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Can You Upgrade the 2018 Apple Mac mini?! – RAM Upgrade Tutorial and Teardown

Can You Upgrade the 2018 Apple Mac mini?! – RAM Upgrade Tutorial and Teardown


are there any Apple fans old enough to remember when Mac Mini was originally introduced so this is a very robust computer but it’s very very tiny yeah matter of fact let me show you one right now this is how tiny it has been over 13 years since that original unveiling and while it’s clear that Apple no longer focuses much on Mac Mini if at all recommending that window switchers just moved to an iMac instead Mac Mini has both obtained and retained a cult following from within the Apple community for a few reasons it’s still the cheapest Mac in Apple’s lineup it makes for an excellent inexpensive computer and home media server and it actually finds quite a bit of usage in enterprise and you should definitely check my video out on the matter if you haven’t seen it but hopefully that helps illustrate how is static Mac Mini fans like my sub work to see Apple upgrade this computer for the first time in over four years in a future video I’ll test thermal performance and benchmark this machine against Apple’s own lineup and the general $800 PC market but in this video I wanted to take Mac Mini apart to see how friendly it is to use our serviceability inside because previous Mac minis well they happen one fun thing I noticed during the unboxing is that if you look inside the little manual pamphlet they include you’ll notice that look at that that’s an interesting-looking display it looks like an iMac but it’s not an iMac and the bezels are small could that be an Apple Pro display that’s coming out in the future or did some Apple intern just whip that up in Photoshop let me know what you think in the comments below alright so I haven’t cracked this open yet and neither has anyone else online that I’ve seen so let’s do this together and immediately we’re already at a crossroads you see the prior Mac Mini used to have a little dimple here and a little dimple here and you can just stick your fingers in them and then twist the cover about 10 to 15 degrees and then you could lift it right off those are gone but the chassis seems pretty much the same as the old one so I’m betting they just got rid of the dimples and if you use a little bit of friction force you can top that lid right off I think no that is not budging at all now if you can hear this I don’t you to get in here but there’s a little clicking in there which is good because that makes me think they didn’t glue it in there I don’t think it’s adhesive so we are going to snack our iFixit protec toolkit this video is not sponsored by them so don’t buy this just kidding it’s an excellent kit and I use it all the time I’ll leave a link in the description if you are interested but I’m going to snag one of these little blue spud Jers which are plastic and very soft and I’m going to see if I can kind of pry into the cover and do it gently oh that’s good news that’s good news that was a snap and there’s another snap so I was right this thing basically just comes right off it’s held in by three little plastic retention clips that attach to the three security screws yep those are security screws so there are Torx screws right here but they’re actually security screws so they have a little pin in the middle and you have to have the right driver but unfortunately for Apple I’ve got it alright so we’ve got all of the screws undone but I don’t want to rip this piece off because this black piece right here is the Wi-Fi and bluetooth module and so if we just rip this back cover off we’re probably gonna break a ribbon cable so let’s see we’re under here yep there’s a cable and look at that it’s just a little antenna cable attached right there I’m just gonna pry that up and undo the screw just the same size that’s nice and there we go so that back cover comes straight off okay so we’ve got some good news and bad news the good news is that this computer is actually really pretty simple air gets sucked in through the bottom of the case into this blower style cooler so this fan sucks air in and then blows it through this radiator right here which is presumably aluminum you can see we’ve got some copper heat pipes right there that are going underneath the CPU which looks like it’s about right here right beneath the ram the ram kind of oddly and surprisingly is covered by this aluminum shield and that other than that we have the power supply which is over here and it looks like it’s on a board in pendant to the main motherboard which is nice if that goes bad you can swap that out and then there’s a speaker underneath here because yes the Mac Mini has a speaker I don’t know why it sounds horrible the bad news is we’ll find out in a minute that the cpu doesn’t look socketed and the RAM while it does look like it can be removed and we’ll find out in a minute it’s not immediately user accessible you basically have to tear apart the whole entire computer to get there so we’ll see how long it takes to pull off the main fan that’s obviously the first step we’ve got for fan or for screws one here one here one here and one here okay so unless this fan is like the be a fence that used to be a Mac Pro and assuming it is attached with a cable so lift up gently and yep there it is it’s a cable right there which actually awesome looks surface mounted so you just pull straight up and it pops right out and this fan actually looks to be really really good quality it’s metal construction which is nice and look at that huge gold bearing right there okay so the fans out of the way but unfortunately we cannot access the RAM yet because it’s still blocked over here in the corner so it’s immediately noticeable that while it looks like you can replace the RAM Apple really doesn’t want you to and so what we’re going to have to do to access the RAM and the CPU is actually remove the motherboard from the case now you might be wondering how do you get this huge square motherboard out of this little circle hole and well you don’t it’s the short of it there are two massive screws right here which I am guessing holds the motherboard into holy smokes those are tight into the top of the case these are Torx t10 screws we’ve got one we’ve got two and if my suspicions are correct those are the only two so the motherboard should be pretty loose and yep look at that so the motherboard is is loose now the question is how do we actually get it out of here well you can tell that the back of the Mac Mini is plastic and that’s because there are actually a bunch of plastic retention clips that hold the motherboard in and the motherboard can actually slide out now you’re also wondering well how in the heck do I undo those pretension clips because the gaps in here are so tight well there are two things we need to do first one is that as far as I can yep there are only two ribbon cables while they’re not even ribbon cables there’s one surface-mounted cable right here and then there’s the power supply cable we need to detach these before we try and rip the motherboard out otherwise we can cause damage to the cables this one comes up very very easily I mean just pull up on it we could actually probably even do it with our fingers and yep and then we’ve got our power cable right here but we can’t really remove it gracefully yet because the top of the case right here is in the way so that’s alright there used to be a special tool to remove the Mac Mini motherboard from the case it was like a little metal hanger that would sit on the two sides and pry it out you’d actually see a hole right here and that hole we need to access so that we can kind of push the motherboard forward and undo the clips however I don’t see another hole on the other side which is a little worrying but I’m just gonna try and pry this one first and literally all you do is you just basically put your screwdriver in the hole and then push it out and you can see that actually Jia did the front jotted the motherboard out of the way and jumped the plastic out right here so now there’s a gap in the plastic the mother was slightly askew and we’re done over here unfortunately I do not see that same hole on the other side so what I’m gonna do is probably not kosher oh there we go that’s gonna say I’m gonna push straight on the cooling assembly and there you go it kind of just slides out in front of it now again we do need to be careful that power cable is still attached let’s drag it back a little bit and then pull that cable up but now assuming carefully just to make sure yep everything slides up so there you go easy as that now that the main logic board is out all that’s left is the power supply I want to show you how to remove this because while it probably isn’t going to happen it’s possible that that you may have to replace this in the future and it should be relatively easy there’s only one two and yep there’s a third screw right there this one is a pretty small hole so we’re gonna have to get a screw driver that can fit down in there luckily the iFixit one does and there we go and this should just slide up or not okay so this is interesting the little power connector we have to pull off the little silver bracket that goes around it and then if you can see there there’s a little tiny basically retention clip if you slide that clip out with a screwdriver you should be able to just twist that power connector and yep there we go so the cool thing about this is that it’s actually a sealed off self-contained unit so it’s very very safe obviously you don’t want to go jamming your fingers down inside there but as opposed to the iMac where the PSU is totally exposed and quite dangerous this is all sealed off and self-contained so that’s really nice to see good job Apple okay and now to the good stuff I know you’re excited about the RAM so we’ve got four screws right here holding this panel in place and that is a very small screw head I’m guessing Torx four maybe yes okay now this weird shield should just slide off diagonally and that it does I honestly don’t know why this is there and what it is for I guess it’s to protect the RAM when you’re sliding the motherboard in and out of the case I don’t know but cool and you’ve got a little rubber gasket on the side that you have to remove – oh actually no that is strange holy weirdness okay so that is not only a little rubber sleeve but that’s actually the RAM retention clips so as soon as you pull those the RAM releases that is an odd design and the dims yep just as expected come out super easy so there you go this base configuration has two sticks of four gigabyte ddr4 so yeah you can replace your own Ram although I’m not going to give Apple kudos I am glad that they kept using sodium’s rather than soldered memory it is repairable it is upgradable but at the same time it feels like they purposely made it difficult to do I mean that is not easy it’s not hard if you’re familiar with computers you can probably do it in half an hour but at the same time it’s clearly designed to discourage users from trying to upgrade their own Ram unlike Mac minis of years past the speaker again comes out very easily with a little surface mounted connector I don’t know why there’s a speaker there is truly no need it sounds awful but there is a speaker in Mac Mini and then let’s remove this cooling assembly which I’m guessing we have to remove these four screws holding the CPU radiator into this little bracket on the front panel and then we’re of course going to need to remove the four screws that are tension screws on the diet itself so let’s do that we are going to in theory lift this nope we’ve got ah two more screws holding this puppy on actually I take that back we have four more two here and then two under here hidden underneath these little rubber pads I am no you know engineer but that seems a little excessive uh-huh yes it does so that slides right out and there you go Hey look at that Apple actually used a reasonable amount of thermal paste in one of their computers for once that is just about the right amount there’s not too much not too little it is the weird thermal compound that they use so it feels a little dried out I’m assuming that thermals could be improved by replacing it with your own thermal paste but at the same time you’ll want to proceed at your own risk so let me tell you about what’s actually on the board here the Mac Mini logic board is pretty dense and really cool obviously you’ve got your RAM slots and you’ve obviously got your CPU and a GPU over here as well over here you have your PCH a platform controller hub if you’re familiar with the terms North Bridge South Bridge it’s basically the modern version of that so this handles the system clock it also handles the FDI which is flexible display interfaces what Intel uses for the integrated graphics to connect with the actual IO on the front of on the back of the computer and so these two kind of work in tandem you’ve got your system battery over here which is obviously pretty important to maintain settings and the system time and stuff like that over here you’ve got your Wi-Fi antennas and you can see we’ve removed one earlier remember that black little circle at the bottom of the case at the very beginning there’s actually two other ones this one goes to the left side of the back of the i/o and this one goes to the right side so Macs are very well known for having very good Wi-Fi and that’s part of the reason why there are wires everywhere other than that the only other interesting things of note are these two so right here we have our flash storage so this is the base model has 128 gigs so each of these is 32 gigs apiece so there are four little modules if you get the two terabyte model one of the reasons they’re so expensive is they have to pack 512 gigs of density into each little square so it’s quite a bit cheaper when you get 128 gigs obviously and then under here this is the last cool thing you’ve got your t2 chip which handles boot security and it handles the SSD which makes it so quick and that’s a staple I’m assuming on all future Macs from here on out so what did we learn about the 2018 Mac Mini well like the 2014 model Mac Mini this year still remains the easiest computer to disassemble in Apple’s lineup it’s pretty easy to take apart unfortunately there isn’t much you can change out or upgrade the CPU just as the previous generation is soldered directly to the logic board it is not socketed you cannot upgrade it or replace it same with the flash storage now the previous generation had a spinning hard drive you can upgrade it to a SATA SSD now the new PCIe SSD is arguably much better in every way than the SATA SSD in terms of performance but it is soldered directly to the board unlike some of Apple’s other products I Mac Pro and iMac specifically which have keyed SSDs they’re still proprietary but they are removable last but certainly not least and it is an improvement over the previous generation which had soldered ram ram in this generation is replaceable the sodium’s can be swapped out however they are pretty hard to access but it’s good to know that if you’re willing to do so you can get Ram less expensive than buying it directly from Apple or by the configuration you want now and upgrade later down the line for a lesser cost that said if you really want to get a Mac product that is serviceable with a socket CPU removable Ram and replaceable SSDs you probably ought to look at the iMac line that’s really your only option well folks that’s all for me thank you so much for watching stay tuned for the new exciting product videos we have over the next few days macbook air macbook mini benchmarking of course iPad pro thank you so much for watching and as always [Music] enjoy [Music]

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