2014 Mac Mini Teardown Highlights Increased Difficulty For User Upgradability

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    iFixIt has conducted its teardown of the brand new Mac mini, finding that the new device is more difficult to open than previous models. They've also discovered that the RAM is soldered onto the machine, which was first discovered late last week.

    The team found that gaining entry into the new desktop is more difficult than previous models. Instead of a twistable bottom cover, the new Mac mini requires a plastic opening tool to pop off the cover. Underneath that is a new solid door that blocks easy access to the RAM and fan. The door uses what iFixIt calls "the smallest Torx Security screw" they've ever seen, requiring their tool design team to prototype a new screwdriver to open the desktop.

    Inside, the Mac mini now sports a new AirPort card that connects straight to a PCIe slot rather than via a cable. Unlike past Mac minis, the new version only contains one SATA port. Previously, Mac mini users could upgrade their desktops with an extra hard drive. However, iFixIt notes that there is an extra socket that could potentially be used for a SSD blade via a PCIe cable. Oddly, the new Mac mini's power supply is identical to both the 2012 and 2011 models.

    Finally, iFixIt gave the new Mac mini a repairability score of 6 out of 10, which is a worse score than the 2012 Mac mini's 8 out of 10. Although disassembly is straight forward, the team noted that the presence of Torx security screws and soldered on RAM made it more difficult to repair than previous models.

    Article Link: 2014 Mac Mini Teardown Highlights Increased Difficulty For User Upgradability
  2. sosull macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2014
  3. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
  4. GizmoDVD macrumors 68000

    Oct 11, 2008
    Here comes the "Pro's" complaining how stupid it is that Apple soldered the RAM so the .01% of people who open up and upgrade their components can't.

    How dare this $500 box not be comparable to a $2,500 Mac Pro!
  5. DeanLubaki, Oct 20, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014

    DeanLubaki macrumors regular


    May 29, 2014
    Toronto | Montréal | Québec
    The "new" Mac Mini is a real deception.

    Where's your logic here?
    Because somebody paid something $500, it should not be upgradable?
    Just want to remember you that your $2,500 new Mac Pro is less upgradable than it used to be in the previous generation.
  6. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    Well, at least it still LOOKS nice . . . amazed they didn't try to thin it down.
  7. lotzosushi macrumors 6502


    Jan 10, 2007
    Apple's "creative engine" at it's finest -_- what was that Tim?
  8. Frost7 macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2012
    Republic of Texas
    Doing this sort of thing is part of my small business. I think you need to adjust your made up statistic to be larger, because at .01% I probably wouldn't be able to afford to eat.
  9. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America

    With the last version, Apple specifically advertised the "Twist Off" accessibility:

    Add memory with a twist.

    Mac mini comes with 4GB of fast 1600MHz DDR3 memory. And thanks to a removable bottom panel, it’s easy to add more. Just give it a twist, and you’re in. Pop your new memory into the SO-DIMM slot, and you’re out. Or you can configure your Mac mini with up to 16GB of memory from the start at the Apple Online Store.

    Apple used to advertise how accessible their machines were (the G3, G4, and G5 towers in particular). It's one thing to make a machine more closed off, such as the portables, if it allows more room for a bigger battery or a thinner machine, but has anyone ever complained that a Mac mini was too big or too expandable?
  10. scott911 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2009
    Thank you for caring dweebmoDVD, I'm proud to be a.01 percenter- I really had no idea I was so special.
  11. ProfessrHenry macrumors newbie


    Oct 5, 2014
    They're comparing it to the 2012 box.
  12. stuffradio macrumors 65816

    Mar 17, 2009
    First they come for the Mini's, then they come for the iMac's, then they go for the Pros. Your happiness of Apple doing this will allow Apple to make nothing upgradable by you, and only the "Genius".
  13. scotsrule08 macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2011
    This saddens my little heart

    The original Mac mini (core solo) (yes core solo, not duo, not core 2 duo) was the first (modern) Mac that I had. We went through countless upgrades including hard drive, RAM, and even a processor swap. I went from the core solo all the way up to the core 2 duo. I learned a lot from those experiences, and now electronics repair is my job.

    If I ever wanted to cry, it would be now
  14. Blackstick macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2014
    Sunny South Florida
    I would have accepted soldered RAM had Jony and co built a new enclosure that was 70% smaller/thinner and thus required flash disks and a tiny Logic board, but that's NOT what happened here. This is just punitive to those wanting to buy into the Mac product line for less $, and it also serves to alienate would be PC switchers that are somewhat accustomed to easy RAM upgrades, minimally.

    If Apple came out and said, "hi, so this new Mac mini is truly Mini, it's the same size as a Rubicks cube or a few decks of playing cards!" Then I'd accept a sealed device with no upgradable anything, but they just got lazy and sealed what was previously a viable product.
  15. scott911 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2009
    Why use an uncommon torx?

    Curiosity a bad thing Apple?
  16. vagos macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014
    I last met a person who upgraded his computer four years ago. Upgradability on computers, removable battery on phones & memory cards on tablets are interesting perhaps to less than 1% of the market.

    Some people really need to stop trying to conserve technology products for ages and get a new device when the time comes, just like the rest of us. In 2014 tech products are designed to be easy to manufacture & be thrown away when their time comes. Deal with it :cool:
  17. crazzapple Guest

    Oct 19, 2014
    They made a good point about not being able to clean the fan... you would want to typically do that every couple of years unless you have a HEPA air filter continuously running. Now you need a special anti-tamper security driver to keep your fan running smoothly.
  18. jlasoon macrumors 6502a

    Jun 1, 2006
    Orlando, FL
    I've already started moving away from :apple:. I've stuck it out long enough. Nearly 20 years. It's just not worth the headache and the money anymore. Too many options out there.

    I suggest others start considering it. I mean, :apple:Watch, really?
  19. MrXiro macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Meh... I'm not one to ever complain about products but if they are going to make the Mac Mini no longer upgradeable I wish they would have made it thinner/smaller etc.

    With the low end specs they probably could have made it Macbook Air thin... heck make it a screenless MBA that can be VESA mounted onto the back of your TV or monitor... at least they could have appeared to have innovated something rather than pretty much crippling what was an amazing machine in 2012.

    Or they could have made it the same design as the Mac Pro but the size of a beer can... the tall boy size.

    I am so disappointed in this current Mac Mini... even the price point, $499 is too much for the low end model.
  20. crazzapple Guest

    Oct 19, 2014
    Yet apple talks up how environmentally responsible they are manufacturing their disposable toys.
  21. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Ouch that soldered RAM. I have the tools to take care of everything else in there though.
  22. johnnnw macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2013
    You Apple white knights are getting really old.

    No one expects Mac Pro performance, they expect performance better than the OLD MAC MINI.

    The new one is a step backwards with the soldered ram and slow cpus.

    Your argument is brutal
  23. jlasoon macrumors 6502a

    Jun 1, 2006
    Orlando, FL
    And how is this environmentally friendly? Isn't :apple: suppose to be green?
  24. nikhsub1 macrumors 68020


    Jun 19, 2007
    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
    This 100%. There is NO reason why the user shouldn't be able to easily upgrade RAM and Hard Drive...
  25. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    Apple should offer the older Mini like they do the iPad. Perhaps even drop the price $100 less than the new ones.

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