Inside the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display

Along with new iPads, last week Apple also unveiled a new 27-inch iMac featuring a Retina 5K display. So, what is it that makes this pixel-pumping behemoth tick?

Inside the iMac Intel 27-inch with Retina 5K display
Image: iFixit

Along with new iPads, last week Apple also unveiled a new 27-inch iMac featuring a Retina 5K display. So, what is it that makes this pixel-pumping behemoth tick?

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After making their way past copious amounts of double-sided adhesive tape, the iFixit team discovered that "mostly the same tech that powered the old iMac" is, surprisingly, the answer to that question. Apart from some evolutionary upgrades, the 5K display, and the data display connector on the logic board now being slightly wider, the new iMac is almost identical to the old Mac.

Here are some takeaways from the teardown:

  • The RAM is still easily upgradeable via a small hatch at the back of the unit.
  • The CPU is not soldered onto the motherboard, which makes it possible to upgrade it – assuming you're willing to tear your new iMac down into bits.
  • Equally, the storage is upgradable, if you feel up to it.
  • The glass and LCD are fused together on the panel, making any damage very expensive damage.
  • Sealing the unit back up after opening it requires the use of custom tape.

Inside the unit the following components are found:

  • Intel Core i5-4690 Processor
  • AMD Radeon R9 M290X GPU
  • SK Hynix H5GC2H24BFR 256 MB GDDR5 SGRAM (8 x 256 MB = 2 GB total)
  • Intel NB430029A00200 Platform controller hub
  • Broadcom BCM5776 Gigabit Ethernet controller
  • Cirrus Logic 4206BCNZ audio controller
  • Intel DSL5520 Thunderbolt 2 controller
  • Microchip Technology 1428-7 420BE5A BMY system management bus temperature sensor
  • Intersil ISL6327 Enhanced 6-Phase PWM controller
  • SanDisk 05131 016G 16 GB NAND flash (8 x 16 GB = 128 GB total)
  • SK Hynix H5TQ2G63DFR 2 GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Marvell 88SS91383 PCIe SSD controller
  • Broadcom BCM4360KML1G 5G wi-fi 3-Stream 802.11ac Gigabit transceiver
  • Skyworks SE5516 Dual-Band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN Front-End module
  • Broadcom BCM20702 Single-Chip Bluetooth 4.0 HCI Solution with Bluetooth Low Energy

On the Retina 5K display are the following:

  • Texas Instruments NH245 8-Bit dual-supply bus transceiver
  • Texas Instruments BUF16821 Programmable gamma-voltage generator and Vcom calibrator
  • Parade Technologies DP665 LCD timing controller
  • Texas Instruments TPS65270 monolithic dual synchronous buck regulator
  • Texas Instruments TPS65168 high-resolution fully programmable LCD bias IC for TV

See also:

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