Originally Posted by tommychan
May I ask if we have a chance to replace the DVD drive with a bluray?
It may not have the power to push a BRD, but first you have to find one that fits. It's a 9.5mm ultra-slim slot-loading drive that appears smaller than the one they were using previously. Small isn't cheap!
Originally Posted by Marvin
It sort of looks like you could get the hard drive out without removing the logic board but if not then I'd say it's worse that the old one in that regard. You're not likely to switch the drive often but it's unnecessary to require disconnecting so many parts to get to it - you almost have to take apart the whole machine. There are 3 cables on it (two of which seem to be thermal sensors) and once those are off, you may be able to lift it up and out.
If it's so tight a fit that you can't do that, there's also no way a 12.5mm drive will go in there. The server model should still take one 12.5mm drive but in the slot where the optical was.
If what I think will eventually happen, happens. IOWs, the ODD being removed, then there would be room to push the logic board and/or PSU into the space occupied by the HDD, which would make room for a Core-i and dGPU, and potentially another fan or larger fan and heatsink.
Over-engineering or not, making this machine for just a couple revisions is pointless. When you consider how long the previous case design lasted it seems even sillier. I can't think of another avenue they'll take with it except to remove the ODD at a time they deem right and then move to Core-i + dGPUs in their smaller systems.
When you look at the laptops, you get the top shell which is carved aluminum and the bottom plate is simply screwed on. Once you unscrew that bottom plate, all the components are accessible.
All Apple had to do was put 4 screws on the bottom of the Mini with a fairly flat aluminum plate. Obviously there would be 4 screw holes but it's on the bottom, where nobody sees them. Even if the rubber pad was still there but the 4 screw holes were visible when it was removed and then you just take the entire bottom plate off.
Which is why I think your assessment is dead on. As you are aware, they went to all this trouble to mill a a solid block on aluminium when it wasn't remotely necessary. It's not a notebook being moved around where rigidity and lightness are important factors.
On top of that, they did it in a machine that is using a CPU technology that has a dead end in sight and will require them to move to a dGPU unless they have some special deal in works with Intel and Nvidia or have some inside info about Intel's IGPs that we don't.