Einleitung

Die Zukunft ist da! Der bisher etwas vernachlässigte Mac mini von Apple ist wieder zurück und zwar mit einem nagelneuen, hochmodernen, langerwarteten ... Prozessor Upgrade? Und ein paar mehr Anschlüssen? Da muss doch noch mehr dran sein und wir wissen auch schon, wie wir das herausfinden werden, nämlich durch einen Teardown!

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Dieser Teardown ist keine Reparaturanleitung. Um dein Mac mini Late 2018 zu reparieren, verwende unsere Fehlerbehebungsseite.

  1. Dieser Mac ist zwar mini, aber er hat einiges auf dem Kasten, was die Spezifikationen angeht:
    • Dieser Mac ist zwar mini, aber er hat einiges auf dem Kasten, was die Spezifikationen angeht:

      • 3,6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 mit 6 MB geteiltem L3 Cache

      • 8 GB 2666 MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM Speicher

      • 128 GB SSD

      • Intel UHD Graphics 630

      • 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5.0

      • macOS Mojave

    Kommentar hinzufügen

  2. Beim ersten Blick auf das Äußere des 2018er Mac mini wird es uns ganz warm ums Herz, denn er hat die gleiche angenehme Form wie früher.
    • Beim ersten Blick auf das Äußere des 2018er Mac mini wird es uns ganz warm ums Herz, denn er hat die gleiche angenehme Form wie früher.

      • Einige haben ja spekuliert, dass wenn Apple jemals den Mac Mini aktualisiert, er dann eher so aussehen würde wie ein Apple TV. Zum Glück ist dieses Mal nicht alles noch dünner und leichter geworden, Apple hat sich nicht zu einem Mac micro hinreißen lassen.

    • Nicht nur die Farbe, auch die Kennzeichnung ist neu: Modellnummer A1993 und EMC 3213.

    • In der letzten Zeit gab es kontroverse Diskussionen darüber, dass Apple sich offenbar langsam von den üblichen Anschlüssen verabschiedet.

    • Bei diesem Mac mini sind aber auf jeden Fall noch einige mit dabei! Wir entdecken zwei USB-A-Anschlüsse, einen Kopfhöreranschluss, einen Ethernet-Anschluss und einen HDMI-Anschluss (der bei keinem anderen aktuellen Apple Produkt mehr zu finden ist).

      • Ob einer dieser Anschlüsse modulbar ist, werden wir erst noch sehen, aber das neueste MacBook Air hat uns da schon Hoffnungen gemacht!

    Kommentar hinzufügen

  3. Kommentar hinzufügen

    • Genau wie bei den letzten beiden Malen stoßen wir zunächst auf einen einzelnen Lüfter, der das Innere des Mac mini bewacht.

    • Der Lüfter lässt sich problemlos herausschrauben, sodass wir einen besseren Blick in die Tiefen des Mac mini werfen können.

    • Theoretisch müssen wir nur diese Kabel vom Logic Board ablösen und dann kann es einfach aus dem Rahmen gezogen werden.

      • Theoretisch.

    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 - Antwort

    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 - Antwort

    @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 -

  4. Frohes Fest, frohes Tüfteln
    Pack's ein, pack's aus, pack's an: Erhalte 12 € Rabatt auf deinen Einkauf ab 50 € mit dem Code FIXMAS12
    Frohes Fest, frohes Tüfteln
    Pack's ein, pack's aus, pack's an: Erhalte 12 € Rabatt auf deinen Einkauf ab 50 € mit dem Code FIXMAS12
    • Jetzt müssen wir improvisieren. Unser praktisches Werkzeug zum Entfernen des Mac mini Logic Board passt zwar technisch in die Schraubenlöcher des Logic Boards, aber irgendwie fühlt es sich nicht richtig an. Wir brauchen mehr Hebelwirkung.

    • Könnte es sein, dass es reicht, ganz einfach nur mit den Daumen drauf zu drücken? Das ist es! Ein kräftiger Druck auf beide Seiten des Lüftungsausgangs reicht aus, um das Board aus seinen Klammern zu lösen und herauszuziehen.

      • So sehr wir es auch lieben, großartige Werkzeuge herzustellen, nichts macht uns glücklicher als etwas zu sehen, das ohne Werkzeug gewartet werden kann.

      • Wer weiss, vielleicht hat Apple ja ein Spezialwerkzeug zum Schieben, um beim Ausbau eine Beschädigung dieser dünnen Lamellen zu vermeiden, aber ein gezielter Einsatz unserer Daumen hat in unserem Fall gereicht!

    Kommentar hinzufügen

    • Die Platine ist draußen und wir gehen direkt zum RAM über. Apple hat es in einen schweren Metallkäfig gesperrt, ganz so, als trauten sie dem modularen RAM nicht.

      • Tatsächlich haben wir das schon in den iMacs aus früheren Zeiten gesehen. Durch die Abschirmungen kann das RAM bei hoher Frequenz (2666MHz) arbeiten, ohne versehentlich mit anderen Funktionen ins Gehege zu kommen.

    • Wir lösen vier Torx Schrauben und der Käfig lässt sich mühelos entfernen. War der Austausch eines RAM je einfacher?

      • Ja, das war er, aber nach der bitteren Enttäuschung mit den verlöteten Chips des 2014er mini ist die Rückkehr zu einem standardmäßigen SO-DIMM RAM ein Riesengewinn. Damit kannst du wieder wählen, ob du jetzt aufrüsten willst oder später.

    • Wir holen zwei SKhynix HMA851S6CJR6N 4 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM Module heraus, jedes ist mit vier 1 GB H5AN8G6NCJR DDR4 SDRAM ICs ausgestattet.

    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 - Antwort

    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 - Antwort

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

    Diego Azevedo - Antwort

    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 - Antwort

    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 - Antwort

    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 - Antwort

    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:

    http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/mac-mini-%...

    Thanks!

    Jordan Bigel - Antwort

    • Der kleine Systemlautsprecher ist nur mit einem Stecker und zwei Schrauben befestigt.

      • Die Lautsprecher der iMacs und MacBooks scheinen ständig größer zu werden, aber dieser hier hat etwa die gleiche Größe wie der Lautsprecher in älteren Mac minis.

    • Unter dem Lautsprecher finden wir ein paar Antennenkabel, aber leider keine modulare AirPort-Karte, der direkte Anschluss an die Hauptplatine scheint sich zu einem Trend zu entwickeln.

      • Leider sind AirPort Karten nur noch eine vage Erinnerung, da sich die Logic Boards jetzt alle kabellosen Funktionen einverleibt haben.

    • Von hier aus fangen wir an, den Kühlkörper abzulösen, indem wir Torx Schrauben herausdrehen und die angelötete CPU freilegen.

    • Eine letzte Schraube und die Abdeckung der Anschlüsse ist abgelöst und legt ... die Anschlüsse frei. Bei ihrem Abgang nimmt sie etwas Antennen-Hardware mit sich.

    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 - Antwort

    • Dieses Mac mini enthält immer noch eine Menge Silizium, werfen wir mal einen Blick darauf!

      • 3,6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 CPU mit Intel UHD Graphics 630

      • Toshiba TSB3225V81199TWNA1 Flashspeicher (insgesamt 128 GB)

      • Apple APL1027 339S00604 T2 Koprozessor

      • Intel SR40E CM246 Platform Controller Hub

      • Intel JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 Controller

      • Broadcom BCM57766 Gigabit Ethernet Controller

      • 338S00342-A0 (wahrscheinlich eine Apple PMIC)

    Pretty sure that should be BCM57766 for the GbE controller.

    repoman27 - Antwort

    Certainly is! Fixed!

    Sam Lionheart -

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

    Dan - Antwort

    The CPU is soldered? May we upgrade it?

    Vr1 - Antwort

    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 - Antwort

    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 - Antwort

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

    John - Antwort

    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 -

    What are nands and controller for other three ssd configs?

    filipkrieger - Antwort

    • Auf der Rückseite gibt sogar noch mehr:

      • Murata 339S00458 Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Modul

      • MegaChips MCDP2920A4 DisplayPort 1.4 zu HDMI 2.0 Converter

      • Cirrus Logic CS42L83 Audio Codec

      • Texas Instruments 51916 memory power solution synchroner Buck Controller

      • Texas Instruments CD3215C00 Leistungscontroller x4

      • Texas Instruments 58872D TI 881 A1L2 E4

      • Intersil 95828A HRTZ X832QXH

    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 - https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT206587

    John Lockwood - Antwort

    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 - Antwort

    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 - Antwort

    • Das Letzte, was noch zwischen uns und einem leeren Mac mini steht, ist das interne Netzteil.

    • Die Halteklammer, mit der diese Einheit befestigt ist, kennen wir gut. So gut, dass wir unserer eigenen Reparaturanleitung folgen, um sie zu entfernen.

    • Das Netzteil ist eine hübsche geschlossene Einheit, was einen sicheren, einfachen Austausch ermöglicht.

    • Das Netzteil des Mac mini wurde aufgerüstet und verfügt jetzt über 150 Watt statt der früheren 85 Watt.

    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 - Antwort

    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 - Antwort

    • Scheint als hätten wir jetzt alles aus unserem Mini rausgeholt, geniesse den Anblick dieser ganzen coolen Komponenten!

    • Früher einmal stand ein Pro Mac für einen Computer, den du aufrüsten, konfigurieren und verbinden konntest wie du wolltest. Dieser neue Mac mini passt so gut auf diese Beschreibung, dass es uns überrascht, dass er nicht den Titel "Pro" erhalten hat, vor allem im Vergleich zu der zunehmend verschlossenen MacBook Pro Reihe.

    • Die vielleicht spannendste Tatsache an diesem Mac mini ist die Rückkehr zu einem aufrüstbaren RAM. Tatsächlich waren unsere Nutzer davon so begeistert, dass sie bereits eine Anleitung zum Austausch des RAM erstellt haben. Bleib dran, bald gibt es eine offizielle Anleitung und Upgrade Kits!

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

    rio - Antwort

    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 - Antwort

    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 - Antwort

    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 - Antwort

  5. Fazit
    • Es gibt keinerlei zähen Kleber, mit dem der Mac mini oder seine Komponenten befestigt sind.
    • Der Mac mini kann mit recht üblichen Werkzeugen auseinandergebaut werden.
    • Der Mac mini verfügt über SO-DIMMs, was sowohl DIY Upgrades wie auch einen Austausch ermöglicht.
    • Die CPU und der Festspeicher sind beide an das Logic Board gelötet und können nicht vom Nutzer aufgerüstet werden.
    • Falls einer der vielen Anschlüsse beschädigt oder abgenutzt ist, muss das gesamte Logic Board ausgetauscht werden.
    Reparierbarkeits-Index
    6
    Reparierbarkeit 6 von 10
    (10 ist am einfachsten zu reparieren)

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

poliva - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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

Mustafa Sarıoğlu - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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

Kenneth Younger - Antwort

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 https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205041

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!”

What!?!?

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208198

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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? - Antwort

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. - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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 - Antwort

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

Nick - Antwort

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