Teardown Reveals New Mac Mini Has Space For Second Hard Drive… Or An SSD



Apple’s new Mac mini has been available for two days now, and so it’s time for the company’s smallest desktop to get the iFixit teardown treatment. Though little has changed inside its svelte aluminum shell, Apple’s decision to remove the optical drive means there’s plenty of room for to double your storage… or even speed up your Mac mini dramatically.

A 2.3GHz Core i5 Mac mini became iFixit’s latest victim. Many of its internal goodness remains the same as the last-generation Mac mini, though there is room for new technology like its high-speed Thunderbolt I/O and Bluetooth 4.0. As you’d expect from Apple machines, that i5 processor is soldered to the logic board and therefore not upgradable.

The disappearance of an optical drive in the latest mini, together with availability of a second SATA hard drive-to-logic board cable, means it’s entirely possible for users to double their storage with an additional hard disk or solid state drive, according to iFixit. Go the latter root and you’re looking at a nice performance bump.

Of course, this may have already been obvious, what with the ability to custom build a Mac mini with dual hard drives from Apple, however, this option is only available to those purchasing the more expensive 2.5GHz i5 model. Users may not be aware how simple it can be to install a second drive to a low-end Mac mini themselves, or additional RAM for that matter.

iFixit rates the latest Mac mini 8 out of 10 for repairability, suggesting it’s not too difficult for the more discerning user to repair or upgrade their own machine, avoiding that famous ‘Apple tax’.

Will you be installing a second drive in your mini?

  • Peter Pollack

    To be honest, I have just purchased an external 1TB HD for £50. Whats all the fuss about! http://f-stopdigital.co.uk

  • Bob Forsberg

    There’s no proprietary cable for the drive terminal. You might also remember Apple made a third party HD addition difficult in the new iMacs.

    Its a nice little computer, but the ram will probably remain the only thing serviceable in this new MacMini offering without major “nerding”. The MacMini server, comes with two 7,200rpm drives and i7 power, with upgraded ram.

  • haolema2
  • William Pippy

    Having torn down and upgraded the hard drive in 2 2010 Minis, the SATA connector would have been for the Super Drive. That leads me to believe that one would only need a second Mini SATA connecter from someone like OWC to connect a second Hard Drive. This upgrade is very simple for anyone that is half handy with electronics. It took me only 30 minutes to replace mine at best. $600.00 for the 256GGB Apple SSD drive is just nuts in my opinion, I’ll be cracking my case and installing a a new SSD as soon as it arrives. My question to get answered is where would a temp. sensor attach, or would we even need one on a SSD?

  • Dreamgrifter Films

    It has options for dual HD or HD + SSD when ordering online.  Is the secondary HD slot really a mystery/

  • MrMLK

    “Dual drive in standard configuration of some Mac Minis reveals New Mac Mini has Space for Second Hard Drive…Or an SSD”

    next week

    “8 GB Option on Apple Web Site reveals New Mac Mini has Support for 8 GB”

    and Finally

    “Sound Emanating From New Mac Mini reveals New Mac Mini has Internal Speaker”