Intel Mac mini Disassembly and Details

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Apr 12, 2001
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With the release of the Intel Mac mini, several sites have already taken the new Mac apart.

Macworld posts some photos disassembling the new Intel Mac mini, revealing that the 2.5" hard drive is SATA and the RAM slots are now horizontal, making them less accessible than previous models.

Another user also posts more detailed photos with some interesting observations:

- 110 Watt Power Supply (vs 85 Watt)
- Packed tighter and no room for a seperate video card
- The Intel Processor appears socketed - which means it is potentially upgradable in the future by a simple chip replacement. The Intel iMac also has a socketed chip, while the MacBook Pro processor is soldered on.

Finally, Applefritter posts a detailed guide on the dissembly with step by step photos.
 

Seasought

macrumors 65816
Nov 3, 2005
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Macrumors said:
The Intel iMac also has a socketed chip, while the MacBook Pro processor is soldered on.

It would have been neat if the MacBook Pro also had the socketed chip. Now that I think about it, has there ever been a line of Mac laptops that did allow one to upgrade the processor?

I was under the impression that most laptops didn't permit this.
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Mar 17, 2005
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Awesome!! Upgradeable CPUs!!! :D :D

That means you could probably buy a 2.13 Ghz Core Duo if you really wanted to and put it straight into a 1.5Ghz Core Solo Machine. Now I wonder how that would perform?!!
 

anonicon

macrumors member
Jan 11, 2006
51
0
jsw said:
Yes, I'd like to see where the nay-sayers would put that GPU they keep clamoring for.

Exactly, thank you. If they want a Mac Mini with a full-blown GPU, they can buy one. It's called an iMac, and it has a heck of a lot more space for components than the Mini does.

While the CowCase and the HiFi were disappointents to me the other day, I thought the Mini really kicked *** for its price and components.
 

Max on Macs

macrumors 6502
Feb 25, 2006
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Milton Keynes, UK
Seasought said:
It would have been neat if the MacBook Pro also had the socketed chip. Now that I think about it, has there ever been a line of Mac laptops that did allow one to upgrade the processor?

I was under the impression that most laptops didn't permit this.
Yes. Most, if not all, PC laptops have the chips soldered onto the motherboard. There has only been one Apple laptop I'm aware of with a socketed chip and that was one of their old G3 models.
 

Lurch_Mojoff

macrumors member
Apr 21, 2005
69
0
Closer that you might expect!
So, after all that wailing, it turns out Apple uses integrated graphics because of purely technical reasons. And you get much more upgradeable machine than before, to boot. I think it is not that big of a tradeoff. Plus, next iteration will potentially get a better logic board design and maybe a discrete graphics chip.
 

Spanky Deluxe

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Mar 17, 2005
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I wonder how long it'll take for the guy(s) over at Nakfull Propaganda to open up their Intel iMac and switch the chip with the Intel Mini. They've got both they're and they're not afraid to take things apart... I give it 24 hours. :rolleyes:
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
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Spanky Deluxe said:
Awesome!! Upgradeable CPUs!!! :D :D

That means you could probably buy a 2.13 Ghz Core Duo if you really wanted to and put it straight into a 1.5Ghz Core Solo Machine. Now I wonder how that would perform?!!

I'd be worried about cooling. A 2.13 dual core has got to produce a lot more heat than the 1.5 single core and there just isn't any room in there for cooling.
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Mar 17, 2005
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London, UK
I'm sure a 2.13Ghz chip would work in there fine although the fan would be on a lot more. I'm assuming the Core Solo and Core Duo models have identical cooling systems btw.

What will be *really* interesting to see is if Meroms will work in these minis when they come out. That is if Merom shares the same pinout as these chips - I don't know that.
 

JustADecoy

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2004
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Mac Mini Core Duo 1.66 GHz Answers

Okay, time for some answers, based upon my experience with one at the Apple Store and at home last night (I am so Steve Jobs' bitch):

From the Quicktime HD Gallery (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/), I used the Higher Ground trailer as a guide to its H.264 decoding capabilities:
  • 720p played the first 40 seconds with no noticable frame drops
  • 1080p did skip frames occasionally -- enough to be noticable
I bought the thing anyway and was able to watch the IMAX Deep Sea 3D 720p trailer without noticable frame dropping.
The new Mac Mini is capable of displaying in my Sony CRT at 1080i (and 720p, though mine upsamples it).
World of Warcraft loads, updates, and plays -- but not very well. I do not have a Mini G4 to compare against, so here's what I know: It's subjectively worse than my (Mobile) Radeon 9600-based PowerBook G4, which I use all the time. Running at 720p, it starts losing fps very quickly and I would not attempt PvP combat on a Mini Core Duo. During a flight from Stormwind to Ironforge, even with all of the Video Options tweaked down, I was able to drop the fps to 0 by swinging the camera around. Standing in Stormwind's auction house gave me 29 fps. Standing outside Stormwind's bank gave me 25fps max.

Front Row is great at 1080i, though. :D
 

iGary

Guest
May 26, 2004
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Randy's House
Spanky Deluxe said:
I'm sure a 2.13Ghz chip would work in there fine although the fan would be on a lot more. I'm assuming the Core Solo and Core Duo models have identical cooling systems btw.

What will be *really* interesting to see is if Meroms will work in these minis when they come out. That is if Merom shares the same pinout as these chips - I don't know that.

What about the FSB speed, though?
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Mar 17, 2005
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London, UK
iGary said:
What about the FSB speed, though?

I thought that at launch Merom will maintain the 667Mhz FSB of the Yonahs but this will be upped to 800Mhz later on. Kind of like the Dothan's coming in to replace the Banias breed of Pentium-Ms. They were initially announced with the same FSB as the Banias chips (400Mhz) which was later upped to 533Mhz.
 

Trebz

macrumors member
Mar 2, 2006
33
0
Video editing?

I am considering getting one of th new core duo minis. The most intensive activities I would use it for would be video editing DV from a camcorder and the occasional DIVX or iPod video conversion.

Do you think the mini's are too underpowered for this? Would getting 2 GB RAM help any?
 

cube

Suspended
May 10, 2004
16,983
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Even if really there's no space if the current configuration for a discrete gfx, it's a case of form over function. Apple prefers to make a bad machine instead of a good one and just very slightly bigger.
 

Lurch_Mojoff

macrumors member
Apr 21, 2005
69
0
Closer that you might expect!
JustADecoy said:
Okay, time for some answers, based upon my experience with one at the Apple Store and at home last night (I am so Steve Jobs' bitch):

From the Quicktime HD Gallery (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/), I used the Higher Ground trailer as a guide to its H.264 decoding capabilities:
  • 720p played the first 40 seconds with no noticable frame drops
  • 1080p did skip frames occasionally -- enough to be noticable
I bought the thing anyway and was able to watch the IMAX Deep Sea 3D 720p trailer without noticable frame dropping.
The new Mac Mini is capable of displaying in my Sony CRT at 1080i (and 720p, though mine upsamples it).
World of Warcraft loads, updates, and plays -- but not very well. I do not have a Mini G4 to compare against, so here's what I know: It's subjectively worse than my (Mobile) Radeon 9600-based PowerBook G4, which I use all the time. Running at 720p, it starts losing fps very quickly and I would not attempt PvP combat on a Mini Core Duo. During a flight from Stormwind to Ironforge, even with all of the Video Options tweaked down, I was able to drop the fps to 0 by swinging the camera around. Standing in Stormwind's auction house gave me 29 fps. Standing outside Stormwind's bank gave me 25fps max.

Front Row is great at 1080i, though. :D

How much RAM do you have in the mini? Could the 1080 playback be choppy, because of occasional HDD reading? Are the WOW stats at 1024x768 or 1280x720 (or a higher/lower resolution)?
 

mrgreen4242

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
4,355
1
Trebz said:
I am considering getting one of th new core duo minis. The most intensive activities I would use it for would be video editing DV from a camcorder and the occasional DIVX or iPod video conversion.

Do you think the mini's are too underpowered for this? Would getting 2 GB RAM help any?

TO early to say... hold out for some extensive benchmarking. My guess is it'll be good for non-Motion based video editing, especially with an added high speed FW HDD.
 
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