Teardown of Apple's refreshed 21.5" iMac finds LG-built display, soldered & non-upgradeable RAM [u]

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Apple's refreshed, entry-evel 21.5-inch iMac desktop has been given the teardown treatment, revealing that its standard-resolution display was manufactured by LG Display, while the Wi-Fi antenna design has been slightly tweaked [corrected].

Update: This story has been updated to correct the fact that the teardown is of Apple's entry-level, non-Retina 21.5-inch iMac. Apple also offers a different model with an identical external design, but a high-resolution Retina 4K display.

The dissection of Apple's new iMac was performed, as usual, by the repair experts at iFixit, who took apart the updated version. It's identified as the same model, A1418, but it has a new EMC number of 2889.

Like other iMac panels, the smaller 21.5-inch non-Retina panel is also manufactured by Apple partner LG Display.

Inside, the 21.5-inch iMac looks largely identical to its predecessor, but there are a handful of noteworthy changes. For instance, the hybrid Fusion Drive has a significantly smaller flash partition than the previous generation, iFixit found.

New secured antenna cables, via iFixit.

In another small change, the antenna cables are fastened to the AirPort card via screw-secured cable clamps. The AirPort card itself is the same as the 2013 model.

Intel is obviously responsible for both the iMac's processor and its Thunderbolt 2 controller, while Broadcom is the manufacturer of the gigabit Ethernet controller, and Cirrus Logic handles the system's audio controller. Other suppliers include Texas Instruments, Adesto, National Semiconductor, Intersil, Macronix, and Vimicro.

Samsung-built RAM soldered to the system, via iFixit.

Another unchanged part of the 21.5-inch iMac's design: The Samsung-manufactured RAM is still soldered to the logic board, meaning users cannot upgrade their RAM from what they initially purchase. This stands in contrast to Apple's 27-inch iMac, of which the latest model can be upgraded to 64 gigabytes of RAM.

The lack of upgradeable RAM, along with the CPU being soldered to the logic board, and the device's glass panel being fused to the Retina display LCD, all have led iFixit to give the 21.5-inch iMac a "repairability score" of 1 out of 10, meaning it is nearly impossible to repair.


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