Mac mini fans recently rejoiced after Apple updated the storied compact Mac after two years without a major overhaul. But for DIY types, the new Mac mini is a mixed bag offering both heartache and promise. The teardown experts over at iFixit recently took apart the base model Mac Mini with a GB hard drive and 1. The impact on you at home: One year, a new smartphone or laptop may be the easiest thing in the world to upgrade, while the next model can end up being very unfriendly to do-it-yourself fixes and tweaks. Making matters worse, once you dig a little deeper iFixit found that there were no pop-out RAM slots at all.
Instead, the RAM is soldered directly onto the logic board.
2014 Mac mini tear down and benchmarks.
Our unit's internals include:. The backside of the mini remains almost identical to the previous iteration. The only change is the omission of a FireWire port in favor of an extra Thunderbolt 2 port.
Gone are the handy thumb indents and indicators. This mini doesn't appear to have twist-off bottom cover! We've got a bad feeling about this. A flick of our bottle opener plastic opening tool pops this lower cap off. Well that was nice! But now we're greeted with something new: We're starting to feel like the locks on our apartment changed and we weren't given the new keys Time to break down the door and see what's changed inside.
The plastic bottom cover snaps onto three screws—three TR6 Torx Security screws. This is the smallest Torx Security screw we've ever seen—our kits go down to T7 Security, so we asked our tool design team to get improvising. Improvisation complete! Our packrat engineers produced a lone prototype T6 Torx Security screwdriver, a tool we originally abandoned because nobody had seen such a screw used in real life. Unfortunately, we're not home free yet.
Late 2014 Mac Mini Teardown Reveals Soldered RAM
One end of the Wi-Fi antenna cable is clamped firmly to the plate, while the other end is screwed down onto the logic board. Upon removal, the fan seems identical to the one from the previous model—but let's not be too quick to judge a fan by its cover. What exactly is Advanced Hydraulic Bearing? Let's find out.
According to Asia Vital Components:. AHB "consists of a polished steel shaft, a sintered bearing and fluid lubricant. AHB is best for fans that operate at a lower speed. It's better at absorbing shock and dampening vibration than traditional ball bearings, making for a quieter fan.
The AirPort card is dispatched after removing one screw and disconnecting two more antennas from their sockets. Skyworks SE Dual-Band Using our handy hand-powered Mac mini logic board removal tool , we handily remove our Mac mini's handsome logic board. While past Mac minis have featured two SATA ports, allowing users to upgrade their base model with an extra hard drive, this year we only get one. True to our word, we cracked open a Fusion drive equipped Mac mini, and it looks like our suspicions were accurate. The empty connector is now filled—by a PCIe cable, glued to the top of the hard drive tray.
New Mac mini Unboxing and Teardown | Other World Computing Blog
Unfortunately, the RAM is soldered to the logic board. This means that if you want to upgrade the RAM, you can only do so at time of purchase.
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We've got the power supply at the tips of our fingers. It's an easy extraction, even if it took a while to get here. We get a slight rush before we realize it is the same as the model In the immortal words of Gertrude Stein, "This is the lesson that history teaches: Apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Before we go, let's pull out the hard drive tray and take a look at the platter drive our mini came loaded with.
Tucked under the tray: To test just how promising, we dropped in the SSD from our recently torn down 27" Retina 5K iMac and used its mounting screw. Looks like a nice fit! Mac mini Late Repairability: There's no glue anywhere inside that needs to be removed while disassembling the mini. T6 Torx Security screws are intended to lock you out of your mini, and make it hard to clean the fan or replace the hard drive.
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Is there an obvious size or accessibility issue that forced them into soldering the RAM down? I know Apple is all about sleek and slim, but was this necessary?