iFixit has done a teardown of the new Apple Mac Pro, and gives it high marks (8 out of 10) for repairability and ease of upgrading.
- Mac Pro Late 2013 Repairability Score: 8 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)
- For being so compact, the design is surprisingly modular and easy to disassemble. Non-proprietary Torx screws are used throughout, and several components can be replaced independently.
- The easily-opened case is designed to make RAM upgrades a snap.
- The fan is easy to access and replace.
- While it will require a bit of digging, the CPU is user-replaceable—meaning intrepid fixers should be able to save considerably by upgrading from the base-level processor configuration.
- There is no room, or available port, for adding your own internal storage. Apple has addressed this with heaps of Thunderbolt, but we’d personally rather use the more widely compatible SATA if we could.
- With some proprietary new connectors and tight cable routing, working on this $3,000 device without a repair manual could be risky.
Pricing, upgradeability and looks are the three greatest concerns we’ve seen raised by musicians about the new Mac Pros.
- The new Mac Pros are priced competitively to comparable workstation computers – but they aren’t the inexpensive, upgradeable machines that many users want. And DIY machines built with standard PC components (vs workstation components) offer considerable savings.
- iFixit’s teardown shows the new Mac Pros to be easy to fix & repair. Many power users, though, still want room for internal storage.
- In terms of looks – many have commented that it looks like ‘Darth Vader’s trash can’. The bigger issue may be that the new Mac Pros don’t look like what we expect a high-end workstation computer to look like. It will be interesting to see if this is a real issue or if Apple will end up doing the same as it has done with laptops and phones, redefining the expectations for the form factor.
See the iFixit site for the full teardown.