A look inside Apple's new 27-inch iMac (teardown photos)

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Just days after its unveiling, Apple's newest Mac desktop hardware has been disassembled, revealing the tightly-packed innards of the 27-inch iMac hidden behind its 11-pound screen.

The new 27-inch iMac features a large 2560 by 1440 pixel LED-backlit display. The model disassembled by iFixit sports a 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo processor. The high-end model can be outfitted with a quad-core processor i5 or i7 processor, which uses a different socket.

The LG-manufactured screen weighs in at nearly 11 pounds, with a horizontal resolution identical to a 30-inch Apple Cinema Display. It was noted that the panel is very glossy.

The new hardware features edge-to-edge glass, which is a change from the 4mm aluminum bezel that surrounded the screen of the previous iMac. In their disassembly of the hardware, iFixit said that they noticed the glass was slightly out of alignment on one side after upgrading the system's RAM. Like on earlier hardware, the slots are accessed through a door at the bottom of the system.

"Hopefully Apple's got some pretty strong magnets in there to keep the glass where it belongs," they said.

The new hardware is also designed to work as an external display. However, the Mini DisplayPort connector signal goes through the hardware's logic board, so the iMac must be powered on to play video from an external source.

Behind the 27-inch screen is a tightly packed machine. Among the details iFixit discovered:

  • With the weight of the screen removed, the normal neutral buoyancy of the pivoted stand is lost and the system tilts upward.
  • Though there is no room for a second hard drive, users could install a SSD.
  • The main Wi-Fi chip on this model is an Atheros AR9280, with SiGe Semiconductor 2593A20 antenna power amplifiers.
iMac 2
  • The new power supply is the biggest yet in an iMac, capable of putting out 25.8 amps at 12 volts, or 310 watts.
  • Though Blu-ray options were said to be forthcoming, the high definition format was reportedly pulled from the new iMacs just before production. The final hardware includes a 12.4mm slimline 8X SuperDrive. iFixit said the hardware could fit a Panasonic UJ-135 Blu-ray drive.
iMac 3
  • The CPU and GPU are spread out on the motherboard with separate heat sinks, which allowed Apple to upgrade the hardware to use Intel's hotter desktop processors. Heat is a major concern, with six temperature sensors, three fans and two "gigantic" heat sinks.
  • The new hardware features big speakers, increased in proportion to the screen size.
  • Because the new iMac features an aluminum back, the AirPort antenna had to be relocated to the only plastic area on the back of the hardware: the Apple logo. Otherwise, the metal would have blocked Wi-Fi reception.
  • "After such a tedious teardown, you can't blame us for piling everything up into one ginormous heap of parts," they said. "However, curse our guilty conscience, being the nice and awesome professionals we are, we felt an urge and a sense of responsibility to do it right."
iMac 4

For more, take a look at the full process at iFixit. And for another look at the inside of the new iMac, check out the disassembly from Kodawarisan.