced with this development board?

feasycom - Antwoord

What is the board model number? Your teardown board is exactly the same board in my ‘old’ MBP, but I don’t know the model number. I’m looking for Boardlfiles and Schematics to do a repair. I’ve checked 820-3332-a, -00162, -0426 and they are not representative of my board, which I think is identical to the one in your teardown. Where does Apple hide the board number?

Robert H.

Deep Thought - Antwoord

If there are no good points on the summary, why not a 0/10?

guardian10 - Antwoord

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