MacBook Pro early 2011 gets teardown: New RAM inside

Feb 25, 2011
MacBook Pro early 2011 gets teardown: New RAM inside

We've already shown you the outside of the new early-2011 MacBook Pro 15, and given you a preview of what its quad-core guts are capable of, but iFixit seldom stop when screws get in the way. The teardown-team acquired a 15-inch MBP and set to work stripping its delicious unibody chassis apart, not happy until the bare Core i7 processor was visible.

Inside there are a few notable changes, some of which might give upgraders a little pause for thought. First off is the RAM, which is now PC3-10600, different from previous MacBook Pro notebooks (though the same as found in the 2010 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs), which means PC3-8500 RAM from older machines won't work in the new model.

There's also an extra antenna for the wireless card, extra heat sinks and lashings of thermal paste, and it seems Thunderbolt gets its own heat sink as well. One interesting point iFixit notes is some patchy quality control inside, with at least one stripped screw and an unlocked ZIF socket for the IR sensor. Small things, yes, but not quite the Apple consistency we're used to. Here's hoping iFixit got the only dud from the production line.

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