iMac Intel 20" EMC 2266 Teardown

Written By: David Patierno

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Difficulty Very easy
Steps 21
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Introduction

We picked up the new iMac 20" from our local Apple store on March 3rd.

  • Step 1
    • It's here!
    • We turned it on (only briefly, of course); the LCD display is beautifully clear, even though its resolution (1680x1050) is smaller than the 1920x1200 resolution found in the MacBook Pro 17" Unibody.
    • The speakers are also surprisingly loud and clear, given that the sound seemingly comes out of nowhere...
    • Feel free to comment on specific steps as we go. We'll do our best to accommodate any special requests for pictures.
  • Step 2
    • The ports:
    • Optical digital audio out / in
    • Four USB 2.0 ports
    • FireWire 800, 7 watts
    • Gigabit Ethernet
    • Mini DisplayPort (with support for DVI, dual-link DVI, and VGA)
  • Step 3
    • Look at those lovely cords. Yay for cords. Going wireless will add an extra $50 to your iMac's pricetag -- $20 for the mouse and $30 for the keyboard.
    • Apple should really have an Aluminum mouse. The included white plastic Mighty Mouse looks like something thrown in as an afterthought.
    • Our keyboard has no number pad, but in their online store Apple offers a "keyboard with numeric keypad" as a no-cost alternative to the standard one.
    • Apple confirmed that nothing from the PC world was used in the creation of this iMac, as evident by the "Everything Mac" slogan.
  • Step 4
    • It has begun.
    • Unscrewing the single exterior screw -- the RAM cover. We brainstorm on what magical wonders may lie underneath...
    • Behold: RAM!
    • Unfortunately, this is the extent of Apple-approved user-serviceability for this iMac.
  • Step 5
    • We use only the best parts around here. Our suction cups come straight from Maranello, Italy (in Ferrari red, of course).
  • Step 6
    • Fourteen magnets hold the front glass panel in place. Our suction cups were very handy for this operation.
    • The glass panel comes off with a gentle pull straight up.
    • The suction cups made removing the glass surprisingly painless. However, getting dust or fingerprints on either the glass or LCD is a concern. You must make sure both the LCD panel and glass are completely clean prior to reassembly.
    • The rear of the glass has a metallic bezel, as well as seven alignment posts. The magnets that help hold the glass in place are in the iMac's aluminum front bezel.
  • Step 7
    • The display is less glossy now.
    • Twelve screws are exposed:
    • Eight 12.8 mm T8 Torx screws.
    • Four 24.6 mm T8 Torx screws.
    • The front bezel then simply rotates up. The microphone cable must be disconnected before the bezel is entirely free.
  • Step 8
    • It almost looks like Tim Burton joined the iMac design team...
  • Step 9
    • We wanted to see how the iMac clock battery (190 mAh) stacks up with the 17" Unibody's behemoth (12,820 mAh), so we put them next to each other:
    • 17" Unibody wins.
  • Step 10
    • Most components are buried beneath the LCD assembly. This isn't a new design for Intel iMacs, but is certainly not as convenient as the rear-accessible iMac G5.
    • Unscrewing the two T6 screws securing the display data cable.
    • After removing the two screws, we pulled the connector straight up, wiggling back and forth as necessary.
  • Step 11
    • The LCD panel is held in place with eight 11.8mm T8 Torx screws.
    • The LCD in this iMac is not LED backlit, but uses the more traditional CCFL backlight.
    • There are five cables (four inverter cables and one temperature sensor) to disconnect before the LCD panel can be removed from the iMac.
    • This display is an AU Optronics M302EW02. The manufacture date shown on the back of the LCD is 09/04, that's probably the 4th week of 2009.
  • Step 12
    • Removing the desktop 320GB SATA hard drive.
    • After disconnecting the temperature sensor cables, we rotated the long black clip toward the drive to unlock it, then swung it to the side.
    • We then unplugged the SATA cables and pulled out the hard drive without removing any additional screws.
    • This screw-less design for the hard drive is nice, but unfortunately getting to this point requires removing 21 screws.
  • Step 13
    • Each speaker is attached by one screw and one connector cable.
    • Only the right speaker needs to be removed to gain access to the logic board, but we removed them both.
    • The Bluetooth board is the blue board in the top center.
    • The 802.11n card is on the right with two antenna wires running to it from below the logic board.
  • Step 14
    • Removing the logic board.
    • First off, let's disconnect 13 connectors.
    • Next, we remove 10 T10 Torx screws... (Second image)
    • ...and 2 T8 Torx screws.
    • It's out! (Third image)
  • Step 15
    • Apple's flat-panel iMacs have always been an interesting cross between a laptop and a desktop. This iMac features a laptop-style optical drive and RAM, but a desktop hard drive.
    • This is a 12.7mm SATA 8x double-layer SuperDrive.
    • As far as we know, this leaves the AppleTV as the only shipping Apple product with a PATA drive.
  • Step 16
    • As we mentioned earlier, this iMac still uses an LCD with a CCFL backlight. This particular display features four backlights, each of which require their own high-voltage AC power.
    • All four are powered by a single large inverter.
  • Step 17
    • This is the power supply. If you're doing this at home, be very careful handling it, as capacitors can remain charged even after power has been disconnected from the computer.
    • This iMac isn't very colorful, internally or externally. However, the power supply (once removed) is surprisingly vibrant.
  • Step 18
    • The large and awkward logic board.
    • The ports are all soldered directly to the logic board, and connect at a slight angle to fit the curvature of the iMac's rear housing.
    • If you want to see more detail, we have hi-res shots of the top and bottom.
  • Step 19
    • The heat sink directly above the 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo processor.
    • The gray and black cable is a temperature sensor, one of at least six we've found in this iMac so far.
    • The processor appears to be socketed, but unfortunately there's a "Warranty void if removed" sticker that must be removed to access it.
  • Step 20
    • On the 20" iMac the stand is very integrated into the computer. Removing the stand requires you to first remove almost all internal components.
    • The stand is fastened to the housing with 7 T10 Torx screws.
    • The stand is very heavy and sturdy. Just the aluminum stand by itself weighs 33.3 ounces -- almost 70% of the weight of a MacBook Air.
  • Step 21
Conclusion

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