iFixit had its hands on the latest M1-powered MacBook Air and MacBook Pro from Apple, which of course is to say that its team has torn the laptops to figure out what’s inside. And while the Air and the Pro have set revolutionary new standards for performance, it turns out that this can be almost entirely due to the M1 chip rather than any particular improvements in design.
This is the Intel-based variant this year on the left, with the latest M1 edition on the right:
The two computers’ internal layouts are almost identical. For example, iFixit states that the M1 model uses precisely the same fan component as its Intel predecessor, which essentially brings home the efficiency of the M1 chip considering the difference in noise levels between the two computers.
Meanwhile, the MacBook Air still appears very similar to the Intel version, but with the omission of the fan altogether. IFixit expressed a little concern that the Air and Pro architecture did not converge more, considering that the computers are now using similar processors, but the design emphasis of Apple here was simply on using the M1 as a drop-in substitute for its existing products.
For more, check out the complete teardown at iFixit, including a closer look at the M1 processor itself a detailed list of other chips the team found inside and thoughts on the repairability of the laptops.