Introduction

The future is now! Apple’s once-neglected Mac mini is coming in hot with a brand new, cutting edge, long awaited … processor upgrade? And a couple more ports? There has to be more, and we know how to find it—time for a teardown!

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This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Mac mini Late 2018, use our service manual.

  1. This Mac might be mini, but it's packing some big specs. Let's unpack some here:
    • This Mac might be mini, but it's packing some big specs. Let's unpack some here:

      • 3.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 with 6 MB shared L3 cache

      • 8 GB of 2666 MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM memory

      • 128 GB SSD

      • Intel UHD Graphics 630

      • 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5.0

      • macOS Mojave

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  2. Our first look at the 2018 mini's exterior gives us the warm and fuzzies—it's the same friendly form factor we remember.
    • Our first look at the 2018 mini's exterior gives us the warm and fuzzies—it's the same friendly form factor we remember.

      • Some folks speculated that if Apple ever updated the mini, it'd look something like an Apple TV. Thankfully, Apple didn't succumb to the urge to go thinner and lighter this time—this is no Mac micro.

    • Apart from the new color, we also have some new identifiers: model A1993 and EMC 3213.

    • Despite controversial departures from a few common ports, Apple has included plenty of them here! We spot two USB-A ports, four USB-C ports, a headphone jack, an ethernet port, and an HDMI port (which isn't available on any other recent Apple product).

      • We'll see if any of these ports are modular. The latest MacBook Air certainly got our hopes up!

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    • We'd like to think we know our way in—but after four years without an update, we're not taking anything about this opening procedure for granted.

    • With some trepidation, we point our tools at the 60%-recycled-plastic bottom cover.

    • Success! An opening tool takes care of the base, and six quick stabs with the TR6 Torx security driver loosens the familiar antenna plate underneath.

    • So far so good. Fingers crossed that this keeps up!

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    • Just like the last couple times we did this, we're greeted first by a single fan standing watch over the mini's insides.

    • The fan unscrews with zero fuss, giving us a better view of the mini's depths.

    • Theoretically, we just need to unplug these cables from the logic board, and it'll be free to slide right out of the chassis.

      • Theoretically.

    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 - Reply

    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 - Reply

    @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 -

    • It's time to improvise—our handy Mac mini logic board removal tool technically fits in the logic board's screw holes, but it doesn't feel right. We're going to need more leverage.

    • Could it be that some good old-fashioned thumb pressing does the trick? It does! A firm push on either side of the blower exhaust is all it takes, and the whole board unclips and slides out.

      • As much as we love making great tools, nothing makes us happier than seeing something you can service with no tools at all.

      • Who knows, maybe Apple does have a tool to push without endangering those thin exhaust fins, but carefully aimed thumbs works for us!

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    • With the board out, we're going straight for the RAM. Apple has trapped it in a heavy metal cage—almost as if they don't fully trust modular RAM to behave itself.

      • Actually though, we've seen this in iMacs of yore. The shield allows the RAM to operate at high frequency (2666 MHz) with no chance of accidentally interfering with other functions.

    • Twirl away four Torx screws, and the cage slides right off. Has RAM replacement ever been easier?

    • We pop out two SKhynix HMA851S6CJR6N 4 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM modules, each with four 1 GB H5AN8G6NCJR DDR4 SDRAM ICs.

    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 - Reply

    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 - Reply

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

    Diego Azevedo - Reply

    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 - Reply

    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 - Reply

    • Just one connector and two screws sets the little system speaker free.

      • iMac and MacBook speakers seem to be getting bigger all the time, but this one looks about the same size as in older Mac minis.

    • Beneath the speaker, we find some antenna cables, but unfortunately no modular AirPort card—in what is becoming a trend, these are socketed right to the main board.

      • Alas, AirPort cards are just a distant memory now that logic boards have assimilated all wireless functions.

    • From here we set to work freeing the heatsink, twirling away Torx screws and exposing the paste-y (soldered) CPU.

    • One last screw, and the port cover is free, uncovering ... the ports. As it departs, it takes some antenna hardware with it.

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    • This mini still holds a lot of silicon—let's take a look!

      • 3.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 CPU with Intel UHD Graphics 630

      • Toshiba TSB3225V81199TWNA1 flash storage (128 GB total)

      • Apple APL1027 339S00604 T2 coprocessor

      • Intel SR40E CM246 platform controller hub

      • Intel JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 controller

      • Broadcom BCM57766 Gigabit Ethernet controller

      • 338S00342-A0 (likely an Apple PMIC)

    Pretty sure that should be BCM57766 for the GbE controller.

    repoman27 - Reply

    Certainly is! Fixed!

    Sam Lionheart -

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

    Dan - Reply

    The CPU is soldered? May we upgrade it?

    Vr1 - Reply

    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 - Reply

    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 - Reply

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

    John - Reply

    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 -

    • And the backside holds even more:

      • Murata 339S00458 Wi-Fi / Bluetooth module

      • MegaChips MCDP2920A4 DisplayPort 1.4 to HDMI 2.0 converter

      • Cirrus Logic CS42L83 audio codec

      • Texas Instruments 51916 memory power solution synchronous buck controller

      • Texas Instruments CD3215C00 power controller 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 - Reply

    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 - Reply

    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 -

    • The last thing between us and an empty mini is the internal power supply!

    • The linchpin holding this unit in place is a familiar one—so familiar that we follow our own repair guide to remove it.

    • The power supply is a nice enclosed unit, making for safe, easy replacement.

    • The mini power supply gets an upgrade from days past, jumping from 85 watts to 150.

    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 - Reply

    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 - Reply

    • It appears we've maxed out our mini, feast your eyes on these cool components!

    • Back in the day, a Pro Mac meant a computer you could upgrade, configure, and connect as you pleased. This new mini aligns so well with that ideal that we're surprised it didn't earn itself a "Pro" title—especially compared to the increasingly closed-off MacBook Pro line.

    • Perhaps the most exciting part of this mini is a return to upgradable RAM. In fact, our users are so excited they already made a RAM replacement guide. Stay tuned for the official guide and upgrade kits!

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

    rio - Reply

    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 - Reply

    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 - Reply

    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 - Reply

  3. Final Thoughts
    • No tough adhesive holds the Mac mini or its components hostage.
    • Using fairly common tools, disassembly is straight-forward.
    • The mini packs standard SO-DIMMs allowing both DIY upgrades and replacements.
    • The CPU and storage are both soldered to the logic board and not user-upgradeable.
    • If any of the many ports is damaged or worn, the entire logic board will need replacing.
    Repairability Score
    6
    Repairability 6 out of 10
    (10 is easiest to repair)

56 Comments

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

poliva - Reply

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 - Reply

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 - Reply

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 -

@danj @mayer The teardown is finally here! What do you think?

Aaron Cooke - Reply

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

Mustafa Sarıoğlu - Reply

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 - Reply

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 - Reply

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 -

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 - Reply

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

Kenneth Younger - Reply

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 - Reply

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 - Reply

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 - Reply

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 - Reply

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 - Reply

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 - Reply

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 - Reply

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 - Reply

Is there possibility to add second SSD?

paluszkiewicz.d - Reply

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 - Reply

Has anyone tried installing two 64gb sticks of ram yet?

Brian Kenney - Reply

Seeing as how they do not exist, no.

Ric Perrott -

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 - Reply

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 -

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 - Reply

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 -

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 - Reply

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 - Reply

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 - Reply

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 -

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 - Reply

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 - Reply

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