MacBook Pro 15" Core 2 Duo Model A1211 Teardown

Written By: Luke Soules

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We disassembled this computer on October 30, 2006.

  • Step 1
    • The MacBook Core 2 Duo (Merom) ships in the same surprisingly thin box as the original MacBook Pro (only 3.25") thick. Our machine arrived this morning (Oct 30th).
    • Note the lack of a pinhole for the iSight LED, as in the previous model. The LED is still in the same spot, and there is a circular pattern of micro-holes allowing light through. The holes weren't evenly drilled on our machine, letting more light through on the left side than the right. We didn't have a good enough lens to capture the effect.
  • Step 2
    • We received a 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo model with 1 GB RAM (single chip) and a 120 GB hard drive. The peripherals and power adapter are all the same.
    • The new Core 2 Duo is on top, with the additional Firewire 800 port. It's about time!
    • The battery is exactly the same as the previous model: 10.8V, 60 Watt-hour, model # A1175.
  • Step 3
    • The internals are mostly the same as the previous model. We'll point out the notable differences.
    • Removing the upper case.
  • Step 4
    • The Bluetooth board has moved from near the hard drive in the lower case, and is now mounted on the upper case near the new Firewire port on the right side.
    • The antenna is mounted so it is in contact with the aluminum. You'll be wanting to put your Bluetooth cell phone and mouse on the right side of your computer for best reception. Sorry, lefties.
    • The ribbon connecting the upper case to the logic board now has the keyboard, trackpad, Bluetooth, sleep sensor, and power button wires integrated into it. That's quite an engineering feat.
  • Step 5
    • Internals view with the upper case removed. Notable features:
    • 120 GB longitudinal recording Fujitsu drive. Rumor has it the 160 GB model ships with a perpendicular drive.
    • The optical drive is now a 6X, dual-layer, 9.7mm SuperDrive (DVD-R DL/DVD-RW/CD-RW). The drive itself says UJ-857C, while System Profiler reports it as a UJ-857D. We can't explain the discrepancy.
    • The logic board layout is virtually identical to the previous model. Apple introduced a new cable connector that is soldered to the logic board better. This may reduce some of the problems we've had with the previous brittle connectors.
  • Step 6
    • Here's the new Airport board. The world's worst kept secret is that this is actually an 802.11n draft chipset. We're not aware of any way to get the n-functionality in OS X yet, but some have been successful in Boot Camp with drivers for the D-Link DWA-645.
    • Note the three antenna cables coming into the Airport board. The previous model only had two cables. The additional antenna could provide better reception, or different frequencies (802.11n uses both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) for the new wireless chipset.
  • Step 7
    • Top of the logic board. Click on the image for a larger image, or here for even more resolution.
    • The Merom processor says:
    • Top: LE80537, T7400, 7626B184, SL9SK
    • Bottom: 2.16 / 4M / 667 Intel
    • For the optimists out there, you can stop hoping now: the processor is soldered onto the logic board.
  • Step 8
    • Bottom of the logic board.
    • Not much to note here. Again, click on the image for a medium-rez version, and here for high-rez.
    • That's all, folks.

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