Mac Pro teardown from iFixit

The new Mac Pro is built to be taken apart. This well-executed teardown from iFixit shows off the engineering excellence behind the Mac Pro design.

The teardown starts by removing the cover. Slide the lock-switch, pull off the cover. So easy. Truly a thing of beauty.

This leaves us with two upright graphics cards, forming the two legs of an isosceles triangle. One of the cards has an SSD mounted on it. The i/o panel, with its RAM slots forms the short leg of the triangle. The RAM cards are easily removable. Undo a single Torx 8 screw to remove the SSD. The two cards and the i/o panel are all attached to a giant triangular heat sink, the core of the entire operation.

While this stacks up fairly well for current Apple GPU offerings, the proprietary nature, and lack of an elegant external GPU option, may age this device before its time.

This is a fair point. Tough to replace these GPUs as they age.

Mac Pro Late 2013 Repairability Score: 8 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)

That’s an excellent score.

While it will require a bit of digging, the CPU is user-replaceable—meaning intrepid fixers should be able to save considerably by upgrading from the base-level processor configuration.

I’ve done a fair amount of disassembly, repair, and upgrade on Macs over the years. This one seems much more accessible than most. That said, there clearly are limits to what you can do yourself. Upgrading from a base CPU to a higher-core CPU may be within reach for the handy, but there doesn’t appear to be any way to add additional storage or upgrade GPUs.

Dig in to the teardown for all the gory details.

Personally, I think the Mac Pro is a home run. I get the limitations, but the elegance of this design, the sheer power that the new Mac Pro brings to the table is plenty enough for me. As I said, a real thing of beauty.

  • “lack of an elegant external GPU option, may age this device before its time.”

    …age before it’s time, or on time? I argue the latter. it won’t age before it’s time because it’s fast as long as it’s current. when the device is no longer current, and is in fact old, then it has aged — right on time, as all things do.

    pros don’t perform DIY gpu upgrades — that’s an enthusiast activity. we retire the machine after a few years and get a new one. that’s how enterprise pros work, and apple knows this.

    • Moeskido

      I’m looking forward to the first hand-me-downs.

  • Gerry

    Does anyone know if SSDs are swappable between late 2013 rMBP and Mac Pro? Basically same part number (varies in last digit)?