[REVIEW] : The Mac mini M1 can really be mini, the proof

The Mac mini M1 was designed by Apple on the basis of the Intel model, in a case with a design imagined in 2010. While the computer no longer has an option to add an optical drive since 2010, nor to add a disc tough since 2018, this case has remained the same size, with its oversized 150W power supply and a large fan designed to cool an Intel Core i7. So many elements that have become useless that Apple did not remove at the end of 2020, but which could disappear with a new generation rumored to be expected this year.

In its most recent version released in 2020, the Mac mini got an M1 chip but it kept the exact same design used by the company since 2010. Indeed, in 12 years, he has not been entitled to a nice makeover.

However, teardowns have revealed that the Mac mini M1 contains a fairly large amount of empty space. Indeed, the shell was originally designed for Intel processors or components, which have since been miniaturized, especially in 2020.

Recall that the latest rumors, there would be talk of a Mac mini Pro this year, which would ship more efficient versions of the M1 chip, the M1 Pro and M1 Max (or even an M2), sport a more modern design, and finally one more complete connectivity.

A DIY Mac mini to take up less space

The Mac mini hasn’t changed its design since 2010, not even for the switch to Apple Silicon architecture, which could have made it possible to create a much more compact computer. The chassis of the Mac mini with M1 chip is indeed not well filled, and some components that have been kept as they are for the new architecture are now oversized. This is particularly the case with the 150 W power supply and the large fan.

We will quickly go over the off-putting aesthetic aspect, the chassis having been 3D printed with resin and the technical aspect being much more interesting. Quinn Nelson has indeed stripped down a Mac mini M1, removed the fan, tinkered with a MagSafe connector on a 65 W power supply from Microsoft, created a custom case to house the motherboard, changed the location of the antennas and the power button. switching on… The new Mac is completely silent and does not show any loss of performance thanks to the passive cooling of the case whose grid is inspired by that of the Mac Pro.

A big overhaul of the Mac mini is a priori in the pipeline. She was the subject of many rumors last year, and the presentation is now imminent. If we are to believe the rumors we have, rather than reducing the footprint of the case, Apple would rather reduce its thickness. We don’t know if Apple will opt for an internal power supply like on the current model or for an external block like on the iMac, but Quinn Nelson’s high-flying tinkering shows us in any case that it won’t take a lot of efforts to Cupertino engineers to create a computer smaller than today.

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