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It's been two years since the Mac mini's last appearance on iFixit's teardown table, but a newly revised version joins Apple's lineup this week. Is this truly a refreshed mini, or merely a mini-refresh? Stay tuned to find out just what two years of innovation has to say for itself—it's Mac mini teardown time.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for the latest teardown news.

Deze demontage is geen reparatiehandleiding. Om je Mac mini Late 2014 te repareren, gebruik onze reparatiehandleidingen.

  1. Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown, Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 1, afbeelding 1 van 2 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown, Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 1, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • Apple's "affordable powerhouse" offers a range of hardware configurations (but no gold color option, so you can't configure for bling). Our unit's internals include:

    • 1.4 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz) with 3 MB L3 cache

    • 4 GB of 1600 MHz LPDDR3 memory

    • 500 GB Hard Drive

    • Intel HD Graphics 5000

    • 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.0

    • OS X Yosemite

    Does it support 3D output via hdmi? What is the hdmi version?

    Bhullar Family - Antwoord

  2. Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 2, afbeelding 1 van 2 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 2, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • The backside of the mini remains almost identical to the previous iteration. The only change is the omission of a FireWire port in favor of an extra Thunderbolt 2 port.

    • The Mac mini Late 2014 retains the model number identifier of A1347, but is distinguished by the EMC number 2840.

  3. Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 3, afbeelding 1 van 3 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 3, afbeelding 2 van 3 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 3, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • Gone are the handy thumb indents and indicators. This mini doesn't appear to have twist-off bottom cover!

    • We've got a bad feeling about this.

    • A flick of our bottle opener plastic opening tool pops this (lower) cap off.

    • Well that was nice! But now we're greeted with something new: a solid door where there was once handy access to the RAM and fan.

    • We're starting to feel like the locks on our apartment changed and we weren't given the new keys...

    Is it possible to swap out the 2014 bottom panel construction with the 2012? Twist and turn would make it easier to clean out the fan instead of having to unscrew all the time.

    eyhk - Antwoord

    The metal part on the 2011/2012 bottom is in the way so that won't fit. I suspect that either the metal lid has been done to prevent enterprising persons from leaving the cover off and placing a large fan there or that it was done for better shielding from the faster WiFi - the old cover did not have metal contact with the rest of the enclosure.

    For the past few years I have used some foam designed for the air intake filtering on a motorbike underneath and it has kept the inside rather clean.

    mjl - Antwoord

  4. Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 4, afbeelding 1 van 2 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 4, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • Time to break down the door and see what's changed inside. The plastic bottom cover snaps onto three screws—three TR6 Torx Security screws. Really? Rude.

    • This is the smallest Torx Security screw we've ever seen—our kits go down to T7 Security, so we asked our tool design team to get improvising.

    • Improvisation complete! Our packrat engineers produced a lone prototype T6 Torx Security screwdriver, a tool we originally abandoned because nobody had seen such a screw used in real life

    • Thanks, Apple.

    • We'll get this ridiculous driver in the store shortly.

    That's weird. I use a Torx 6 a lot. Maybe not on Mac equipment but other devices.

    plink53 - Antwoord

    Sorry, didn't notice it was a security bit.

    plink53 -

    By "security bit" you mean that it's a modified Torex T6 screw? (the tiny bit at the middle?)

    Edit: seems that's a variant Torex T6 screw. So you'll need a "T6 security screwdriver". :(

    mathieu -

    I ordered mine with 16GB of RAM knowing I wasn't going to be able to upgrade it. However, I went with 256 GB Flash drive, will I be able to add an SSD for more storage?

    oscarmorillon - Antwoord

    EDIT: Looks like their might be an open PCIE port but not confirmed, didn't read closely enough.

    You can buy a higher capacity one and replace yours, or add external via Thunderbolt. I'm sticking with the spinning drive and later replacing it since I can buy a 512GB SSD for $200 easy, plus I'll have the 1TB drive. The RAM is the only upgrade I'm tempted to get, but still it just makes me so mad that they would solder it.

    eyhk -

    But doesn't the Flash drive look like RAM? It is not a drive, which means there won't be anything connected to the port where the Spinning drive would be. I'm not that tech savvy so excuse me if I'm wrong or I sound like I don't know what I'm talking about.

    oscarmorillon -

    Flash does not "look like" RAM, even though it is built from silicon. To the system, it looks like a very fast HD, but not as fast as RAM.

    Flash is connected either to a SATA (like an HD) or PCIe port. RAM is connected through the DDR contollers.

    aamartin -

    To answer your original question, the 256GB flash is attached to a PCIe port, and is mounted to one side of the tray in step 13. You should be able to add either an HD or SSD to the other side of the tray, and attach it to the SATA port. You'll likely need to get a special ribbon SATA cable, which I'm sure iFixit will eventually sell, along with any mounting hardware and tools you'd need (like the torx6 security driver).

    aamartin -

    The screws are not a big deal in my opinion, I actually prefer this build as I think it makes the whole construction more sturdy and sealed - but the question is - are there any security measures that will clearly indicate that the machine has been opened ? Will it void the warranty and will Apple know that we opened it ? I can't see any seals or paint on the screws so I'm hoping the answer is no as long as you don't damage the body or anything...

    akiainavas - Antwoord

    They can't void the warranty if you open it. They can only not cover something if you damage/break it. It a law from the 70s. Also if you read the warranty, it says that ..Damage caused is not covered..."

    SlimboJimbo -

    Somewhere, I think it was Instructibles, showed how you can use a regular slotted screwdriver on a torx security screw. I've tried it, and it works. I would imagine a small jeweler's screwdriver will fit in a torx 6 security screw head.

    aamartin - Antwoord

    Maybe one of those old "security" flat screw drivers with a little notch in the center of the blade; but you really risk stripping the screw driver and the screw as you only get two contact points instead of six. If the screws are torqued in pretty good, which happens quite frequently with power drivers, it could be a challenge to undo them without the right tool.

    icerabbit je -

    Anybody with the PCIe SSD *only* option that can confirm if the SATA ribbon is there so that a SATA SSD or HDD can be added? I'm not convinced of the Fusion Drive with 128GB PCIe SSD. I'd rather buy the 256GB PCIe SSD option, add a SATA HDD (even 7200 RPM!) for cheap and build a much better Fusion Drive. The assumption is that the SATA ribbon will be there.

    Please help me confirm that. That's the only doubt holding my order. Thanks!

    Rimsky Sucre - Antwoord

    Alternatively, I'm considering the $699 Mac Mini with HDD only and replacing it with a SATA SSD 1TB. Samsung EVO and Crucial M550 are now in $400 range. I'll end up paying $200 more than a Fusion Drive but will have a full 1TB of SSD storage vs. 128GB and no spinning drive inside the Mini! I think this is a much better deal. What do you think?

    Rimsky Sucre -

    The SATA cable is not present in an SSD-only configuration, but the cable in our Mac Mini Dual Hard Drive Kit is exactly what you need. We're not listing it as completely compatible yet, because of the addition of the TR6 Torx Security screws. Other than that, it's everything you need to do what you want.

    Andrew Optimus Goldheart -

    You can remove these plate cover points with a pair of flat pliers if you grab the top gently and spin a tad to break their initial torque. Once free, remove with your fingers.

    juliuslopezcompany - Antwoord

  5. Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 5, afbeelding 1 van 2 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 5, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • After a bit of work—more than we were expecting—we're able to flip the Wi-Fi antenna/shield plate out of the way.

    • Unfortunately, we're not home free yet. One end of the Wi-Fi antenna cable is clamped firmly to the plate, while the other end is screwed down onto the logic board.

  6. Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 6, afbeelding 1 van 3 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 6, afbeelding 2 van 3 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 6, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • Upon removal, the fan seems identical to the one from the previous model—but let's not be too quick to judge a fan by its cover.

    • Advanced Hydraulic Bearing

    • Hmm. Interesting. What exactly is Advanced Hydraulic Bearing? Let's find out. According to Asia Vital Components:

    • AHB "consists of a polished steel shaft, a sintered bearing and fluid lubricant." In this system there "is no contact between shaft and bearing" and thus "the bearing load is carried solely by a film of fluid lubricant."

    • AHB is best for fans that operate at a lower speed. It's better at absorbing shock and dampening vibration than traditional ball bearings, making for a quieter fan.

    Do you think this fan would fit a 2011/12 model - and offer an improvement?

    Simon Cresswell - Antwoord

    I had the same question, but I just grabbed a 2012 quad core from apple's refurb site and it runs much more quietly than the previous 2011 i5 dual core with radeon that I had.

    The 2012 fan replacement is $60, not sure how much the improvement would be.

    msgalicki -

  7. Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 7, afbeelding 1 van 3 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 7, afbeelding 2 van 3 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 7, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • The AirPort card is dispatched after removing one screw and disconnecting two more antennas from their sockets.

    • Gone is the funky cable-connected AirPort card of yesteryear, this AirPort card is now full-fledged PCIe, supporting Wi-Fi ac.

    • Let's take a look at the ICs found on the AirPort card:

    • Broadcom BCM4360KML1G 5G WiFi 3-Stream 802.11ac Gigabit Transceiver

    • Skyworks SE5516 Dual-Band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN Front-End Module

    • RF Micro RFFM4293 2.5 GHz FEMS and RFFM4591 5 GHz FEMS

    • Broadcom BCM20702 Single-Chip Bluetooth 4.0 HCI Solution with Bluetooth Low Energy Support

    Is the Airport card competible with Mac mini 2012?

    didierma - Antwoord

    I wonder if the WiFi card can be replaced with a second PCIe drive since it looks to be Apple's standard drive connection. Then WiFi and Bluetooth can be optionally added via USB dongles.

    MMS - Antwoord

    Can this chip be upgraded to a chip that includes Bluetooth 4.1 or higher?

    Dan - Antwoord

    • Using our handy hand-powered Mac mini logic board removal tool, we handily remove our Mac mini's handsome logic board.

    • While past Mac minis have featured two SATA ports, allowing users to upgrade their base model with an extra hard drive, this year we only get one.

    • However, this empty socket over here may well be a spot for a PCIe cable, enabling the installation of a blade SSD.

    • More on this once we get our hands on a Fusion-equipped Mac mini.

    Is that possible to add one more SSD into the new Mac mini?

    maverickshen2010 - Antwoord

    Is it possible to replace the late 2012 logic board with a Logic board from the 2014?

    tom - Antwoord

    Is the SATA Hard Drive Cable here the same as your kit "Mac Mini Dual Drive Kit". I am planing to choose the 256G SSD equipped one and add a ST2000LM003.

    Yuuki Galaxy - Antwoord

    Yep, the cable is compatible. The kit as a whole is not, because you'll need a TR6 Torx Security screwdriver to get in. We're working on a complete solution now, but in the mean time you can use the kit with your own TR6 to get in.

    Andrew Optimus Goldheart -

    It says we need T5,T9,TR6 to teardown all screws, but I only got T5 here. Can I add a SATA disk with only T5 and TR6 ?

    Yuuki Galaxy - Antwoord

    This is only a teardown, a first look at the device, so we don't show every screw we unscrew. But you'll definitely need a T9 to remove the hard drive from the drive caddy. We'll have guides up fairly soon, check the device page for their appearance!

    Sam Goldheart -

    another couple of important notes for anyone following this disassembly process. There is another T6 screw holding the logic board in place. You’ll know you haven’t removed it because the right side of the logic board [as you push the tool away from you] does not want to come out. It does not take a lot of pressure to push the board out. Also, remove the T6 screw that holds the SATA cable to the logic board. A little metal plate falls off and your finger nail can easily lift the connector off the board. The small 5-pin connector also needs to come off, as well as the power connector. I hope this helps keep someone from breaking anything.

    John Pierce - Antwoord

    As stated above, please do not attempt to use this (or any other iFixit teardown) as instructions. We have extremely detailed guides for every step of this process, so there is no reason to risk breaking something by trying to use a teardown for something it was never intended to be.

    Jeff Suovanen -

  8. Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown, Update: stap 9, afbeelding 1 van 3 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown, Update: stap 9, afbeelding 2 van 3 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown, Update: stap 9, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • True to our word, we cracked open a Fusion drive equipped Mac mini, and it looks like our suspicions were accurate.

    • The empty connector is now filled—by a PCIe cable, glued to the top of the hard drive tray.

    • The SSD matches the one we found in the MacBook Air 13" Mid 2013 with the same chips:

    • Samsung S4LN053X01-8030 (ARM) flash controller

    • 8 x Samsung K9LDGY8SIC-XCK0 16 GB flash storage

    • Samsung K4P2G324ED 512 MB RAM

    So looks like I just require the flex cable part no 821-00010-A Can you supply this pretty please ?

    Mark Thorpe - Antwoord

    I can supply these if you still need.

    Thomas Hall -

    @Thomas: I'll need this

    Katrin -

    Will the 2012 model cable(s) be compatible with the sata connection on this board?

    Nick - Antwoord

    Tested, and yes, they use the same, compatible SATA cable (for the lower drive bay only).

    Andrew Optimus Goldheart -

    anyone know where to find the screw to secure the PCIe ssd slot?

    zhangchenxue0107 - Antwoord

    I have a SSD (SATA III) and want to install it with this socket. OS this possible? I watched for a cable and find ( this one. But I'll think my SSD wollt fit. So is there a fitting cable or do I have to work with a optional adapter?

    Any ideas? :)

    Katrin - Antwoord

    Is there any possibility to connect my SSD (SATA III) to this connector? Or does this only work for pcie hdds?

    Katrin - Antwoord


    Can I use Samsung NVME SSD in Mac Mini Late 2014

    Yasir Shafique - Antwoord

    I don’t see why not. Make sure it is upgraded to High Sierra and find the right adapter for NVME toApple PCIe.

    Ryan Galvan -

    I unfortunately bought wrong SSD:

    V-nand ssd

    970 evo plus

    NVMe M.2

    model mz-v7s1t0

    Already purchased upgrade kit from ifixit with known working cable.

    any chance this smaller connector exists for Mac mini late 2014, and works?

    Vince Mayo - Antwoord

  9. Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 10, afbeelding 1 van 1
    • Let's have a look at the ICs on the logic board:

    • Samsung K4E8E304EE-EGCE 8 Gb LPDDR3 DRAM (8 Gb x 4 = 32 Gb = 4 GB)

    • Unfortunately, the RAM is soldered to the logic board. This means that if you want to upgrade the RAM, you can only do so at time of purchase.

    • Cirrus Logic 4208-CRZ Audio Codec (a returning champion from a bevy of recent Apple products including the Mid 2013 MacBook Air and Mac Pro)

    • Broadcom BCM57766A1KMLG Ethernet PCIe Controller with SD3.0 Card Reader and ASF 2.0

    • Intel DSL5520 Thunderbolt 2 Controller

    • Delta Electronics LFE8904C-F Discrete LAN Filter

    • NXP 6142F and NXP PCA9501BS 8-bit I/O Expander

    Is that a backup battery in the upper-left corner under the black coin sized covering?

    mypalmlife - Antwoord

    I know I’m not inclined, but did anyone try to do a reflow to remove existing ram and upgrade to 8 or 16GB ? Just curious.

    Vince Mayo - Antwoord

    [DONT trust my suggestion unless you are a professional guy about hardware since I am not one of the professionals]

    I have searched around the web and found a 16Gb size RAM chip named K4E6E304EE-EGCE.

    with the same 178-FBGA but with Quad die packaged in 1 chip.

    the datasheet goes here.

    it might be working for us to solder off the old memory chips and replace them with this 16Gb version(the total size is 8GB, in bytes).

    it might work out of the box or need some extra tweaking or modification to the bootloader firmware to config the mac box to recognize the new RAM

    sf cdckt -

  10. Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 11, afbeelding 1 van 1
    • The IC party continues:

    • Microchip Technology 1428-7 420BE5A BMY System Management Bus (SMBus) Temperature Sensor

    • Cypress Semiconductor CY7C63833 LTXC enCoRe II Low Speed USB Peripheral Controller

    • Texas Instruments TPS51916 DDR3 Memory Power Solution Synchronous Buck Controller

    • Texas Instruments 58873D Synchronous Buck NexFET Power Block MOSFET Pair

  11. Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 12, afbeelding 1 van 1
    • The IC after-party:

    • Intel Core i5-4260U Processor with Intel HD Graphics 5000

    • Texas Instruments/Stellaris LM4FS1EH Microcontroller

    • Parade PS8401A HDMI Jitter Cleaning Repeater

    • Macronix MX25L6406E 64 Mb CMOS Serial Flash

    • Delta Electronics LFE8904C-F Discrete LAN Filter

    • Intersil 958 26AHRZ M419VL

    Anybody know what processors are used for the mid- and top-tier Mini? (2.6GHz i5 standard, 3.0GHz i7 upgrade)

    G David Frye - Antwoord

    To answer my own question, based simply on the specs, it looks like it has to be these processors:

    low-tier: i5-4260U

    mid-tier: i5-4288U standard, i7-4578U upgrade

    high-tier: i5-4308U standard, i7-4578U upgrade

    The performance specs of all these processors, compared to the previous generation of quad-core Minis, are abysmal.

    G David Frye -

    Depends on what you care about. The new ones should have slightly better single-thread performance, better graphics performance. Also, the new systems have faster I/O (2x Thunderbolt2) and can drive a 4k display out the HDMI port.

    The way I use it, I'd rarely miss quad-core.

    aamartin -

    mid-tier: i5-4278u , not i5-4288u

    Forcyy -

    Sigh. I'd been waiting for the 2014 Mini, but I just went on Amazon and bought a new MD388LL/A quad-core 2012 Mac Mini to replace either my 2009 Mac Mini OS X server, or 2008 Mac Pro.

    I might still buy a 2014 Mac Mini to replace the other one.

    Glenn Trewitt - Antwoord


    is the CPU soldered on the motherboard? or socketed ? can it be upgraded to a 4 cores CPU i7 ?

    Samer - Antwoord

    Does anyone know what conector lies next to the Macronix (MX25L6406E 64 Mb CMOS Serial Flash)?

    albertpf - Antwoord

    that would probably the interface connector to the serial interface, for in production testing purposes

    remcovdhondel -

  12. Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 13, afbeelding 1 van 2 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 13, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • We've got the power (supply) at the tips of our fingers. It's an easy extraction, even if it took a while to get here.

    • We get a slight rush before we realize it is the same as the 2012 model...which was the same as the 2011 edition.

    • In the immortal words of Gertrude Stein, "This is the lesson that history teaches: Repetition." (Put another way: Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.)

    Is it possible to remove the Power Supply and replace it with the HypeJuice 2 so the Mac Mini 2014 would become a portable unit?

    Roger Wells - Antwoord

    Can anyone help me with this question?

    Roger Wells -

  13. Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 14, afbeelding 1 van 3 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 14, afbeelding 2 van 3 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 14, afbeelding 3 van 3
    • Before we go, let's pull out the hard drive tray and take a look at the platter drive our mini came loaded with.

    • Tucked under the tray: a 500 GB, 5400 RPM HGST hard drive, coming in at 2.5" wide and 7 mm thin.

    • And on the top of the tray, a promising mounting point for a blade-style PCIe SSD, presumably what we'll find in a Mac mini equipped with Fusion Drive.

    • To test just how promising, we dropped in the SSD from our recently torn down 27" Retina 5K iMac (and used its mounting screw). Looks like a nice fit!

    Is a 9.5mm SATA SSD compatible with the Mac Mini late 2014?

    Forcyy - Antwoord

    confirmed. mac mini late 2014 can use a 9.5mm sata ssd.

    Forcyy -

    So was I stupid to order the Fusion drive? It sounds like if I get the standard drive then I can also add a PCIe SSD at a later date?

    Peter Krug - Antwoord

    No, you're not stupid. Fusion drives are integrated with software in a way that merely having a HDD and a SSD aren't. If you get an SSD later it will show up as a second drive (assuming it can be done).

    Erich -

    Well, Peter, you're not stupid because you'd risk voiding the warranty otherwise. However, Erich is not entirely right; creating a logical volume (a.k.a. Fusion Drive) in Terminal is fairly trivial (just make sure you create a USB OS X installer with DiskMaker X before popping open and screwing around with your Mini's innards and you'll be fine), and activating TRIM support is only a freeware download away (the TRIM enabling portion of TRIM Enabler is, thankfully, free). I've installed and configured such a setup on my 2009 27'' iMac, on many MacBooks and even on a 2012 Mini, and they have all been running just fine!

    mainyehc -

    No, you don't risk voiding your warranty unless you damage something. By law in the US, they can not void your warranty, they can only not cover the damage you create. Just make sure you know what you are doing :-)

    SlimboJimbo -

    I think a fusion drive is a smart move. If not then you would need the PCIe connector. Now you can replace the spinner with a SSD once price drops enough.

    mjl - Antwoord

    I wonder what the "Advanced Format" that is mentioned on the HDD is?

    mjl - Antwoord

    Next time just search on Google or Wikipedia:

    Honam1021 -

    Do we know where the SSD would plug into on the motherboard? Is it going to be possible to retrofit a third party (or Apple) PCIe SSD to a base model Mini that didn't come with a fusion drive?

    Or am I going to have to cancel my order and spend another £200(!) to get a two drive configuration in there?

    Kevin - Antwoord

    The third picture of step 8 shows a PCIe connector, which would take a custom cable to attach to the SSD. I fully expect iFixit to eventually sell an installation kit with this cable, along with mounting hardware and tools.

    aamartin -


    Does the Fusion Drive connect to the Logic Board with the same connection as a PCIE Flash Storage? (I don't fully understand SATA vs PCIE or PCIE Flash Storage vs SSD?)

    Anyway, I guess my question is:

    Does it matter what type of storage I originally choose (Fusion or PCIE Flash Storage) when I buy a 2014 Mac Mini if my goal is to later on replace the Fusion Drive with a 1TB SSD/PCIE?

    (I'm not talking about dual drive here, I just want to later on replace the 1TB Fusion Drive with 1TB of non spinning storage)


    Jason - Antwoord

    The 2014 Mac Mini has two drive connections, and the Fusion drive option takes up both. A 1 TB spinning SATA drive lives on the bottom, and a 128 GB PCIe SSD lives on top. Each connection has its own, different cable, and will only come in your configuration if it's necessary.

    If you order an SSD-only configuration, you will not get a SATA cable to plug in a SATA drive later on (but our Mac Mini Dual Hard Drive Kit includes that cable, so you can always get it from us later).

    In short, no matter what configuration, you can always eventually add a 1 TB SATA SSD, either by using an existing cable or buying ours. Adding a faster PCIe SSD is another question, that we hope to solve as well.

    Andrew Optimus Goldheart -

    @mjl: "Advanced Format" on the drive. I've seen the same wording on other HGST drives (I have some 4GB ones). I looked it up when I got the drives and found little behind it - it's a marketing term for *something* they do internally, but it has no effect on how you use the drive.

    jerryl - Antwoord

    What is the config of the SSD fitted Mac Mini? Did anybody check on this? I want to take the 1TB SSD PCIe and fit into my MacPro 2013 (basically swap the 256GB with the 1TB from Mac Mini). Then I want to put a 1TB SSD Drive into the Mac Mini where normally the HDD is. Question: In a pure PCIe SSD configured Mac Mini --> Does an SATA connector exist? Second question: Can you use the Samsung PCIe SSD in a Mac Pro 2013?

    Yves - Antwoord

    We've taken a look at the SSD-only Mac Mini, and it does not come with a SATA cable. Our Mac Mini Dual Hard Drive Kit does not yet officially support the Late 2014 Mac Mini, because of the inclusion of TR6 Torx Security screws. But, we have tested the kit's SATA cable and it is completely compatible. We'll have a complete solution soon, but if you're itching to get a SATA drive installed ASAP, I'd recommend getting the kit and a TR6 driver.

    Andrew Optimus Goldheart -

    Hi Andrew,

    Per your confirmation I tried using the SATA cable from your Data doubler kit, but it failed to work for me, where I could not initialize the new SSD drive even though it is recognized by the OS. Any tips? I confirmed the SSD drive works by way of a USB caddy that I tested against 2 other macbooks running Yosemite.

    Hermann - Antwoord

    Any update on using a second hard drive in the 2014 model?

    ismael -

    Does the T9 need to be a security bit too or will a regular one work?

    Pamela - Antwoord

    Only the T6 is a security bit, the T9 and the T5 screws don't have the central pin =)

    Sam Goldheart -

    At the beginning of this article under “Tools Featured in this Teardown”, a Torx T8 is listed. However, in the photo shown in this step (step 14) a Torx T9 is shown. Is there a reason for this?

    Please don't tell me that this is a technique IFIXIT is using to sell more items. Or is it really just a careless mistake that they didn't care to fix? I did see on other MacMini videos that the real size needed is a T9.

    Can anyone verify this?

    Joey - Antwoord

    There’s no conspiracy, I promise. A lot of Apple devices have screws where either a T8 or T9 bit will work, but T8 I believe is the “correct” size. (A T9 often feels more snug, but it won’t sit all the way down in the screw head.) The tools list at the top of the teardown is what you should go by. What you’re seeing in the photo is a teardown tech who grabbed a tool that worked, and went with it—I don’t think any of us expected that four years later someone would zoom in on the photo and try to make their tool selection based on the markings on the driver. ;)

    Jeff Suovanen -

    @jmccain37 Here’s a link to the guide, which is what you should reference for repairs. You’ll note that T8 is the correct size. Teardowns like the one on the page you’re looking at are meant to be an informative first look at the hardware, but you should never use them as a basis for repairs.

    Jeff Suovanen -

    @Jeff Suovanen

    Larger Torx drivers won’t fit in smaller Torx fasteners, but smaller drivers will. I have done this with torx screws using power tools running out of T25 bits vs. wasting time getting more T25s. A T27 bit would not fit, but a T20 bit worked well getting damaged. I fail to see how a T9 driver would work in a T8 fastener unless the fastener is cheaply made. Is that Apple? No!

    From what I see, the size is a T9, where the teardown tech had the correct size, but the write up grabbed a T8 which worked slightly loose, but didn’t have the expert knowledge, listing the size incorrectly as T8. The result would be slight damage to both the fastener and the driver. Unless of course the driver was from one of the German or Swiss tool companies - Wiha, Witte, Wera, PB Swiss, etc. Eventually an inferior tool (one made with a softer metal that is not hardened) would get damaged enough needing to be replaced - good for business aye? A true quality tool fits snug enough to hold the fastener without magnetism.

    Joey -

    Hi Joey, I’m not sure how else to assure you that the T8 is our best recommendation for you. A Torx bit is conical, so the tip of a larger driver can sometimes fit in the upper portion of a smaller screw. The teardown is made in less than 8 hours, the guides take many weeks to create, and are the canonical source of repair information.

    As for the rest, I’m not sure what implications are being made. Bad quality tools are bad for business, who would buy a driver from us if they kept breaking? Plus we offer lifetime warranties, replacements would only cost us money, not make it. We actually have drivers manufactured in Germany. Magnetism isn’t a seating mechanism, it’s purely to pick up screws after they’re removed. I hope that clears up some confusion! If you have additional concerns, please feel free to reach out to our Customer Service team.

    Sam Goldheart -

    There is a Torx Plus screw with lobes that are more square, allowing for higher torque and minimizing wear. Torx Plus drivers can't fit into standard Torx screws, but standard Torx drivers can drive Torx Plus screws, however, not to full torque due to the loose fit (cheap bits or drivers will get rounded). There is a security version of Torx Plus that has five lobes (instead of six) with a post in the center.

    Other variants exist such as Torx Plus Maxx Stems, Torx TTAP, even a tamper-proof Torx fastener called AudiTorx. It has a concave and smooth fastener head with a break-away Torx drive on top - it will snap off when the engineered torque is reached leaving a rivet-like bolt head that is difficult to remove. Scary.

    Rumored is that Apple contracted a German company to specially make security Torx Plus screws for the 2014 MacMini to make it hard to get inside, so more MacMinis can be sold - in essence making it a disposable product. If so, Apple is shrewd!

    So what Torx version is really in this machine?

    Joey - Antwoord

  14. Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 15, afbeelding 1 van 2 Mac mini Late 2014 Teardown: stap 15, afbeelding 2 van 2
    • Mac mini Late 2014 Repairability: 6 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

    • There's no glue anywhere inside that needs to be removed while disassembling the mini.

    • With the proper tools, disassembly is straight-forward and simple.

    • T6 Torx Security screws are intended to lock you out of your mini, and make it hard to clean the fan or replace the hard drive.

    • The CPU is soldered to the logic board and not user-upgradeable.

    • The RAM is now also soldered to the logic board, and not user-upgradeable.

    Torq 6 - I do not think it is to keep someone out. The plastic clips on the cover look to be in the same place but since the cover is a clip on the head of the screw is smaller / different and hence they finished up with a smaller Torq size. I even have some Torq 5 floating around. At least Torq is a standard configuration unlike some other stuff that is really custom designed.

    If they wanted to keep people out then they would have done something like they did in the old days: put a blob of paint over the head that you first had to scrape off. Then the inside would be marked with who did a repair.

    The major thing I have an issue with is that the HDD is in the bottom slot and that the logic board has to be removed in order to get to it.

    mjl - Antwoord

    It's not a regular Torq 6, It's a Torx Security screw T6. most kits go down to T7 or T8 Security.

    Forcyy -

    Good find, thanks for sharing!

    Toby Turner -

    thanks for the info!

    Forcyy -

    $205 for a mere 13 little bits?

    Screw that.

    icerabbit je -

    when I looked the 13 piece was $6.95 priced down from something like $13.95. Seems the priced has been upped somewhat (a lot).

    mjl - Antwoord

    That's what Apple hopes you'll say =8^p ... certainly for one job it's not worth it.

    originalmachead - Antwoord

    7mm disk? Will a 9.5mm hard disk fit?

    robert - Antwoord

    yep, I just replaced one. More than enough room. The apple 1 TByte that came out was 9.5 mm.

    CdL -

    Nice little kit that includes a T6 security for $10:

    jonathan - Antwoord

    Did you guys by chance try connecter an apple ssd (such as the 2010 or 2011 macbook air) to that wifi card module?

    There is some mixed information as to whether those operate on mini-pci or mSata, or m.2, etc...

    Boy if that worked that would be a super easy upgrade.

    Jeff McNabb - Antwoord

    I cannot believe that Apple made this change and soldered the RAM. I really wish somebody at the Apple store had warned me about this before I bought it!

    gonzalogz2 - Antwoord

    Nobody warned me too. OS update made the Mac slower. A person from Apple wasn't really listen to me, when I told the specs and the trouble with my Mac under Sierra. He always suggested another OS update and when I asked “Will my Mac work better" he always said, that this OS is designed to be fast. But never that this is valid for my Mac.

    At least, Garage Band and Video Editor doesn't run properly, Safari has interruption, Firefox less problems.

    Rob F -

    What do you mean by GarageBand and Video Editor doesn’t run properly?

    Patrick DonEgan -

    The lack of RAM is starting to manifest itself in the 2014 Mac Mini’s value. Doing a quick sample on eBay, I can see 2012 Mac Minis for sale for around £200-250, with several 4GB 2014s failing to reach the £200 mark. Of course, a 2012 model with 4GB is easy to upgrade to 16GB while the 2014 is impossible. It’s also possible to swap the hard drive on a 2012 model for an SSD without disconnecting the fan (easy to break), which can’t be done on a 2014. All in all, it’s complete lemon and a silly design decision from Apple.

    Ritchie Swann -

65 opmerkingen

Is there an obvious size or accessibility issue that forced them into soldering the RAM down? I know Apple is all about sleek and slim, but was this necessary? 8GB isn't bad for a small workstation, but you can't ever have too much RAM. The option for the future would have been nice.

spharvey - Antwoord

I think Apple was going for the simplest solution with the least amount of connections that could become loose. With the security screws, Apple obviously doesn't want anyone inside even though it appears to be easy to replace the hard drive, power supply, and fan. I see this as a commodity item where you replace instead of repair. I know that doesn't fit the mold of iFixit but at least they didn't glue it shut. If this model becomes the replacement for server farms, I would like to know how many Mac mini's are actually repaired when they fail and how many are simply replaced with new ones and fired back up (old ones either repaired or tossed).

plink53 -

Will iFixit be tearing down one of the higher spec mini models? I'm curious whether they have a secondary SATA connection and how replaceable are their SSDs.

Jeremy Ginsburg - Antwoord

I'm usually positive about new products but totally bummed about the Mac Mini line. I recently upgraded the ram on my Quad Core i7 Server to an undocumented 16GB, just by onscrewing the base and slipping 'em in. Felt great and made her run a lot more smoothly. Now I better take good care of her, because there'll be no more Quad Cores and no more user-upgradeable memory. And Apple couldn't give a shrimp. :-(

apj2121 - Antwoord

Are we sure that the higher end models will have soldered RAM as well?

cyadmark - Antwoord

We are now. :(

Todd VerBeek -

Nice report.

At first I was disappointed about the soldered-in RAM, but though it benefits Apple to keep any money spent on RAM upgrades, as a long time Mac fixer I suspect this may reduce memory failure. The tech for RAM slots is fragile / failure prone. Maybe soldered-in RAM is more reliable?

It's also nice to "set it and forget it;" just get as much or more RAM than you think you'll need and get on with using the machine. With today's SSD storage, the axiom that "you can never have too much RAM" doesn't hold as true - much faster page swaps between the memory and storage means one can run more or hungrier programs w/o noticeable bogging.

Think you didn't get enough RAM? Get or install the SSD card and make it your boot drive - you'll get a lot of bang for your buck! The ability to upgrade storage keeps this a viable platform for as long as needed.

BTW, I appreciated the Gertrude Stein quote. Thanks for bringing a bit of the literary arts world to the tech world - we need all the culture we can get. ;-)

Rex Raymond - Antwoord

Yes and no. Some apps simply need a lot of RAM, and if you run a bunch of these concurrently, you'll definitely feel the need for more of it. SSD, or even PCIe flash, is "further away" than RAM, and takes longer to read/write. Think of it this way: RAM is directly connected to the CPU, but HD/SSD/flash is connected thru the I/O subsystem.

aamartin -

It's ridiculous that the RAM is soldered on. I see a lot of people trying to rationalize it into something good, but for me this is Apple going too far. It's purely a profit focused decision, it has no actual benefit for the user and will make the device become obsolete much faster. These products should be boycotted.

Peterdk - Antwoord

It's August 2017 and I still can't find the solution to the problem of adding an SSD while keeping your existing HDD. Can anyone say whether this can be done?

Non Belieber -

@non_belieber I think I can assist you on what you’re trying to upgrade; please contact me privately, and/or review my thread related to the PCIe addition on a Late-2014 Mini. Regards!

Guille -

Why don't you use the Wiha security toolbit kit? It has nearly all the security bits use today, comes with a nice prretty driver and now wiha sella all the sizes of the pentalobe. so you get high quality german craftsmanship for their drivers. i am sorry, but your tool set is no comparison to quality german engineering.

jonweinraub - Antwoord

where did you find a Wihi security kit with T6 security torx-just looked. most don't have the smaller size

bksldr7 -

where did you find a Wiha security torx kit with the T6 security bit? Just looked and none had the smaller bit

bksldr7 -

I think the question everyone will be asking is: Is it possible to use the 2014 fan, wireless board and drive on a late 2012 version (and earlier)?

Luis Cardoso - Antwoord

i7 (still dual-core, no quad) and up to 1TB flash storage available as upgrades now when ordering, but those options plus 16GB ram gets you closer to low-end Mac Pro territory, price-wise.

Dirker - Antwoord

Why are you so obsessed with Torx screws, Torx 6 is a common size I have even smaller sizes in my tool kit. Its not some obscure screw size if you work in laptop repair. I get the feeling you like to impress amateurs by scaring them.

eestern - Antwoord

Its a T6 SECURITY bit that is needed. Not just a T6

SlimboJimbo -

we always need to add an external power button to each mac mini.

this usually means finding hidden solder pads or cutting the cables going to the power button.

have you guys found where we could tap into to remote an extra button?


Stephan Schulz - Antwoord

please describe how you did that before:

Patrick DonEgan -

Is it possible to remove the Mac Mini power supply and wire the HypeJuice 2 ( to make the Mac Mini 2014 a portable unit.

Roger Wells - Antwoord

The RAM module I think is not actually soldered, only that metal case is. Basically eny computer tech can unsolder with special hot aer gun and replace with the RAM you want.

Mariana M - Antwoord

Is it true that only frame is soldered?

Kostas Sinn -


Is it possible?

Kostas Sinn -

Apple claim to be a 'green' company, utter bull, how can you be 'green' if the product you are making has built in obsolescence?

On repairability, 6 is too high a score, imo. You are stuck with the ram you buy [who's going to pay Apple's prices for ram?}. When a PC goes wrong, one of the first things I do is check out the can one do this on this mac mini? Given the security screws, non user upgradability of the product -about the only thing you can do, replacing the HHD, invalidates the warranty I've been told- Apple are really taking its fanboys for the fools they are for continually paying top dollar for medium performance products.

Also the MBP and MBA models, Apple claimed the soldered ram and propriety flash was all about making their portables smaller, lighter and thinner...what is the excuse with the mac mini? Same size as the previous model -& NO option for a second drive- the latest mac mini shows that Apple is all about the money.

Apple are on their way to a repair-ability score of 0.

twatboss - Antwoord

I have a late 2014 mac mini,with standart 1TB spining hard drive. After reading all the coments I still have to questions :

a) Can I had an Pcie 256GB mSATA. Its enought buying the Mac Mini Dual Hard Drive Kit and the tools to remove the screws.

b) Once I have the new hard drive ( mSATA 256GB + 1TB SATA HD) will I be enable to configure Fusion drive in the Apple Disk utility software, for reinstall ?, or it will see two diferent hard drives.

vicente gonzalez - Antwoord

Hello! please refer to this thread and comments added on it, as I have been able to add a Samsung PCIe drive successfully with the proper connector and adapter: PCIe SSD on Mini Late 2014

I’m still looking for the correct way to make my own Fusion config.


Guille -

I have seen a few question about the role of 8904C-F chip. So far as my knowledge, it is temperature sensor.

davidshanlay - Antwoord

Even though RAM is soldered to the board, I think it can still be upgraded by desoldering it and replace with new ones.

davidshanlay - Antwoord


Is this possible?

Pls answer

Kostas Sinn -


Can someone give a definitive answer on what type of Torx driver is required for the hard drive? Top of the articles sayS Torx 9, then at bottom it's a Torx 9 Security and pictured is a Torx 9 Security too.

I'm confused?


amrgardner - Antwoord

Strictly speaking, the teardown isn't meant to be used as instructions. You'll have better luck with the hard drive replacement guide.

Jeff Suovanen -

Hi! Where do I get the HDD ribbon replacement? I broke the one I have and now my HDD is connected through external case via USB3.

Appreciate if you can guide me.


Nor Cab - Antwoord

Creative commentary - I was fascinated by the specifics - Does anyone know where I could possibly get ahold of a blank NC DoR NC-4 EZ example to complete ?

Liezel Limbo - Antwoord

Apple continues to disappoint everyone. Flip the design and have the memory, hard drive, M.2 drive user replaceable.

When people buy an Apple, it is a REAL investment of money, time, and energy.

Apple software won't work on ANY windows computers, so that little box has to last a long time.

Most people buying a Mini use lots of large-file media.

All of that can hang off the USB ports, but the lack of a BluRay disk writer is annoying.

It would be great if the Mac Mini came in 3 REAL levels - i3, i5, and i7 - Charcoal, Silver, and Gold.

The i7 Gold model should be a 6700K 4.0GHz.

RAM similarly should be 8GB, 16GB, 32GB - with dual storage 1TB, 2TB, 2TB + 1TB SSD - Seagate SSHDs work best for the 1TB.

I have my 2007 iMac Mini - DVD drive and all - upgraded to the max, and it still works well.

My next purchase is ASUS or GIGABYTE.

I have no need for a apple machine that literally locks me out of it's box !!!

SeaJay Oceans - Antwoord

Another example of Apple sh*tting on its customers. People have to vote with their wallets.

Non Belieber -

I'm stuck with another ultra-slow 2014 mac mini that I want to upgrade. Has anyone solved the problem of how to connect an SSD while keeping the existing 500GB HDD in place? Is there a cable that will allow me to do this? Thanks.

Non Belieber -

6700k could never work with that internal power supply, its only 7,5A 12v, but 6700k needs about 16A 12v, and its about 3 times bigger, so its impossible to fit that supply in such small case, second problem is heat from 6700k, it needs much more powerful fan and radiator and bigger case as well, so don’t blame apple on that

Ilya -

Have you guys tried to tear down a flash-only Mac mini? I wonder if I can buy a 256 flash drive Mac mini and then add an SSD for it

Zhenfu Shi - Antwoord

Hi. It is possible, at least I was able to add my own PCIe drive: PCIe SSD on Mini Late 2014 :)

Guille -

Have you guys tried to tear down a flash-only Mac mini? I wonder if I can add an SSD for a 256GB Mac mini

Zhenfu Shi - Antwoord

Can I assume that if I bought a Mac mini with the 256GB SSD I could add a hard drive and hard drive cable later? Would this function as a fusion drive even though the SSD is 256GB as opposed to the 128GB SSD in Apple's official fusion drive?

Michael Johnson - Antwoord

will someone be so kind as to tell me what part specifically is responsible for the front mac mini light? mine wont turn on after replacing the hard drive....thanks

alejandro begines - Antwoord

can someone please let me know what part specifically is responsible for the blinking mac mini front light? mine wont turn on anymore, after replacing the hard drive....thanks.

alejandro begines - Antwoord

Hi! i have mac mini (late 2014) 1,4GHz. I bought the flex connector for PCIe SSD. Can you suggest me a PCIe SSD which will be compatible with my mac ? Thanks.

PCh - Antwoord

Hi, please refer to: PCIe SSD on Mini Late 2014 :)

Guille -

How about x4 Lane PCIe SSD?

themiln - Antwoord

Which model specifically?

Guille -

So would it be possible to replace the HDD in the Mac mini with an SSD?

Derek Waechter - Antwoord

Is there a possible way to add RAM to the system, even external by way of flash memory at least like PC computers normally let you do?

Alex - Antwoord

Great guide. I will need this knowledge over the weekend

Mariusz - Antwoord

The Mac Mini (late 2017) also requires a tamper proof T5 to get the base open.

The Bionic Cyclist - Antwoord

Tried seeing if the ram was replaceable as Sierra is dead-slow on just 8GB of memory; bummer indeed.

Went ahead and deleted everything and fresh installed High Sierra on my 2014 Retina iMac and it’s quite fast but wanted the same for my Mac mini. The T6 screwdriver in my, oddly enough, “FixIt!” Walmart variety tool-kit did not even fit the screws. Must be different T6 standards?

Oh well. Going to try and install an older version of OSX to see if it will improve performance.

Mr. Nobody - Antwoord

Can anyone provide me with a clean working EFI chip dump?

Kyle - Antwoord

I took my four-year-old Mac mini, late 2014 apart to clean it. Only issue I ran into was with the cable coming from the power supply to the MB. The wires separated from the connector that the fan plugs into. It seems I may need a new motherboard. I am a board level master tech and can get the parts to repair the connector but the cable may be another matter.

Chrissy Michelle Strawn - Antwoord

Greetings, all. I’m hoping to take my late 2014 Mac Mini apart soon for some internal dusting… the fan has been making some rather frequent whooshing sounds and I’m hoping/suspecting it’s as simple as a little cleaning. Looking through this Teardown (which I know is not a cleaning/repair guide), I didn’t see any point where they used a T5 or T8 screwdriver — only the TR6. Will I need any tools other than the Opening Tool, the Logic Board Removal Tool and the TR6 screwdriver? Many thanks for your help.

Tim - Antwoord

Hi Tim,

It looks like those are the only tools you will need. Check out the Mac mini device page—we have many actual guides that will help you with your repair!

Arthur Shi -

Great — will do. Thank you, Arthur!

Tim - Antwoord

I have two dead A1347s on my bench. One has PS issues, the other won’t boot past the gray screen. Since I’m tearing them down, can I just slip an i7 into one? I’m not sure what either has at the moment. I do have 16Gb RAM in each.

David Larson - Antwoord

Nope, CPU is soldered.

David Fear -

Is it possible to take an i3 2014 mac mini and replace system board with i7 2014 system board from mac mini

Gino Vogt - Antwoord

my guess would be “yes” as usually the same year model has the same chassis.

Patrick DonEgan -

I upgraded my mac mini 2014 and added a 2.5” 1TB drive and a samsung evo 250 GB NVME Pcie SSD with adaptor to fit mac. I love my mac mini now it's blazing fast. Mac mini PCIE only has x2 PCIE lanes and the SSD has x4 so it's not as fast as the drive can handle I get RW of 800mbps

Terance Walsh - Antwoord

Something about the intel core i7 model with 16 Gb of ram?

Manuel Jesús Flores Jiménez - Antwoord

Voeg opmerking toe


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