iFixIt’s 2011 MacBook Pro Teardown: Better Repairability, But May Be Prone To Overheating



As is their wont, the boys and girls over at iFixIt rushed out to the Apple Store and picked themselves up a new 15-inch MacBook Pro to spill its guts for all of us to see.

Although externally not much has changed, internally, there’s some nice design revisions that have led iFixIt to bump the MacBook Pro up a notch on their repairability scale. It now rates a 7 out of 10, which makes the new Pros one of the more self-repairable Apple computers of recent memory: Cupertino’s engineers chose to eschew their new pentalobe torx screws entirely in the 2011 Pros.

The RAM of the new Pros has been upgraded to PC3-10600, which is the same RAM used in the 2010 revision of the iMac line, and a welcome speed boost over earlier models. The wireless card has also gotten a bit of a bump and now includes four antennas instead of three, so it might hold onto your wifi connection a little bit better.

The biggest eyebrow archer about the new MacBook Pros is this observation from iFixIt:

We uncovered gobs of thermal paste on the CPU and GPU when we removed the main heat sink. The excess paste may cause overheating issues down the road, but only time will tell.

This alarms me. The original MacBook Pros similarly used too much thermal paste, and their consequent overheating issues are now legendary. As iFixIt says, only time will tell, but it’s enough to be wary about.