M1 Mac mini teardown reveals smaller logic board, non-upgradeable RAM

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 31
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,764member
    mjtomlin said:
    sflocal said:
    If Apple really wanted to, they could probably get the Mac mini's footprint to be slightly larger than what an AppleTV box is.  I bet when it comes time to redesign the chassis, it's going to shave a lot of heft off the next gen ASi systems.

    Only if they remove the power supply. At least 25% of the inside is taken up by it.
    The current AppleTV has an integrated power supply.  That’s pretty small. 
    lkruppchiaargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 31
    Someday our computers will be so small they will be embedded in the power cable. The power cable will go straight from the power outlet to your monitor at the other end, while the computer sits inside the cable. So the power cable will have 110V connectors at one end and a Thunderbolt 5 port at the other end. No ports are required because each Thunderbolt display will have a hub of ports, and also because wireless. Should I be patenting this, or is it too obvious?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 31
    Since the M1 chip doesn't generate much heat, I'm pondering whether Apple could place a large number of chips (32?) onto a PCI-e card as an expansion card option for the next Apple Silicon Mac Pro. One thing that Apple would probably do to make this more useful is remove all eight GPUs because they don't serve much purpose in a farm of CPUs. In fact, Apple should also remove the four low speed CPU cores and replace those with extra high speed cores. This way you could have a few hundred high speed Apple Silicon cores on a single expansion card. I would estimate that the GeekBench 5 Multicore score for a single expansion card would be about 500,000. Although that expansion card would definitely cost at least $2000.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 31
    entropys said:
    The RAM is separate to the SOC? Interesting.
    Apple is attaching the RAM to the SoC's package for performance. The RAM isn't part of the SoC itself. On phones this sort of package sometimes stacks the RAM on top of the SoC, but the M1 evidently puts the RAM on the side to better manage heat (and allow for things to get hotter without cooking the RAM). 

     
    randominternetpersonmuthuk_vanalingamstompyargonautwatto_cobra
    M1.jpg 231.1K
  • Reply 25 of 31
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,530member
    Why are some of you assuming these entry level M1 machines are all we get? Why the whining about RAM, 10GbE, ports, eGPU, etc? What do you expect from a low power, entry level, first generation paradigm change. Why not imagine what’s waiting for us when the truly Pro machines make the transition? I was going to replace my late 2013 iMac 14,2 with the 2020 Intel update but I’ve changed my mind. I’m expecting the ASi iMac to be a beast of major proportions.
    edited November 2020 tmayrandominternetpersonmuthuk_vanalingamchiaargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 31
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    lkrupp said:
    Why are some of you assuming these entry level M1 machines are all we get? Why the whining about RAM, 10GbE, ports, eGPU, etc? What do you expect from a low power, entry level, first generation paradigm change.
    Who’s making that assumption? Once again, stop taking personally any reasonable criticism of your favorite company. These machines are a step backwards for maximum RAM and thunderbolt ports. That’s a fact. That fact stops some of us buying. No one is saying these machines aren’t useful for average, non-power-user customers; I bet my girlfriend would be quite well served by the MacBook Pro 13” that just released.

    However, the “pro” and the mini aren’t previously considered “low end” and the criticism still stands: the maximum capabilities are reduced with this new set of machines compared to the prior set. Nobody is saying it’ll be like this forever. In fact, I’ve seen a lot of optimism about this being a good first start, which is also my opinion. I’m hoping that power users will be next in line, in terms of the customer market segment to be targeted by the next batch of new machines. We just have to keep watching.
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahgargonaut
  • Reply 27 of 31
    XedXed Posts: 1,062member
    dysamoria said:
    lkrupp said:
    Why are some of you assuming these entry level M1 machines are all we get? Why the whining about RAM, 10GbE, ports, eGPU, etc? What do you expect from a low power, entry level, first generation paradigm change.
    Who’s making that assumption? Once again, stop taking personally any reasonable criticism of your favorite company. These machines are a step backwards for maximum RAM and thunderbolt ports. That’s a fact. That fact stops some of us buying. No one is saying these machines aren’t useful for average, non-power-user customers; I bet my girlfriend would be quite well served by the MacBook Pro 13” that just released.

    However, the “pro” and the mini aren’t previously considered “low end” and the criticism still stands: the maximum capabilities are reduced with this new set of machines compared to the prior set. Nobody is saying it’ll be like this forever. In fact, I’ve seen a lot of optimism about this being a good first start, which is also my opinion. I’m hoping that power users will be next in line, in terms of the customer market segment to be targeted by the next batch of new machines. We just have to keep watching.
    I’ve read plenty of bitching about Apple’s entry level options for the M1 Macs. Yes, complaining about Apple not having this or that in the cheapest and smallest Macs when there are still Intel Mac options with the features they’re clamoring for is suggesting that this is all we get is bitching. Personally, I’m excited about these Macs because it means that the 16” MBP option I’m (impatiently) waiting for will be amazing.

    Let’s wait until the M-series transition is complete to see what did and didn’t make the cut, and then I suggest we make a concerted effort to see how that really affects us in the long run. Just as we’ve seen with every other paradigm shift from Apple, the bitching eventually stops (at least for that item).
    edited November 2020
  • Reply 28 of 31
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,455member
    sflocal said:
    mjtomlin said:
    sflocal said:
    If Apple really wanted to, they could probably get the Mac mini's footprint to be slightly larger than what an AppleTV box is.  I bet when it comes time to redesign the chassis, it's going to shave a lot of heft off the next gen ASi systems.

    Only if they remove the power supply. At least 25% of the inside is taken up by it.
    The current AppleTV has an integrated power supply.  That’s pretty small. 

    There's a lot more than just the SoC that draws power in a computer; SSD, WiFi, etc. Also the AppleTV doesn't have to supply power to external devices... USB4 spec requires at least 7.5W of power per port to external devices, and can go up to 100W (to power external displays). The power supply has to provide for that. So even though the M1 may max out at 20W-25W, the Mac mini may need to be able to supply more than 100W just to supply the USB busses.

    The M1 being used in the mini (and 13"Pro) is a fluke. As I've stated before, I do believe this was designed specifically for the Air, and as a "bonus" side effect of its high performance - they decided it could be released in other entry level models - and that the next SoC (M1X) was designed for both of those systems along with the 21.5" iMac.
    edited November 2020 Xed
  • Reply 29 of 31
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,455member

    dysamoria said:
    lkrupp said:
    Why are some of you assuming these entry level M1 machines are all we get? Why the whining about RAM, 10GbE, ports, eGPU, etc? What do you expect from a low power, entry level, first generation paradigm change.
    Who’s making that assumption? Once again, stop taking personally any reasonable criticism of your favorite company. These machines are a step backwards for maximum RAM and thunderbolt ports. That’s a fact. That fact stops some of us buying. No one is saying these machines aren’t useful for average, non-power-user customers; I bet my girlfriend would be quite well served by the MacBook Pro 13” that just released.

    However, the “pro” and the mini aren’t previously considered “low end” and the criticism still stands: the maximum capabilities are reduced with this new set of machines compared to the prior set. Nobody is saying it’ll be like this forever. In fact, I’ve seen a lot of optimism about this being a good first start, which is also my opinion. I’m hoping that power users will be next in line, in terms of the customer market segment to be targeted by the next batch of new machines. We just have to keep watching.

    "low end" is a relative term (it is synonymous with "entry level"). Low end applies to every category... low end iMac, low end Mac Pro. It just designates where in the product line that particular model falls relative to other models in that line.

    The Air is a direct replacement of previous models, there is no step backwards; previous models maxed out at 16GB RAM and only had 2 USB-C ports.
    The "low end" 13" Pro only ever came with 2 USB-C ports (and not sure how much RAM it could have).
    The mini is where both RAM and external expandability did fall.

    I's also like to point out that people new to the Mac are not going to think these systems are a "step back". Most people who would consider buying the low-end models are usually those that are casual users and probably won't ever need 4 USB-C ports and anything more than 16GB RAM.
    edited November 2020
  • Reply 30 of 31
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,880member
    Since the M1 chip doesn't generate much heat, I'm pondering whether Apple could place a large number of chips (32?) onto a PCI-e card as an expansion card option for the next Apple Silicon Mac Pro. One thing that Apple would probably do to make this more useful is remove all eight GPUs because they don't serve much purpose in a farm of CPUs. In fact, Apple should also remove the four low speed CPU cores and replace those with extra high speed cores. This way you could have a few hundred high speed Apple Silicon cores on a single expansion card. I would estimate that the GeekBench 5 Multicore score for a single expansion card would be about 500,000. Although that expansion card would definitely cost at least $2000.
    The style of multiprocessing you describe has been used in very narrow niche applications for at least three decades. It’s not really a technical limitation. It comes down to the question: “What problem are you trying to solve?” I once worked on a project where we bought raw i860 dies (unpackaged ICs) from Intel that we populated 8 of on a board that was less than 3”x3” in size with dozens of these boards housed in a water cooled chassis. It was/is a super specialized and super expensive application, not a general purpose consumer product to say the least. This style is not Apple’s bread & butter, at least not today. I’m pretty sure Apple has very big dreams around the possibilities that its Apple Silicon investment opens up, but they are going to always play to their strengths and do what makes sense for the broad market they serve.
  • Reply 31 of 31
    XedXed Posts: 1,062member
    mjtomlin said:

    dysamoria said:
    lkrupp said:
    Why are some of you assuming these entry level M1 machines are all we get? Why the whining about RAM, 10GbE, ports, eGPU, etc? What do you expect from a low power, entry level, first generation paradigm change.
    Who’s making that assumption? Once again, stop taking personally any reasonable criticism of your favorite company. These machines are a step backwards for maximum RAM and thunderbolt ports. That’s a fact. That fact stops some of us buying. No one is saying these machines aren’t useful for average, non-power-user customers; I bet my girlfriend would be quite well served by the MacBook Pro 13” that just released.

    However, the “pro” and the mini aren’t previously considered “low end” and the criticism still stands: the maximum capabilities are reduced with this new set of machines compared to the prior set. Nobody is saying it’ll be like this forever. In fact, I’ve seen a lot of optimism about this being a good first start, which is also my opinion. I’m hoping that power users will be next in line, in terms of the customer market segment to be targeted by the next batch of new machines. We just have to keep watching.

    "low end" is a relative term (it is synonymous with "entry level"). Low end applies to every category... low end iMac, low end Mac Pro. It just designates where in the product line that particular model falls relative to other models in that line.

    The Air is a direct replacement of previous models, there is no step backwards; previous models maxed out at 16GB RAM and only had 2 USB-C ports.
    The "low end" 13" Pro only ever came with 2 USB-C ports (and not sure how much RAM it could have).
    The mini is where both RAM and external expandability did fall.

    I's also like to point out that people new to the Mac are not going to think these systems are a "step back". Most people who would consider buying the low-end models are usually those that are casual users and probably won't ever need 4 USB-C ports and anything more than 16GB RAM.
    All salient points, but I can see the Mac mini reduce in size considerable after looking at teardown of the M1 Mac mini. I wonder if a double stacked Apple TV could have enough volume for all the needed components. That would make Mac mini server racks even more attractive. I certainly would love the return of a functional Cube.
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