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Unboxing Gallery – Mac mini (2011)

We’ve got one of the 2011 Mac minis; here’s what we saw when we opened it up!

OWC Chris S.
the authorOWC Chris S.
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  • Do you guys have a server version of the new mini too? It looks like the ones in the pictures are of the non-server version since it’s an i5. I’m ordering a server mini to replace my old mac pro and plan to put a 240 GB OWC ssd in it since the one in my MBP is so awesome. I’m wondering though which drive the os is installed on so that I can replace the other one. It’ll make installing Lion on the SSD a bit easier.

    • Yes, we do have a server version as well. The OS is located on the “lower” drive.

      • Great! Thanks! Just got notice of both my mini and SSD (my 2nd 240gb 6G) shipping. Should have them on Wednesday to do the upgrade.

  • I just purchased a 2.5 ghz mini and I’m very excited to upgrade it with an OWC ssd. Will it be worth it to go with the 6g or should I stick with the 3g?

    • We’ve seen no issues so far with the 6G models and preliminary testing shows they are fast! Likely will be posting some benchmarking results within the week.

  • I’d be interested in an SSD, and I’m wondering if either of the 6G versions will be of any benefit in the Mac mini and will I get TRIM support via Lion or will I have to use a third party option?

    Are you going to have an installation program for drives?

    • Of course, the Mac mini takes a standard 2.5″ SATA drive, just like the previous version.

  • Now that the optical drive has been removed, can you install a second 2.5 inch SATA drive into the two non server models?

    • So far, it looks like there is plenty of room to add a second drive or SSD. However, there isn’t a second SATA cable available to plug in the second drive with.

      • Hi.

        I’m having troubles deciding between the mini with the discrete graphics and the mini server.
        While I’m waiting for your internal tests and those of, concerning graphics performance in Aperture of the Intel HD 3000 graphics in the mini server, I’d like to know two things:

        1. The teardown of the new mini suggests easier HDD removal and replacement than with the previous model, where one had to pull out the logic board a bit.
        Can you corroborate this information by now?

        2. If so, will you offer a HDD cable to go with your SSD upgrades? These would make my choice much easier, as I would buy the dual-core i5 mini and get one of your 120 GB SSDs to put into the mini alongside the 500 GB HDD.

        Best regards from Trier, Germany,


        • 1. The physical component layout is very similar between the 2010 and 2011 models. Installation videos will be coming out in the next few weeks with all the details on upgrades for the two computer lines Apple made available for purchase late yesterday.

          2. We are looking into that possibility. Although there seems to be enough room to accommodate, the single drive minis do not supply a second SATA cable for an additional drive.

          • Looking forward to the videos and the info.

            To be blunt; should the installation of a second drive in the Radeon-equipped mini be possible, I’m going to do the following:
            Buy the mini and when everything is available buy a 120 GB SSD, the necessary cable and a 8 GB (or 16 GB) RAM upgrade on

  • Will the mini-display port – VGA Cable work with the Thunderbolt connector use it with a regular Display? Or should I get a DVI – VGA Cable and use the HDMI – DVI Cable that comes with it for my monitor?

      • What is the maximum resolution I can get on my monitor with the new Mac Mini?

        • Monitors connected via the Thunderbolt port will support up to 2560-by-1600 resolution while those connected via HDMI port will support up to 1920-by-1200 resolution.

    • OWC Michael is correct – a Mini Displayport to VGA adapter will work great. I’d like to add however that your other choice wouldn’t work. A DVI to VGA adapter only works when the DVI port is DVI-I. That means that both analog and digital signals are present. The HDMI port only includes digital signals, so the DVI port on the HDMI to DVI adapter would be a DVI-D (digital only). Just wanted to be sure you didn’t think that would work.

    • No…unfortunately does not. Supposedly a secret partition on drive that Lion creates that if a OS or partial drive failure occurs, machine will reboot to that partition. If you have external super drive option, can go from Snow Leopard install disk, go to App Store, and you can download and reinstall Lion n/c. Check out more on Apple’s official Lion Internet Recovery page:

      You can also check out the Recovery Mode built into Lion by pressing and holding down Command R upon restart and that will boot into the secret partition…as long as your HD isn’t overly partitioned…

      Suggest you read up on this topic before diving in deeper ;-)