YouTuber makes the Mac mini more mini-er with a funky custom case

M1 Mac Mini Macbook Air Macbook Pro Bench Hero
M1 Mac Mini Macbook Air Macbook Pro Bench Hero (Image credit: Rene Ritchie)

What you need to know

  • The M1 Mac mini is small, but YouTuber Quinn Nelson wanted to make it smaller still.
  • Nelson 3D printed parts and created a miniature Mac mini.
  • The 16-minute video is well worth a watch from start to finish.

The M1 Mac mini is already pretty small but given the lack of power needed by the Apple silicon inside, not to mention how cool it runs, couldn't Apple have made the whole thing ... smaller?

That's exactly what YouTuber Quinn Nelson wanted to find out so they spent months doing just that — they made the M1 Mac mini a whopping 78% smaller by ripping the Apple silicon out and putting it into a custom 3D-printed mount and then into a custom 3D-printed chassis. And it all works surprisingly well.

The fact that any of this works probably shouldn't be all that surprising given the fact the current M1 MacBook Air doesn't have a fan and is about as thick as a piece of paper sliced in half. But to see it done is still mightily impressive — not least because the whole thing is powered by a Microsoft Surface power adapter and an old MagSafe charger. Yep, you read that right!

I won't spoil any more of the fun — just watch the video to see perhaps the best Mac video you've ever seen. Oh, and the whole thing has those eye-breaking cheese grater-like holes from the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, too!

The M1 Mac mini launched to warm reception as the previously compromise-ridden form factor found a home with the more efficient Apple Silicon chip; however, it quickly became apparent that the Mac mini was a lot bigger than it really needed to be. We've been working for the last six months to change that, and it's finally done. Mac nano? Mac mini mini? Tiny Mac? Call it whatever you want, but it's awesome.

Absolutely amazing, I'm sure you'll agree!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.