2010-12 Mini base cover modification/custom?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by utekineir, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. utekineir, Apr 3, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013

    utekineir macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2008
    I've been searching a bit regarding airflow mods to the current style mini.

    It seems like the popular thing to do is to raise the machine up a bit, or remove the bottom cover entirely and sit it ontop of a large quiet fan. I've also seen the mod where the machine sits ontop of a peice of foam to act as a filter.

    Those all seem effective, but a bit overkill for my needs.

    I've been thinking more along the lines of just modifying the plastic cover to increase the airflow (look to be about $35 after shipping for a spare).

    Or just rigging up some sort of plate that integrates a filter for the intake and a block off for the rear section of the base.

    Mini location is vertical (power supply up) along the side of a cabinet with a book end as a support to keep stable. Temps and rpms don't change wether it is flush against the surface or spaced 1/2"+. There is a 1000+ rpm drop on the fan when base plate is entirely removed at full load. But this obviously disrupts the intended design of the airflow through the machine.

    I want to maintain the factory airflow path, just reduce the restriction.

    Has anybody done so and had positive results?


    Base i7 2012 model.
    Bunch of ram,
    extra internal drive,

    94 deg c 3500ish rpm encoding with base
    94 deg c <2500 rpm encoding without base.
  2. product26 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    I will be drilling holes in the area that covers the wifi and putting a carbon filter inside. This would allow better airflow and filtering.

    I already have the filter, just need to drill.

    Actually, I have an H-Squared mount and it is mounted under my desk. I guess at this point I would only be able to drill around the outside edge to improve airflow... as the flat bottom side is flush against the panel that it is mounted to.
  3. product26 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    Here is what I ended up doing.


    Attached Files:

    • 01.jpg
      File size:
      127.2 KB
  4. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    Very neat work!

    But have you noticed any difference in temps?
  5. Highboy90 macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2012
  6. product26 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    Not sure. I didn't do any comparison. Plus I always run SMC fan control to boost the minimum fan speed.

    The idea behind this is to keep the mini cleaner inside. If you have ever opened up an older mini you would see that they tend to have a lot of fine dust buildup. The filter should do the trick and only need cleaning every few months or so.

  7. product26 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
  8. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    I was disappointed with the results of improving the size of the airintake at idle fan speed, had expected more improvement. Increasing minium fanspeed a few hundred rpm made a large difference. Changing the thermal compound made also a difference.

    Using proper air filter foam keeps the mini a lot cleaner inside.

    My recommendation would be first to raise the idle speed a few hundred rpm. The housing acts as a heat store and at low idle speed it is not cooling enough. Then if you have OCD you can start with an intake airfilter to keep the machine a lot cleaner inside (some fine dust still comes through) and modifying the bottom for easier air-intake at higher rpm. If really brave then you might opt for replacing the thermal compound but don't come howling here that you've bricked your logic board....;) (but the temperature does only drop a few degrees - however it does reduce the variation in temperature a bit)
  9. product26 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    I have also seen that putting the mini on its side/mounting vertically has shown to decrease temperatures. Probably due to more vertical surface area of the aluminum casing.

    Since having taken the pictures above I have mounted the mini vertically (ports up) using my filter modded H-Squared mini mount.

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