M3 iMac Ethernet

Just curious, but the new iMacs, at least those with Ethernet, stick the port on the external power brick. AFAIK, the only connection to the iMac is the power cable. So does Ethernet travel through there on a separate set of cables? Through the power line itself?

There is only one cable. A magnetically-connected umbilical from the power brick to the iMac. That connector will carry both power and Ethernet.

I don’t know if the Ethernet has separate wires in that cable or if they’re carrying it all on the same wires (a kind of phantom power arrangement). I did some web searching but couldn’t find anyone (not even iFixit’s teardown) providing this information.


The iFixit teardown of the M1 iMac included its AC adapter. It appears separate wires are used for power and Ethernet.

  • The tiny ethernet board is likely strengthening and piping the internets through the black wire bunch.
  • Red wires feed power into the not-Magsafemagnetic umbilical cord.

More info about the magnetic connector.


Thanks. Interesting. Think I’ll take a look at the iFixIt page.

This is the relevant link. Ethernet is carried over extra wires. It’s not somehow piggybacking network signals on the power wires like power-line.

Good post! :+1:

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Yes, that’s what I was wondering. So, it’s basically a pass-through, and the Ethernet signals travel through to the mainboard in the iMac.

Yes. And on their own dedicated signal lines. DC power is likely on the outer sleeve and inner pin like Apple used to always do on their DC plugs before MagSafe.