updated 03:00 am EST, Fri November 30, 2012
Japanese blog finds new model well-designed inside too
The latest version of the iMac is just 5mm (0.2 inches) thick at its thinnest point, and yet the redesigned machine has revealed quite a bit of empty space in a teardown by Japanese enthusiast site Kodawarisan, which took apart a high-end 21.5-inch iMac just hours after the new version had debuted in Japan. The interior layout and engineering matches the sparse, elegant outside -- with a clean organization of components, an emphasis on airflow design, and a central fan distributing and channeling air.
As is normal with recent iMacs, special tools are needed to safely remove the display, but initial inspection of the interior would indicate that the drive inside is likely to be easily removable. The teardown shows that Apple's efficient design would possibly allow for a smaller iMac to be created with the exact same components were it not for the need for a 21-inch screen. The main components are bordered by rubber gaskets that leave plenty of airflow space, with a small gap for the FaceTime camera's ribbon cable.
The single fan intakes cool air drawn in from the bottom of the computer and is then funnelled across the components, removing heat and exiting the machine using natural convection cooling as much as possible. The person doing the teardown posted little in the way of comments or insight, promising more information later. However, one picture shows the processor removed from the logic board, suggesting that it may be possible to upgrade the processor (depending on a number of factors) in the future.
Apple is expected to have very limited supply of the new iMac when it finally hits select US stores later today. A 27-inch version of the new iMac has been promised for December, but again is likely to appear in constrained quantities until after the beginning of the new year.
The 21.5-inch iMac starts at $1,299, about $100 higher than the model that preceded it, and dropping the built-in optical drive that was previously standard equipment. However, buyers get a substantially more powerful chip, an improved screen with 75 percent less reflectivity, 60 percent faster graphics, and the new Fusion Drive configurable option. The Fusion Drive intelligently mixes SSD and HD technologies for a hybrid that offers SSD-like faster performance while keeping the storage capacity and pricing of traditional hard disks.