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iFixit Teardown: 27-inch Apple iMac 5K Retina display

A complete teardown of the Apple iMac Intel 27″ Retina 5K display that was released a few days back by iFixit. The team investigates whether the new high-resolution display affects the repairability of the device and the new changes in the hardware.imac-5k-retina-display-teardown-8

The RAM upgrade access panel is similar to the earlier iMacs while removing the new display was not a tough task either. The 5K Retina display is manufactured by LG while the hardware is supplied by Texas instruments. The hardware is also similar to the earlier iMacs with 8-bit Dual-Supply Bus Transreceiver and Programmable Gamma-Voltage  Generator from Texas instruments.


Other hardware that provides the 5210×2880 resolution on a 27-inch display is an LCD timing controller from Parade Technologies, Monolithic Dual Synchronous Buck regulator and High Resolution Fully Programmable LCD Bias IC for TV from Texas instruments. The data cable of the Retina 5K display was found to be wider for pixel support.

The logic board consists of AMD Radeon R9 M290X GPU, Intel Core i5-4690 processor, a 256MB GDDR5 SG RAM with 8 modules totalling to 2GB. Other ICs on the board include a Fairchild semiconductor, Intel Platform Controller Hub and Delta Electronics. A Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet Controller, Cirrus Logic Audio Controller, Intel Thunderbolt Controller  and Intersil Enhanced 6-Phase PWM controller are based on the front of the logic board.

The same SanDisk PCLe SSD used in the 2013 13-inch Macbook is seen the latest iMac with a 16GB NAND Flash (128GB from SanDisk), 2GB DDR3 SDRAM  and Marvell SSD Controller. The Bluetooth card is also the same which is fitted with Broadcom 5G Wifi 3-stream Gigabit receiver, WLAN front-end module from  Skyworks and single-chip Bluetooth 4.0 HCL solution with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) support.

The 27″ iMac gets a repairablity score of 5 out of 10 (easily repairable) with the easy access to RAM and for fixing the hard drive and CPU. However the magnets between the LCD and the glass have now been removed and has been stuck together using a double-sided sticky tape which will need to be resealed once opened.

Apple iMac Retina 5K Display Teardown Video:

Apple iMac Retina 5K Display iFixit teardown image gallery:

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About Anirudh Madhav

A movie buff, a bookworm, and a compulsive doodler. All posts by Anirudh

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