iFixit tears open new M1 iMac to find … very little

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M1 iMac teardown
There's a surprising amount of space in the new iMac.
Photo: iFixit

Apple’s awesome new M1 iMac finally received its obligatory teardown by the fine folks over at iFixit. You may not be surprised to learn there’s very little packed into the computer’s slender aluminum shell.

That doesn’t mean it’s not exciting. The M1 iMac is, as we’ve come to expect from Apple, an engineering marvel. It’s rather astonishing that the brilliant minds in Cupertino can squeeze so much power out of so little.

Like other M1 machines, the new iMac is one of Apple’s fastest computers to date. Its custom silicon promises up to 85% faster processing and two times faster graphics over the 21.5-inch iMac.

And yet, the new iMac measures just 11.5mm thick. It’s thinner than two 11-inch iPad Pro units stacked on top of each other. It’s also an absolute stunner — and that beauty isn’t just skin-deep.

M1 iMac gets pulled apart for our viewing pleasure

The M1 iMac is attractive on the inside, too. It has a surprisingly small number of components — most of them incredibly small — all of which are neatly laid out behind the machine’s 24-inch 4.5K Retina display.

The most surprising is perhaps the iMac’s logic board. It is amazingly small but packed with more than a dozen chips, including memory from SK Hynix, storage from Kioxia, and a Cirrus Logic audio codec.

M1 iMac teardown
The M1 iMac’s teeny-tiny logic board.
Photo: iFixit

There are plenty of Apple chips packed in, too. Alongside the M1 itself, iFixit discovered custom power management controllers and an in-house wireless connectivity module for both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The whole board is cooled by two fans that blow air across it, while the M1 also gets two small heatsinks and a copper pipe that draws heat away from it. The board also holds a peculiar button with three LED lights.

Lots and lots of space

The iMac’s power connector is attached directly to its logic board, so you’ll want to be careful with it. It doesn’t look like the connector can be easily replaced — like most M1 iMac components.

The logic board and its fans are flanked by the iMac’s impressive stereo speakers, which iFixit plans to dig deeper into. There are also two mysterious “radiator-looking bits” that take up a lot of room.

One surprising sight inside the new iMac, which you don’t tend to find in Apple products these days, is a large amount of space. A section at the top of the device is almost completely hollow, save for some cables.

M1 iMac teardown
The new iMac measures just 11.5mm thick.
Photo: iFixit

You might be wondering whether the iMac really needed a rather sizable chin beneath its Retina display. Surely Apple could have shifted all the computer’s components up a couple of inches into that empty space and eliminated the chin, right?

Probably not. If you take a look at the photo above, you’ll see the chin is needed to squeeze thicker components in under the iMac’s LCD screen. Without it, the device would need to be a lot thicker.

iFixit’s teardown of the new iMac isn’t quite finished yet, so be sure to keep an eye on their website for more details in the coming days.