Monday, Mar 07, 2022, 13:21 Mac: Hardware

Video: Home Project Shows How Small A Mac mini M1 Could Technically Be

The impressive performance possible with Apple's M1 SoCs is apparent not only on the company's passively cooled notebooks and the 24" iMac, but also on the iPad Pro – where Cupertino has also used the Apple Silicon processor since the introduction of its last generation of notebooks. Yes, there is some throttling of the chip during continuous load on the iPad Pro where there's no fan for cooling the device. Despite the chip not having a dedicated cooling system, the Apple Silicon M1 is still an impressive, high-performance CPU in the flat tablet. This fact also gives us some insight into how much more compact a Mac mini with M1 could technically be. Recently, a tech hobbyist took on the task of significantly reducing the size of the device's housing... By more than 80%.

Unnecessary? Get Rid Of It
A large part of the Mac mini's interior consists of its cooling system which ensures that the M1 will continue to perform at the same level over extended periods of time without any dips in performance. However, those who don't repeatedly place high demands on the CPU aren't in need of an active cooling system – at least, this was much of the project's premise. In order to retain all of the Mac mini's capabilities, the antenna had to be removed and remounted in a more space conserving location.

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Power Adaptor & MagSafe
The Mac mini's power adaptor is also equally overkill. It can deliver up to 150 watts, however, even when a display and accessories are connected to all of the Mac mini's ports, the device never uses more than 67.5 watts. Our handy man thus chose another approach and combined the MagSafe's connector with the power adaptor for a Microsoft Surface. The Mac mini's housing also came from another home project – although a 3D printer was used in its case.

Not Necessarily Good Looking – But It Works
Although the end result isn't necessarily attractive, it is unique (it's the smallest desktop Mac ever made) and most importantly – it does work. After putting things together, it does also manage to run smoothly. However, the builder didn't mention whether or not the MagSafe Frankenstein-adaptor led to inadvertent restarts. The MagSafe 2 plug's design makes it so malleable that even light touches can separate the device from its charger.

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