Mac Mini Mid 2010 Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions.

Join us as we take a peek inside at Apple's newest revision of the Mac Mini, now with an HDMI port!

Check out the YouTube video slideshow of the teardown as well!

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Edit Step 1 Mac Mini Mid 2010 Teardown  ¶ 

  • Well folks, after much clamor, it seems the engineers at Apple have finally included an HDMI port in an actual Apple product.

  • Notable Tech Specs:

    • 2.4 or 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor

    • 2 GB of RAM (expandable up to 8 GB)

    • NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB of shared DDR3 SDRAM (the same as the most recent MacBook)

    • HDMI port with support for up to 1920-by-1200 resolution

    • AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking

    • SD card slot

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Contents of box:

    • Mac Mini

    • HDMI to DVI adapter

    • Power cord

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  • Departing from previous generations, the Mini's unibody top enclosure is machined from a single block of aluminum.

  • Measuring 1.4 x 7.7 x 7.7 inches and weighing only 3 lbs, this is truly one for the books.

  • The black logo and other accents match quite nicely with the styling of Apple's iPad and recent iMacs. Congrats, Mini, you're no longer the black sheep of the family!

  • The model number for this new unit is A1347.

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  • The Mini's new port layout is indeed surprising:

    • AC power in

    • Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T ethernet

    • Firewire 800

    • HDMI

    • Mini DisplayPort

    • Four USB 2.0 ports, down one from the previous Mac Mini

    • SD card slot

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  • In comparison to the Mac Mini model A1176, the Mid 2010 is thinner and wider.

  • There is a definite difference in height between the Mid 2010 and previous iterations.

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  • With a simple counter-clockwise twist, the black access plate can be removed for easy RAM and fan access.

  • Gone are the days of the putty knife...you will be missed old friend...

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  • Much like many other new Apple products, removing the RAM is quite feasible this time around.

  • This little guy comes with two SO-DIMM slots capable of supporting up to 8GB of RAM.

  • Our base unit came strapped with two gigs of RAM.

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  • After removing two screws, the fan can be lifted out to access its power connector.

  • The connectors inside this machine look pretty consistent with those found in Apple's current product lineup. Nothing too new here.

  • All three fan screws are isolated with rubber dampers; a feature not seen on older apple machines. Low noise and vibration are big selling points for Apple these days, and the new Mini's idle emission of 14 dB is a testament to those design goals.

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  • Like previous generations, the new Mini is cooled by a single brushless fan.

  • The extremely high blade density of the blower pushes a good amount of air while keeping noise at a minimum.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • The Wi-Fi antenna plate is held in place by four screws.

  • After a good deal of wiggling, the antenna plate can be slid out from under the lip of the outer case.

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  • The top Wi-Fi antenna connector is hidden underneath the antenna plate near the hard drive connector.

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  • Removing the cowling gives access to various connectors on the logic board:

    • Hard drive flex cable

    • Optical drive flex cable (in the server model, this is where the second hard drive flex cable is)

    • Thermal sensor cables

    • Infrared board cable

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Behold, iFixit's specialized Mac Mini Mid 2010 logic board removal tool!

  • There are two blind holes in the case of the Mini that are meant for the ends of Apple's u-shaped logic board removal tool.

  • Being the shadetree mechanics that we are, we decided to circumvent the special Apple tool in favor of something that works just fine while keeping extra dollars out of Mr. Jobs' pockets.

  • We now carry our own Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tools (shown in the second picture) designed with a rubberized high-torque handle to the exact specifications needed to remove the logic board without the risk of inserting abrasive tools into a delicate logic board.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Before completely sliding out the logic board assembly, the power supply connector must be disconnected.

  • After disconnecting the power cable, the logic board assembly slides right out.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • The top and bottom of the logic board and I/O frame assembly.

  • In using unibody construction, Apple had to get creative with the placement of the antennas. Two auxiliary antennas are the square steel components seen at both ends of the I/O frame.

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  • Two screws secure the speaker assembly to the logic board.

  • The Mini's 3/8" woofer dome won't be popping ear drums anytime soon.

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  • Next to where the speaker was located, we find the AirPort Extreme card.

  • The Mac Mini Mid 2010 has 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking, as well as Bluetooth 2.1 with Enhanced Data Rate technology.

  • After disconnecting the remaining two antenna connectors and its data cable, the AirPort card can be easily removed from the logic board.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • A couple of spring-loaded T8 Torx screws secure the oddly shaped heat sink to the processors.

  • In keeping with its space saving design, the fins directing air toward the vent hole are slanted to allow for better fan placement.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • The I/O frame is held to the logic board by a few T6 Torx screws.

  • The two I/O bezel antennas are more visible in this picture. The long antenna wires are grounded periodically along their length, presumably for better signal transmission to the important part - the antennas themselves.

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • The Mac Mini comes with either a 320GB or 500GB SATA hard drive.

  • Sadly, there's only one hard drive in our non-server model.

  • Need more storage? Only time will tell if this Mac Mini is as easily modified as its predecessor. For now, we recommend just getting the server edition.

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • The new Mini's power supply churns out a minuscule 7 Amps at 12V. Compare that to the 25.8 Amps at 12V cranked out by the iMac Intel 27".

  • Like its iMac cousin, the Mac Mini finally says goodbye to external AC adapters.

  • Holy capacitors! Fingertips beware.

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • The optical drive bay drive simply slides out of the aluminum unibody housing.

  • Well what do we have here? Is this a new optical drive? Why yes it is!

    • Hitachi-LG Data Storage (HLDS) Super Multi DVD Rewriter model GA32N

  • The optical drive is 12.5 mm thick, giving everyone a glimmer of hope for a sweet Blu Ray installation...

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Due to popular demand, we've added photos of the IR sensor/receiver.

  • The IR sensor/receiver is located on the optical drive near the top right edge.

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Edit Step 25  ¶ 

  • The remainders of the Mac Mini Mid 2010.

  • Macminicolo took apart the server version of the new Mini. Check it out if you want to see how Apple stashed the second hard drive.

  • Thanks for following iFixit during this historic moment. Until next time!

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Comments Comments are onturn off

It seems the advantage of going with the server edition is the higher storage space and faster CPU. however you miss out on the DVD player. How easily do you anticipate it would be to upgrade the CPU on the non-server edition?

Ed D, · Reply

About Step 7, did you notice if the screw to the left of the RAM module has factory damage ?

There is a guy that claims that on different models he found stripped screws and that such stripped screw could eventually invalidate the warranty.

Michael Steel, · Reply

I didn't notice anything unusual when we were taking it apart - the screws seemed fine to me. The only time I've seen damaged screws is when we've disassembled a few random certified Apple Refurbished devices.

Andrew Bookholt,

There isn't much difference in volume. The new model is just a few cubic inches smaller, and it contains the power supply now.

The old model can comfortably be laying on its side, saving desk space. I wonder how it would work with the new thinner case? I like the looks of the new design though.

Joonas Kauhanen, · Reply

I wish this was shaped like the logo

rab777hp, · Reply

Apple's new motto is "If you machine it out of a solid block of aluminum, they will come."

Justin Freid,

I want the Apple shaped hole. With the bite!

rab777hp,

Since not everybody has seen the Mac Mini connectors before, they are removed most easily by lifting up on the wire-end of the connector. Use care as it is very easy to break the plastic that retains the pins in the connectors. Using something soft and thin, like the end of a plastic wire tie to lift the connector is safest. Do not pry against the motherboard. Not much lifting force is required to remove the connectors, but done incorrectly, the connectors can be damaged fairly easily.

Doug, · Reply

If you are planning on removing the 'logic board' - disconnect all the indicated (colored square) connectors on the logic board. Note: The hard drive and DVD drive do not slide out with 'logic board' assembly. You will break a connector like I did if you do not disconnect all the connectors.

chaz, · Reply

Second, the optical drive connector ripped right off the PCB, no fixing that...

Alexandre Hamel,

As stated in the intro, "Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions." Repair guides for this device can be found here.

Andrew Bookholt,

You just show two screwdrivers in two holes but don't say what you're doing. Are you simply dragging the board out? What about the spring clips on the edges of the front panel? Does the "tool" press something that disengages these clips? (Step 15 shows the clips better.)

plink53, · Reply

Hmmm... would a a little bending of a spare wire coat hanger work for this? Sounds like the same type locking mechanism that was used on Ford head units during the 90s.

Andrew, · Reply

Yeah, but what are you actually doing with the holes? Pressing? Pushing? Twiggling? Pulling?

Viktor, · Reply

There is a black torque screw to the left of the left side blind hole. It is removed in the photo but no reference to this in the guide. This has to be removed or the board won't slide forward.

Todd, · Reply

As stated in the introduction, "Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions." Keep an eye out for a full set of repair guides that will be released shortly.

Andrew Bookholt,

The holes simply give anchor point for whatever tool you use to push/pull the logic board from the case. There is nothing released inside of them. Once again if you didn't remove the small black torx to the left of the blind hole, the board won't move.

Todd, · Reply

'black torque screw'... should that be 'black torx screw'? If so, what size Torx driver is needed? It looks pretty small.

Doug B, · Reply

Great teardown - thanks for the info!

Has anyone had any success in upgrading the airport card?

In search of better Bluetooth range I'm considering retrofitting the Bluetooth 4.0 card that's in the late 2012 Mac mini, but the connectors for the FFC cable look to be in a different place.

Are the two cards interchangeable and would I need a new cable?

Thanks

Greg, · Reply

Hi, David!

Congratulations, very Nice Tear Down!

I wish to hear something about the "Light Peak". So, let's wait for the new release of the Mac PRO. I hope we could see some "new" hardware.

Apple is just refreshing the "old decade" style CPU + GPU.

I was wondering for Intel Core i5 and NVidia GTX 480M.

May be in the new refresh of the iMac 27". But without the Light Peak, no chance! I will keep waiting for next years long!!!

Any way, thanks for your great collaboration!

I could learn that the new "Mac mini" is more for a MacBook than ever!!! It could follow the steps of the MacBook Pro as well, if Apple give some more minimal "space"

Vrumm, · Reply

Is the CPU soldered onto the logic board? It looks like it may be glued based on the Macminicolo teardown. Is it upgradable? If so what socket does it use?

halo1982, · Reply

The processor is soldered to the logic board and is non-upgradable.

Andrew Bookholt,

Such a complicated harness! what are the various cables here?

cromas, · Reply

The main ribbon cable coming from the hard drive connector is the SATA to logic board cable. The other two small cables are thermal sensors. There is one thermal sensor attached to the hard drive cable and the other is attached to the other end of the hard drive.

Andrew Bookholt,

What drive height room is there? Wondering if it will take 1TB 12.5mm drives like the current MacBook Pro does.

Rowan Pope, · Reply

That keeps the components from moving around and weakening the solder joints.

Walker Quine, · Reply

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