This Apple M1 Mac Mini Cyberpunk Mod Not Only Looks Cool It's Also Absolutely Tiny
Pointing out that the Mac Mini design has existed for 12 years, Quinn Nelson of Snazzy Labs decided to take it upon himself to miniaturize the already small form factor of the device. After removing the case, he points out that the M1 version of the device still houses pretty much the same power supply and cooling as its Intel-based predecessor. Considering that the M1 MacBook Air has almost identical hardware and uses passive cooling, Quinn calls this overkill and we would tend to agree. After tearing out some of that unneeded hardware, the video points out that most of the primary subsystem components are soldered directly to the motherboard. There is, however, a pretty hefty rear IO shield that houses the 3 WiFi antennas for the device and, of course, the IO.
However, does the fact that this IO shield is somewhat standardized enforce that the form factor must remain the same? Not exactly; there is quite a lot of parts harvesting that can happen here. That doesn't mean it will be easy, though. Apple hasn't been particularly friendly to the modification and self-repair community in the past, recently announcing they'd supply Face ID repair modules but only to authorized repair technicians. All that said, our presenter here points out that someone well-versed in removing adhesives and safely using soldering tools should have little to no trouble getting the shield removed and keeping needed components intact. Once removed, moving around the rest of the IO was pretty trivial.
The next hurdle for a project like this is the power supply. The Mac Mini comes with a 150 Watt PSU, which for this device also seems like overkill, as even under load, Quinn's testing showed it only maxing out at about 70 Watts of power draw. Further, using an old part from eBay and with some help from Mikeguyver, a computer mod enthusiast, he found a way to reduce the power supply needs and make his much smaller Mac Mini also MagSafe compatible. Note the tiny white MagSafe connector above (bottom left).
Images, credit: Snazzy Labs