We’ve already disassembled the new MacBook Air and the new 11-inch iPad Pro, and now there’s another “heavyweight” player to debut, the same new product released by Apple in October – Mac mini 2018. As with the first two products, although the name hasn’t changed much, Apple’s transformation of the new Mac mini after four years is still worthy of attention. To begin with, configuration performance has been improved.
The Mac mini 2018 comes with 8th generation Intel Core quad-core/six-core processors, up to 64GB DDR4 memory (2666MHz), and a 2TB PCIe solid state drive, which boosts system speed by 5 times and graphics processing speed by 60%. Second, in terms of interface, the Mac mini 2018 has four Type-C Thunderbolt 3 (Thunderbolt 3, really spit out some of Apple’s Chinese naming, very personal) ports, which not only have a maximum transfer rate of 40Gb/s, but also support external eGPU or up to two 4K displays, and all of these ports can be powered and charged.
In addition to these two areas, Mac mini 2018 has one more enhancement – heat dissipation! To achieve more processing power in a body of the same size, Mac mini 2018 features a new cooling architecture that includes a switch to all-flash storage, larger fan sizes, extended vents, and a redesigned power supply with a 70% increase in maximum sustaining power (MSP).
In addition to performance, interface, and heat dissipation, the Mac mini 2018 is a mini desktop, and I believe many users are as concerned as I am about its hardware expandability! So, let’s take a look through the disassembly of the well-known foreign website iFixit next! Start from the bottom of the Mac mini 2018 and remove the plastic bottom cover.
Once this part is removed, you can see the inside of the Mac mini 2018 body, including the newly designed fan, which is easily removed by handling the connecting cables. Disassembling the motherboard is also a simple step; simply disconnect some of the cables connected to the motherboard and gently push towards the back end to separate the entire internal module.
iFixit gives a manual nod to the seemingly tool-free design that goes deep for this design! Here’s a look at the memory covered by the metal mesh. When operating at high frequencies (2666MHz), the metal grille protects the memory from external interference. The Mac mini 2018 has two memory slots. The disassembled model of iFixit is outfitted with two SKhynix HMA851S6CJR6N 4GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM modules, each with four 1 GB H5AN8G6NCJR DDR4 SDRAM ICs.
If you want to expand the memory on your own, it still appears to be very convenient now! Then unscrew the fixing screws and remove the small speakers. According to iFixit, despite the fact that the speakers of the iMac and MacBook are getting larger, the speaker module of the Mac mini 2018 is the same size as the old Mac mini, with two antennas visible beneath the speakers, corresponding to the natural connection to the AirPort card (the Apple computer wireless module, or WiFi network card in PCs). However, this component is now integrated into the motherboard, and the modular design is common in small and thin models.
Then remove the outer protective case from the corresponding part of the rear interface, paying attention to the antenna. The red box in the picture below shows the 3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 CPU with Intel UHD Graphics 630 integrated; the orange box shows the Toshiba TSB3225V81199TWNA1 flash memory (a total of 128 GB); and the yellow box shows the Apple APL1027.
On the other side of the motherboard are some more chips, including a Murata 339S00458 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module in the red box, a MegaChips MCDP2920A4 DisplayPort 1.4 to HDMI 2.0 converter in the orange box, and a Cirrus Logic CS42L83 audio codec in the yellow box; a Texas Instruments 51916 memory power solution synchronous buck controller in the green box; a Texas Instruments CD3215C00 power
The final iFixit score for Apple Mac mini 2018 is 6 out of 10 for repairability (the higher the score, the easier it is to repair). Mac mini 2018 does not use adhesives and other components for fixing, instead using more conventional screws to facilitate disassembly and repair, while memory can be easily expanded and upgraded. However, the Mac mini 2018’s CPU and storage are onboard and cannot be replaced.
Another “uncomfortable” feature is that the ports on the Mac mini 2018 are only partially connected to the motherboard, which means that if the ports are damaged, the only way to replace them is to replace the motherboard…