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Apple M3 iMac teardown shows minimal internal changes compared to older model

In context: Apple announced its M3-powered 24-inch iMac at its ‘Scary Fast’ event in late October, three years after the launch of the M1 iMac. Externally, the new device looks nearly identical to the last-gen model, but we now know more about its internal design, thanks to a teardown video from iFixit.

The M3 iMac is relatively difficult to open up, requiring the removal of the screen to gain access to the internal compartment that houses all the hardware. The display is attached to the case with an adhesive that is relatively simple to remove, but the magnetic attachment in the older Intel iMac was easier to deal with. Once inside, the M3 logic board can be seen held in place with a plethora of screws, while the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas are placed behind the Apple logo.

The latest iMac comes with an ultra-thin design that necessitates an external power supply unit, which also includes an Ethernet port. As can be seen from the teardown video, the one major change compared to the M1 model is the use of a single CMOS battery instead of two. The rest of the interior design is very similar to the older model, including the two grille chambers.

Like the older model, the only replaceable parts in the new iMac are the two fans, the Thunderbolt ports, and the CMOS battery, while the SSD and memory modules are soldered onto the mainboard, and are therefore not user-replaceable. The speakers are located behind the display, and the stand is attached to the middle of the case. Although the stand can be replaced with a VESA mount, removing the screen from the housing is necessary to do so.

Curiously, iFixit did not give the M3 iMac a repairability score, but given that the M1 model only got a measly 2 out of 10, we believe the new device would also get a similarly low rating. Macs have never been the most repairable of devices, and the new iMac continues with the tradition of being notoriously hard to upgrade.

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