As expected, iFixit created a tearing down Of two of Apple’s three new M1-based Macs: the MacBook Air, the 2-port and 13-inch MacBook Pro. What they found is somewhat surprising and unsurprising: Almost nothing has changed in the notebooks except for the inclusion of the M1 chip and directly related changes.
The biggest change is definitely the omission of the MacBook Air fan. IFixit notes that due to the Intel MacBook Air’s history of overheating in some instances, it speaks to so much of the M1’s efficiency that so far the Air seems to be performing just fine without this fan now. Also missing: The T2 chip, which we noted in our Mac mini review, has been completely replaced by the M1 in all of these new Macs.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro is more like its predecessor. The T2 chip is also gone, but the laptop keeps the same fan and cooling system exactly the same, with no differences whatsoever. Reviews of the 13-inch MacBook Pro claim the fan doesn’t spin as much as it once did, but iFixit concludes here that this is due to the switch from the Intel chip to the M1, and not because of the improved cooling system. The fans on the Intel and M1 Pro are interchangeable.
What can’t be replaced is a whole bunch of In-Air and Parts in the Pro. IFixit regrets that the similar silicone between the two devices could have provided an opportunity to facilitate repairs by making it possible to use parts of one to repair the other, but this appears not to be the case.
In general, the performance and efficiency gains in the M1 compared to previous models are balanced by the fact that the user’s serviceability and repair are not moving in a more open direction, because the M1’s unified memory architecture indicates that Apple is not planning to make the RAM upgradeable or replaceable in any direction. soon.
IFixit hasn’t given laptops a fixable score yet, but these two notes suggest the scores won’t be higher than those given to previous models (these devices didn’t have upgradeable RAM, too).
For more shots of the insides of these laptops and some additional ideas, Read the full iFixit post.
List image by Samuel Axon