As mentioned in our previous ‘It’s Been Way Too Long’ post, we are extremely excited to get the new 5K Retina iMac in the office. iFixit have already received their system and have kindly shared details of the new ultra thin iMac’s innards.
Whilst not wildly different from the previous model there are a few minor changes worth note. The Retina iMac retains it’s predecessors easily accessible rear RAM upgrade slot, definitely a plus. Although not for the feint of heart, other parts are also replaceable but require tricky removal of the glass. As in the 2013 model the CPU is not soldered to the logic board so upgrades are possible. Storage is also potentially upgradeable once the screen is removed, the 5K iMac has one Mini PCI-E slot for SSD or Flash storage and a single SATA port for large format storage.
Like the new Mac Pro, however, those hoping to install a non stock GPU are left wanting. The two non replaceable AMD GPUs are integrated directly into the logic board and cannot be replaced or even interchanged.
For those interested, the airport card in the new iMac is the same as the one in the 2013 system.
In summary, modular and easy to replace parts such as the CPU, RAM and storage options give the iMac Retina upgradeability to a point but the integrated GPU and difficulty involved in removing the screen to carry out most upgrades leave us with a bitter sweet taste in our mouths. We’re just excited to get our own 5K iMac in the office now and test it out for ourselves.