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New MacBook Pro Teardown Reveals 'Shoddy Assembly' 531

CWmike writes "Apple's new MacBook Pro shows some build-quality problems that shouldn't be seen in a notebook that costs $1,800, a teardown expert said on Monday. found several signs of substandard assembly while disassembling a 15-in. MacBook Pro. Among them: A stripped screw near the subwoofer enclosure and an unlocked ZIF (zero insertion force) socket for the IR (infrared) sensor. '[These] should not be things found inside a completely unmolested computer with an $1,800 base price,' iFixit said in the teardown description. iFixit also spotted an unusual amount of thermal paste applied to both the CPU and the GPU. 'Holy thermal paste! Time will tell if the gobs of thermal paste applied to the CPU and GPU will cause overheating issues down the road,' iFixit said. The refreshed MacBook Pro models launched last Thursday in what one analyst called a 'ho-hum' upgrade."
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New MacBook Pro Teardown Reveals 'Shoddy Assembly'

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  • Ho hum? (Score:2, Informative)

    by mozumder ( 178398 ) on Monday February 28, 2011 @07:15PM (#35342580)

    These MacBook Pro's are the top laptops in the industry. There is nothing better.

    This refresh is almost as fast as my 8-core Nehalem Xeon Mac Pro, which is rather incredible.

    All great products have high resale value... I just sold my 4 year old MacBook Pro 17" for $920.

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Monday February 28, 2011 @07:19PM (#35342620) Homepage Journal

    I suppose this is a good reminder that regardless of the brand, most electronics are coming out of the same crappy Chinese factories.

    That's totally unfair.

    Why single out electronics like that?

  • by dicobalt ( 1536225 ) on Monday February 28, 2011 @07:23PM (#35342664)
    It was made by people who are in a daze, overworked, and totally unskilled. Apple always overcharges for their hardware. There is no revelation here.
  • Thermal paste increases thermal conductivity between chip and heat sink.

    Overclocked your first gaming rig, huh? No. Thermal paste is a crappy conductor. From Wikipedia []:

    The metal oxide and nitride particles suspended in silicone thermal compounds have thermal conductivities of up to 220 W/(mK). (In comparison, the thermal conductivity of metals used particle additions, copper is 380 W/(mK), silver 429 and aluminum 237.) The typical thermal conductivities of the silicone compounds are 0.7 to 3 W/(mK). Silver thermal compounds may have a conductivity of 3 to 8 W/(mK) or more.

    So, "good" silver compound will be approximately 1% as conductive as aluminum. The only thing near a CPU less conductive than thermal paste is air. You want to use the bare minimum necessary to fill the minor imperfections in the surfaces of the CPU and heatsink. Any more than that and you might as well wrap your processor in a nice cozy wool sweater.

  • by Y-Crate ( 540566 ) on Monday February 28, 2011 @09:16PM (#35343582)

    Does that page reference the douchery of their owners, and how those owners seem to need to point out how their laptops are different from every other laptop out there?

    No, but I hear they're considering adding a paragraph or two on smug non-Mac users who absolutely insist on throwing non sequiturs like yours into practically every Apple discussion.

    I hear far, far more from people like you than I do from those you're complaining about. And I work in an industry that is disproportionately Mac-centric, and went to a college where easily 95%+ of the student body and faculty used Macs. And I also love to spend time at coffee shops. I mean come on.

    I'm beginning to think it's a bizarre inferiority complex that is triggered by the sight / mention of Apple products. The same way some people flip out and feel oppressed when they spot "Happy Holidays" or something.

  • Re:Sample size: n=1 (Score:5, Informative)

    by dogmatixpsych ( 786818 ) on Monday February 28, 2011 @11:23PM (#35344444) Journal
    And we have 5 Macs (3 iMacs, 2 MacBooks/Pro) that have never been in the shop. Out of the about 30 different Mac owners that I personally know and interact with regularly, only one has had his Mac in for repairs. My anecdote is just as valid as your anecdote. Further, based on my anecdote, I can argue (just as validly as you argued) that the build quality of Macs has at least remained stable or even increased.

    My point with my reply is that when we look at objective data (I'm not commenting on the quality of these data but they have to be better than your anecdote and my anecdote), Apple computers are the most reliable: []

    Here are some somewhat subjective data (but still data with a larger sample size) showing Apple on top:,2817,2368167,00.asp []

    Maybe Apple's build quality has gone down but objective data don't seem to show that at all.

I've got a bad feeling about this.