Wait, The iMac Pro Might Actually Be User-Upgradeable

iFixit has finished its teardown of Apple's new, high-priced iMac Pro, and while most of the results are typical for an Apple device, because the company rarely meets a component it can't solder to the motherboard, there are three noteworthy exceptions. The CPU, RAM, and SSD all appear to be user replaceable, provided you're ready to dig into the guts of your $7,299-plus machine. If that's true, it's a pretty big deal.

Since Apple's move to Intel-based processors twelve years ago, the company has made it increasingly difficult for users to upgrade their own machines. Where once you could extended the life of an Apple laptop by upgrading the RAM, hard drive, and even the processor, now you can upgrade it by... buying a new laptop. Over the last decade Apple computers have become gorgeous feats of engineering - slimmer and sleeker than anything else available - but that's meant there can be no room for error, or upgrades, or even a little door to easily replace the RAM.

The iMac Pro, as carefully engineered as its predecessors, doesn't make upgrades easy, but its processor, an Intel Xeon W-2140B, is not soldered onto the motherboard and appears to use a fairly standard 2066 socket, which means you could, theoretically, replace the CPU with any processor that uses a 2066 socket. So, your crazy expensive computer could get a few extra years out of it with a relatively modest investment. (The 2066 socket was only introduced in June of 2017, so it should have a nice long life ahead of itself.)

Besides the CPU being upgradable, the hard drive's ability to be upgraded is a welcome surprise. Apple's had a bad habit of soldering in SSDs lately, which can be devastating when you realise, six months in, you should have sprung for more storage.

The RAM is also upgradable, but as iFixit notes, it is actually much, much, much more difficult to upgrade than previous 69cm iMacs. Those had RAM you could upgrade by unscrewing a small plate from the back of the unit. This one you have to basically disassemble the entire damn computer. But at least you can be comfortable knowing that your $7,299) machine can last longer than a couple of years.

[iFixit]

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Comments

    So not really upgrade-able for the regular punter and for a price over $7,000 that is pretty ridiculous. For that much money i could make the greatest windows 10 machine of all time with amazing peripherals all easily upgraded when required.

    This device stinks to me of prioritising form and aesthetics over usability and future proofing. You can make a clean nice looking PC (would take up more space though) that is easily upgrade-able and can perform the same functions for considerably less money. Further to that the peripherals (screen, keyboard & mouse and other items) can be re-used on the next major upgrade further reducing the overall cost.

    Next in.

    New mac is user upgradable.

    But requires a purchase of a $100 Apple iScrewdriver to upgrade stuff.

    "Since Apple's move to Intel-based processors twelve years ago, the company has made it increasingly difficult for users to upgrade their own machines."
    Really? That's misleading. I don't see why the brand of the chip being used affects the computer's upgradability.

    You've said yourself later it's about the overall design of the machines: the need for them to be compact, thin, light with components baked-in to ever tighter spaces.
    The big tower Mac pros were intel based (after Apple switched from the power PC chips)and were easily user upgradable- the whole side opened up with a flick of a lever. No tools required.

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