June 13, 2012

iFixit tears down the new Retina MacBook Pro, calls it “least repairable laptop” yet

Jordan Kahn, writing for 9TO5Mac:

"Today they are at it again, this time with the new Retina MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, iFixit found changes to the new MacBook Pro make it ’ the least repairable laptop’ its taken apart, giving it a 1/10 repair score"

Unfortunate, but not unexpected. Part of what makes the Next Generation MacBook Pro "least repairable" is the lack of bolt-in parts, such as the battery and SDRAM. Removing those parts' mounting hardware and substituting glue, or solder, reduces the finished product's weight just a little bit. Every bit counts.

Another reason this isn't surprising: Apple has been losing business to third-party SDRAM retailers for quite a while. Savvy customers have been purchasing their MacBook Pros with the minimum 2- or 4-GB of SDRAM, buying a memory upgrade kit from Micron, Crucial or OWC and reaping the benefits of increased memory at half the price Apple charges.

Installation is a breeze and doesn't void your Apple warranty. How many folks have their original memory modules laying around, collecting dust? Lots.

No more. As the article states, buy your new Next-Gen MacBook Pro with 16 GB of SDRAM or forever hold your peace, because what you buy from Apple is what you'll be stuck with in the years ahead.

There's no telling what software might come along that performs best with a huge volume of memory. Long the domain of database servers and video editing, 16-GB of SDRAM might seem excessive for more pedestrian uses today.

For those using Parallels or VMWare Fusion to host second operating systems on their machine today, though (think Windows for running those must-have Windows apps, like Quicken), 8-GB is the key to smooth simultaneous operations. 16-GB might become a similar necessity before too long.