Yes, you read that correctly! It’s possible to upgrade the RAM in the new Mac mini all by yourself. It’s a tricky process, but it will save you some cash — and iFixit’s new upgrade guide will help you along every step of the way.
The standard Mac mini configuration offers 8GB of RAM, but the new machine will support up to 64GB. If you get all 64GB pre-installed by Apple, it will cost you a whopping $1,400, taking the total cost of the Mac mini (if you don’t upgrade anything else) to $2,199.
It would be significantly cheaper to buy your machine with 8GB of RAM and purchase 64GB from another source before installing it yourself. The upgrade won’t void your warranty — as long as you don’t break anything during the installation process.
Fortunately, the iFixit community is here to help you do it right.
How to upgrade the RAM in the 2018 Mac mini
The 2014 Mac mini, the most recent model before this week’s upgrade, didn’t allow for RAM upgrades; the memory chips were soldered to the logic board. In earlier iterations, upgrades were easy because RAM was the first thing you had access to when removing the unit’s base.
With the 2018 refresh, getting to the RAM is more difficult because you need to remove the Mac mini’s internals from its aluminum shell — but it’s still possible. And if you know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t have any issues.
iFixit rates this an easy upgrade, and its 11-stage guide will show you exactly how to handle the process from start to finish. Before you get started, you’ll need your new RAM modules (obviously) and the following tools:
- TR6 Torx screwdriver
- T9 Torx screwdriver
- P5 Pentalobe screwdriver
- iFixit opening tools (or similar)
- A spudger
It should be noted that this is an iFixit community guide — not an official iFixit guide — but it is perfectly accurate, and filled with step-by-step photos that are a huge help. Just be sure to follow the instructions closely.