Mac mini Model A1283 Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

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

We picked up the new Mac mini from our local Apple store and took it apart!

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Edit Step 1 Mac mini Model A1283 Teardown  ¶ 

  • The Mac mini for this First Look was graciously provided by our friends at macminicolo, a Mac mini colocation service. They allow your Mac mini to be used as a surprisingly powerful and inexpensive server.

  • Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, allow us to introduce the new and improved Mac mini!

  • We immediately tried to open the mini using our iMac opening tool, used in yesterday's iMac First Look.

    • It did not work.

  • We also posted a guide for installing a second hard drive in the Mac Mini.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • The beauty of evolution at its finest. From left to right: Power PC, Intel Core Duo, Intel Core 2 Duo.

  • Notable differences in the latest model:

    • An additional USB port brings the total to five, one more than the previous model (and three more than the Power PC!).

    • A Mini DisplayPort and mini-DVI port -- which allow for Dual-Monitor support for the first time in a Mac mini -- replace the DVI display port of the previous generation.

    • A Firewire 800 port replaced the old FireWire 400 port, much to the chagrin of Mac users.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Let's rock this thing!

  • Carefully insert a putty knife into the crevice in between the top cover and bottom housing. Start on the left side first.

  • Gently enlarge the existing crevice by twisting the putty knife downward and away from the mini.

  • Repeat the prying motion until a portion of the bottom housing has been nudged upward.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Repeat the same prying procedure on the right side.

  • The top cover should now be marginally separated from the bottom housing. Use your fingers to completely separate the two, starting with the I/O side of the mini.

  • The top cover does not have any cables attaching it to the bottom housing; it should now be completely detached from the bottom.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • A quick comparison photo of the three Mac mini generations (oldest on left) showcases their technological progression:

    • No antennas --> One antenna --> Two antennas (Airport card)

    • Desktop RAM --> laptop RAM

    • PATA --> SATA drives

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Can you hear me now? Excellent.

  • The wireless board contains a Broadcom BCM4312KFBGH WiFi transceiver on it.

  • The new mini houses three wireless communications antennas, one for use with the built-in Bluetooth and two for the Airport Extreme wireless 802.11n card.

  • All three antennas need to be removed before accessing the hardware underneath.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • There are two black posts securing the Airport antenna board to the internal frame.

  • Squeeze both black posts together and gently lift the antenna board from the post.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Rotate the mini 180 degrees.

  • Use a spudger to peel back the black tape and release the antenna cable.

  • Carefully lift the remaining two antennas from the right side of the mini.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Remove the four black Phillips screws holding the internal frame to the bottom housing.

  • We spent a lot of time searching for these screws. Is this an Apple conspiracy to prevent consumers from disassembling their products? Put on your tinfoil hats!

  • After the screws were removed, we separated the internal framework from the bottom housing.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • On the left we have the bottom housing, which includes the logic board, CPU, and RAM. On the right is the internal framework, which contains the SuperDrive, fan, and hard drive.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Remove the six Philips screws from the left, right, and back sides of the SuperDrive.

  • Unplug the drive from the interconnect board to completely remove it from the framework.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Use the Mac mini Terabyte Upgrade Guide instead of this First Look to make any modifications to your mini.

  • Next, disconnect the small black two-wire connector from the interconnect board and move it out of the way.

  • Remove the four Phillips screws securing the hard drive to the internal frame.

  • The hard drive easily slides out once it is detached from the interconnect board.

  • The hard drive is a paltry 120 GB. If you'd like to hold more than six photographs on your computer, you can upgrade to a 500 GB drive for just $130 and a little time.

  • Apple only allows you to customize the mini with a 320 GB drive, and they want a whopping $175!

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Remove the two screws holding the fan in place.

  • Disconnect the fan's blue/gray cable from the interconnect board. This should allow the fan to be removed from the framework.

  • The top half of the Mac mini is now completely disassembled!

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Now for the lower half...

  • The standard quick pry with the fingers (and subsequent pull) frees the RAM from the logic board.

  • Our $599 Mini shipped with only a single 1 GB PC3-8500 chip. In this configuration, the NVIDIA 9400M graphics processor allocated 128 MB of this memory as VRAM. When we installed a second chip in this machine, for a total of 2 GB, the 9400M automatically allocated 256 MB VRAM instead.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • On to the AirPort/Bluetooth board removal. A couple of steps are needed to remove the board:

    • Disconnect the three antennas (marked in red).

    • Disconnect the AirPort/Bluetooth communication cable (second photo).

    • Remove three Phillips screws (third photo) and then completely remove the AirPort/Bluetooth board.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Once we had removed the AirPort/Bluetooth board, the only thing preventing us from taking out the logic board was two connectors and a T10 Torx screw.

  • Disconnect the power button cable and the power-on LED.

  • Use a T10 Torx screwdriver to remove the standoff screw.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to gently pry up the logic board.

  • Grasp the logic board with your hand and pull it away from the I/O ports.

  • Voila! The logic board is free.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

Required Tools

Phillips #0 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

1.5" Thin Putty Knife

$6.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

Universal Drive Adapter

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iFixit Lock Pick Set

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Inspection Scope

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Frictionless Ratchet

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Portable Anti-Static Mat

$34.95 · 41 In stock

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Universal Drive Adapter

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Comments Comments are onturn off

You guys rock. I always find this so interesting. Thank you!!!

dml, · Reply

Is there any difference between the power supplies of the old and new Mac Mini?

I would also love to see some comparisons of the power consumption, particularly since they are claiming the new one is the most power efficient desktop on earth.

radven, · Reply

Quote from radven:

Is there any difference between the power supplies of the old and new Mac Mini? I would also love to see some comparisons of the power consumption, particularly since they are claiming the new one is the most power efficient desktop on earth.

I'm not sure that the mac mini is the most power efficient desktop, apple has made alot of claims on the mac mini, and the only one that i have been able to prove true it that the origional 1.25Ghz G4 mac mini was the cheapest mac ever(Runner up: Intel Mac Mini's, 2nd runner up: iBook )

Chris Green, · Reply

I've got a G4 Mini, the 1.42GHz version, and I've got both the antennas(BlueTooth and Airport) featured on the 1st Gen Intel mini…I know they weren't standard for the 1.25, but they still had them

alancostello, · Reply

Mine only has 2, at opposite corners

davidcushworth, · Reply

This is amazing, I am refreshing the page just to watch you guys in action just like a liveblog. Best show in town! Keep up the good work guys!

mrarteest, · Reply

CPU is Soldered!! I just checked.

adammsherwood, · Reply

Quote from adammsherwood:

CPU is Soldered!! I just checked.

well there goes any chance of dropping in a Xeon or Core 2 Quad, darn, i just got my mini 2 months ago

Chris Green, · Reply

What Tape? I am not seeing any.

davidcushworth, · Reply

Doesn't come out that easy, had to gently lever it out.

davidcushworth, · Reply

It's very hard to see the screw you're trying to highlight in the close-up, can you circle it so it's more obvious?

Chris Cline, · Reply

Quote from Locke:

It's very hard to see the screw you're trying to highlight in the close-up, can you circle it so it's more obvious?

Done. See huge version.

Kyle Wiens, · Reply

I'm looking forward to seeing some good pictures of the SATA connectors and your determination as to whether the optical drive can be swapped for another hard drive.

isnoop, · Reply

Quote from kyle24:

Done. See huge version.

Well, really I was talking about this picture. It took me a while to realize there was a huge black screw in the thumbnail and standard picture sizes. I was curious where the screws were actually connecting.

Chris Cline, · Reply

Quote from Locke:

Well, really I was talking about this picture. It took me a while to realize there was a huge black screw in the thumbnail and standard picture sizes. I was curious where the screws were actually connecting.

Hey Locke,

I put a big square around the screw. That particular screw is practically buried and I had to look around with a flashlight to find it.

Enjoy!

Miroslav Djuric, · Reply

When you guys get to the hard drive can you please take a picture of the brand and model number (or report it to us) Thanks

Do you think 2 drives will overheat the mini if you can replace the sata optical drive

thanks

stormlight, · Reply

Quote from stormlight:

When you guys get to the hard drive can you please take a picture of the brand and model number (or report it to us) Thanks

Do you think 2 drives will overheat the mini if you can replace the sata optical drive

thanks

You can take a look at the hard drive in this picture. It's definitely a Hitachi drive, but the model number is covered up with a sticker.

Miroslav Djuric, · Reply

How about external SATA drive connection, does something change from previous model?

What kind of connector is used for DVD drive, on both sides, does it help in connecting 2 external SATA drives? thx

mirec, · Reply

I'm trying to buy a HD in Europe and get the choice between SATA-150 and SATA-300. Which one does this (the new) Mini use? Are the connectors compatible?

mkurban, · Reply

Thanks for taking such detailed pics! I was able to use this guide to upgrade my ram to 4GB (2x2). Getting the case open seemed like the hardest step, but the rest went rather smooth. Kudos!

maecraes, · Reply

i think i lost one of the philips screws… any know if i can buy one in a hardware store? what type/size are they?

mac21, · Reply

One of these 4 screws was longer than the other 3. You need to pay attention to where that screw comes from (it's by the fan) so that you put it back in the right place.

stevegray, · Reply

And the 2 at the side holding it to the black plastic frame

davidcushworth, · Reply

whoops - wrong 4. NOT the ones on the top

davidcushworth, · Reply

HI. The little metal piece on the upper back middle in picture 9 (looks like it is positioned at the base of the Mac apple) on my Mini popped out. Any ideas how to put it back properly??

melmel511, · Reply

Miro, Legendo!!! Pozdrav iz Sarajeva!

I have Late 2009 Mini, and as I work as a service technician I have access to service parts. So I can get the Mac Mini Server Interconnect board and Hard Drive Carrier. Will that be all I need to turn my regular Mac Mini into server version? (Along with the additional HDD, of course).

I'm worried by the fact that hard drive comes with the sensor board. Does the Server Mini has two sensors? For both HDDs?

Vedran

vedran, · Reply

Un Clip the External connector board ribbon cable carefully from the HDD daughterboard before lifting out the internal frame.

Stephen Ireland, · Reply

Is the CPU socketed or soldered?

Demani, · Reply

You didn't mention the little ribbon connector at the back of the optical drive. You can see it better in step 11. Probably better to pop it off with the spudger than to yank it off when pulling out the drive assembly. In fact the next time I'd remove it from the drive side, easier to get to. Also it's helpful to know that the drive assembly is held by a vertical edge connector at the back of the hard drive. That's what you're yanking on when your trying to get the drive assembly out.

Thanks for the great breakdown.

davidaki, · Reply

The ones at the side are bigger than the ones on the cover

davidcushworth, · Reply

What are the dimensions of the DVD drive (sata)?

Thanks so far.

CubaMAN, · Reply

*##&, for what is that two wired connector cable from the harddrive? is it fixed to the HD? or has every 2.5" harddrive such a cable?

mountbatt, · Reply

ah ok, now i know it is the harddrive temperature sensor cable. it is fixed with a bit glue on the metal case of the harddrive. easy to replace-

mountbatt, · Reply

Is there a 7200 rpm drive that's compatible?

stevegray, · Reply

Don't disconnect the two-wire connector, un-glue the termo-sensor from the disk at the other end. I pulled these wires, but instead they unsolder from the plastic cap... I have now a mini that sound like a server in a data-center and will have to resolder these... It's going to be tricky.

Bowabos, · Reply

It's getting worse and worse by the minute... I tried to push the golden bits back in (as they were like micro crocodile jaws), and the connector snapped off from the motherboard... The only way is soldering now :-)

Bowabos, · Reply

I would just like to thanks iFixit. I now have a server with 4Gb of RAM and a 320Gb Scorpio Black blazing fast hard drive AND a very loud FAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNN

Bowabos, · Reply

I also broke the thermal sensor connector right off the board. I also have a VERY loud fan. Any advice on resoldering the connector to the board (very small connections) would be appreciated.

badger295, · Reply

Quote from badger295:

I also broke the thermal sensor connector right off the board. I also have a VERY loud fan. Any advice on resoldering the connector to the board (very small connections) would be appreciated.

A friend suggested to put a resistor on the fan (which will be always on but slower). This is easier to achieve as you need a male and female connector and put a resistor in between. For now I am going to get a soldering kit and practice on an old P90 board... Any advice appreciated too :-)

Bowabos, · Reply

Quote from Bowabos:

A friend suggested to put a resistor on the fan (which will be always on but slower). This is easier to achieve as you need a male and female connector and put a resistor in between. For now I am going to get a soldering kit and practice on an old P90 board... Any advice appreciated too :-)

A guy at work thought it would be difficult to solder the connecter head back onto the board since it is flat mounted, or something like that, and doesn't protrude through the back of the board. We discussed trying to simply cut and strip the wire on the thermal sensor and tack-solder to the connectors on the board. He offered to help me. I'm still considering my options.

badger295, · Reply

I am most worried about this part:

"Next, disconnect the small black two-wire connector from the interconnect board and move it out of the way."

I see this as where I am potentially going to break the thing. Do you have any other detailed tips for this particular step?

lemarts, · Reply

This is my first entry into the Mac world. I will be doing the hard drive/memory upgrade right out of the box. How do I get the info on the factory hard drive onto the upgrade hard drive.

Whenever I've upgraded a Windows PC hard drive I've just backed up my data and reinstalled the OS and applications from scratch. But I don't believe the mini comes with OS install discs, does it?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

lemarts, · Reply

Quote from Bowabos:

I would just like to thanks iFixit. I now have a server with 4Gb of RAM and a 320Gb Scorpio Black blazing fast hard drive AND a very loud FAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNN

Same issue here. Thank you fixit.com you just caused me untold headaches because you told me to remove 2 wires. This could have easily been explained better. You should be sued for this crappola. I wonder how much this is gonna cost me....

fotofuey, · Reply

I can attest that soldering the wires will fix the problem. I pulled mine off too when upgrading to a 500GB HD. The BOTTOM 2 CONTACTS are the ones you need to solder to. The one has a little arrow pointing to it. If it doesn't work the first time, switch the wires around. It did not work the first time foe me, and than i tried the other two contacts with no luck, than i went back and reversed the wires on the lower par, (the two that are closest together). Make sure you don't touch the solder together on the board. I put the a small drop on the wires before hand, than put the wires to the board and just touched the top to melt the solder to the contacts.

Pugsly, · Reply

Quote from Pugsly:

I can attest that soldering the wires will fix the problem. I pulled mine off too when upgrading to a 500GB HD. The BOTTOM 2 CONTACTS are the ones you need to solder to. The one has a little arrow pointing to it. If it doesn't work the first time, switch the wires around. It did not work the first time foe me, and than i tried the other two contacts with no luck, than i went back and reversed the wires on the lower par, (the two that are closest together). Make sure you don't touch the solder together on the board. I put the a small drop on the wires before hand, than put the wires to the board and just touched the top to melt the solder to the contacts.

Thanks for the note, especially about reversing polarity if it doesn't work the first time. I have to say I am slightly confused about which contacts you used. There are two dots on my board that do not appear to be solder points. Immediately below them are the two solder points that are pointed to by the arrow - I think those are the right ones. Then a bit farther below that are the two solder points that I think are only used to keep the connector head surface mounted to the board.

Sorry I cannot give advice on how best to remove the cable from the connector - mine broke before I realized I had to do that. That will teach me to read the instructions more carefully.

badger295, · Reply

Quote from fotofuey:

Same issue here. Thank you fixit.com you just caused me untold headaches because you told me to remove 2 wires.

Me too. i still have the plastic connector on the board. can anyone tell me if the connector slides in, like parking a car in a garage, or snaps in from above?

mjbolzan, · Reply

Quote from mjbolzan:

Me too. i still have the plastic connector on the board. can anyone tell me if the connector slides in, like parking a car in a garage, or snaps in from above?

Hi mj,

The connector does not slide in. Instead, it snaps directly onto the connector housing. You can see in the supersize version of the picture that there are two small tabs on the connector housing that prevent the connector from being slid into the housing.

Miroslav Djuric, · Reply

Quote from lemarts:

I am most worried about this part:

"Next, disconnect the small black two-wire connector from the interconnect board and move it out of the way."

I see this as where I am potentially going to break the thing. Do you have any other detailed tips for this particular step?

Please view the Mac mini Terabyte Drive Guide for better instructions on how to remove the hard drive sensor cable and the drive itself.

Quote from lemarts:

This is my first entry into the Mac world. I will be doing the hard drive/memory upgrade right out of the box. How do I get the info on the factory hard drive onto the upgrade hard drive.

Whenever I've upgraded a Windows PC hard drive I've just backed up my data and reinstalled the OS and applications from scratch. But I don't believe the mini comes with OS install discs, does it?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

A Mac OS X operating system install disk, as well as an applications disk, is included with the Mac mini.

Miroslav Djuric, · Reply

We're sorry you're having a difficult time with the hard drive thermal sensor board -- we definitely try our best to convey the action we're doing in the easiest manner possible. However, please understand that First Looks are not replacements for actual guides. There were several steps in the Mac mini First Look disassembly that were not included due to time constraints. The Mac mini Terabyte Upgrade Guide, however, does include the details needed to properly attempt this step. The guide warns the user to be extra careful with this sequence of steps, as the thermal sensor is a very frail component of the mini.

Miroslav Djuric, · Reply

Hi Miro,

I was slightly annoyed at the time but it is my fault not yours if its broken. I should have been more gentle... I was thinking on asking Apple for an exchange but that wouldn't be very honest with them as the warranty is probably void if I opened it. Now that I've read that someone managed to solder it I'll give it a try in a few days (unless someone advice otherwise). Would anyone be able to give an idea of how much that would cost to get it repaired (with a new riser board and sensor)?

Bowabos, · Reply

Quote from Bowabos:

Hi Miro,

I was slightly annoyed at the time but it is my fault not yours if its broken. I should have been more gentle... I was thinking on asking Apple for an exchange but that wouldn't be very honest with them as the warranty is probably void if I opened it. Now that I've read that someone managed to solder it I'll give it a try in a few days (unless someone advice otherwise). Would anyone be able to give an idea of how much that would cost to get it repaired (with a new riser board and sensor)?

I have exactly the same problem. Is there any spare part which I can order maybe the whole interconnect board?

Also please update this manual with the right way like in your other 1TB upgrade guide. If you don't read that guide you damage your Mac mini. Please update that guide!

Fritte, · Reply

is there possible put that(WD Scorpio Blue 2.5-inch 1TB SATA) hard drive.

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products....

Height 0.49 Inches / Height 12.5 mm

chacal, · Reply

Did you guys happen to measure the maximum drive height you could accomodate in the 2.5" bay? I am interested in putting a Velocirapor in a mini and I would like to retain the optical drive. The Velociraptor is either 12mm or 15mm instead of the customary 9mm for a 2.5" laptop hdd. I am sill trying to nail down specifics, but can you guys tell me if there is clearance for a taller drive (looks like there is based on a previous step, the clearance in mm would be awesome!) and if so when will you offer a kit with a Velociraptor + 4gigs of ram for the bestest mini you can get?

mindedc, · Reply

Anyone got any idea what the real max ram is? apple claim 4GB but has anyone tried more and if so did it work?

plugwash, · Reply

How do you know that the GPU uses 256 MB? what is the terminal command to check this?

mjs13, · Reply

Yup, I wonder the same thing: what happens if two 4GB memory sticks are added? Will the system work? Will the GPU get 512MB?

rcfa, · Reply

Quote from rcfa:

Yup, I wonder the same thing: what happens if two 4GB memory sticks are added? Will the system work? Will the GPU get 512MB?

Just in case anyone wonders: yup, 8GB that way would be rather expensive, more expensive than the computer, in fact. But for reasons of power consumption, size, noise, etc. what I really would like to see would be a quad-core version with 8GB RAM and 1TB disk storage. That's still a lot less than an entry level XServe, and it eats a lot less power and uses up a lot less space, and plenty horsepower to saturate any internet link I could possibly afford to pay for. Anything else is overkill.

At this point, a nettop with an Atom 330, 4GB RAM and NVidia ION, plus some hardware or software hack to install OS X Server starts to look tempting. Even lower power consumption, and four execution threads due to hyperthreading. Thread switching latency is more of an issue than raw compute power.

rcfa, · Reply

can Mac Mini (MB463) 2009 2.0GHz/1gb upgrade to 4gb (2x4gb) 1066MHz DDR3?

kryzc,

I'd also like to know if you can get 6 or 8GB working in the mini. 6 works in the very similar macbooks, and 8 works in (at least some of) the macbook pros.

I'm still not sure why the macbook is limited to 6GB (i/o in 6-8GB range maybe?) but it seems likely that the mini could take at least 6GB. I want confirmation though.

someguy, · Reply

I upgraded to 4MB yesterday and the 9400 says it is only using 256k of VRAM. I bought 2 sticks from OCW -- total cost $65 plus $2 for shipping. RAM works fine.

I am also curious about a self directed CPU upgrade....anyone? someone? Bueller?

Quote from rcfa:

Yup, I wonder the same thing: what happens if two 4GB memory sticks are added? Will the system work? Will the GPU get 512MB?

SB27, · Reply

Hey i got a question for you guys.

It is posted here in this guide : That you with a low price mini could optimize your grafic card from 128 mb till 256 VRAM

(inserting more Ram).

my Question to you guys is : will it upgrade your grafic card if you brouht a cheap model Mini and inserted 4gb ram or 2x1 gb ram will it then be 256 VRAM?

kind of regards

Roehaxor, · Reply

Quote from SB27:

I upgraded to 4MB yesterday and the 9400 says it is only using 256k of VRAM. I bought 2 sticks from OCW -- total cost $65 plus $2 for shipping. RAM works fine.

I am also curious about a self directed CPU upgrade....anyone? someone? Bueller?

Here is a test I would like to see: how much RAM does the 9400 use with two 512MB modules? If the system is allocating VRAM by number of modules installed, as I suspect, then this would give you a 1GB system with 256MB allocated to the video system.

whoperson, · Reply

Quote from Roehaxor:

Hey i got a question for you guys.

It is posted here in this guide : That you with a low price mini could optimize your grafic card from 128 mb till 256 VRAM

(inserting more Ram).

my Question to you guys is : will it upgrade your grafic card if you brouht a cheap model Mini and inserted 4gb ram or 2x1 gb ram will it then be 256 VRAM?

kind of regards

yes, I just did the upgrade (2x 2gb sticks) and it automatically allocates 256MB to the video card

bozs13, · Reply

Hello, I took apart my mac mini and accidentally unplugged the bluetooth antenna. I kept trying to plug it back in, but i couldn't do it. Is there some sort of secret to it?

pnut, · Reply

Quote from pnut:

Hello, I took apart my mac mini and accidentally unplugged the bluetooth antenna. I kept trying to plug it back in, but i couldn't do it. Is there some sort of secret to it?

Uggh. I really struggled with this. The connector is a really small coax. Try to angle it the same way as in the picture and then just keep trying to center it and push straight down. Sorry I can't offer better advice.

badger295, · Reply

Quote from badger295:

Uggh. I really struggled with this. The connector is a really small coax. Try to angle it the same way as in the picture and then just keep trying to center it and push straight down. Sorry I can't offer better advice.

Thanks for the insight. I'll give it another try.

pnut, · Reply

Quote from pnut:

Hello, I took apart my mac mini and accidentally unplugged the bluetooth antenna. I kept trying to plug it back in, but i couldn't do it. Is there some sort of secret to it?

Hi pnut,

First of all, take a look at the picture of the small coax connector. Notice that there are two gold tabs flanking the center hole, which establish a connection with the pin once the connector is properly inserted into the AirPort board. The two gold tabs need to be in the position shown. Previous experience tells me that one of the tabs can be accidentally bent against the other tab, effectively closing the hole. If that is the case, the antenna cable will not connect to the AirPort board. You will need to use some very small tool -- whether it be a Swiss Army pen knife, or a very small flat-blade screwdriver -- and bend the gold tab back so it matches the picture.

This is how I usually reconnect these types of connectors (assuming that the both gold tabs are not bent, of course): I use my right hand to hold the cable connector directly above the AirPort board connector, making sure that the two connectors are right on top of one another. Then I use my left index finger to press against the cable connector.

You will feel the cable connector envelop the AirPort board connector, and you usually also hear a "click" noise when the two are properly attached.

Hopefully that helps.

-miro

Miroslav Djuric, · Reply

Quote from miro:

Hi pnut, First of all, take a look at the picture of the small coax connector. Notice that there are two gold tabs flanking the center hole, which establish a connection with the pin once the connector is properly inserted into the AirPort board. The two gold tabs need to be in the position shown. Previous experience tells me that one of the tabs can be accidentally bent against the other tab, effectively closing the hole. If that is the case, the antenna cable will not connect to the AirPort board. You will need to use some very small tool -- whether it be a Swiss Army pen knife, or a very small flat-blade screwdriver -- and bend the gold tab back so it matches the picture. This is how I usually reconnect these types of connectors (assuming that the both gold tabs are not bent, of course): I use my right hand to hold the cable connector directly above the AirPort board connector, making sure that the two connectors are right on top of one another. Then I use my left index finger to press against the cable connector. You will feel the cable connector envelop the AirPort board connector, and you usually also hear a "click" noise when the two are properly attached. Hopefully that helps. -miro

Miro, I clicked on your link, but can't see the picture.

Thanks for your help!

pnut, · Reply

Quote from miro:

Hi pnut,

First of all, take a look at the picture of the small coax connector.

-miro

Thanks for for posting this great resource. I too ran into this problem and accidentally disconnected the bluetooth antenna. Clicking on your link to the small coax connector leads to a page with an error message. Could you please update the link with the correct image when you get the chance?

Thanks again,

B

bsmash, · Reply

Of the 3 Antenna's, is the one that sits in front and attaches to the right by itself important? I seem to have broken it off of the board. Wifi seems to be working fine. Haven't checked BT and don't really need it.

Bobsmith672, · Reply

Quote from Bobsmith672:

Of the 3 Antenna's, is the one that sits in front and attaches to the right by itself important? I seem to have broken it off of the board. Wifi seems to be working fine. Haven't checked BT and don't really need it.

Not having the antenna in there will not ruin your mini, but your Bluetooth may not work properly (or may have severely limited range).

Miroslav Djuric, · Reply

Could you please add a picture with the CPU heatsink removed? I can't believe, the CPU is not socketed anymore.

Wolfgang, · Reply

Like Wolfgang said, a final confirmation of whether or not the CPU is removable/upgradable would be a godsend. More than a few of us have our buying decision resting on that. Thanks.

MoonBuggy, · Reply

As above, please confirm if CPU is removable/upgradable. I want this in my Cube. Keep up the good work! One of the best Mac sites on internet.

moriarty, · Reply

Quote from Wolfgang:

Could you please add a picture with the CPU heatsink removed? I can't believe, the CPU is not socketed anymore.

Quote from adammsherwood:

CPU is Soldered!! I just checked.

Chris Cline, · Reply

Quote from Locke:

Quote from Wolfgang:

Could you please add a picture with the CPU heatsink removed? I can't believe, the CPU is not socketed anymore.

Quote from adammsherwood:

CPU is Soldered!! I just checked.

Yes, I saw that post. But who is adammsherwood? Is he a member of the ifixit crew?

Several people in different discussion forums stated, the CPU would be soldered. But to me it seems they're quoting each other and are possibly creating an urban legend.

Still I haven't read of anyone taking off the heatsink. Everyone just states, they peeked under the heatsink from the side - not a very accurate check in my opinion...

Wolfgang, · Reply

Quote from Wolfgang:

Still I haven't read of anyone taking off the heatsink. Everyone just states, they peeked under the heatsink from the side - not a very accurate check in my opinion...

Wolfgang, I'm thinking the same exact thing. I'm really hoping for someone/somewhere to post some photos of the CPU. It might just be wishful thinking, but I don't see what reason there would be for the CPU to be soldered. Even some laptops don't have the CPU soldered.

Teknoman, · Reply

Wolfgang, I have some bad news, I just found this from a forum:

http://terragalaxia.com/mini/IMG_2183.jp...

It came from this forum:

http://forums.mactalk.com.au/12/68195-ma...

So looks like it is indeed soldered. <sigh>

Teknoman, · Reply

Quote from Teknoman:

Wolfgang, I have some bad news, I just found this from a forum:

http://terragalaxia.com/mini/IMG_2183.jp...

It came from this forum:

http://forums.mactalk.com.au/12/68195-ma...

So looks like it is indeed soldered. <sigh>

AAARGH - that's a sad moment for me... I hoped Apple wouldn't have changed the concept that much.

At least I'm convinced now. Thank you for the link!

Wolfgang, · Reply

Quote from Wolfgang:

Yes, I saw that post. But who is adammsherwood? Is he a member of the ifixit crew?

adammsherwood is not with iFixit, but he seems like a nice guy. We're working to make it more obvious who the iFixit contributors are without cluttering the interface. (Feel free to provide site feedback via the link in the footer.) We really appreciate research and outside links like those CPU photos-- we were too busy working on the second hard drive hack to take the heat sink off.

Kyle Wiens, · Reply

Quote from kyle24:

adammsherwood is not with iFixit, but he seems like a nice guy. We're working to make it more obvious who the iFixit contributors are without cluttering the interface. (Feel free to provide site feedback via the link in the footer.) We really appreciate research and outside links like those CPU photos-- we were too busy working on the second hard drive hack to take the heat sink off.

Oops sorry, you're right I should've posted a pic somewhere. Guess they're available now. So sad. I would have bet anything that a 25W 2.53Ghz P9500 could be supported by the chipset.

adammsherwood, · Reply

Quote from adammsherwood:

Oops sorry, you're right I should've posted a pic somewhere. Guess they're available now. So sad. I would have bet anything that a 25W 2.53Ghz P9500 could be supported by the chipset.

That's the CPU I had in mind too, after checking Intel's processor finder. :-(

BTW my previous post wasn't meant offending. I just didn't know, what to make of your statement without knowing you background or seeing the soldered CPU for myself.

Wolfgang, · Reply

Quote from Teknoman:

Wolfgang, I have some bad news, I just found this from a forum:

http://terragalaxia.com/mini/IMG_2183.jp...

It came from this forum:

http://forums.mactalk.com.au/12/68195-ma...

So looks like it is indeed soldered. <sigh>

Is the GPU upgradeable? I do not see any solder on the pic from the link above. Why I ask... is if you buy the base model how do you upgrade to 256MB version?

Sardius, · Reply

Would it be possible to unsolder the CPU, or is that an irreversible process?

What sort of special tools would be required? Wonder if one could find some one or some service that can do that sort of surgery, e.g. some laptop repair center (outside of Apple, of course...)

rcfa, · Reply

Quote from Sardius:

Is the GPU upgradeable? I do not see any solder on the pic from the link above. Why I ask... is if you buy the base model how do you upgrade to 256MB version?

Quote from rcfa:

Would it be possible to unsolder the CPU, or is that an irreversible process?

What sort of special tools would be required? Wonder if one could find some one or some service that can do that sort of surgery, e.g. some laptop repair center (outside of Apple, of course...)

Of course it is soldered too, as is the CPU. The point is that modern CPUs have their soldering point below their "body", a concept named LBA/BGA. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_grid_a... for a photo. The LGA of Core 2 processors looks very similar, just the outer shape of the connection points is different.

There is little chance in unsoldering such a processor. It is possible in theory, but you would have to get enough heat to all those (few hundred) pins at the same time to do that. The same is true for soldering a new CPU. You would have to heat up the whole logic board from underneath with some sort of falt iron to do so. Chances are that you not only toast the new processor, but also some other components on the logic board, etc. I'd say every computer service would rather change the whole logic board instead of trying that, if the CPU is broken.

But regarding the GPU, there is no need at all to risk something like that. Add a second GB of RAM and you're there. The GPU is the same in both mini models, just the amount of shared memory is dependent on the size of installed RAM. Meanwhile, that info is all around the net - look here for example:

http://www.hardmac.com/news/2009-03-06/#...

Wolfgang, · Reply

Quote from Wolfgang:

Of course it is soldered too, as is the CPU. The point is that modern CPUs have their soldering point below their "body", a concept named LBA/BGA. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_grid_a... for a photo. The LGA of Core 2 processors looks very similar, just the outer shape of the connection points is different. There is little chance in unsoldering such a processor. It is possible in theory, but you would have to get enough heat to all those (few hundred) pins at the same time to do that. The same is true for soldering a new CPU. You would have to heat up the whole logic board from underneath with some sort of falt iron to do so. Chances are that you not only toast the new processor, but also some other components on the logic board, etc. I'd say every computer service would rather change the whole logic board instead of trying that, if the CPU is broken. But regarding the GPU, there is no need at all to risk something like that. Add a second GB of RAM and you're there. The GPU is the same in both mini models, just the amount of shared memory is dependent on the size of installed RAM. Meanwhile, that info is all around the net - look here for example: http://www.hardmac.com/news/2009-03-06/#...

1. Ok, so I did discover the relation to increasing the RAM increases the video memory on the nVidia web site but had a thought that maybe Apple would program a limitation into it's "Bios". So am wondering if anybody has tested it on the new Mac Mini?

2. Here in South Africa we have 2 choices - both of which have 2.0GHz Processors. With an option to upgrade to 2.2GHz. Going to phone on Monday to find out how this is achieved. Maybe their website is misrepresenting the options.

Sardius, · Reply

Quote from Sardius:

1. Ok, so I did discover the relation to increasing the RAM increases the video memory on the nVidia web site but had a thought that maybe Apple would program a limitation into it's "Bios". So am wondering if anybody has tested it on the new Mac Mini?

Just scroll upwards that page I mentioned a little bit, or do a quick google search. It's really been affirmed lots and lots of times by now.

http://www.hardmac.com/news/2009-03-06/#...

Quote from Sardius:

2. Here in South Africa we have 2 choices - both of which have 2.0GHz Processors. With an option to upgrade to 2.2GHz. Going to phone on Monday to find out how this is achieved. Maybe their website is misrepresenting the options.

Those are the same options available in all store around the world. But I don't get your point!?? Of course, Apple (or its contractor building the Macs) can solder each CPU they like to the board. The problem is, that using LGA components this soldering is virtually irreversible.

Wolfgang, · Reply

Where are the speakers. if mac mini have any.

skrbicdu, · Reply

Ok. This is brilliant and I am going on to read the next article about 1tb Mac Mini but before I do, is it possible to use the optical drive as a standalone drive at all please? Cable it up somehow and use it as well?

Thanks for the brilliant article.

Rich

cregy, · Reply

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