iFixit tears down late-2014 Mac mini, offers positive and negative findings

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Date: Tuesday, October 21st, 2014, 11:01
Category: Hardware, Mac mini, News

The grand masters of the hardware teardown have cracked open Apple’s new Mac mini and found both positive negative things about it.

Per 9to5Mac, the mighty iFixit has completed a teardown of the new Mac mini and confirmed something that’s been a point of contention: the RAM is soldered into the logic board and can’t be upgraded, so you’ll have to pay Apple’s price when you initially purchase the machine.

Getting access to the inside of the new Mac mini is more difficult than it used to be …

The twist-off bottom cover of the previous model is gone, with a new plastic cap needing to be levered off. Beneath this is a plate with three tamper-proof screws.

iFixit identified these as TR6 Torx, and said it was the first time it had ever seen these in use. The company’s Torx drivers only went down to T7, so they had to improvise – but will be getting TR6 drivers in stock.

macminipieces


The WiFi antenna also hampers access, but the good news, says iFixit, is there is no glue to contend with.

There is better news on the drive front: it can be replaced, albeit only by pretty much dismantling the entire machine.

iFixit tested this by replacing the 5400rpm hard drive of the base model with the SSD it pulled from its earlier Retina iMac teardown. While the new Mac mini is single drive only, iFixit did note an empty socket that it thinks may allow a blade SSD to be added; it will be investigating this.

You do, of course, have the option of connecting external drives via a second Thunderbolt port which has replaced the FireWire 800 port.

iFixit notes that the AirPort card is now a full PCIe one, supporting WiFi ac, and found that the new fan – while visually identical – in fact now has contact-free bearings, with fluid lubricant carrying the load.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

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One Response to “iFixit tears down late-2014 Mac mini, offers positive and negative findings”

  1. RT @JasonOGrady: iFixit tears down late-2014 Mac mini, offers positive and negative findings http://t.co/5DDcxRFJTw