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.