Motherboard: Out and in Hand

With the last screws removed we can remove the motherboard from its case:


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What you see above is the bottom of the motherboard, and despite its appearance, there's nothing beneath the black fan on this side of the motherboard:


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Opposite the fan on the other side of the motherboard is the Apple TV's Intel CPU which we will get to shortly.


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Above you see the top of the motherboard, this is what is underneath the cover of the Apple TV. We've wiped the thermal grease off of the left and right chips along the top. The chip on the left is the Intel CPU, while the one on the right is the NVIDIA GPU. More on both of these shortly.


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With the motherboard out, this is what remains underneath the top cover of the Apple TV unit. Note that the top of the Apple TV is actually a heatsink used to dissipate the heat from the CPU, GPU and chipset; the only fan present in the system is at the bottom and it doesn't directly cool a heatsink, it indirectly moves air around the upper surface of the unit. This is far from the most elegant cooling solution, but we suspect that it was necessary to accommodate the dimensions of the unit. If you want to know why the top of the Apple TV gets so warm, this is why.

The motherboard itself is quite small, a bit larger than a DVD:


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Motherboard: Spotted Apple TV: Powered by NVIDIA?
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  • anandtech02148 - Friday, March 23, 2007 - link

    Apple is running out of ideas to innovate, that they now dumbed down pc hardwares to sell in fancy casing is sad. This pce at the Apple Store is flaming hot just to feel the top surface. I think you can warm your food while you watch tv with it.
    It's even hotter than the back of Xbox360. and i got electric shock from it when i first feel out the back of the xbox360.
    Reply
  • michael2k - Saturday, March 24, 2007 - link

    Where else can you find a PC for $299 the size of a double-CD case? Reply
  • vailr - Friday, March 23, 2007 - link

    Why no recovery disk? If anything happens to corrupt the hard drive, you'd need to return the box to Apple for service.
    Can it boot from an external USB optical drive? Running a live Knoppix version. Or maybe: live OSX?
    Reply
  • arswihart - Friday, March 23, 2007 - link

    Apple TV has none of the features I want:
    You have to buy EVERYTHING from iTunes to play on it
    It is not Hi-definition, and neither is anything on the iTunes store
    You can't even use it buy anything from the iTunes store (you 'll have to use your computer instead)
    It cannot be used as a DVR

    Basically, if they fix those things it will be good. To state it plainly, here's how they need to improve it for the next version:
    Make it able to play any media file on your computer
    Make it hi-def
    Make it possible to browse iTunes, Youtube, BitTorrent, etc, etc, etc.
    Make it function as a DVR as well

    It's really that simple. This is only for the most brazen Apple fanboys, go ahead and give Steve Jobs a knob job if you want, I'm sure he'll appreciate it.
    Reply
  • sdsdv10 - Saturday, March 24, 2007 - link

    Just which simple media extender (what the Apple TV is) does all that you ask? Reply
  • arswihart - Saturday, March 24, 2007 - link

    The Netgear thing does most of it; I don't think any product does it all just yet, except an HTPC of course. Reply
  • gus6464 - Friday, March 23, 2007 - link

    The way appletv works is that if itunes on your pc can play it, so can the appletv. So to get it to play divx and other files on it you just have to get itunes to play those files. Check google and you will find theres a couple of ways to get itunes to play any format you want, high def or not. Reply
  • arswihart - Saturday, March 24, 2007 - link

    Sorry but you are wrong. The codecs for Divx, Xvid are not installed on Apple TV.

    But now that is has been hacked to allow these codecs to be installed, things are getting very interesting!
    Reply
  • aliasfox - Friday, March 23, 2007 - link

    - You can rip your DVDs into mpeg4 files and put them into your iTunes library
    - 720p playback with the proper media is high def - not 1080i, but it still qualifies

    I don't think it needs DVR functionality - that's the same as saying an iPod needs a radio to be successful. Of course, having an easy and clearly legal way of moving your DVD collection into your iTunes library would do wonders for this - just like it did for the iPod.
    Reply
  • arswihart - Friday, March 23, 2007 - link

    Ripping DVDs into iTunes is fine, this is probably the most useful thing that it will do, and since DVD's are 480p, it's lower resolution won't cripple the already non-hi-def video quality. But there's no reason you shouldn't be able to play any kind of video on this thing, other than the fact that Apple wants to shove iTunes down everyone's throat.

    OK, DVR isn't necessary but it would make a lot of sense and wouldn't be hard to do, and I don't see why it wouldn't be included in the next version, albeit with some typical DRM crap added to the mix.

    720p is ok, too bad the only way you'll be able to see it is if you buy some of the limited selection of videos on iTunes. Again, you are missing out on all the non-iTunes content. Yes 720p "qualifies" as hi-def, just barely, and there is hardly any content that you will be able to play at this resolution, so the whole "feature" is almost non-existant.

    Reply

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