We got our Mac mini at the same time as the iMac, but we decided to take our time and investigate the hardware thoroughly. Our efforts paid off: Mac mini disassembly.

3 Mac Mini units

A Mini progression (PowerPC on left, 2009 model on right)

Here are the teardown highlights:

  • Both the hard drive and RAM are easily upgradeable once you remove the upper case.
  • The processor is now soldered to the logic board. Those people who had grown accustomed to upgrading mini processors will be greatly disappointed by this.
  • As usual for the mini, a putty knife is required to disassemble it. (we sell this tool)
  • The SuperDrive used in the new Mac mini is finally SATA, as in the new iMacs and MacBooks.
  • If you install 2GB RAM in a $599 low-end mini, it recognizes and uses 256 MB of video memory.
  • Apple’s ‘high end’ $799 mini is a complete rip-off. For $200, you only get 1 GB extra memory (market price $20) and 200 GB additional hard drive space (market price $50).
Mac Mini teardown

Kyle is the co-founder and CEO of iFixit.