The iFixit team has published their in-depth teardown of the new M1-based MacBook Air and MacBook Pro revealing their internals in all its glory and how the two machines are similar. Thanks to the M1 chip, the new M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro offer a major jump in performance and battery life. However, from the inside, the MacBook Pro at least is very similar to the Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Tearing down the MacBook Air, the only major change is the removal of the small fan which has now been replaced with a small aluminum heat spreader. This means the M1 MacBook Air no longer has an active cooling system. This is all possible thanks to the efficiency of Apple’s M1 chip, something with which Intel chips have struggled with. The passive cooling solution of the M1 includes a thick plate over the chip itself which draws the heat away from it. And that’s about it. That’s the only major change inside the new MacBook Air, with the logic board and internals looking largely the same otherwise.
The M1 MacBook Pro is even more similar to the Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Pro that it replaces. It has the same cooling solution, with a copper pipe carrying heat away from the M1 chip and towards a heatsink which is then dissipated by the fan. As early reviews have pointed out, the fan inside the 13-inch MacBook Pro is never audible even under heavy load. That’s all possible because of the efficiency of the M1 chip, with iFixit speculating that the fan never spins at “more than a fraction of its upper limit.”
The best part about the teardown is that it gives us a clear look at the M1 chip. Interestingly, there’s no T2 chip inside the M1-based MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, with all those duties now being handled by the M1 chip itself.
The teardown once again shows just how good Apple’s new M1 chip is. In the same form factor and with the same setup, Intel CPUs tend to get hot and start throttling which is something the M1 chip does not suffer from at all. And this is while offering 50-70% better performance.