The new Mac mini is not only upgradeable, but easily repairable too

The new Mac mini is not not only upgradeable, but easily repairable too

The new Mac mini is the latest in Apple's staggering list of new releases to get the teardown treatment. Though the outward appearance hasn't changed much from last year's model, teardowns are all about finding out what's new on the inside. And that's just what iFixit has done:

Inside, we found an empty extra SATA connection on the logic board perfect for adding a secondary hard drive, replaceable RAM and hard drive, and modular components -- just like in last year's model. Kudos to the Mini for receiving an excellent 8 out of 10 repairability score, and to Apple keeping it so fix-friendly.

The Mac mini looks to be the most repairable and upgradeable device Apple has released in quite a while. Adding another drive or upgrading the RAM is an easy task earning the the Mac mini an 8 out of 10 repairability score. For Apple, that's stratospheric.

Also, unlike many Apple devices, the Mac mini actually doesn't require even a single pry tool in order to access the internals. The bottom simply twists off.

Considering the Mac mini is aimed at being a simple and more customizable solution than a retina MacBook Pro, it only makes sense that Apple would allow certain components to be easily upgradeable. Many users seem to steer towards a Mac mini not only because they're much more affordable but because they are upgradeable which makes the Mac mini more future proof, and more functional.

Any of you plan on picking up a new Mac mini? What kind of upgrades do you plan to do either right away or over time?

Source: iFixit

Allyson Kazmucha

Help and how to editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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There are 17 comments. Add yours.

KBeat says:

It would be proper etiquette to link to the source article at iFixit which can be found here: http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Mac+Mini+Late+2012+Teardown/11262/1

SoggyTempura says:

I'm tossing the idea around of getting one. If I do, I would first upgrade the RAM to 16GB followed shortly after by an HD upgrade to SSD - undetermined size.

Joe McG says:

The Mac mini is great. I have the 2011 base model. I immediately upgraded the RAM to 8 GB for about $30. It takes about 5 minutes to upgrade the RAM. I want to upgrade to an SSD soon but need to look into it...

firesign3000 says:

I love my Mini. I have a 2010 Core 2 Duo, bumped the RAM to 8 gb. Streams HD media over my network to the game consoles without any problems. The only thing I could wish for (in the latest version too) would be something other than the Intel graphics chipset.

TumnusMr says:

Yep. The AMD GPU in last years mid-range Mac Min is better than the current Intel GPU by quite a margin. Shame really as it would otherwise make quite a nice portable gaming machine with an SSD.

S.Mulji says:

"The AMD GPU in last years mid-range Mac Min is better than the current Intel GPU by quite a margin."

Not by much. The Intel 4000 GPU is much improved over previous Intel integrated graphics and next year the integrated GPU in Haswell is suppose to be significantly more powerful than the Intel 4000. That's when I'll pick up one these bad boys.

TumnusMr says:

AMD 6630M:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-6630M.43963.0.html

Intel HD 4000:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-4000.69168.0.html

AMD 6630M 3DMark 11 Benchmark: 999.8
Intel HD 4000 3DMark 11 Benchmark: 622.9

I'd call that quite a margin and it is reflected in the actual game benchmarks. The AMD GPU can play many modern games at medium and even sometimes high settings, whereas the Intel GPU often struggles with low settings. Maybe next year's GPU from Intel will be better, but new games may also be more demanding.

Davidb0 says:

Can you define what benchmark is? Like how do I know if 622.9 is good or bad? To me it's just a number.

lbtriguy says:

question: as a mac mini owner. I think we have the same model, I purchased this in spring 2011 like a month and a half before the newer versions came out. However, I feel like this thing is old and so SLOW. now, I only have the 4GB of RAM it came with, do you think upgrading to the 8 would make it faster? I mean I don't do much on this thing, and itunes, safari, iphoto, take several minutes to load. My hard drive isn't full either. I'm usually force-restarting my computer a couple times a week because the processes are taking way too long. It's strange as it's not very old, it should be running a lot snappier I feel like and I am running the latest OSX on it...

Joe McG says:

I am guessing you have the Core 2 Duo version. If it is running slow, something is wrong. 4GB of memory is plenty for everyday tasks. You can upgrade to 8GB but I doubt that will fix the issue.

I had issues with my Mac in the past. I ran Disk Utility, repaired the disk (lots of errors), and it worked great again. It's an easy thing to do, so I would try that.

patrickquirke says:

Where do you get RAM from? I really want one of these to replace my really really old Mac Pro. But i want to upgrade it outside of the Apple Store as there upgrades seem very expensive.

Davidb0 says:

Start with eBay, Frys.com, or NewEgg.com even.

Davidb0 says:

How is the Mac Mini for gaming? I'm not looking for 100% top performance but does it allow for most of today's modern games to be played? Things like Lord of the Rings Online, Diablo 3, etc etc?

TumnusMr says:

The new Mac Minis use this GPU:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-4000.69168.0.html

On that page it gives an indication of how well it plays games. Basically it can play some games at low settings.

kiwiruss says:

I'm hoping to pick one up and replace my Apple TV with a more capable mac mini media center.

aryo.susilo says:

i thinks it's nice .. and when it comes to my country .. it will be my first tablet .. :D