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Vaguely described Mac devices and how to identify them

Wanted to share something possibly useful for those of us who spend a lot of time on Answers: I copied and pasted the model/EMC numbers and such for all Mac models into a spreadsheet, and lined them up with the corresponding entries from iFixit's content tree. Here is the result:

Device Index

The problem this is intended to solve is that users identify their Macs in all kinds of interesting ways, and often it's hard to tell which set of guides corresponds to their question. They might call their device a Late 2008 MacBook, or a MacBook5,1, or MB466, or Model A1278, or EMC 2254—all of which are the same thing! That used to send me Googling for the right model and/or scouring iFixit's category system for a matching device. This should reduce that process to a simple CMD + F.

For bonus points, moderators/admins can copy the corresponding iFixit device name from this index and paste it straight into the "Choose a Device" field of the OP's question—which will correctly categorize the post so that other people with the same device/problem have a better chance of finding it.

Right now this index includes all MacBook/MBP/MBA, Mac Mini, and iMacs going back to the G5 era. If people find it useful, I can continue to expand it.

Hope it helps! Thanks. :)

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Good idea as I do this two or three times a day. But I'm not sure of the advantage over using

Let's say a guy lists it as MacDesktop A1196. How do I find it?

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EveryMac is excellent—it just doesn't tell you where to find the corresponding guides on iFixit. For me it's usually a two-step process of first looking up the given identifier on EveryMac, and then trying to figure out, okay, where does that fall in the iFixit category system?

Why is this a problem? Well, we've never been able to group guides consistently based on something simple like a model number, because Apple's conventions keep changing—and just because they release a "new" model doesn't necessarily mean the procedure of physically taking it apart is any different. Consequently, some of our guides are grouped by EMC, some by release date, some by model number, etc. Trying to keep it all straight in your head is very difficult, and toggling back and forth between EveryMac and iFixit to find the right guide can be tedious.

For example, if someone has a question about a sketchy hard drive on their iMac14,2, and I want to categorize their question and maybe link them to the hard drive replacement guide for their model, what do I do? It used to be, I would search iMac14,2 until I found the corresponding entry on EveryMac. Seeing that it's a 27" iMac, I'd then click back to iFixit and open up the 27" iMac category, only to find those are (mostly) grouped by EMC number. Then it's back to EveryMac to check the EMC number, and then back to iFixit again to find—ta-da!—the iMac Intel 27" EMC 2639 Hard Drive Replacement guide.

What this does is lets you CMD + F for iMac14,2 and just scan down the spreadsheet a few rows, where the iFixit device name is listed as iMac Intel 27" EMC 2639. It's probably saving me 10-20 seconds every time I use it—nothing earth-shattering, but it adds up if you're doing this a lot.

Going forward, I think this has convinced us that our method of categorizing Macs needs another look, and we'll see if there's any way we can make it more user-friendly. But in the meantime, if this is helpful, feel free to use it. If not, no big. ;)

(And to answer your question, no it won't help at all with A1196 unfortunately—because that's an Xserve Xeon/server model, and I don't have those in the spreadsheet yet.)

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Well I keep two sometimes three windows open when searching for a machine. Everymac, iFixit and sometimes Google. Since I've done it it everyday for 5 years it's not much of a problem. But you are very correct it needs help. I'll eventually find the machine on Everyman, then google that machine & iFixit then go to the iFixit page and see if it matches. I think I did that three times today. You have to to be able to then change the icon and get the question poster to the correct guides. I think what you want to do will be great, then I can retire and go fishing. Please keep us updated as to your progress. I don't know if Kyle Brook would be willing to assist but you might want to contact him. He's aware of us and has posted on Meta. He might be willing to put a link to the iFixit guide somewhat on his description page. A win-win situation.


I agree here a tighter relationship with Kyle's EveryMac I think would be beneficial for both!


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Jeff Suovanen will be eternally grateful.
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