Skip to main content

Teardown reveals just how empty the new iMac is inside

When Apple unveiled the redesigned 24-inch iMac in May, it explained that it had shrunk down the computer’s logic board to miniscule proportions, allowing it to make the all-in-one desktop wafer-thin.

What it did not tell us was that it had it had shrunk everything else down so much that the iMac was essentially half empty on the inside.

Internals of the 24-inch iMac during iFixit teardown

That revelation has come from iFixit, whose engineers have torn down the latest iMac to see what makes it tick. And amazingly, the operation revealed large areas that contain no components at all.

Along the bottom of the machine — in the space still occupied by the large, outdated “chin” — is the super-small logic board, which contains the Apple-designed M1 chip, the storage modules, and various components such as the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module. Flanking the board are two small fans, which themselves are bordered by the iMac’s new speaker system. Again, it reemphasizes just how important that bottom chin is for the design of the iMac to function.

There are two large, mysterious metal plates above the logic board, which iFixit speculated could be speaker chambers. And that’s about it.

Why is the iMac so devoid of components, then? Well, it all comes down to the M1 chip. One of the main reasons Apple switched from Intel processors to its own chips was efficiency — ARM chips like the M1 run far cooler than Intel’s own offerings, meaning they need far less vigorous cooling to keep them running optimally.

In the new iMac, that is most obvious in its super-slimline 11.5mm profile. Because it no longer needs a bulky fan system, the whole machine is basically on a diet. Yet Apple clearly did not want to cut down on the display size (in fact, thanks to reduced bezels, the screen size actually increased this year). That creates an interesting situation: A large display with very little behind it.

There were some components, including the large metal plates, the Magic Keyboard’s Touch ID sensor, the speakers, and two unidentified circular modules, that iFixit promised to examine at a later date. The website said it would also deliver a repairability score for the iMac at the same time.

Editors' Recommendations

Alex Blake
In ancient times, people like Alex would have been shunned for their nerdy ways and strange opinions on cheese. Today, he…
iMac 27-inch: Everything we know about Apple’s larger, more powerful iMac
Apple iMac Pro News

When Apple killed off the iMac Pro and then completely removed the 27-inch iMac from its online store, we thought that was the end of the road for the larger all-in-one computer. Right now, Apple only sells one size of iMac: the smaller 24-inch version. But what about that gaping hole in the iMac lineup previously occupied by the 27-inch model?

It could be that Apple decides to leave this device dead and buried and instead hopes that the Mac Studio and Studio Display scratch that itch -- that's certainly what sources at 9to5Mac have contended. But there are tantalizing clues that Apple is considering offering a larger iMac with a greater level of performance than the 24-inch iMac. Regardless of whether this is branded an iMac Pro or an iMac, here's everything we know about the next high-end all-in-one from Apple.
Price and release date

Read more
Got an M1 Mac? Apple will now let you repair it yourself
A person repairing a MacBook using Apple's self-service repair kit.

Apple has expanded its self-service repair program to include a new slate of desktop Macs, as spotted by Six Colors. The move has increased the number of people eligible to get hands-on and fix their Apple computers at home using official components and guides. Previously, only a handful of MacBooks qualified for the program.

The devices freshly inducted into the program include the M1 iMac, M1 Mac mini, the Mac Studio, and the Studio Display. Owners of these Macs and displays will now get access to official parts and manuals to help them fix up their products without needing to go to an Apple Store or a third-party repair shop.

Read more
The iMac Pro launched five years ago today. What comes next?
Apple iMac Pro News

Today marks five years since Apple launched the iMac Pro. The company’s ill-fated pro-level all-in-one promised the kind of performance that the “trashcan” Mac Pro could only dream of, but was itself soon thrown by the wayside. It was unceremoniously discontinued in March 2021.

The iMac Pro’s reveal was highly unusual for Apple’s standards. In April 2017, a number of senior Apple execs apologized for the state of its offerings tailored to professionals and acknowledged that the current Mac Pro could not meet those customers’ needs. To compensate, Apple announced it was working on a new Mac Pro with a modular design, a high-end display, and a new pro-level iMac that later emerged as the iMac Pro.

Read more