Mac Minis may be small, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get even smaller. After opening up a M1 Mac mini, Snazzy Labs found out that there was still a lot of bulk from the days the portable computer was powered by Intel. In a video detailing a DIY project, Snazzy Labs was able to custom build an improved M1 Mac mini that was reduced in size by 78 percent.
After Apple’s update to the Mac minis with the more efficient and powerful M1 chips, the Logic board takes up far less space compared to the previous generation, but it looks like Apple chose not to update the chassis design, leaving large fans and power supply alongside a bunch of empty space. To be fair, the current M1-powered Mac mini only weighs 2.6 lbs and is plenty portable, but Snazzy Labs wanted to see just how mini they could make it.
The more mini, the better — In the video, Snazzy Labs shows how to strip out the 150W power supply and the bulky fans and heatsink that the M1 Mac mini comes built with. But the project does get a little tricky, since you have to reconfigure the I/O that the Logic board is soldered to.
But the real challenge is with the power supply. Snazzy Labs did some outsourcing and reached out to Mikegyver Computers who, as the name implies, MacGyvered a suitable power supply that combines a Microsoft Surface adapter, a MagSafe charger, a DC voltage regulator and, of course, the Mac Mini Logic board. The YouTuber also had help from an anonymous viewer who assisted in designing a smaller chassis that took inspiration from the cheese grater design of Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro.
In Apple we trust — If you are planning to pursue this DIY project, Snazzy Labs released all the print files necessary for the chassis of the build and even assembly instructions on Prusa Printers. It’s definitely not a project for the faint of heart, but the end result shows us what a real Mac mini should look like.
Of course, you can just wait for Apple to realize the error in their ways and release a M1 Mac mini that does away with all the unnecessary bulk from its Intel era. Even Snazzy Labs is predicting that Apple will eventually make its M1-equipped products, like the Mac mini and the MacBook Air, as tiny and thin as possible. But don’t forget that Apple could soon be releasing products built with its next-gen M2 chips.