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iMac Pro base model teardown reveals a surprising number of user upgrade opportunities

Earlier this month, Apple launched the iMac Pro, its first professional grade desktop system in several years. This time around, Apple decided to refocus on making its Pro machines upgrade friendly, something that was sorely lacking from the 2013 Mac Pro. The first iMac Pro teardown has now arrived, giving us a good look at some of the internal changes Apple has been making to better appease the professional user base.

The iMac Pro base model teardown comes our way from OWC, a Mac component provider. In the teardown, a few interesting things jump out. For starters, the base model’s 1TB SSD is made up of two 512GB M.2 drives in a RAID configuration. These are removable via a single screw, meaning users could make replacements, or upgrades on their own. Though getting inside of the iMac Pro can be a bit of a daunting task, as you have to disassemble the unit to get to the hardware. This includes pulling off the display, unscrewing the speakers, removing the cooling fan unit and pulling the motherboard out.

Secondly, iMac Pro models come with four DIMM slots for RAM. The base model comes with 32GB of DDR4 in a 4 x 8GB configuration. This should remain true across the board, meaning a 64GB iMac Pro would come with 4 x 16GB and a 128GB model would come with 4 x 32GB modules. The 4 x 4 module configuration does mean users looking to make their own upgrades after purchase will need to seek out quad-channel kits.

Finally, the Intel Xeon processor inside of the iMac Pro may also be replaceable. It pulls out like any other DIY desktop CPU, though it is mounted differently, as it is attached to a hefty heatsink with a fairly sizeable amount of thermal paste. It hasn’t been confirmed if putting a new CPU in place will work, but it looks promising.

KitGuru Says: Being an all-in-one unit, the iMac Pro was going to be fairly complicated to upgrade either way. However, there is no direct soldering going on for key components here, so if you buy an iMac Pro and feel like giving it some extra power in the future, it looks like that will be possible with off the shelf parts. Hopefully Apple sticks with this when it comes to next year’s Mac Pro launch.

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