The future is now! Apple’s once-neglected Mac mini is coming in hot with a brand new, cutting edge, long awaited … processor upgrade? And a couple more ports? There has to be more, and we know how to find it—time for a teardown!

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crwdns2886882:0crwdnd2886882:0crwdne2886882:0 crwdns2886883:0Mac mini Late 2018crwdnd2886883:0crwdnd2886883:0crwdne2886883:0

  1. This Mac might be mini, but it's packing some big specs. Let's unpack some here:
    • This Mac might be mini, but it's packing some big specs. Let's unpack some here:

    • 3.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 with 6 MB shared L3 cache

    • 8 GB of 2666 MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM memory

    • 128 GB SSD

    • Intel UHD Graphics 630

    • 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5.0

    • macOS Mojave

  2. Our first look at the 2018 mini's exterior gives us the warm and fuzzies—it's the same friendly form factor we remember. Some folks speculated that if Apple ever updated the mini, it'd look something like an Apple TV. Thankfully, Apple didn't succumb to the urge to go thinner and lighter this time—this is no Mac micro. Apart from the new color, we also have some new identifiers: model A1993 and EMC 3213.
    • Our first look at the 2018 mini's exterior gives us the warm and fuzzies—it's the same friendly form factor we remember.

    • Some folks speculated that if Apple ever updated the mini, it'd look something like an Apple TV. Thankfully, Apple didn't succumb to the urge to go thinner and lighter this time—this is no Mac micro.

    • Apart from the new color, we also have some new identifiers: model A1993 and EMC 3213.

    • Despite controversial departures from a few common ports, Apple has included plenty of them here! We spot two USB-A ports, four USB-C ports, a headphone jack, an ethernet port, and an HDMI port (which isn't available on any other recent Apple product).

    • We'll see if any of these ports are modular. The latest MacBook Air certainly got our hopes up!

    • We'd like to think we know our way in—but after four years without an update, we're not taking anything about this opening procedure for granted.

    • With some trepidation, we point our tools at the 60%-recycled-plastic bottom cover.

    • Success! An opening tool takes care of the base, and six quick stabs with the TR6 Torx security driver loosens the familiar antenna plate underneath.

    • So far so good. Fingers crossed that this keeps up!

    The antenna cable loosening step isn’t included, it is in the mac mini ram guide

    Dieter Blomme - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    This is a teardown not a full guide. Think of this as a preview of what’s coming not the whole story ;-}

    Check the guide here: Mac mini Late 2018 Memory (RAM) Replacement its clearly shown there.

    Dan -

  3. Just like the last couple times we did this, we're greeted first by a single fan standing watch over the mini's insides. The fan unscrews with zero fuss, giving us a better view of the mini's depths. Theoretically, we just need to unplug these cables from the logic board, and it'll be free to slide right out of the chassis.
    • Just like the last couple times we did this, we're greeted first by a single fan standing watch over the mini's insides.

    • The fan unscrews with zero fuss, giving us a better view of the mini's depths.

    • Theoretically, we just need to unplug these cables from the logic board, and it'll be free to slide right out of the chassis.

    • Theoretically.

    Is it just me, or, for a simple RAM replacement, shouldn’t the logic board come out without actually having to remove the fan completely? To me, it looks like the fan screws can be removed, the fan tipped-up to provide access to the logic board screws underneath, and then the logic board (with fan still sitting on top), then pushed out the back of the chassis with the patented thumb-tools…

    Depending on how much slack there is on the antenna cable, even it may be able to remain attached (but I kind of doubt that).

    Douglas McIntosh - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Sorry, there’s no way around it—that fan has to come out.

    Jeff Suovanen -

    In my mini there was a small cable that attaches something that looks like a sticker to the aluminum case, so, I had to remove the wifi antenna cable, the fan cable then the power supply cable, and finally this very small cable with a two prong connector that attaches to the motherboard right next to the SSD drive. I don't even know what it is, but I almost teared up trying to disconnect it, this cable is not mentioned in any of the tutorials or guides I've seen in the last two days. Also, and this is important to note, the two screws that secure the logic board to the case, and the 4 screws that hold the ram slots cover are very tight, so, for those attempting to do the upgrade themselves, be sure to use the correct tools and very carefully apply force to unscrew these.

    Rodolfo Farinas Jr - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    @rfar34687 The small cable you’re referring to is for the LED on the front, and it’s covered in our RAM replacement guide. What you’re reading here is a teardown, and should not be used as instructions—our teardowns skip many details and focus on the highlights. Good luck with your upgrade!

    Jeff Suovanen -

    Yup, I missed the from LED connector cuz I mistakenly used this as a teardown - it’s a very small cable and it’s almost hidden until you start to slide the Mobo out. No front LED for me - UGH!!!

    Sean Chalmers - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    These instructions leave out the step of removing the small LED connector from the motherboard. It’s actually the trickiest step and easiest to screw up. Not sure what it’s not in there.

    Scott - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Hi Scott! This is just a teardown, and is not meant to be used as instructions to disassemble anything. If you’re looking for detailed opening instructions, check out our RAM replacement guide.

    Adam O'Camb -

    Hmm do you know the pinouts for the fan? Thanks!:)

    Daniel Lee - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    • It's time to improvise—our handy Mac mini logic board removal tool technically fits in the logic board's screw holes, but it doesn't feel right. We're going to need more leverage.

    • Could it be that some good old-fashioned thumb pressing does the trick? It does! A firm push on either side of the blower exhaust is all it takes, and the whole board unclips and slides out.

    • As much as we love making great tools, nothing makes us happier than seeing something you can service with no tools at all.

    • Who knows, maybe Apple does have a tool to push without endangering those thin exhaust fins, but carefully aimed thumbs works for us!

    I wonder Why not using the aluminium inclosure to improve heat dissipation ? Lot of mini PC Cases are connected to the CPU heatsink, to dissipate a part of the Heat through the metal inclosure. Could be a very funny trick to test with this Mac Mini. Who’s want to try ? ^_^

    Subject42 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  4. With the board out, we're going straight for the RAM. Apple has trapped it in a heavy metal cage—almost as if they don't fully trust modular RAM to behave itself. Actually though, we've seen this in iMacs of yore. The shield allows the RAM to operate at high frequency (2666 MHz) with no chance of accidentally interfering with other functions. Twirl away four Torx screws, and the cage slides right off. Has RAM replacement ever been easier?
    • With the board out, we're going straight for the RAM. Apple has trapped it in a heavy metal cage—almost as if they don't fully trust modular RAM to behave itself.

    • Actually though, we've seen this in iMacs of yore. The shield allows the RAM to operate at high frequency (2666 MHz) with no chance of accidentally interfering with other functions.

    • Twirl away four Torx screws, and the cage slides right off. Has RAM replacement ever been easier?

    • Sure it has—but, the return to standard SO-DIMM RAM after the bitter disappointment of the 2014 mini's soldered-down chips is a huge win. Upgrade now, or upgrade later—you have a choice again.

    • We pop out two SKhynix HMA851S6CJR6N 4 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM modules, each with four 1 GB H5AN8G6NCJR DDR4 SDRAM ICs.

    Correct! As the RAM is so close to the CPU you don’t want the RAM & CPU interact by EMI.

    Dan -

    According to its technical data sheet the H5AN8G6NCJR

    memory isn’t ECC

    Agnostos Gnostos - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    The Crucial RAM replacement also lists the Mac mini RAM upgrades as non-ECC.

    This is in keeping with Apple’s longstanding policy of using “non-parity” RAM. I think the only exception might be the iMac Pro, and possibly the 2013 Mac Pro.

    Douglas McIntosh - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    4 modules of user-serviceble RAM. Congrats, Apple, I may buy a mac again.

    Diego Azevedo - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    You don’t need four sockets, two is just fine. The cost of thr 32 GB modules right now at a premium price as its just so new. Give it six months or so the price will drop so they will only be a small premium more than two 16 GB modules would cost.

    Dan -

    We pop out two SKhynix HMA851S6CJR6N 4 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM modules, each with four 1 GB H5AN8G6NCJR DDR4 SDRAM ICs.

    Ummm… something tells me someone made a typo or 2.

    menotu000 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    This should be correct. There are two RAM sticks, each with 4 GB capacity. Each RAM stick has four 1 GB chips on the them.

    Arthur Shi -

    Arthur is correct!

    Dan -

    I installed the Crucial 32Gb (2x16) upgrade memory, and they run at 2667Mhz instead of the rated 2666. One thing to note is that the 4 screws holding the ram metal cover are very tight from factory, it takes a strong and steady force to loosen them.

    Rodolfo Farinas Jr - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Anyone advise the ID or part no for the 32 gig RAM upgrade and where they can be purchased?

    Also, are there 2 or 4 RAM sockets?

    If 4 why not get 2 more 8 gig for a total of 32 gig?

    floridaheli - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    It does not seem there are any 64mb SODIMMs on the market now - Crucial only offers the 32GB (2 x 16GB SODIMM) - is there a 64GB after-market solution (Apple offers it, what chips are they using)?

    PS. I found this source, but have not purchased them:


    Jordan Bigel - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  5. Just one connector and two screws sets the little system speaker free. iMac and MacBook speakers seem to be getting bigger all the time, but this one looks about the same size as in older Mac minis. Beneath the speaker, we find some antenna cables, but unfortunately no modular AirPort card—in what is becoming a trend, these are socketed right to the main board.
    • Just one connector and two screws sets the little system speaker free.

    • iMac and MacBook speakers seem to be getting bigger all the time, but this one looks about the same size as in older Mac minis.

    • Beneath the speaker, we find some antenna cables, but unfortunately no modular AirPort card—in what is becoming a trend, these are socketed right to the main board.

    • Alas, AirPort cards are just a distant memory now that logic boards have assimilated all wireless functions.

    • From here we set to work freeing the heatsink, twirling away Torx screws and exposing the paste-y (soldered) CPU.

    • One last screw, and the port cover is free, uncovering ... the ports. As it departs, it takes some antenna hardware with it.

    Interesting that there seem to be three antenna connectors there… I assume one is Bluetooth and one is wifi. Anyone have any ideas what the third one is for?

    anonymous 1044 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Per Apples specs: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible

    Remember! MIMO is part of the IEEE 802.11ac spec.

    Given the time point of the engineering of the system I’m not sure if Murata was allowed to sell the WiFi module with the Qualcomm logic. Apple may have been forced to use the Cypress logic. The cypress logic is not as good as the Qualcomm logic for ac. So if you look at the Murata parts listing Murata RF Modules: WiFi-Bluetooth We can see the last three are the likely units. The first is just 802.11a/b/g/n whereas the last two are 802.11a/b/g/n/ac They all use two WiFi antennas either discreet 2.4 GHz/5.0 GHz or in 2x2 MIMO configuration. The third antenna is for Bluetooth alone.

    Now the question is the specs on Apple’s page wrong? Is the WiFi ac or not?

    Dan - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    This a pretty terse description of removing the heat sink! Which torx screws, and where are they located?

    anonymous 1461 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    A teardown is not a repair manual! It’s designed to be a good preview of what’s inside and the devices engineering. Look at the repair guides for that level of info.

    Dan -

    Three antenna connectors for the Murata 339S00458 Wi-Fi / Bluetooth module, but only two antennas actually connected. Why?

    Is this module the same as the one in MacBook Pro 15" Touch Bar 2019? Same number but without Murata… (MacBook Pro 15" Touch Bar 2019 Teardown)

    In that MBP, there are three connectors and three antennas actually attached.

    Does this mean that the Mac Mini wifi module can potentially do 3x3 (since it is possibly the same as the one in MacBook Pro 15 inch 2019) but – for whatever reason – limited to 2x2 with only two antennas actually installed?

    Can an additional antenna be installed manually to the vacant connector to change 2x2 (i.e. Tx 866 Gbps) to 3x3 (1,300 Gbps)? (

    ck.jung - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Look again! There are three antennas.

    You need to take off the Bluetooth antenna with the bottom plate.

    The WiFi adapter is only a two antenna unit, there is no means to add an antenna as the silicon os just not there in the chip to support it

    802.11ac was intro’ed in two phases (Wave). This system follows Wave-1 1.3 Gbit/s. using two antennas.

    Dan -

    That explains! Thanks Dan, for confirming that it can do 1.3 gbps out of the box.

    ck.jung - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  6. This mini still holds a lot of silicon—let's take a look! 3.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 CPU with Intel UHD Graphics 630
    • This mini still holds a lot of silicon—let's take a look!

    • 3.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 CPU with Intel UHD Graphics 630

    • Toshiba TSB3225V81199TWNA1 flash storage (32 GB each, 128 GB total)

    • Apple APL1027 339S00604 T2 coprocessor

    • Intel SR40E CM246 platform controller hub

    • Intel JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 controller

    • Broadcom BCM57766 Gigabit Ethernet controller

    • 338S00342-A0 (likely an Apple PMIC)

    Pretty sure that should be BCM57766 for the GbE controller.

    repoman27 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Certainly is! Fixed!

    Sam Goldheart -

    There are two Intel JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 controller chips each one services two ports.

    Dan - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    The CPU is soldered? May we upgrade it?

    Vr1 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    The CPU is soldered.

    Arthur Shi -

    As Author stated its not upgradeable. The logic board is serviceable so you could replace it if needed, but that would be at a premium price (CPU or flash storage).

    Dan -

    What is the connector next to the “Toshiba TSB3225V81199TWNA1 flash storage” good for?

    winkelnkemper - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Thats the fan connection

    Dan -

    Intel JHL7540 each for two ports, is there a limitation because of this? Are we getting full 40Gb/s 4 ports? Or in reality we can’t get 4x40Gb/s, as it happened before? I can’t find datasheet for JHL7540

    Karol K - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    C’mon Apple! Not making the storage user-serviceable? WHYYYY???

    John - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    John, Apple move to the T2 and direct flash storage makes altering storage not possible. Adding a second PCIe/NMVe blade drive would be the only thing that Apple might have done. So far Apple doesn’t offer any dual storage options in any T2 based system.

    Dan -

    So here is a question, using a TB3 External drive, either spinning or SSD, is it possible to “roll a fusion drive” using that and the internal storage? ( I’ve done this on older Mac mini and iMacs, adding either an SSD or spinning drive as needed, and then following ), but I’m wondering of the T2 Security chip would prevent this. Totally unsupported, I am well aware of that, just pondering the possibilities since it’s unlikely I’ll be able to afford all the storage I need right up front

    Samuel Owens - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Looks like some folks have already tried this a few ways, and it doesn't seem to work well at all with the 2018 Mac mini :/.

    Samuel Owens -

    It’s one thing to setup a HDD + SSD as a Fusion Drive. But once you try going with a dual SSD you are wasting the performance of the caching SSD and the data flow exceeds what the drive can sustain!

    A dual drive setup that discreet is much better!

    Dan -


    Fusion drives are great but should not even be considered unless both drives are on the same controller and powered by the same power supply.


    What “caching SSD”? Fusion does not involve caching. Think of it as concatenated drives (the sum total storage is available) but with the software proactively migrating more frequently used material to the faster drive. If you could, and I never would, set up a fusion drive using the internal PCIe SSD and an external SATA600 SSD, then you should NOT be wasting the higher speed of the PCIe SSD.

    And indeed if you had an external TB3 box that would accept an internal NVMe SSD and and a SATA SSD then this MIGHT be a sensible thing to do.

    Although I would prefer to put the price of the external TB3 box toward the price of a 4TB SSD Mac

    Alex Bowden -

    In a Fusion Drive set you have the slower HDD which is the active storage space and then you have the hidden SSD which is the caching drive. Every data block is read or written via the SSD then to the HDD as the SSD is much faster in both access and read & write action. If you look in your drive info you won’t see it as the active volume only the HDD is listed.

    Apples imputation of caching is done at the OS level unlike hybrid drives (like Seagate’s SSHD’s). The whole reason caching like either were offered was SSD’s where still very expensive at the time. Even though SSD costs have dropped they are still more costly than the HDD or a SSHD drive or even most Fusion Drive setups. From a performance perspective a dual drive setup where you have a 256/512 GB SSD as your boot drive and use a larger 1TB (or bigger) HDD or SSHH as your data drive for most is the better setup (not using a Fusion Drive)

    For serious Music or Video work you’ll want a larger 1 or 2TB SSD and sue the fastest drive I/O the system offers.

    Dan -

    There's a 2 pin connector next to the flash storage. What is that for? A ground of some kind?

    Alex - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  7. And the backside holds even more: Murata 339S00458 Wi-Fi / Bluetooth module
    • And the backside holds even more:

    • Murata 339S00458 Wi-Fi / Bluetooth module

    • MegaChips MCDP2920A4 DisplayPort 1.4 to HDMI 2.0 converter

    • Cirrus Logic CS42L83 audio codec

    • Texas Instruments TPS51916 memory power solution w/ synchronous buck controller

    • Texas Instruments CD3215C00 USB-C controller x4

    • Texas Instruments CSD58872Q5D NexFET synchronized buck power block

    • Intersil ISL95828AHRTZ CPU power controller

    Note: Despite the fact the Mac mini has a Displayport 1.4 converter chip the integrated Intel HD Graphics 630 chip does not support Displayport 1.4 and hence you almost certainly will not be able drive an LG Ultrafine 5K display. You might in theory be able to drive a Dell UP2715K screen via two cables. Apple have not yet updated their 4K/5K display article at -

    John Lockwood - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    LG UltraFine 5K displays use Thunderbolt 3 for input—two DisplayPort 1.2 links are transported over a single Thunderbolt 3 cable, which is not a problem for this Mac mini. The MegaChips level shifter / protocol converter (LSPCON) is just there to convert the third DP 1.2 link from the integrated GPU to HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2 for the HDMI port. Apple’s technical specifications page for the new Mac mini has a “Video Support” section which breaks down the output capabilities.

    repoman27 -

    There’s clearly room for another BGA chip on the bottom of the motherboard, along with empty spaces for passives to support it. I wonder what got left out?

    isonno - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Aquantia AQC107 10 GbE controller, which is only on the board if you choose a configuration with the 10 Gigabit Ethernet / NBASE-T option.

    repoman27 -

    It appears as though the connector used for the power switch has changed from the 2014 model. It also appears to have six connections versus the previous style with two connections. We have used a small interface board on previous models to enable a remote power switch/relay connection for some computers that we put out of users reach. Just wondering what the new connector used actually is and what the extra pins/connections are used for?

    richardholliday - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

  8. Chip identification, continued: Infineon (formerly International Rectifier) IRF3575 60 A synchronous buck converter
    • Chip identification, continued:

    • Infineon (formerly International Rectifier) IRF3575 60 A synchronous buck converter

    • Renesas (formerly Intersil) ISL62383C power supply controller

    • Vishay SIC621 60 A integrated power stage

    • Renesas (formerly Intersil) ISL80101A 1 A LDO regulator

    • Texas Instruments INA210 bi-directional current sense amplifier

    • Texas Instruments INA211 bi-directional current sense amplifier

    • Texas Instruments INA214 bi-directional current sense amplifier

  9. Chip identification, continued: Dialog Semiconductor (formerly Adesto) AT45DB021E 2 MB serial flash memory
    • Chip identification, continued:

    • Dialog Semiconductor (formerly Adesto) AT45DB021E 2 MB serial flash memory

    • Macronix MX25R2035F 2 MB serial NOR flash memory

    • Winbond W25Q80EW 8 MB serial NOR flash memory

    • Winbond W25Q80DW 8 MB serial NOR flash memory

    • ON Semiconductor CAT24C128 128 KB serial EEPROM memory

    • Texas Instruments HD3SS215 6.0 Gbps HDMI DisplayPort differential switch

    • Diodes Incorporated PI3USB32 dual SPST USB 2.0 switch

  10. Chip identification, continued: Texas Instruments TMP464 5-channel temperature sensor
    • Chip identification, continued:

    • Texas Instruments TMP464 5-channel temperature sensor

    • Texas Instruments TMP103 temperature sensor

    • Texas Instruments TAS5770 audio amplifier

    • Texas Instruments TPS2561 2-channel power switch

    • Apple 338S00410 power management IC

    • Texas Instruments TPS62684 1.6 A step-down converter

    • Dialog Semiconductor SLG59M301V 4 A load switch

  11. The last thing between us and an empty mini is the internal power supply! The linchpin holding this unit in place is a familiar one—so familiar that we follow our own repair guide to remove it. The power supply is a nice enclosed unit, making for safe, easy replacement.
    • The last thing between us and an empty mini is the internal power supply!

    • The linchpin holding this unit in place is a familiar one—so familiar that we follow our own repair guide to remove it.

    • The power supply is a nice enclosed unit, making for safe, easy replacement.

    • The only thing it's missing is a cute label.

    • The mini power supply gets an upgrade from days past, jumping from 85 watts to 150.

    150W is a lot more power than what’s in the box could consume. It would be interesting to know what what power delivery profile the USB ports conform to. Apple, of course, does not say.

    Dominic Dunlop - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    This is total speculation, but the components on the board probably require right around 85 W.

    The Thunderbolt 3 ports share a power budget of at least 44 W for both Vbus and Vconn. 39 W would be for Vbus, which would allow two ports to supply up to 15 W (3 A @ 5 V) and the other two to still meet the USB 3.x minimum requirement of 4.5 W (900 mA @ 5 V).

    The two USB Type-A ports probably share a power budget of at least 16.5 W, which would allow Apple divider mode 3 charging up to 12 W (2.4 A @ 5 V) on one port while still meeting the 4.5 W USB 3.x minimum on the other.

    That adds up to 145.5 W, which still leaves 4.5 W of wiggle room.

    repoman27 -

    Let me revise my previous speculation with some further speculation… The power budget for the USB Type-A ports is 21 W, which would allow Apple divider mode 2 (2.1 A @ 5 V, or 10.5 W) on both ports at the same time. That also adds up neatly to 150 W.

    repoman27 -

    Repoman27 - Your math lines up with what I was also expecting. Its important to keep in mind this is the extreme limits which would not likely hit.

    Dan - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Really curious here — could you replace this with a 12V - 12V power supply somehow? (for Vanlife/Boatlife situations from a 12V battery?)

    Martijn De Schrijver - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Getting an RV AC converter is a lot cheaper and besides the power supply is a custom unit so you would need to have the chops to design the circuit get it made into the needed encapsulation so it would fit inside. If you won the PowerBall then you would have the needed bucks to get it done! ;-}

    Dan -

  12. It appears we've maxed out our mini, feast your eyes on these cool components!
    • It appears we've maxed out our mini, feast your eyes on these cool components!

    • Back in the day, a Pro Mac meant a computer you could upgrade, configure, and connect as you pleased. This new mini aligns so well with that ideal that we're surprised it didn't earn itself a "Pro" title—especially compared to the increasingly closed-off MacBook Pro line.

    • Perhaps the most exciting part of this mini is a return to upgradable RAM. In fact, our users are so excited they already made a RAM replacement guide. Stay tuned for the official guide and upgrade kits!

    Can you try if the i3 CPU works with ECC memory?

    rio - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    The PCH being used does not support ECC Memory.

    Dan -

    Nice Industrial Engineering!

    This is why Jony Ive and his team gets paid the big bucks!

    Douglas McIntosh - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    That’s probably rather to be credited to John Ternus and the Mac hardware engineering team, although they for sure work closely with Ive’s industrial design team.

    MrUNIMOG -

    And while I’m a big fan of Ternus, don’t forget that Dan Riccio is still the Senior VP of Hardware Engineering.

    repoman27 -

    I hope we’ve seen a turn in the thought process in Apple. Using more recyclable materials as well as also making a more serviceable systems (both the new Air & Mini). Now if we can get a more serviceable MacBook Pro & iMac.

    The laptop keyboard needs to be replaceable on its own. There is not reason the most heavily used part of the system is the hardest & most expensive to replace. Apple did address the trackpad (Touchpad) but failed on the keyboard.

    This also gets into the glued batteries as well, using the pull tapes should have been used years ago!

    Dan -

    I was hoping there was accommodation for a SATA HD/SSD, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. SSDs are still relatively expensive— my strategy in the past is to have a relatively small (~120GB) SSD for boot and apps, and a larger HD to hold /User and data,media. Looks like that’s going to be external now. All my externals are USB, so there will probably be a noticeable hit in performance.

    Al Martin - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Even the base configuration of the Mac mini comes with an internal 128 GB, PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe SSD powered by Apple’s custom controller in the T2 chip. So no problem for your boot volume there.

    As far as external storage goes, the performance of SATA SSDs its only slightly limited by USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed USB 5 Gbps). However, the four Thunderbolt 3 ports also support USB 3.1 Gen 2 (SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps) natively.

    I put a 500 GB Samsung SSD 850 EVO in an inexpensive USB 3.1 external enclosure, connected it to the Thunderbolt 3 port of a 2016 MacBook Pro, and recorded sequential speeds in AJA System Test of up to 498 MB/s write and 529 MB/s read. When connected through a USB 3.0 hub, those scores only dropped to 434 MB/s write, 433 MB/s read. With a pair of 500 GB 850 EVOs in RAID 0, I topped out at 857 MB/s write and 902 MB/s read.

    Furthermore, PCIe NVMe to USB 3.1 bridges are now becoming available, which will allow you to get similar performance from a single, relatively affordable, M.2 drive.

    repoman27 -

    Having the deeper storage externally is not an issue! USB-C/ThunderBolt 3 is more than able to handle the data flows.

    The drives them selves are becoming the bottle neck which is why Apple has gone with the T2 and raw flash Vs using discreet SSD drives to create in essence a RAID drive across the four flash chips. Basically, removing the unneeded controllers from the other flash units if this was discreet SSD drives.

    When you use a RAID with two or four drives performance improves and there is still a lot of head room both internally and externally.

    Dan -

    But what will happen if soldered storage get broken? Any chances to repair?

    The speed difference isn’t a big deal for me, but possibility to replace broken SSD/HDD is much more important - what can broke, some time WILL broke(

    Sergey Khodzhaev - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

    Sorry its just not possible! The logic Apple is using is all custom and doesn’t offer any means to plug anything else in. Your only option is replacing the logic board.

    Dan -

  13. crwdns2878481:0crwdne2878481:0
    • No tough adhesive holds the Mac mini or its components hostage.
    • Using fairly common tools, disassembly is straight-forward.
    • The mini packs standard SO-DIMMs allowing both DIY upgrades and replacements.
    • The CPU and storage are both soldered to the logic board and not user-upgradeable.
    • If any of the many ports is damaged or worn, the entire logic board will need replacing.


How about Drives? Can you put a second one like you could on older ones?

poliva - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

No. You can’t even remove the built-in SSD.

Paul -

Not only is there no room in this design, but there are also no available SATA or PCIe connectors which would allow you to upgrade the internal storage.

repoman27 -

with that many thunderbolt ports, I think the real goal with this mini is to update it with external drives and GPUs. Upgrade the RAM and add modules, seems like a good compromisse from the 2014 model

Diego Azevedo -

As long as apple keeps using their private Tx chips as the ssd main controller, we are unlikely to use a common pcie ssd in those macs.

Orange Chen -

The old Mac Mini (at least pre 2012), it had so much space where you could add a second hard drive, and thats when the primary drive was a 2.5” drive. Now that the primary is nand flash which takes up less space, has the cooling replace all this dead space?

Ian Jacobs - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Yes. The new mac mini’s use desktop class CPUs with much higher TDPs

mjlyco2 -

The sad story is, even the most expensive mac nowadays is not designed to have space to accommodate the 2.5 inch form-factor ssd.

Orange Chen -

How does Apple deal with a flash storage failure during or after Apple Care period? Does entire mini need to be replaced?

Richard Ellis

Richard Ellis - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

If the flash storage were to fail the main logic board would be replaced. Outside of the warranty period would be an expensive repair for the end user.

Christopher Johnson -

The logic board will need to be replaced. Maybe third party board repair places will find ways to replace the individual storage chips or controllers. But even that seems unlikely due to the T2.

Caleb Waller -

The trick is not to over wear the flash! You need to keep enough free space for the drive to breathe! My rule of thumb is a 128 GB or smaller needs 1/3 of the space left unused. A 256 to 512 GB 1/4 free, the larger 1 & 2 TB drives only need 1/8th free.

Dan -

@danj @mayer The teardown is finally here! What do you think?

Aaron Cooke - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

am i understand right ! Ram’s can be replaceable ?

Mustafa Sarıoğlu - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Yes! The RAM is replaceable this time.

Arthur Shi -

Huh, Apple is using the CM246 mobile workstation / embedded chipset. That’s a high-end part which offers pretty much all the features of the Z390 platform but at half the rated TDP. It supports up to 6 USB 3.1 Gen 2 (SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps) ports, yet Apple only lists the two USB Type-A ports as being capable of USB 3.1 Gen 1 (SuperSpeed USB 5 Gbps). I wonder why?

repoman27 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Because it has 4 ThunderBolt 3, which is a usb port itself

So you have 6 in total, not all that bad, compare to its mobile siblings.

Orange Chen -

You say the flash storage is not user-upgradable. Would someone relatively professional be able to upgrade it (obviously voiding any warranty…)? I’m thinking like two or three years down the road, when flash is much cheaper, to get the internal flash upgrade to 1 or 2TB. Thanks for any insight!

Martin Bernstein - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Hi Martin,

While it may be possible to melt and reflow a new memory chip in the future, I would definitely suggest external storage as an easier and safer alternative.

Arthur Shi -

2 - 3 yrs down the road your SSD will certainly fail, especially with all the recent SSD failures in new MAC lineup, and due to T2 security chip you won’t be able to boot from external drives unless you replace your logic board for about $1200.

Rodseb -

Exactly @Rodseb

so ram upgrade means nothing if the ssd would be more likely to fail

Sam -

In step 6 there’s a hidden coin battery under the black casing, which can help reset the nvram.

apple has no tool for removing the logic board just a push like yall did

RD123 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

I recently had to replace the battery on my 2012 Mac mini. As you can imagine the crappy flimsy plastic broke so its now secured with electrical tape.

Redsmeg68 -

I would be curious about who makes the ethernet component on if you upgrade to 10GBE.

Kenneth Younger - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Almost certainly the Aquantia AQC107, same as Apple used for the iMac Pro.

repoman27 -

I unpacked my 2018 Mac Mini yesterday to self-upgrade the RAM. Since my toolset did not include the T5, I wanted to have an Apple genius to upgrade it for me as recommended by Apple

I called Apple support and after wasting 15min with the first Apple tech, who offered a genius bar appointment 2 days out, I then spoke to his Apple support manager. One of the first things the Apple support manager said: “If you self-upgrade the RAM in this new Mac Mini, then you will void the warranty!”


Then he said that if an Apple genius would do it, then they would only use Apple RAM. But, that is not in stock yet, because the product is so new.

Last night I returned my 2018 MM to the Apple store for a full refund. I have to think about my next step…

geekworld - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

By law, Apple cannot void your warrantee based on replacing the RAM. The only thing that would not be coved is the RAM itself (or if you caused physical damage to the logic board).

Rob -

That manager was incorrect. According to OP1800 (an internal Apple article number), Macs can be serviced with Third Party Parts as longs as the presence of TPP is not the cause of the issue the Mac needs servicing for.

Zeal -

Need to keep the original RAM just in case. When sending it in for repair for any reason other than your 3rd party RAM, swap back to the original RAM. From what I’ve heard, most Genius’ won’t give you trouble, but it’s a worthwhile precaution.

Eugene Kim -

There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding whether upgrading the RAM voids the warranty. I have seen supposedly “official” statements in both directions.

The best suggestion I have personally seen is, if you self-upgrade, then keep the original RAM available to swap back in before you take your mini in for Warranty Service.

I’d say go back to the Apple Store and buy another mini. You won’t find another computer like it, anywhere!

Douglas McIntosh - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Funny thing about the complaint that you can’t upgrade the storage, someone mentioned that there aren’t any ports you could connect storage to, that’s not true. There’s 4 thunderbolt ports at the back you can use for that, and it’s plenty fast enough for almost any drive you can buy right now.

David Wiles - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Yes , a TB3 port is essentially a PCIe 3.0 4x slot.

Fred Flintstone -

Yeah, Samsung even has an nvme pcie thunderbolt external ssd

Jason -

That Samsung drive is stupidly expensive, though. Compare to their 970 evo in a 3rd-party enclosure at less than half the cost.

Walter Christensen -

If/when the flash storage fails can you set the mini to boot from an external drive? I also am curious if there is a way to deselect the onboard storage in case it is intermittently bad but not totally failed or you just want to test a new OS version without totally committing. Is this mainly about the T2 chips security or ssd functionaility?

Richard Ellis - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Yes, all Macs can boot from external media—USB, Thunderbolt, FireWire, even SD card. Just hold down the option key when booting to select the boot volume. It can also be set in System Preferences… > Startup Disk. However, the default security settings on Macs with a T2 chip are to disallow booting from external media. This article explains how to use the Startup Security Utility to change those settings:

repoman27 -

If the flash is actually dead, no. The flash storage is required for the T2 chip to hold bridgeOS. No bridgeOS, no boot.

Rob -

Can you case-swap into a classic Silver body?!

pkpkpkpk - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Sadly, no Apple doesn’t offer a silver case and the older 2014 system is different enough that it won’t work.

Dan -

6 out 10 repairability is great for an Apple product. On the basis of this teardown I just bought an i5 with 16 GB and a 1TB SSD here in Australia. Not cheap but equipped exactly as I want it. If I ever need more RAM I know I can upgrade, so I figured paying Apple prices for the extra 8 GB RAM made my warranty ironclad. It is really helpful to know exactly what you are getting before buying. No nasty surprises. Well done iFixit. Well done Apple.

Lorenz Gude - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

its sad that the SSD is soldered in.. makes for a pain in the a** for upgrades.. but the RAM being upgradable is SUPER promising.

jpillars - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

The Audio Connection is described to be driven by a Cirrus Logic CS42L83 audio codec here. It says there is 1 ADC on it, on the Cirrus-website. Does that mean, you can connect a headset?

markus.f.h - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Yes, an external wired speaker or headphones will work. Most people are likely to go with a Bluetooth set.

Dan -

Is there possibility to add second SSD?

paluszkiewicz.d - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Not inside apparently, but external SSD will solve your needs! I use external SSD on my 2012 edition! Booting from it even, fassst!

lovbrotte -

Is it possible to put a ssd inside and route it to one of the ports outside? Is there room for an additional drive inside?

Mopiku Jai - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

That makes little sense!

Stick with a proper external USB-A or USB-C Thunderbolt drive.

Dan -

Has anyone tried installing two 64gb sticks of ram yet?

Brian Kenney - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Seeing as how they do not exist, no.

Ric Perrott -

I don’t even think the SO-DIMM socket as well as the PCH has enough address lines to go that high!

Dan -

It amazes me why some are so hung up on wanting to upgrade internal storage or not having room for 2nd SATA/SSD. they are locked into ‘old school’ thinking. Complaining that the MM is not modular; it is, you have to step back and think outside of the case, literally and figuratively. The MM has thunderbolt 3 ports guys! The modularity is now EXTERNALIZED. Add storage externally at TB3 speeds, as MUCH as you want, WHEN you want. With TB3, other components can be externalized (GPU) without having to crack the case. By reallocating the internal space inside that would have been used by bulky SATA drives and extra storage, it allowed using better higher class CPU’s without increasing the form factor in order to help with cooling. On other sites were complaining the RAM was surrounded by the cage on purpose by Apple to discourage upgrading; no, it was too reduce EMI so user could benefit from faster RAM, and AGAIN, without having to increase form factor to provide more separation.

Michael Chin - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

And what will you do when your soldered flash storage fails(because it will), like it failed on my MM2014 out of warranty. But I just replaced it with aftermarket SSD, no need to pay typical $1200 for logic board, because that’s what you will be charged by APPLE. You can’t replace it anymore on a new MM2018. Also, if your MM2018 flash storage fails, T2 security chip won’t be able to load BridgeOS, thus you won’t be able to boot from external drives. Only fix is $1200 logic board replacement. So people are concerned because we know that SSDs fail within 3-4yrs. Not everyone is buying new Macs after each update, my dual-core MM2014 is a good office machine(never mind the SSD’s failure), so the new 6-core MM2018 should work at least a decade, assuming easy repairs are possible. But they aren’t. So your “externalised modularity” is a useless gimmick. Also, haven’t you heard about the latest SSD failures in new MAC lineup, and recalls, thus people are sceptical about APPLE’s SSDs durability.

Rodseb -

Rodseb: “So people are concerned because we know that SSDs fail within 3-4yrs. “ - there are some that may fail in that timeframe - but working with HDDs and SSDs in the scale of hundreds I can say that hard drives will fail - just a matter of time usually within 2-6 years, but most SSDs will outlive the computer - some particular SSDs have had bad batches (firmware or other manufacturing failures) - but with typical usage most users won’t run into a significant number of blocks running out of writes. SSD endurance has been increasing over time - early models were more likely to fail faster than anything in the past few years. (Where I work in particular there have been likely close to 200 HDDs fail in the past 4-5 years, and 4-5 SSDs in the same timeframe - there are about 3x as many HDDs as SSDs)

Brian Marsh -

I don’t think Rodseb is trying to say hhd is better than ssd or anything. ..Just the fact that SSD is soldered on this year’s Mac Mini makes it hard to repair. In previous year’s mac mini, HHD can be removed and replced if failed but the 2018 Mac mini.. once the SSD is down (most likely after 3- 4 years), there is no way to fix it aside from hoing back to Apple and replace the whole logic board(or to get a newer cersion of mac mini)

Sam -

SSD’s fail because of misuse! Every SSD I’ve seen that has failed is one thats was fully loaded up! Trying to run with no free space is what does them in as the wear leveling and garbage collection (TRIM) over wear the drive! This is the reason you mustn’t treat it like a HDD.

You need to keep enough free space for the drive to breathe! My rule of thumb is a 128 GB or smaller needs 1/3 of the space left unused. A 256 to 512 GB 1/4 free, the larger 1 & 2 TB drives only need 1/8th free.

Dan -

The soldered flash is a dealbreaker for me. Flash memory has a finite lifespan and it failed in my 2012 fusion Mac Mini but I was able to replace the SSD myself. Failure due to normal wear in this Mini would require a new system board. Why could they not find room for an M2 slot when there was enough room for 2 x 2.5” disks in previous models? (Yeah, desktop class CPU, I know but not worth the sacrifice imho).

DRAM back in removable SO-DIMM sockets but flash soldered, that does not make sense as the failure rate of flash far exceeds that of DRAM.

Nah, sorry Apple, I think I’m gonna pass…

Paul Clark - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Exactly, I had SSD failure on my MM2014 after about 2.5 yrs. Replaced it with the aftermarket SSD, no sweat. I was excited about MM2018 until I learned about soldered SSD. I didn’t want to do it, but it seems that the only solution for 2018 and until the next MM update is a small form-factor Hackintosh.

Rodseb -

As I’ve done for people with certain iMac models that were harder to work on - just use external TB3 (or USB 3 depending on how fast it needs to be) SSD to “replace” the failed drive, although it is possible although unlikely for the internal storage to fail in a way that would render the system unbootable from anything. Usually even if that internal storage is having issues and causing performance issues like spinning beachballs, you can still use terminal with disk util to format the drive as free space so the OS won’t try to mount it, or if you can map out where the bad spots are - you can format it in a way that still allows some of it to be used.

For many systems with optical drives it was similar - the person can spend $100+ to replace the internal optical, or just get a $30+ USB optical drive to use when they need to.

Brian Marsh -

Most failed SSD’s tend to be because of misuse! People treat the SSD as if its like a HDD which it’s not! When you load it down with stuff you get into the SSD’s garbage collection (TRIM) as well as the wear leveling service burning out the drive. You need to keep enough free space for the drive to breathe! My rule of thumb is a 128 GB or smaller needs 1/3 of the space left unused. A 256 to 512 GB 1/4 free, the larger 1 & 2 TB drives only need 1/8th free. This is only needed for boot drives as the way the OS (any OS for that matter) needs scratch space (Virtual RAM, cache & paging).

If you follow this guidance you won’t have failures! As for Fusion Drives I’m not a lover I prefer independent dual drive configs.

Dan -

Great pictures, but I’m missing a look inside the PSU. It looks like it could be opened rather easily. Would be great if you could share some insight there. Thanks B-)

JoeMuc2014 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

I would have thought that anyone visiting iFixIt would at least have some kind of technical acumen and know enough to not ask clearly ridiculous questions. This comment section has proven me wrong.

Ric Perrott - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

We all have to start somewhere. iFixit is a place to learn and share what you know.

Jeff Suovanen -

iFixIt Staff: a few previous Macs, including a prior Mac Mini, could be upgraded to a higher memory capacity than was available from Apple. Have you tried installing more than 64GB of RAM, or tried installing a single high capacity (64GB) SODIMM? I’m not sure a single 64GB SODIMM exists yet, but I’m hopeful that a 128GB or larger configuration may be possible.

mikeo - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

even 32 GB SODIMM modules are nearly impossible to find, or at least I haven’t found any available yet. Only 32GB Kits (2x16 GB)

Brian Marsh -

The 2014 Mini did not offer expandable RAM (it was soldered) only the storage was expandable.

As far as the Late 2012 it only supported DDR3 RAM (2 slots)and so far I haven’t seen anything larger than 8 GB SO-DIMM’s (total of 16 GB).

I have seen larger DDR4 units 32 GB & 64 GB but these are very expensive and wouldn’t work in the any of the older mini’s

Dan -

I would love it if these diagrams could highlight the components when hovering over the text describing them, and vice-versa. The color coding doesn’t work for me, because I’m colorblind =(

Jacob Rose - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Sorry about that! I’ve noted your suggestion and will pass it on.

Arthur Shi -

While it is a pleased surprise to be able to upgrade the RAM, the lack of storage expansion is a big negative here. Why should I get a mac mini to save space only to fill my desk with external HDDs afterwards?

I guess they will release a mac mini pro with upgradable storage and call it innovation… and charge 500 more for it.

Mac mini was king a few years back but now with all that mini PCs out there is a hard sell.

Nikolas Karampelas - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Not really a big negative at all! Keep in mind the T2 storage solution needs to be setup the way Apple did it. So expanding the raw flash would not be possible as that could expose your data. While I’ll agree it would have been nice to offer a PCIe/NVMe blade slot for additional storage it would not have been secure storage.

Lastly, the USB-C Thunderbolt ports (4 of them) is more than enough to met anyones needs for additional external storage that could be wicked fast!

Dan -

I am confused by everyone being so concerned about the soldered SSD. Just don’t use it! Treat the new mini like the CPU tray in the 2012 Mac Pro: just CPU and RAM. Choose the 128GB SSD model with 8GB of RAM, and boot it exclusively off an external HD.

The i3 version configured this way is $800. The 6-core i7 model is only $1100, which you can further future-proof with 10Gbps ethernet.

Abraham Gaponoff - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

I think the real issue is lack of internal expandability of the SSD storage space. While I can see how people view other systems that have serviceable storage

Apple’s direction using the T2 chip makes this hard to do. Keep in mind the storage is raw flash it’s not a SSD! Collectively the T2 and the Raw flash is seen as a NVMe SSD but it’s not the same architecture internally. The way the cells are written is done differently than a traditional SSD. This is why its faster! Apple then added encryption making a very secure storage solution.

I agree it would have been nice to have a PCIe/NVMe slot so one could have the option to add more storage internally. Even still I not see this as that big a deal. Having all your eggs in one basket does put them at risk. That holds true here. I prefer having by deeper storage within an external drive solution.

Dan -

If it’s true that the internal SSD is necessary for boot, that would be an incredibly evil move on Apple’s part (though that would explain why Apple dubbed their new controller chip “Terminator 2”!)

What’s the evidence that the internal SSD NAND is the storage location for BridgeOS? Does it show up as an extra partition in diskutil list?

These days, it’s common for motherboards to have a second, Ring -3, OS (typically a modified version of MINIX) in addition to the Ring 0 OS users are familiar with, but I thought it’s normally stored on a separate chip from the main storage. I don’t know whether BridgeOS is a replacement for MINIX, or constitutes a third operating system in the new Macs.

Daddy, what's a computer? - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

BridgeOS is only used with the TouchBar displayed systems. The Mac Mini does not use it.

I think you’ll want to do some reading Windows based systems don’t offer this level of security.

Dan -

Is it possible to use an external ssd for booting and not use the internal ssd to prevent is fail? Maybe it’s a stupid idea but if you don’t use it maybe it never fails…

Jose D. G. - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Not following your logic here,

Yes, if you enable external boot you can boot your system using an external drive.

Booting from an external drive won’t have any bearing on the internal T2 driven storage. Frankly, you’ll loose the faster I/O as well as the secure boot.

Dan -

I will be keeping my 2011 Mac Mini Server. I will run High Sierra as long as Apple supports it with security updates, I have replace one 500GB HHD that failed with a 1TB SSD. I am about to replace the other 500GB SSD with another 1TB SSD and load either FreeBSD or a flavor of Linux on it. I am currently testing Elementary OS with VirtualBox. In 2016, I purchased a maxed out 2015 MacBook Pro, I plan on giving this to my graphic artist wife. I switched to Apple because their product lasts about 10 years, and I can justify the extra cost. Since they stopped supporting my Mac Mini Server at seven years, I plan on switching back to a PC, I will probably build my own with Linux. Since Apple slowed down my iPhone6, and in my opinion killed the battery on purpose. I will find a phone that has a replaceable battery. I might even buy a Fire Tablet to replace my iPad Air 2. My hope is that someone perfects a linux phone and tablet.

dutchmichael1 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

I understand the concerns that have been posted about internal storage failure.

I use my computers for photo processing and what some may not know is that

up and coming “upgrades” to some software are not allowing programs to run

from externally stored applications (easy way to control license purchase).

Affinity Photo is one of them. Just thought I would throw that in the mix.

The other interesting question is;

how hard is it to keep storage INSIDE your Mac Mini secure, as opposed to keeping

External storage secure? I prefer to pick up one thing and walk out the door.

Once the R&D is completed these boards and components are very cheap to

produce and solder on. It’s always economics and what they are able to

“market” to the public.

If what Apple and others are selling do not fill the market void, then people

or a company will find a way to create it. That’s how Steve and Bill got started.

lyn - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

I agree, Apple missed it by taking away the dual drive support internally.But I don’t think its a killer issue. Putting everything inside also puts your data at risk if the system fails and you need to finish a job. So how are you going to get to the files now?

Just keep in mind the coming Mac Pro will be the first model to have internal dual drive support within a T2 based system! The MacBook Pro’s also have this failing.

Dan -

Any Thunderbolt port of the Mac Mini can output two DisplayPort signals to support two 4K displays or one 5K display. So how does the Mac Mini connect two DisplayPort outputs from the CPU to the four DisplayPort inputs of the two Titan Ridge controllers? There must be some kind of MUX switch.

Joseph van Tunen - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

It’s called Port Bonding. Its an old trick to gain more performance.

Dan -

Potentially £3,859 GBP for 2 TB of storage and a lifespan of what might be 13 months. Samsung’s 960 Pro’s have a 5 year warranty. An entire logic board replacement for a failed drive is just bonkers and it will be mightily expensive out of the 1 year limited warranty. 128GB internal storage may be far cheaper but SSD’s tend to get dramatically faster the bigger they get.

I wasn't a fan of the 2014 model, which is what I have on my desk, but it is almost adequate. I mourned the death of my 2012 and it’s Quad CPU, as someone who does a fair bit of Virtualisation it made a good wee desktop lab. I yearn for 10GB Ethernet and more RAM. A Hyper-converged stack of Mini’s would make me quite giddy but that’s probably quite niche.

But it’s expensiveness kills its allure, that’s not what the mini is supposed to be. It was entryism to the Mac, it was for experimenting with and doing other things. I prefer a 21:9 monitor and an iMac is a difficult thing to squash. Unlike the T-800, T2 is designed to kill itself.

Brian - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Good to know we can upgrade the ram. External drives/SSDs or is it better to buy a larger one in the beginning?

Nick - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

If the connect point of wifi antenna cable is broken during tear down. Is it impact of device performance?

Tommy - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Yes, it will! You killed the MIMO function.

Dan -

Is the Murata 339S00458 Wi-Fi  module easily replaceable or removable?

jcxm360 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

The Wi-Fi module is soldered and glued onto the board. You would need to reflow a replacement onto the board.

Arthur Shi -

I removed the bottom metal plate under the plastic cover and left it off run the mini and found bluetooth and wifi working just fine no noticeable change in performance. My question is what is the module on the bottom supposed to provide because it’s obviously not the wifi card or bluetooth . Is this supposed to be some wifi bluetooth signal extender. I check throughout my house and outside back yard and the signal is strong with my iPhone connecting fine. Reason I kept this plate off was to see if I could lower inside temp because this mini runs too hot over 170F with very little load on the i7 6 core processor. What gives.

Roger Wabbit - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

The new mini offers MIMO (two antenna’s), basically you halved your WiFi performance!

Dan -

guys, can i upgrade the core up to core i5 9400k?

email.tefinnyjack - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

You are limited to what Apple shipped for CPU’s in this series. The best you can go to is a I7-8700B

Dan -

Absolutely marvelous breakdown job,,,well done. Recommend adding tips for installation…

Fred Van Heste - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

I have a new Mac Mini upside down on the desk next to me and I’m stuck at the first hurdle: the screws are smaller than T6s. It think they are T4s, but I don’t have a driver that small yet.

Might be worth updating the information here.

Jim Talbut - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

ifixit’s Teardown is always “the official” place to find out what chips are used in these machines.

Too bad that we won’t find the 10G ethernet controller documented here!

Toke Lahti - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Given you used to be able to fit 2 2.5” hard drives in the case it seems bonkers that they didn’t go for a wifi module and standard nvme modules. Crazy. un-necessary screw over to the consumer especially given the SSD’s will wear out.

Redsmeg68 - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

can the CPU be upgraded from i3 to i7 or do i have to get Mac to do it

freeze - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

The CPU chip is soldered to the logic board just like the GPU and the flash storage chips which are driven by the T2 chip which is also soldered to the logic board.


So no you can’t replace the chip, but you can swap out the full logic board to gain a more powerful processor and/or if you need more drive storage.


There is a bit of a Yeng and Yang here! When does the cost of the replacement logic board become more costly than just replacing the full system. Also, how much time or frustration are you facing with the system you have now Vs getting a more powerful system CPU and/or Storage? You’ll need to do the math on that for your self.

Dan -

I’m thinking about improving the heatsink area with a water-cooled idea…, any thoughts?

Juan Erasmo Torres - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

There is little benefit and really no space to do it.

Sounds like you need a more powerful system! Time to move up to a Mac Pro (2012) or Hackintosh!

Dan -

The top of the CPU is connected to the cooling fins by heat pipes, but I see what looks like a couple of metallic strips on the back side of the motherboard under the CPU. Are those structural, or is there physical contact with the case, thereby also using the case as a heat sink?

Toby Funk - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

All CPU’s which use a sizable heat sink need a back pressure plate to off set the heat sinks pressure on the CPU and its socket (if it has one). Look through the iMac teardowns you’ll see they have them too.

Dan -

Is there a non-zero possibility to replace the default cooling with a some kind of standard heatsink (without using Mac mini case of course)? Do the holes on a logic board match any existing socket?

beefon - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

The CPU is not socketed its directly soldered onto the logic board. Apple did not make any provision for alternative cooling solutions for the CPU.

I would monitor your systems cooling with a good thermal monitoring app like TG Pro you may need to look at boosting the fans RPM to off set things (turbo mode)

Dan -

Size and type of Torx screws in steps 3, 6 & 7 please?

Mike Matthias - crwdns2853112:0crwdne2853112:0

Sounds like you are looking at upgrading your RAM. Well… A Teardown is not a repair guide which is why you won’t find the needed details. Here’s the guide with all of the info you need Mac mini Late 2018 Memory (RAM) Replacement

Dan -



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