Released on July 21, 2011. Core i5 or Core i7 Processor. Thunderbolt. This unit is also used to run the Mac Mini Server configuration.

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Can a 2011 Mac Mini fit in a 2010 case?

Is it possible to put the 2011 2.5 i5 components in a 2010 slotted case and include a superdrive?

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Regardless of the cost, we still need an answer. As one person commented, some of us may have an existing case or 2010 mini. I noted a similar question posted recently as well.

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Did you successfully attempt this? I'm thinking about doing the same thing.

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The mac mini 2011 does not fit in the 2010 case. After carefully moving the components to the old case I realized that optical drive bracket did not allow the logic board to slide in smoothly and required some angling to get in in. Then when I was closing up shop I made a second realization that the 2011 logic board simply does not have a place to connect the optical drive to the logic board. I considering doing some soldering but I did not want to risk it. I'm going to just buy an external optical drive and mount it behind my screen. Maybe oneday Apple will include an optical drive again, I mean what kind of desktop does not have an optical drive.

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I have done just this very swap. I started with

- a stock Macmini4,1 (Mid 2010 Mac Mini with P8800 2.66GHz Core2Duo, 320GB HD, SuperDrive) running 10.6 (for Rosetta) and 10.8 on separate partitions

- a stock Macmini5,2 (Mid 2011 Mac Mini with i7-2620M 2.7GHz i7, 750GB) running 10.9

Following the iFixit disassembly guide, in the process of swapping motherboards, I removed the optical drive tray and made the cuts as described in the thread. Two of the cuts aren't as necessary, as they can be shaved off a little and still fit with the 2011 motherboard. I also switched the HDs and swapped the SuperDrive for a Blu-Ray rewritable drive. However, I had later found out that the drive would not accept discs in the Mac Mini due to the Manufacturing Diagnostic pin in the optical drive power connector, and needed to be removed. While disassembling it again, instead of removing it, I just bent it in so that there would be no contact with the optical drive.

After this process, I ended with:

- a Mac Mini 2011 with i7-2620M 2.7GHz (and its Radeon HD 6630M), 750GB, UJ-267 Blu-Ray rewriter running 10.9

- a Mac Mini 2010 with P8800 2.66GHz (and its Geforce 320M), 320GB, no optical drive running 10.6 and upgraded 10.8 to 10.9 and sold it

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I should note that, thanks to LowEndMac, I am able to still run 10.6 on my Mac Mini 2011 for Rosetta, allowing me to continue to play older PowerPC-only Mac games like Diablo 2 and Warcraft 3.

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Is it possible to do the same thing, except with late 2012 innards, and the 2.6Ghz Quad core i7? It's hard to tell from online pictures, but it looks like the heat sinks on the quad 2.6 are much larger, and would interfere with the space needed to fit an optical drive in as well.

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Even if you can the cost of the old case is about $140 + the bottom plate at about $32

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For me it's not about cost. I already own a mid 2010 model. I will do the replacement if it is possible. So the real question is does it fit or not? Dimensions, screws etc. I can even use glues instead of screws :) we just need to know if it is fits or not ;)

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Actually, it is quite possible, with some tweaking, in 3-4 hours; see this post on www.123macmini.com.

We now only have to hope that enough people will get interested so that iFixit will provide an all inclusive kit to do that in less than 60 mn :-)

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Congratulations Miles !

That makes at least 5 of us who succeeded in adding a Superdrive or Blu-ray to a Mac Mini 2011-2012.

It is interesting that you used the same Mac Mini 2011 that I did, but that you also had to remove the #4 connector pin from the ODD SATA flat cable to make it work with your UJ-267 Blu-Ray writer.

Up to now, I thought this problem related only to the Mac Mini 2012, since I did not encountered it with my own AD-5960S Superdrive.

I have since added a comment to my original tutorial on www.123Macmini.com.

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Thanks! After testing with several different drives, it seems to be that non-Apple drives are the ones with issues regarding the Diagnostic Pin. It seems that in your guide you used an Apple drive from a MacBook Pro, judging by the metal tabs that were cut off in the installation process. Most optical drives will not have these metal tabs that are used for mounting specifically in the MacBook Pro chassis. It also seems that many optical drives will need the strange About This Mac>More Info...>Storage shortcut to accept a disc if one wasn't present in the system a short time ago.

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If the only thing holding you back is "will it fit," i'd say go for it! The internal components of the new Mini seem to have the same dimensions, though some of the mounting locations are different. With some minor tampering, it should all fit. I can't guarantee that the old optical drive will work with the new components, but if you really want to give it a shot, how could we say no? That's what the site's all about.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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