iFixit has awarded Apple’s new Mac Pro a near-perfect 9 out of 10 score for repairability, dubbing the machine a “Fixmas miracle.” The repair specialists praised the computer for being easy to open, for having components that can be replaced without the need for any tools, and for even printing step numbers and diagrams directly onto components to aid with repairs.
It’s a huge departure from how Apple normally approaches the repairability of its products. Apple’s latest phone received a 6 out of 10 on iFixit, while its recent laptops have scored even worse. Even when the publication praised elements of the new MacBook Air’s design, it still awarded it an abysmal 3 out of 10 for repairability.
Meanwhile, the Mac Pro isn’t just easy to take apart; it should also be easy to find replacements or upgrades for many of its parts. 9to5Mac has already had success with upgrading the machine’s RAM with third-party off-the-shelf components, saving a heap of money in the process compared to Apple’s first-party upgrades. Meanwhile, iFixit notes that its processor uses a similar modular design, which should allow for DIY upgrades (although it has yet to test this itself).
Despite the many positive elements, it’s not all good news for the Mac Pro. iFixit points out that the computer’s SSD is bound to Apple’s T2 security chip, so “user-replacements are a no-go,” and Apple’s list of approved repairs is still a little short for its liking. This is likely to mean that some parts will be hard to find or very expensive if you need to repair them.
Regardless, it’s a big step up from the 2013 “trash can” Mac Pro design. iFixit said at the time that it featured proprietary connectors and tight cable routing, which could make it a tricky machine to work on. It still got an 8 out of 10 score for repairability, though, which is far better than Apple’s laptops.
Outside of its repairability, iFixit also points out a couple of neat design elements on the Mac Pro. Particularly interesting is a set of pogo pins under the computer’s power button, which means that it will automatically power down when you remove its chassis. It’s a small feature, but it’s still pretty neat.
Regardless of why Apple made such an effort with the repairability of the new Mac Pro — iFixit speculates that it might have something to do with right to repair legislation — it’s great news for any businesses that are hoping to use and maintain a Mac Pro over a sustained period of time. Yes, its price premium is still eye-watering, but hopefully making fewer visits to a repair shop should help with its running costs over time.