Macintosh 128K Teardown Reveals 1984 Parts

by Todd Haselton | January 24, 2014

Let’s all take a step back in time together, far before anyone was online blogging about teardowns of computers, complete with first-class images and video. The time is 1984, and the computer is the Macintosh 128k, the Mac that started it all 30 years ago todayiFixit recently decided to celebrate that computer by tearing it open to take a look inside.

Under the hood there’s an 8MHz Motorola 68000 processor. Yes 8MHz — far less powerful than the 2.2GHz quad-core chip in your flagship smartphone — 128KB of DRAM, 400KB of storage (good luck storing a single song), a 3.5-inch floppy drive, a big ol’ mechanical keyboard and Apple’s famous single click mouse. Oh, and the display you see there? It’s a 9-inch CRT with a stunning 512 x 342-pixel resolution with 72dpi. Of course, the real reason iFixit does teardowns is to see how easy a device is to repair. So how did the Macintosh 128K fair?

Not so bad, actually. It scored a 7/10, much better than Apple’s current products. You can easily replace the clock battery, there isn’t any adhesive inside, and you can swap out the floppy drive, display, power supply and even the motherboard, iFixit said. Just be careful, the score was lowered because it’s hard to open up, and you stand the chance of electrocution.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...