Mac Mini Teardown Provides Real-World Look at M1 Chip on Smaller Logic Board

A teardown of the new Mac mini has surfaced on the forum eGPU.io (via Reddit), providing us with a real-world look at Apple's new M1 chip, which is soldered onto a much smaller logic board than the one found in the 2018 model of the computer.

m1 mac mini teardown 1
The M1 is the silver chip labeled with APL1102, housing the 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine, I/O controllers, and more all in one. The unified system memory is also visible on the right side of the chip, and takes up far less space than the standalone RAM modules used in the previous Mac mini, contributing to the smaller logic board.

m1 mac mini teardown 2
As expected, the switch to unified system memory also means that there is no user-upgradeable RAM, as there was with the previous Mac mini, so choose wisely between 8GB or 16GB of memory when configuring the Mac mini on Apple's online store. The SSD also remains soldered to the logic board, so there is no user-upgradeable storage either.

A video teardown of the new Mac mini has also surfaced, revealing that the overall disassembly process is similar to the 2018 model:


There's also a video teardown of the new MacBook Air, providing a peek inside the notebook, although many components are covered with shielding. We'll have to wait on iFixit for its more in-depth teardowns of the new Macs for a closer look.

Related Roundup: Mac mini
Buyer's Guide: Mac Mini (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

CarlJ Avatar
14 weeks ago

They couldn't make a smaller enclosure for this? Really?
Why? Then they’d have to make it bigger next year when/if they put more stuff in it.

I think the number of people in the “the Mini would be nice but it won’t fit my available space” crowd isn’t much of a crowd.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
14 weeks ago

I think the number of people in the “the Mini would be nice but it won’t fit my available space” crowd isn’t much of a crowd.
I don't know, man, I think some people find it a tight fit.



Attachment Image
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chucker23n1 Avatar
14 weeks ago

They couldn't make a smaller enclosure for this? Really?
Why do multiple engineering challenges at a time when you don't have to?

Odds are the Air and mini will both receive a redesign in the next two or so years.

Both the 68k-to-PowerPC nor the PowerPC-to-Intel transitions came with mostly identical cases:


* the 6100 was the same cases as the 660AV
* the 8100 as the 840AV
* the 7100 was a little different to the 650, I believe
* the MacBook Pro was virtually identical to the PowerBook G4 except for things like adding a webcam
* the (Intel) iMac looked just like the iMac G5
* the Mac mini was identical
* the MacBook that came after a few months was a noticeable change from its preceding iBook

So, we might see a model or two next year that looks noticeably (but not drastically) different. The iMac would be one obvious choice.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
b13o0r12e3 Avatar
14 weeks ago
I wonder where they took inspiration from...

Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adamw Avatar
14 weeks ago
I am so excited to see what is inside my new Apple Silicon Mac mini! I am especially happy to learn that the M1 Mac mini has 2 Thunderbolt 3 controller chips (one for each Thunderbolt/USB4 port) so they do not need to share bandwidth, nor reduce device speed, between the 2 Thunderbolt 3 40Gbps ports.

I just received my custom order M1 Mac mini yesterday with 16GB RAM and 1 TB SSD Flash drive. I love it! Although 8GB RAM seems to be fine for most people, I chose to go 16GB because of Final Cut Pro video editing. From everything I see the M1 Mac mini works great for video editing (even 8GB RAM). See The Everyday Dad video about Mac mini M1 video editing:

Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
glsillygili Avatar
14 weeks ago
They couldn't make a smaller enclosure for this? Really?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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