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Released in November 2020, the Mac mini features Apple's Arm-based M1 SoC with both an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU. (Model A2348/EMC 3569)

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Can you add a second drive inside the M1 Mac Mini

so, we know the older Mac Mini even with the soldered in memory and hard drives had a second port where you could add a second drive (HDD/SSD).

My question is for the M1 Mac Mini is there still an internal port where you can add a second drive?

Answer this question I have this problem too

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Sadly no. Just like the M1 13” MacBook Air and the 13” MacBook Pro what you buy is all you get as everything is locked in.

No internal expansion possible!

Reference: Mac mini "M1" 8-Core 3.2 (2020) Specs

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so you're saying there is no additional internal port. I'm not asking about swapping out internal hardware.

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@marcemarc - A big ZIPO! Zero! Zilch! NOTHING!

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Ok just trying to be 100% sure. I didn't see a tear down on here yet only the motherboard pic.

I'm guessing with the new thunderbolt spec it's almost as fast as putting a driving inside - not quite.

So other people out there, here's the question you can't add anything inside that big M1 Mac Mini box anymore!

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@marcemarc - I'm also frustrated with Apple lack of internal expansion for either RAM or storage.

The Thunderbolt4 port is a bit awkward right now as most external drives are USB-C not Thunderbolt4 compliant, as such you are not getting the full bandwidth of the connection.

Anyways ... Please score the answer and accept it - Thanks!

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  • 2012 MacMini HD/SSD - yes; RAM - yes
  • 2014 MacMini HD/SSD - yes; RAM - no
  • 2018 MacMini HD/SSD -no; RAM - yes
  • 2020 (M1) MacMini HD/SSD -no; RAM - no

2012 Mac Mini QC for power, value and service is very compelling over the newer ones, mine has 16GB RAM and 2TB SSD but could even put 2x SSD with over 8TB of storage if needed, try pricing that on Apple site - well the MacMini 2021 doesn’t even offer a 4TB option. Downside for me of 2012 is lack of support for my 2x Apple 30inch Cinema Displays at native resolution. But even the 2014 - 2020 models need a number of adapters to do this. Also 2012 won’t do latest MacOS.

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"Also 2012 won’t do latest MacOS."

Thanks to OpenCore Legacy Patcher, they will. I'm typing this on a Quad Core I7 2012 Mac Mini, 16GB RAM, 3TB disk, running macOS Monterey 12.3.

The biggest issue with the 2012s now, as you mention, is the graphics. In particular, Google Streetview really makes the fan let rip.

Still, I can't ever imagine the problem I'm having today with my work's M1 Mac Mini, which has just jammed up with "out of disk space" errors. Grrrr.....

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@Ritchie Swann - There are two versions of the 2011 the Macmini5,1 and 2012 Macmini6,1both have Intergraded graphics (IG) and the 2011 Macmini5,2 with Discreet graphics (DG). And yes the IG models suffer graphic performance issues.

Sadly, the DG suffer poor cooling which in turn causes the systems to over heat. It's imperative you make sure the fan and the heat sink fins are dust/debris free (given the age I would even redo the TIM) and make sure to use a good thermal monitoring app like TG Pro so you can watch things and boost the fans RPM.

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@danj USB-C is the same port for Thunderbolt 3 & 4, and is the standard port for USB4.

Thunderbolt as a specification is basically "USB plus PCIe connections and HDMI/DisplayPort AV throughput", so the host (PC/Mac) will negotiate with the device to figure out what specific capabilities are needed for them to work optimally.

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@tech285 - Ah! I wish it was so simple! USB-C is both a connector and a protocol!

Think of it this way... We both have mouths which we can talk, but if I where to say:

世界は英語よりも広い場所です or Le monde est un endroit plus grand que l'anglais you know what I said! Nope! Thats the difference. The connector is like our mouths and what we say is the Protocol.

To add to it the original USB-C standard is not even one protocol (USB 3.2 Gen 1 and older, USB 3.2 Gen 2x1, DisplayPort and lastly fastCharge) all sharing the same connector plus power and sorry no PCIe.

Thunderbolt-3 is not part of the USB-C standard. Thunderbolt-3 & 4 just happen to use the same physical connector as USB-C. Thunderbolt-4 is the start of the normalization of two joining up under USB4!

Now to confuse you! The data rate of USB-C is 10 Gb/s whereas Thunderbolt 3 or 4 is 40 Gb/s and USB4 likewise will support 40 Gb/s.

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