The long-awaited refresh of the popular Mac mini. Processor options include 3.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i3, 3.0 GHz 6-core Intel Core i5, and 3.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 processors.

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SSD Upgrade possibilty or soldered onto board?

Eager to find out if it will be possible to user upgrade the PCIE SSD.

Beantwoord! View the answer Dit probleem heb ik ook

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Here's whats known so far: Macmini8,1

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From the Apple presentation it appeared the SSD flash chips are soldered! This makes sense as it follows the same design the T2 chip uses in the other systems it is used in: iMac Pro, MacBook Pro 2018, and the new MacBook Air as well. Apple uses raw flash chips in a very different design than what a typical SSD drive uses.

The systems cooling was improved dramatically! It looks like the space the drives once used is now taken by the fan.

The good news is the RAM is serviceable! So you can upgrade it later and from the presentation it will support 64 GB of RAM!

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Woow..serviceable RAM, I feared I would never see that again on a Mac.. =;)

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Supporting 64 GB knocked my socks off! I was only expecting 32 GB.

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Soooo....

3.0GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz)

64GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM

2TB SSD storage

10 Gigabit Ethernet (Nbase-T Ethernet with support for 1Gb, 2.5Gb, 5Gb, and 10Gb Ethernet using RJ‑45 connector)

The maxed out version of this model for power users must have thermal issues...

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@ajcooke01 - I wouldn't make that jump! Review the presentation and you'll see Apple did a complete re-design in it's cooling. Somebody in Apple woke up and realized all their issues has been under sizing the cooling.

This is why the MacBook Pro i9 is a joke! As the cooling is so limited the real performance of the system won't be realized as it's thermally throttled! Even still it won't live long as it's running at 90c all of the time! Pig on a slow roast!

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Why would it have thermal issues? No fancy gpu and apple HQ cooling.

Any guide for adding your own mem yet?

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According to a review released today:

Macworld's Ramon Loyola:

The $799 model comes with a 128GB drive, but if that isn’t enough, Apple offers upgrades all the way up to 2TB if you’re willing to pay. The SSDs are PCI-e cards and Apple doesn’t consider them user-upgradeable. So, if you prefer to house your storage inside the computer instead of attaching an external drive, you might consider shelling out more money for an upgrade.

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@minacrime - Sorry guy,

Ramon is not fully correct.

Yes, the T2 controller is connected to the PCIe backplane of the system board. But! This is a soldered connection and not exposed. The interface between the T2 controller to the flash chips is independent of the PCIe back plane.

As the storage is raw flash the interface to the chips from the T2 is direct block addressing and interleaved between the discreet chips, In addition to the encryption encoding!

The flash chips them selves are also soldered to the logic board just like the MacBook Pro Touch Bar models. These raw flash chips are custom to Apple. So even if you had the tools to desolder them getting replacement chips would be hard and in the end it would be just cheaper replacing the entire logic board.

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"Apple offers upgrades all the way up to 2TB if you’re willing to pay." It's $1400 for a 2TB SSD. I can buy a slightly slower, in the real world, 2TB Samsung 860 for $347. I could buy 8TB of SSD storage for the price Apple charges for 2TB.

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Rob - You missed two important differences between M.2 blade SSD's (PCIe/NVMe) and Apples custom flash solution! First Apples I/O is faster than what the current M.2 SSD's offer and second is the storage can be encrypted to a level no M.2 blade our set of blade drives could be.

Don't forget you still have four TB3 (USB-C) interfaces which give you many options for your storage needs.

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What is the speed of apples ssd solution in Mac mini 2018?

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I think a guide to setting up a Fusion Drive including the internal SSD and an external HDD would be a great idea to have on IFIXIT.

It’s not really a hardware thing, but it sort of is, and it would be in the spirit of iFixit.

I don’t have one of these (yet) so I won’t be writing one up too soon. Feedback on the idea please!

Perhaps this (VROC-Virtual RAID On Chip) is what’s behind the non-upgradable SSD points @danj makes?

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Matthew - Apple's Fusion Drive is an OS level service not hardware. Basically, you are setting up a SSD cache drive so data from the HDD that is often accessed is copied to it and the OS point to it vs the HDD file. There are quite a lot of guides out there which explain how to setup a system with a Fusion Drive.

As for using an external HDD with an internal SSD, while the system will allow you to do it you really won't want to as the reliability and speed of the connection would make the solution fragile and not very fast.

The Intel VROC chip is not used within Apple systems. Its possible a Hackintosh system might have access to it if you wanted a hardware level RAID solution (if the logic board allowed it).

In any case VROC chip has nothing to do with the Mac Mini SSD being upgradable or not. The issue is a mechanical one as the set of flash chips are soldered to the main logic board and not serviceable in any form.

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Yup. External drives with glitches (e.g. frequent failure to spin up after sleep in some models - which certainly do result in a fragile system!) aren't rare, so a guide with a good recommendation on something that proved to work reliably would be valuable, IMO. And it would probably be better to go DIY with a good case and a higher quality hard drive than with the lower quality, short-warranty stuff the hard drive manufacturers all (AFAIK) put in their external drives. I'd like to set one up just to run the benchmarks to see if it's really not very fast, as you claim. I'd be surprised if it didn't outperform, say a 2TB hybrid drive, or an older official Apple Fusion drive.

Thanks for the VROC info- makes sense. I was just surmising that perhaps the "custom to Apple" stuff was akin to VROC.

I've read multiple guides on setting up Fusion (-like) drives, but none recently and none at iFixit.

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Matthew - We are focused on hardware not software. I'm not sure why you think an external SSD/HDD would be faster than Apple's Fusion internal drive configs. I think you need to do a bit more reading on SATA III drives and Apples blade drives The Ultimate Guide to Apple’s Proprietary SSDs in addition to the different high speed I/O systems like FireWire as well as Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3

As far as a SSHD depending on the size of the SSD within your Fusion Drive won't be that much of a difference. In any case the issue of speed using an external HDD with a Fusion Drive set is not the drive but the external I/O which was your direction and not one I would recommend.

Frankly, I'm into dual drive setups, not Fusion Drives. All of my desktop systems are setup with a dedicated SSD for its boot drive and either an internal HDD (iMac) or external RAID drive (Mac Pro) this is by far the best config for working pro's or people who have deep hobbies that need performance.

My two laptops only have a SSD and my media server is setup with two 2 TB SSD's. which is setup as a JBOD setup so its a signal virtual volume of 4 TB.

Fusion Drives as well as SSHD's are stop gap storage between HDD's and SSD's. Balancing out the deeper storage HDD's with the high cost of SSD's.

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