The new M1-powered MacBook promises a computing revolution, which seems to be entirely focused on the M1 chip. The rest of the laptop is more or less the same.
iFixit disassembled the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro and placed them side by side with their replacement Intel-powered models. And, well, see for yourself, you’ll have a hard time telling what has changed. Even Pro fans have exactly the same components.
MacBook Pro: Intel (left) • M1 (right)
Speaking of not needing a fan, the new MacBook Air doesn’t need a fan, so Apple replaced it with an aluminum block to dissipate heat. There are no heat pipes here, just metal blocks. The fact that this is possible is a testament to the efficiency of the M1. Some of Apple’s older designs, those with Intel processors, suffered from poor cooling and thermal throttling.
MacBook Air: Intel (left) • M1 (right)
Finally, a close-up of the show star, the M1 chip. Two other chips are placed as close as possible. That is, there are two 4GB LPDDR4X chips with RAM and SK Hynix. This is an optimal design from an engineering point of view, as frequency signals do not like to travel long distances. However, the drawback of this design is that the RAM cannot be maintained by the user.
Apple M1 chipset close-up • Note the two RAM chips right next to it
Of course, it’s not a disadvantage in Apple’s view, but the last Intel-powered Air also soldered RAM. Not because I had to do it, but because I could. By the way, this design, which combines a chipset and RAM, can also be seen on the iPad, revealing the M1’s mobile tradition.
One of the chips not found on new laptops is the T2 security chip. That functionality is integrated into the M1 itself and is no longer needed.
Anyway, keep in mind that the MacBook Air and Pro motherboards are different. I suspected this would be the situation for the iPhone 12/12 Pro, which is basically the same hardware, except for the additional camera. After all, that’s not the case.
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It’s understandable why Apple kept the changes to a minimum. Since the move to proprietary silicon was already a major hardware and software effort, changes that weren’t related to running Mac OS on an Apple-designed ARM chip were an unnecessary risk.
check out iFixit disassembly For more information on how to assemble the M1Mac.