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  • New Retina Display MacBook Pros: Not Customizable


    Did you think you were going to buy the lowest end Retina Display MacBook Pro (to save some money) and then just upgrade the hardware with your own later on? Ha! Think again. According to a recent tear-down by iFixit, Apple is getting insanely close to offering absolutely no aftermarket customizations by the end user. Just take a look at the motherboard image above.

    The box bordered with a green color represents the new 2012 MacBook Proís memory located in the main logic board. The memory is custom, and no regular laptop memory stick is going to be able to be slipped in there like older MacBook Pro models such as 2011 and older. The orange box represents the MacBook Pro's processor, which is the new Ivy Bridge series from Intel. The red box represents the new NVIDA graphics chip that replaced the ATI graphics from the 2011 model of MacBook Pros.

    Also, donít expect to be putting your own hard disk drives or solid state drives in your new Retina Display MacBook Pro. The Retina Display MacBook Pro uses its own flash storage that is a little bit similar to the MacBook Airís version. These are custom-fit for the new MacBook Pro as well.

    In the older models of the MacBook Pro, Apple allowed the user to change out hard disk drives with other hard disk drives or even solid state drives. The user could also exchange their memory for more memory. If daring users were to go further, they could even remove their CD/DVD drive to add a secondary storage drive with a third party accessory.

    With such little accessibility from the end user, Apple is really locking users out of their own hardware with the new 2012 release. However, due to the new slim design of the 2012 MacBook Pro, it is semi-understandable that general hardware would have some trouble fitting. This is especially so with the large battery packs, dual fans, and custom logic board. Unfortunately, it might be a better idea to stick with your older non-Retina Display MacBook Pro if you want your own performance for the right price. Apple charges a pretty penny for their factory upgrades online.

    Sources: iFixit via MacRumors
    This article was originally published in forum thread: New Retina Display MacBook Pros: Not Customizable started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 42 Comments
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Quote Originally Posted by korbyn8495 View Post
      The new MacBook Pro does NOT have a solid state drive; the system interfaces with the flash memory directly. SSD: Flash memory → HDD controller emulator → SATA/eSATA → logic board. The new MBP: Flash memory → logic board.
      Hi https://twitter.com/unimp0rtanttech/...31887313399808
    1. JollyRogger's Avatar
      JollyRogger -
      I really don't see the problem here. The fact that the parts are hard wired to the logic board is common place now days and when in 3 or 4 years time you need to upgrade your PC because you need more ram then it's time to upgrade to a newer, faster, lighter offering.
      When was the last time anyone upgraded anything other than Ram or HDD in their rig ??????

      I don't honestly think you'll need more than 4 Gb (8 as an absolute max) Ram in anything for a long time and if you do then buy something else. If you need more HDD space then buy an external USB 3 HDD and dump some crap onto that.

      The New MacBook is all about the screen and overall performance and you should make your buying descitions on that rather than upgradeability.

      Jolly
    1. ceramicwhite's Avatar
      ceramicwhite -
      Ahhhhh.... I had plans to buy one but definiteltly wanted to upgrade the RAM myself.

      Ahhhhhhh.... I had plans to buy one but I definitely wanted to upgrade the RAM myself. Is it possible if you were able to acquire Apple's new memory that it could be installed over the old one?

      Is it possible to replace the ram in the Retina MBP if you were able to acquire Apple's new memory?
    1. iDeadman's Avatar
      iDeadman -
      Quote Originally Posted by claustin View Post
      Then you also have the #1 reason not to buy a Windows PC. Windows.
      Well said
    1. Silverado1987's Avatar
      Silverado1987 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ceramicwhite View Post
      Ahhhhh.... I had plans to buy one but definiteltly wanted to upgrade the RAM myself.

      Ahhhhhhh.... I had plans to buy one but I definitely wanted to upgrade the RAM myself. Is it possible if you were able to acquire Apple's new memory that it could be installed over the old one?

      Is it possible to replace the ram in the Retina MBP if you were able to acquire Apple's new memory?
      No they will make it with 8gb instead of 4 if you want it. You can't do it
    1. GmAz's Avatar
      GmAz -
      HDD is a physical disk that is read/burned physically. flash drive would be like a SSD or basically similar to the storage function of a USB drive. its less likely to break and basically your data is slightly more safe for a more expensive cost.
      Quote Originally Posted by exNavy View Post
      You don't burn anything with a hard disk drive. You write and read from it using magentism. CD/DVD technology "burns" information into the disk. The articles I've read on the subject clearly provided stats stating that SSDs fail at a higher rate than HDDs. You'd think SSDs would be more reliable, but I haven't seen that proven yet.
      You're also talking to an average mac user. They don't know much about how their computer works. They've been spoon fed by Apple for far too long.
    1. rockxz3's Avatar
      rockxz3 -
      I like apple and was saving for the new macbook pro models now I am thinking "why the hell would I spend that much for something that isn't even good performance"
    1. Silverado1987's Avatar
      Silverado1987 -
      Quote Originally Posted by rockxz3 View Post
      I like apple and was saving for the new macbook pro models now I am thinking "why the hell would I spend that much for something that isn't even good performance"
      Not good performance? Damn good performance in my opinion. Especially slam packed in a ultra thin notebook that small.
    1. Slim J's Avatar
      Slim J -
      Quote Originally Posted by claustin View Post
      Then you also have the #1 reason not to buy a Windows PC. Windows.
      Windows is better than Mac, but Linux is better than Windows
    1. dennder's Avatar
      dennder -
      Quote Originally Posted by Slim J View Post
      #1 reason to buy a Windows PC. The hardware in many PC's can be upgraded as newer and better technology comes along
      1) PC = Personal Computer, Mac IS a personal computer. I could say that they were not in the days they used non-intel-x86 architecture and still it won't be absolutely correct. You were spoiled by apple's Mac vs. PC propaganda yourself. LOL.

      2) How many non-apple notebooks of thin form factor have CPU and GPU NOT soldered to motherboard? Zero-to-nothing maybe?
      How many other non-apple non-thin form factor have CPU / GPU NOT soldered to motherboard? A few at best and GPU only?
      How many of notebooks which have GPU / RAM swappable are REALLY upgradeable.
      You mean that in three years you will swap say GTS650m for say GTS950m? No you won't. Why? Cause it'll have different connector type, PCI-E 3 for example. Or cause it will be from different vendor with incompatible bios, and vendor of your notebook won't produce it. Or it will be in different size/shape and won't fit into your notebook.
      Same goes with RAM. Or you want to use DDR4 in DDR3 slot?
      Or maybe there will be newer monitor that you will replace? With better resolution and different matrix?

      Ohh... i see, by upgrade you've meant push 16GB of RAM instead of 8GB and faster SSD (if produced and you will spend 1k$ on an SSD with the notebook price of 1.2k$).

      Newer technologies... (facepalm).

      Quote Originally Posted by Breezer23 View Post
      Why would you want to upgrade a $2000 computer that has specs comparable to a computer from 2010?
      You had access to 22nm lithography and thus 45W TDP for a quad-core 2.6GHz CPU in 2010? Along with dual-10Gbit ports with direct PCI-e access and USB3 controllers? Wow man... just WOW O_o!!!

      Quote Originally Posted by dsg View Post
      audio and video production takes a lot of processing power and the fact that it's called a MacBook pro, means you expect it to be upgradeable to keep up with current pro tech further down the road(when it gets older)

      Edit: the new macbook pro is a big investment that you can't upgrade easily (major fail)it's supposed to be a professional product, pro products are normally the easiest to upgrade, because there the fore front of technology where the cutting edge is, and should be
      See first answer part -> "2"

      Quote Originally Posted by GmAz View Post
      You're also talking to an average mac user. They don't know much about how their computer works. They've been spoon fed by Apple for far too long.
      Yeah. And majority of windows users do know how their computer work? 99% of people who claim to know anything about computer (regardless of the system) don't even know what network mask is and why it even exist (facepalm)

      Quote Originally Posted by Slim J View Post
      Windows is better than Mac, but Linux is better than Windows
      Adobe Creative (Photoshop / Fireworks / Indesign...) or Autocad / Inventor Fusion run natively on Linux? No they don't. And none of the open source tools comes close to these, therefore by definition of "productivity for creative designers" Linux is the worst of three.
      Bold statements about which system is better are a complete nonsense. There is none which is best in all areas, as such can't be just "better".
      Oh, and if you want your arrss wiped, go to the FreeBSD irc channel, they'll explain to you, just the same way as you've stated here, that all linux users are newfags and "FBDS is da best of da best and linux is da shchit". LOL.



      P.S.
      Any more stupid comments please?
    1. ikesmasher's Avatar
      ikesmasher -
      people here hate on windows, but i will never switch from it until its extensive software support goes elsewhere.
      plus, i imagine many of them havent used it since vista..which would explain alot.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Quote Originally Posted by dennder View Post
      *SNIP*


      P.S.
      Any more stupid comments please?
      no body like a smart arse
    1. Slim J's Avatar
      Slim J -
      Quote Originally Posted by ikesmasher View Post
      people here hate on windows, but i will never switch from it until its extensive software support goes elsewhere.
      plus, i imagine many of them havent used it since vista..which would explain alot.
      Yes I agree. Vista sucks. But Windows 7 did what Vista was supposed to do but did it right. I say the best Windows OS you can buy is XP and 7. As along with Windows 8, I am a beta tester and have been dissatisfied with it and will be heading the same way as Vista. On the Mac contrary, I never really liked OS X (as my old school used variants from Tiger to Snow Leopard). I really didn't like how the OS worked and I found myself cussing out the computer in some form. Lastly, I don't see why you would spend $2200 on a computer that can do as much for $700.

      Adobe Creative (Photoshop / Fireworks / Indesign...) or Autocad / Inventor Fusion run natively on Linux? No they don't. And none of the open source tools comes close to these, therefore by definition of "productivity for creative designers" Linux is the worst of three.
      Bold statements about which system is better are a complete nonsense. There is none which is best in all areas, as such can't be just "better".
      Oh, and if you want your arrss wiped, go to the FreeBSD irc channel, they'll explain to you, just the same way as you've stated here, that all linux users are newfags and "FBDS is da best of da best and linux is da shchit". LOL.
      That's why there is Windows. You can do all that for cheaper. Here is a question for you. Can a Mac natively run 3ds Max? No. Are there more PC games for Mac and Windows? I'd say Windows, but Mac is growing. Linux has lots of software, but very little is mainstream and most are indie developers. And about open source tools being the worst, Ubuntu is a great Linux OS. Ubuntu is really quick, looks nice, and is lightweight and does not clog up much drive space. Also to mention, Android is open source and that is an AMAZING mobile OS. Sorry to bust your bubble but I would choose Android over iOS any day. Also about the newfag statement, most people that use Linux know how to use a computer because you get to learn how to use a terminal really well with Linux. Yes the terminal may seem a little inconvenient and out of date but they also have installers too.

      1) PC = Personal Computer, Mac IS a personal computer. I could say that they were not in the days they used non-intel-x86 architecture and still it won't be absolutely correct. You were spoiled by apple's Mac vs. PC propaganda yourself. LOL.

      2) How many non-apple notebooks of thin form factor have CPU and GPU NOT soldered to motherboard? Zero-to-nothing maybe?
      How many other non-apple non-thin form factor have CPU / GPU NOT soldered to motherboard? A few at best and GPU only?
      How many of notebooks which have GPU / RAM swappable are REALLY upgradeable.
      You mean that in three years you will swap say GTS650m for say GTS950m? No you won't. Why? Cause it'll have different connector type, PCI-E 3 for example. Or cause it will be from different vendor with incompatible bios, and vendor of your notebook won't produce it. Or it will be in different size/shape and won't fit into your notebook.
      Same goes with RAM. Or you want to use DDR4 in DDR3 slot?
      Or maybe there will be newer monitor that you will replace? With better resolution and different matrix?

      Ohh... i see, by upgrade you've meant push 16GB of RAM instead of 8GB and faster SSD (if produced and you will spend 1k$ on an SSD with the notebook price of 1.2k$).
      As I clearly stated, I used the word Windows PC to clear confusion as yes, Mac is a PC. I did think out that short statement before posting. And no, I was not spoiled by the whole propaganda commercials. Also many computers have upgradable RAM but you can't switch out for DDR2 and DDR3. Just as an example, my laptop came with 4 GB of RAM and I was able to upgrade it to 8 GB for only $35. It uses DDR3 and now the Windows Performance Index shows my RAM performance at an 8.5 of 9.9. Also the advice of it using a different matrix should go to Mac owners themselves. Most monitors use VGA or HDMI now. and also if that computer doesn't have the matrix, you could always buy a $2 adapter to get it to work. And Macs don't even have a VGA nor a HDMI port. You can buy a generic adapter for the Mac's mini port but Apple sells theirs at $30.

      P.S.
      Any more stupid comments please?
      Nope. Just dropping the truth behind everything
    1. dennder's Avatar
      dennder -
      Quote Originally Posted by Slim J View Post
      That's why there is Windows. You can do all that for cheaper. Here is a question for you. Can a Mac natively run 3ds Max? No. Are there more PC games for Mac and Windows? I'd say Windows, but Mac is growing.
      You have just confirmed that from this point of view: Windows > OSX > Linux, which contradicts your initial statement. See what was i talking about? Don't say linux is ultimately better, unless provide specifics.

      Quote Originally Posted by Slim J View Post
      Linux has lots of software, but very little is mainstream and most are indie developers. And about open source tools being the worst, Ubuntu is a great Linux OS. Ubuntu is really quick, looks nice, and is lightweight and does not clog up much drive space.
      Ubuntu is lightweight? Hmm... I won't comment any linux distributions preferences. Everyone like something else.

      Quote Originally Posted by Slim J View Post
      Also to mention, Android is open source and that is an AMAZING mobile OS. Sorry to bust your bubble but I would choose Android over iOS any day.
      What does Android vs. iOS have to do in "Linux is better than windows and osx"?

      Quote Originally Posted by Slim J View Post
      Also about the newfag statement, most people that use Linux know how to use a computer because you get to learn how to use a terminal really well with Linux. Yes the terminal may seem a little inconvenient and out of date but they also have installers too.
      You have completely (and probably deliberately) missed my point. What i mean was that people there don't use, don't want to and believe that they regardless of which know better. That is just like you initial statement about linux being better without any specific context, which is incorrect.

      Quote Originally Posted by Slim J View Post
      Also many computers have upgradable RAM but you can't switch out for DDR2 and DDR3. Just as an example, my laptop came with 4 GB of RAM and I was able to upgrade it to 8 GB for only $35. It uses DDR3 and now the Windows Performance Index shows my RAM performance at an 8.5 of 9.9.
      Exactly what i said in my comment, you've INCREASED the RAM capacity, not UPGRADED TO NEW TECHNOLOGY. Therefore you confirmed my statement to be absolutely true and correct.

      Quote Originally Posted by Slim J View Post
      Also the advice of it using a different matrix should go to Mac owners themselves. Most monitors use VGA or HDMI now. and also if that computer doesn't have the matrix, you could always buy a $2 adapter to get it to work. And Macs don't even have a VGA nor a HDMI port. You can buy a generic adapter for the Mac's mini port but Apple sells theirs at $30.
      Let's go from the end of your statement. I was commenting on people commenting New "retina" (stupid term) MPB, right? Does it or does it not have HDMI port? Regardless, almost all good monitors nowadays have DP port as well, which is 1-1 compatible with thunderbolt port and you can get cable anywhere, no? And how about normal desktop GPU's of ATI, that have ONLY DP ports? You will advice AMD NOT to make such GPU's?
      Lastly, your advice is nothing more than your personal opinion.
      I would much prefer having thunderbolt (in case of new MPB even two), which are unlike usb/hdmi/dp/firewire etc. MULTI-PURPOSE. You can attach network device, storage, display, additional GPU, dock with many different ports and even daisy-chain several such devices. This is, again from my point of view, the ultimate multi-purpose connector. But you absolutely do not have to agree with me

      Quote Originally Posted by Slim J View Post
      Nope. Just dropping the truth behind everything
      Try harder.
    1. Slim J's Avatar
      Slim J -
      Quote Originally Posted by dennder View Post
      You have just confirmed that from this point of view: Windows > OSX > Linux, which contradicts your initial statement. See what was i talking about? Don't say linux is ultimately better, unless provide specifics.


      Try harder.
      So it's gaining ground and I highly support open source projects. Ubuntu has been getting more popular over the years

      Ubuntu is lightweight? Hmm... I won't comment any linux distributions preferences. Everyone like something else.
      Ubuntu uses only about 2-3 GB of space. Mac I'm not totally sure of but definitively more and Windows uses 10-15 GB depend on the version and features

      What does Android vs. iOS have to do in "Linux is better than windows and osx"?
      Just comparing Apple to Linux once again. Android is a mobile platform of Linux and I was not comparing it to OS X

      You have completely (and probably deliberately) missed my point. What i mean was that people there don't use, don't want to and believe that they regardless of which know better. That is just like you initial statement about linux being better without any specific context, which is incorrect.
      Well do you know these commands?

      -su
      -apt-get install
      -git
      -bash
      -chmod
      -chown

      Exactly what i said in my comment, you've INCREASED the RAM capacity, not UPGRADED TO NEW TECHNOLOGY. Therefore you confirmed my statement to be absolutely true and correct.
      So... the Mac (I mean by the new MacBook) can't be upgraded at all. Apple may be willing to upgrade but they will charge you a ton just to put their odd parts inside. And yes I understand the whole thing about about you can't upgrade from DDR3 to DDR4. I've been working on computers for nearly 15 years

      Let's go from the end of your statement. I was commenting on people commenting New "retina" (stupid term) MPB, right? Does it or does it not have HDMI port? Regardless, almost all good monitors nowadays have DP port as well, which is 1-1 compatible with thunderbolt port and you can get cable anywhere, no? And how about normal desktop GPU's of ATI, that have ONLY DP ports? You will advice AMD NOT to make such GPU's?
      Lastly, your advice is nothing more than your personal opinion.
      I would much prefer having thunderbolt (in case of new MPB even two), which are unlike usb/hdmi/dp/firewire etc. MULTI-PURPOSE. You can attach network device, storage, display, additional GPU, dock with many different ports and even daisy-chain several such devices. This is, again from my point of view, the ultimate multi-purpose connector. But you absolutely do not have to agree with me
      So will any external monitor support Retina, good question. I find the whole Retina thing kind of pointless because all they do is enlarge the the PNG,s they use for the system. Also think about compatibility. If you try to run a non-Retina app on the Retina display, the output will be pixelated. I have also yet to see any monitor with a mini port built in. Most computers today I see either use VGA, DPI or HDMI.

      Also for a bit of humor...

    1. eazhar's Avatar
      eazhar -
      intese
    1. PorthosPirate's Avatar
      PorthosPirate -
      Quote Originally Posted by Slim J View Post
      #1 reason to buy a Windows PC. The hardware in many PC's can be upgraded as newer and better technology comes along
      Really? Exactly what can you upgrade on a Windows notebook that can take advantage of "newer & better technology"? Remember that RAM & Storage (usually the 2 upgradable items) are just to make it bigger. Has nothing to do with newer technology.

      Quote Originally Posted by dsg View Post
      audio and video production takes a lot of processing power and the fact that it's called a MacBook pro, means you expect it to be upgradeable to keep up with current pro tech further down the road(when it gets older)

      Edit: the new macbook pro is a big investment that you can't upgrade easily (major fail)it's supposed to be a professional product, pro products are normally the easiest to upgrade, because there the fore front of technology where the cutting edge is, and should be
      Let's see... I agree that Pro should be flexible, but upgradable? Exactly what laptop has been able to upgrade processor or video in the last 5 years? 10 years? RAM.. interesting except for the fact that 16GB is more than you can put in 95% of the market in this class, and if you need more than that, perhaps you should consider a desktop machine. I also can't find a laptop in this class that can do more than 16GB, or why it would need to.

      Lastly, storage. With 2 Thunderbolt ports I can easily hook up a 4 drive RAID 10 with SSDs that is going to be faster than ANY internal drive on a computer. It can come with a 768GB Flash drive (show me another machine with that option, not SSD, Flash).

      Also, with the Thunderbolt port I can interface at very high bandwidth with video breakout boxes that are better than anything available on any other machine.

      With the exception of RAM & Storage, show me another laptop <5lbs. with a Retina screen that is expandable. Also, while you're at it, show me another laptop that is expandable that can interface with an SSD RAID 10 Array at full speed.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      I was wrong end of, though upgrading(installing) more ram is possible on laptops, so it can be wondered why Appl£ hasn't made it possible.

      yeah go on I'm probably wrong again
    1. PatrickGSR94's Avatar
      PatrickGSR94 -
      Quote Originally Posted by JollyRogger View Post
      I don't honestly think you'll need more than 4 Gb (8 as an absolute max) Ram in anything for a long time and if you do then buy something else. If you need more HDD space then buy an external USB 3 HDD and dump some crap onto that.
      Guess you don't do much graphics-intensive, memory-intensive stuff like 3D graphics rendering, video and audio processing, etc. My work machine has 12 GB RAM and I wish I had more.
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
      Guess you don't do much graphics-intensive, memory-intensive stuff like 3D graphics rendering, video and audio processing, etc. My work machine has 12 GB RAM and I wish I had more.
      Yeah, my current Mac has only 4 GB and I can max it out with Messages, Mail, iTunes, and more than 5 active Safari pages.