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New Mac mini gets teardown, still highly repairable

updated 08:45 pm EDT, Fri October 26, 2012

Scores eight of 10, still has second drive expansion option

Repair and tool-selling site iFixIt has done a teardown of the very latest Mac mini and found it basically unchanged from last year's model in terms of repairability. The company revealed that the RAM, hard drive and even the power supply can be replaced or repaired, with only the processor and graphics not able to be upgraded. The teardown also revealed that the new Mac mini still has an extra SATA connection and room for adding a second hard or sold-state drive. The unit received an overall repairability "score" of eight out of 10.

The examination started with iFixit commending Apple for keeping the no-tools twist-opening panel on the bottom that allows access to the machine. It specifically noted that there was no glue used to secure components, an element that has been dinged by environmental analysts before in the construction of the Retina MacBook Pro models.

The Mac mini was found to be easily upgradeable to 16GB of RAM using PC3-12800 DD3 modules, with the hard drive also removable. The examiners noted that the entire unit must be completely disassembled in order to extract the power supply, but still felt it was a job that -- while time-consuming -- most technically-capable users could accomplish.

The teardown revealed various chips being used to perform specific functions, including those from Broadcom (handling all forms of wireless innovation), Intel (the new Ivy Bridge processor itself plus various Thunderbolt controller chips), and a Cirrus Logic audio processor. As with the previous model, the Mac mini lacks an optical drive and can be configured with a SSD unit as its main drive (or Apple's new Fusion Drive hybrid), making it possible to have no moving parts at all.

The latest version ships with either a dual-core i5 or quad-core i7, both from the current Ivy Bridge family. Configurations start at $600.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. ElectroTech

    Junior Member

    Joined: 11-26-08

    Who really cares what iFixIt says? They are dinosaurs who want us to go back to a time when every chip was in a socket and motherboards were huge and devices had enough room in them to get your hands and pliers into every nook. They are anti Mac and anti Apple.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Fact is, they could've put an vVidia 650M in this form factor as well but decided to leave it out in their "$799 USD" model because of the obvious conflicts with the new cryMac crApple is offering now. Put it this way, it would of been a true headless mac with better computing power & I/O terminals for most tasks. This is horse poop, AGAIN.... by the only company that can offer such fruity nonsense.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    The thermal envelope allows for quad-core OR discrete graphics.

    And since nobody was buying the dual-core/discrete graphics model...

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    The thermal envelope allows for quad-core OR discrete graphics.
    And since nobody was buying the dual-core/discrete graphics model...

    by "Nobody", you mean that crApple is not filling its user base properly. With all the tracking, and research, they know what we want, they just don't want to give up the control and manipulation. The thermal envelope can be accommodated with a new internal design. crApple translates to crIpple.. THIS IS BS

  1. bdmarsh

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-17-06

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    Fact is, they could've put an vVidia 650M in this form factor as well but decided to leave it out in their "$799 USD" model because of the obvious conflicts with the new cryMac crApple is offering now. Put it this way, it would of been a true headless mac with better computing power & I/O terminals for most tasks. This is horse poop, AGAIN.... by the only company that can offer such fruity nonsense.



    I know I'm feeding the troll to some extent... but...
    why would a headless terminal need a 650M?
    I could understand wanting one in there for gaming directly on the system, but you wouldn't be doing that headless.

    I knew a couple of people that bought the old $799 model with dedicated graphics, but most just bought the base model even old server version with quad core i7 people/businesses sold more (again, in a relatively small sample of customers or other people I know) so it could be that there just wasn't the demand in the people purchasing.

    Most people wanting what you talk about here and in another post on this topic you made, would likely never settle for a slimline like this, but would want an i7 based tower with PCIe slot(s) for upgradable graphics.

  1. Grendelmon

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Originally Posted by ElectroTechView Post

    Who really cares what iFixIt says? They are dinosaurs who want us to go back to a time when every chip was in a socket and motherboards were huge and devices had enough room in them to get your hands and pliers into every nook. They are anti Mac and anti Apple.



    Who really cares what you say? They are not anti-mac. You're still red in the face because they gave a bad review to the MacBooks/Airs. Well guess what? They said the Mini was easy to fix. How is that anti-apple?

    On the flip side, *I* care what iFixIt says, because from time to time I need access to teardown instructions to repair a friend's or family member's Mac.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by bdmarshView Post


    Most people wanting what you talk about here and in another post on this topic you made, would likely never settle for a slimline like this, but would want an i7 based tower with PCIe slot(s) for upgradable graphics.

    Maybe you aren't up with the times.... YOU DON'T NEED INTERNAL SLOTS ANYMORE.
    Let me refresh you, with USB 3.0 and "thunderbutt"... the internal cards are nearly useless with a 650M package. Cannot be simpler.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    [QUOTE=Spheric Harlot;4198719]The thermal envelope allows for quad-core OR discrete graphics.
    And since nobody was buying the dual-core/discrete graphics model...

    by "Nobody", you mean that crApple is not filling its user base properly. With all the tracking, and research, they know what we want, they just don't want to give up the control and manipulation. The thermal envelope can be accommodated with a new internal design. crApple translates to crIpple.. THIS IS BS[/quote]

    So, they were doing wrong by offering a model nobody wanted, and now they're doing wrong by taking it off the market instead of listening to your industrial design expertise and hiring you to build a "new internal design"...

    OF COURSE! What stupid ****ers, these crApple folks! Just build a "new internal design"! How stupid of them not to think of it, when some trolling IT consultant with too much time on his hands could have told them exactly how to build an $1,100 product that nobody wants!

  1. Waragainstsleep

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 03-20-04

    Have you really been a member here for nearly 8 years just to bash Apple?

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by WaragainstsleepView Post

    Have you really been a member here for nearly 8 years just to bash Apple?

    yup, actually longer, before they implemented the forced login... I bash only where it is needed (my opinion). And all of that is my contribution, whether liked or disliked; we all need a little critical thinking here & there to cover the facets of a product and/or service that may or may not appeal the targeting user base. Some just swallow what is given to them; inversely I read the labels (when space-time permits).

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