imac mobo Apples new iMacs uses Intels Z68 chipset

You got to love iFixit, it's barely a day since Apple announced its Sandy Bridge based iMac's and we already have a full teardown of the 21.5-inch iMac. Although much of the bits inside didn't hold any real surprises, we almost choked on our dinner when we read “Intel BD82Z68 Platform Controller Hub”. Yes, the new iMac's sports Intel's yet to launch Z68 chipset, something we really didn't expect to find in an iMac.

You got to love iFixit, it's barely a day since Apple announced its Sandy Bridge based iMac's and we already have a full teardown of the 21.5-inch iMac. Although much of the bits inside didn't hold any real surprises, we almost choked on our dinner when we read “Intel BD82Z68 Platform Controller Hub”. Yes, the new iMac's sports Intel's yet to launch Z68 chipset, something we really didn't expect to find in an iMac.

Of course, specs like chipset and CPU models used is one of those things that Apple doesn't share with the general public, but unless iFixit messed up and wrote down the wrong chipset model, this is interesting in more than one way. For starters, Apple could add support for SSD caching via a future software update and there are iMac models on sale with both an SSD and a hard drive, although in this case we're talking a huge 256GB SSD, not a tiny 20GB like Intel's upcoming Larsen Creek SSD.

imac mobo Apples new iMacs uses Intels Z68 chipset

Beyond SSD caching we might also be seeing support for switchable graphics, although so far Apple hasn't hinted at any kind of support for Intel's Quick Sync technology, but it's possible that this is also one of the reasons why Apple went with the Z68 chipset. From a cost perspective, the Z68 chipset isn't much more expensive than the H67 or P67, but unless Apple is considering taking advantage of the SSD caching functionality, the company could just as well have gone with the H67 chipset.

Also seen in the pictures is Intel's Thunderbolt chip and this is a rather large chip, about the size of a CR2032 battery. We're curious though; does the 27-inch iMac feature two of these chips, or only one that's shared between the two ports? It's also surprising to see that Apple is using WD Caviar Blue hard drives in the iMac, as these are budget hard drives and we'd at least expect the Caviar Green considering the cost of an iMac. Oh and if you were thinking of doing some DIY upgrading of your iMac, forget about it unless you don't mind voiding your warranty, as you have to pop the display panel off to get to the bits inside.

Source: iFixit