iFixit’s Mac Pro 2019 Teardown


The new Mac Pro is a Fixmas miracle: beautiful, amazingly well put together, and a masterclass in repairability.

We love that a good portion of the modules can be swapped without tools; we love the use of (mostly) standard screws and connectors; we love the step numbers and diagrams for certain repairs right on the device; and most of all, we love the free public repair manuals and videos.

Despite the many things to love, however, Apple still keeps the keys to certain repairs, like the proprietary SSD. And some of Apple’s repair manuals include (or entirely comprise) a disclaimer insisting that you contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider, when in reality the repair could easily be done at your desk.

9/10 overall, and I’m guessing it would have been 10/10 if not for the SSD tied to the T2. I get it that iFixit is going to be iFixit, and that they might value a just-plain-easily-replaced-SSD over the security of the T2 subsystem. But I think they conveniently avoid mentioning the security of the T2 subsystem. Merely calling it “proprietary” and leaving it at that is ignoring just how significant a system the T2 is.

It does occur to me that it would have been nice if Apple had figured out a way to provide Touch ID for the Mac Pro. I totally get that doing Touch ID wirelessly — where the sensor would be on the keyboard (or trackpad or mouse?) and the secure enclave inside the Mac Pro — is a devilishly tricky problem to solve securely.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019