10 December 2017
The new Apple TV 4K, as the name suggests, is a marked improvement over the previous generation in terms of processing power, capable of handling 4K HDR content thanks to its powerful A10X Fusion chip. iFixit's teardown of the device shows just exactly how Apple managed to pull off such a performance gain with a unit as small.
With great performance comes great heat generation, and any powerful CPU would be useless without a cooling system. That's what Apple has done this time around - improved the cooling system of the device to handle the higher performance load.
There's an all new internal fan that was not present on previous generations of Apple TV. It's diameter is the same size as the width of the device, which means it's the largest fan they could put into the unit. Fortunately for the silence-loving people out there, the fan operation is close to silent, so you won't have to worry about the device making much noise. And according to iFixit, the fan is replaceable.
Complementing the cooling system along with the fan are the eight thermal vents designed to dissipate heat.
The unit comes with 3 GB of RAM, divided into two separate modules of 2 GB and 1 GB respectively. There's a Gigabit Ethernet controller now present as well. The power supply has been improved to accommodate the fan, so the unit is now more power hungry. And as with the fourth generation Apple TV, this unit uses conductive points instead of wires to transfer power around the board.
Overall, the device gets a 8/10 score from iFixit, declaring it very repairable and user-accessible.