back to article Bloodthirsty Apple fanbois TEAR OPEN new Macbook, bare its guts to world+dog

An Apple upgrade outfitter has exposed the new Macbook Retina to the world, cracking it open for a teardown just days after its release. The new Macbook surged from Cupertino like an avenging spirit last week, surprising almost no one with its promise of slightly improved performance. Now the first brave soul has attacked it …

  1. AbelSoul

    Rich as folk

    For a wee joke The Register tried to build the most expensive Macbook we could, adding a 1TB hard drive, 2.8GHz i7 chip and a DVD drive, which have been unreasonably banished from modern day Macbooks. Its cost was £2,614.00, proving that the juiciest fruit is only available to the richest of folk.

    That game's more fun with a Mac Pro - hits over ten grand.

    (Which is actually a relative bargain; used to go up to £16k+)

    1. JeffyPoooh

      Re: Rich as folk

      £16k+ is only about $4,000 at the usual exchange rate (for consumer electronics prices). LOL.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rich as folk

      You can build your own notebook at Falcon Northwest, costing north of 10,000 USD. But it will come with a backpack, an extra monitor, a router, a mouse, a keyboard and a surge arrest when parked at your CC, plus Office 365, 2 fonts, a 4TB NAS, and a 64GB pendrive. And it will be hand-painted to wherever color you want, including but not limited to the color of the panties on the cover of a 70's playboy or the last BMW.

      Which seems a bargain near that Mac Pro.

    3. P. Lee

      Re: Rich as folk

      You think that's funny?

      I've been pricing up water-cooling for my single CPU, single GPU desktop: north of AUD 600

      I'm still trying to work out how a 250ml waterproof plastic box can be priced north of $40.

      1. Lionel Baden

        Re: Rich as folk

        :) i run WC on my system. But mine is ghetto built from scraps and pvc glue compound. Works great though. 6 rad spots and 12 fans.

        Its the guarantee of no leaks that puts the price up ;) oh and were suckers for pretty things.

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    We know The Register hates everything about Apple

    so accept that your readers know and decide on a new target for your angst because it gets a tad repetitive if not downright boring.


    How many other laptops use pci-e SSD's at the moment?

    Why didn't you include a Thunderbolt display is you really wanted to push the price?

    Or are you just interested in page hits?

    {probably won't post this but it has been a long day dealing with idiots who are 4.5hrs ahead of us}

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: We know The Register hates everything about Apple

      "We know The Register hates everything about Apple "

      News to me. I rather like Apple Macs, though I am less a fan of the mobile stuff. One day, I hope to be able to afford Macs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We know The Register hates everything about Apple

        Some of the Register's hacks' articles about Apple stuff are quite amusing and interesting, regardless of being pro or against whatever Apple is doing.

        Not Jasper's. Froth and fiction, shamelessly biased, often based on obvious rumours.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: We know The Register hates everything about Apple

          While he sometimes reports on rumour - and frankly, with Apple that's about all there is to report on - I don't see anything particularly biased about his writing. He isn't gushing with praise, but he doesn't go out of his way to beat them down, either. He's skeptical and doesn't give Apple the benefit of the doubt...but nor does he for anyone else.

          I'm the same way, so I don't really see the problem...unless, of course, you've got a massive emotional investment in Apple combined with a weird need to have everyone else love the things you love. If, however, that's the case, you probably need some professional help. *shrug* It's just stuff man. And Apple's just a company.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: We know The Register hates everything about Apple

            I don't see anything particularly biased about his writing

            Sorry Trevor, I disagree with you. As I said before, there is a massive difference between being critical (which is what I read The Reg for) and downright biased which impacts what you write and is below a decent journalist - or, more exact, ought to be below a hack working for The Register. Jasper has a history of snipey asides which have f*ck all to do with reporting and are actually in some cases even spectacularly ill informed. Case in point:

            For a wee joke The Register tried to build the most expensive Macbook we could, adding a 1TB hard drive, 2.8GHz i7 chip and a DVD drive, which have been unreasonably banished from modern day Macbooks. Its cost was £2,614.00, proving that the juiciest fruit is only available to the richest of folk

            DVD drive: makes sense to leave it out. The last time I used a DVD was at least 3 years ago, and you can actually jack any old USB DVD reader/writer in and it'll work (no need for drivers and the software is /gasp/ already built in). There's also the speed issue: a USB stick is faster, and all software comes (shock horror) via the Net. I suspect that it's just a bit too revolutionary for Jasper to come to terms with. Tell me, does he still make notes on parchment using a quill?

            Only available to the richest: it's clear he's never been a TCO calculation of gear. Software for Macs is massively cheaper, and has less license management headaches. Updates of the OS are not only cheaper, they also don't need so many updates that they had to put them on one specific day to retain some productivity (hello Microsoft), and most updates don't need a reboot.

            Stop/start behaviour of the platform in mobile use is stable, no fighting with sleep/hibernation settings - it just works. Oh, and why did he casually leave out that the 1TB drive is SSD? That's quite a massive difference in cost with spinning rust, but that would disturb the picture he was trying to build. I've used top of the range Sony VAIOs, and they were more expensive than Apple gear. This BS is just cheap pandering, and is irritating to those who read El Reg for *news*.

            Ship this guy to News of the World. Oh, that's shut? Even better.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: We know The Register hates everything about Apple

              Sorry Trevor, I disagree with you.

              You have that right. That said, I am also a reader of El Reg, and I read Jasper's articles along with almost everyone else's. I emphatically and completely do not buy that J.H. is biased against Apple. Instead, I feel that it is you who have a dangerous emotional attachment to Apple that is influencing your ability to perceive a combination of critical thinking and snark as bias.

              To address your complaints directly:

              My wife didn't buy a Macbook Pro beacause it didn't have a DVD drive. She said "that's fine on a netbook, but for my primary machine I need one." She bought a Lenovo.

              Poking at Apple for having the top end so ridiculously expensive is absolutely legitimate. PC manufacturers have - for the most part - be forced by competition (thanks, Lenovo!) not to charge $virgins for a step up in RAM/screen/etc. And a lot of similar-classed PCs are still upgradable, meaning you can do exactly what I do: pick up a system with 2 or 4GB of manufacturer-provided RAM and up it to 32GB by nipping down to the corner store and getting SO-DIMMs for a bent copper. (Though I am getting sick of having to remove the keyboard to get the second DIMM in...)

              As for "why didn't he mention it had an SSD", that would be because it's 2014. Nobody fucking uses spinning rust anymore. Again: buy your Lenovo with the el-cheap-o built-in rust, pop down to the corner store and slam in a 1TB unit. Hell, I managed to get a 480gb mSATA and a 1TB PCI-E into my 11" Lenovo X230. AND 32GB of RAM and it's nowhere near $2000, let alone 2000 pounds.

              So yeah, you know what, I think you've got your knickers in a bunch over nothing. The man has some valid points and you are having a wobble over the fact that he raised them.


              You bring up Sony VIAOs when comparing to Apple on price, and they're a damned good comparison. They're outrageously much so that they were a boat anchor Sony had to get rid of because of how much the market simply didn't want them.

              Who does do well? Lenovo. Because they make great computers that people actually want and they do so for cheap. These range from the unupgradable to the ultimately upgradable. They have a little bit of everything. As the dominant PC vendor - not to mention the one who is making the most profit - it makes much more sense to compare Apple to them than it does some shattered has-been that is gasping it's last breath.

              That said, it would make perfect sense - and be perfectly legitimate - to say "Apple is expensive, like a Sony Viao - in the article. It's just not necessary.

              If J.H. were picking apart Alienware, Sony or so forth for the same things, would you be getting all uppity because he didn't include a cross comparison of every other vendor? I suspect you'd consider them fair game, because it isn't an "attack" on your beloved Apple.

              So yeah, J.H. is having some fun at Apple's expense...but he raises valid points and does give us info about a new product.

              You, OTOH, decide that you need to personally attack him rather than simply choosing to look at the headline and go "oh, I don't like that guy because he says things that make me angry" and simply not reading those articles. I have a list of authors at various news outlets I avoid, and I manage to do so* despite pretty severe adult ADHD which results in my having virtually no impulse control. You have no excuse.

              And really, that's what it boils down to here. The argument could be made that J.H. could have phrased his articles in such a way as to avoid hurting the feelers of the faithful...but it can just as easily be made that the faithful need a sharp spike in the feelers every now and again. (And I say that applies to those who put their faith in any vendor or product!)

              If you actually engaged with him as a human being, I think you'd find he doesn't have an anti-Apple chip on his shoulder. He respects them for what they are, and couldn't actually care less what other people buy. He simply reflects some of the things that the demonstrable majority of people care about, even if you, personally, don't.

              That you agree with Apple's choices doesn't make anyone who doesn't biased.

              *I avoid authors who consistently and willfully ignore science in favour of pushing pesudoscience that fits their political agenda, no matter how completely fucking wrong that pesudoscience is, how out of context they have to take any real science, or how much data they have to ignore to make things fit into their views. I won't give them the page views.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: We know The Register hates everything about Apple

                Trevor, you and I certainly come from a different angle when it comes to reporting.

                I object against stuff that displays bias, something that isn't alien to you either. You were a full card carrying member of the Microsoft cheerleader front until they clearly passed a point that wasn't even acceptable for you, but your bias could be discussed and poked fun at - reasonably so.

                I would like to point out that I didn't like the writing style - I have no opinion of the person or even his integrity (I don't know him, I have only see his writing), just those asides that don't add any real value. I use all platforms so I think I'm a little bit in the middle when it comes to bias (there are quite a few things I don't agree with Apple about like their unilateral decision to ignore standards and thus leave out message confirmation in email and SMS).

                We'll have to disagree here. That's life.

                1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                  Re: We know The Register hates everything about Apple

                  The difference is that you don't "discuss" and "poke fun at" J.H. You attack him.

                  I'm perfectly willing to have a discussion about my potential biases, and I'll even discuss them in my articles, with as much humour as I can muster. But attack me, and I'll punch you in the gonads. I fully expect any other writer to take a similar stance. Keep on attacking J.H. over and over in the comments and you might just get a rise. If it were me, I'd put little things into my articles just to get a rise out of such an individual.

                  We're reporters, not saints.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: We know The Register hates everything about Apple

                Trevor, the guy discusses a disagreement with writing style and possible bias and you go straight into emotional attachments and basically a full character assassination?


            2. Dinky Carter

              Apple Mac Book / DVD

              >and you can actually jack any old USB DVD reader/writer in and it'll work

              Slightly different scenario, but when the flimsy DVD in my wife's MacBook Pro broke, I bought her Apple's external DVD drive ('ShinyDrive' or something, costing 3x the price of any comparable DVD drive) It didn't work with her machine! Apple had nobbled the unix device settings *specifcally* to stop it working with a machine that already has an inbuilt drive. My £30 external DVD drive from Maplins worked just fine though. (After some tinkering in unix, I eventually got her Apple DVD drive working with her Apple computer.)

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. t.est

        Re: We know The Register hates everything about Apple

        Well it's easy, when you're about to buy that PC, just double the time you spent saving for it and you can afford a mac. You won't upgrade that often afterwards anyway. I got 8 years on my mac in october.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We know The Register hates everything about Apple

      We know The Register hates everything about Apple

      Actually no, it's just one reporter, and he seems to confuse being critical with being biased. Plenty of Apple gear around in their London office...

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, nice one grandad

    Next you'll be complaining it doesn't have a gramophone slot for your olde timey vinyl.

    DVDs were obsolete the moment it was less hassle to download a film you owned off TPB than it was to pull it off the shelf behind you and wrangle the tele into playing it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah, nice one grandad

      Curiously enough, not everyone is able to get a connection speed sufficient to stream what ever film takes their fancy, and likewise is not interested in uploading all their films to some kind of local storage. It may be unfashionable, but having a DVD drive is very much a real-world necessity for those living outside a metropolis.

      1. The First Dave

        Re: Yeah, nice one grandad

        The only reason that I can see for DVD drives these days are to get around the fact that our corporate overlords have decreed that all USB sticks have to be encrypted / neutered, but you can still burn a DVD with that 12MB word file on it that is just too large to go through email.

    2. Dinky Carter

      Re: Yeah, nice one grandad

      Are you seriously calling somebody 'granddad' because they want to play a DVD?

      If I own a film on DVD, popping it into a DVD drive is rather more convenient than pratting around with a torrent.

  4. Rabbit80

    What we really need to know...

    "... is whether memory or the processor are soldered in, making upgrades more or less impossible. But the teardown dons didn't reveal this key piece of info."

    You can't tell from the photo's on the site you link to???

    I'll give you a clue, they are!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What we really need to know...

      Of course he can't! It's Hamill; he doesn't know one end of a computer from his own backside.

  5. Slap

    Not really a tear down, just removing the bottom case, taking a pic, and then taking out the SSD for another photo op - not difficult.

    IFixit will do it better.

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Cheers for screws, just fishing for some positive feelings in the rain.

  6. Snapper

    Gonna risk the Wrath Of Trevor!

    Trevor old mate, I disagree with you.

    There is honest opinion with an inevitable small amount of bias towards or away from certain suppliers or types of equipment, and there is inaccurate 'reporting' based on lazy, sloppy research and a very noticeable hostility not only towards Apple but the people who use their products.

    Jasper ticks a lot of boxes in the 'Chip-on-shoulder-rant' column.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gonna risk the Wrath Of Trevor!


      This one is about some cretins gold-plating iPhones -- which I agree is stupid and ought to be mocked -- but the gist of the article is that the gold-plating is a product for iPhones, while Brikk would gladly do the same for HTC and Samsung gear. Jasper conveniently forgot that because iPhone fruity firm fanbois wah wah wah.

      This one is just a rehash of rumours from blogs and hearsay.

      To be honest, this one was quite interesting, and had nothing to do with Apple. Just to be sure, there is only one Jasper Hamill working there, right?

      So, Trevor, you're half right: one of us have issues with Apple.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Gonna risk the Wrath Of Trevor!

        Emphatically have to disagree about the Brikk thing. I read it as an article in good fun mocking the concept of a gold-plated smartphone in general and the the "augmentation" of the iconic Apple design more specifically. I don't think the fact that he didn't include Brikk's willingness to bling up phones that nobody would ever bling up is relevant. He was having a bit of fun. He wasn't there to advertise on behalf of Brikk.

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Gonna risk the Wrath Of Trevor!

      Hey, I've no problem with you disagreeing with me. Disagree away! You feel Jasper has a bias, but you manage to express it without attacking him. Yes, I do very much disagree with you, but I see no reason for wrath.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Massive teardown

    They removed the (designed to be removable) cover and took some pictures. Massive 'teardown'... NOT!!

    Yes, the RAM is soldered in - it's obvious in the pics. Presumably the CPU is too, but when was the last time anyone bothered upgrading a CPU, especially in a laptop?

    I get that OWC are mainly into their SSDs, but you can't really describe this as a teardown.

    Oh look, I just tore down my phone by removing the back cover. Look, it's got a battery in there and everything. No, I don't dare remove _that_ bit!

  8. mastodon't

    A is for Apple

    B is for Bastards

    C is for Crap

    D is for Don't you ever get bored with the snark

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A is for Apple

      What is really sad is that you have clearly taken the time to think this up; and in doing so taking pathetic to a whole new level.

  9. Julian Taylor

    You did WHAT?

    "...a DVD drive"

    Why didn't you add the USB SCSI interface unit as well for your legacy SyQuest drive, or maybe something to play all those old 78rpm records you own?

    Don't think I have touched anything so antiquated as a DVD or CD in over 3 years now.

    1. Dinky Carter

      Re: You did WHAT?

      ... er, because he/she might have a library of films on DVD which they might want to play? Or might want to play a new DVD they picked up in a (shock horror) *shop* ?? That's the place your mummy goes to buy your fish fingers and lollipops.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You did WHAT?

        A *shop*?! Wow, you really are 20th century, man. Also, a your mommy jibe? Bless. In that case, can I have a VHS machine in my new Windows laptop please.

  10. Kebablog

    'The new Macbooks are pretty much the same price, shape and with the same ports.'

    Same shape, check

    Same ports, check

    Cheaper (in the UK - though you are too lazy to check and just rely on the US prices)

    More standard Ram

    Edited from my original post which Jasper obviously didn't like

  11. Riccardo Spagni

    Clearly pricing hardware is not Jasper's forte.

    I understand that journalists nowadays are exceedingly lazy, so I've grown to expect a certain amount of nonsensical opinions spouted in their attempt to "report" things, but Jasper really does take things to a new level.

    A Macbook Pro Retina is a workhorse, and among the few comparable machines (in terms of build quality and reliability) are the Lenovo W series and the Dell Precision series. If you take a workhorse like a Precision M3800 and spec it to match the Macbook Pro Retina, what would you expect to happen? A journalist as incompetent as Jasper would surely make some snarky remarks about the Apple tax and so on.

    Here is the reality.



    The Dell is $640 more expensive than the Apple at the same spec (in fact, the Apple has the advantage of a single PCI-e SSD instead of the Dell having a 512gb mini card and a 512gb SATA SSD). Oh, and the Apple includes their office suite, as well as iPhoto / iMovie / GarageBand.

    Et tu, Jasper?

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