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Surface Studio teardown reveals hidden ARM chip and removable hard drive

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Microsoft started shipping Surface Studio orders a little earlier than expected last week, which means iFixit has started tearing down the all-in-one PC. As this is a computer, there aren’t too many surprises to be found, but the teardown does reveal a few things about Microsoft’s approach to this unusual PC. The first is a noteworthy ARM chip found lurking behind the 28-inch display. iFixit doesn’t explain the presence of an ARM chip on an Intel-powered x86 PC, but the processor is actually present to help power Microsoft’s PixelSense display.

Elsewhere, iFixit also reveals just how upgradeable the Surface Studio is, and it’s not good news if you were hoping to upgrade to the latest and greatest hardware in the future. Microsoft has soldered the RAM, CPU, and GPU to the motherboard, so the configuration cannot be changed down the line. However, you can replace the hybrid drive (SSD and HDD) without disassembling the display, as the components are housed in the base. iFixit rates the Surface Studio as 5 out of 10 on the reparability scale, the same score as Apple’s 5K iMac.

Microsoft Surface Studio review