[Teardown] Late 2020 Mac mini: Apple Silicon M1, Thunderbolt 4, USB4, PCIe 4.0
 
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[Teardown] Late 2020 Mac mini: Apple Silicon M1, Thunderbolt 4, USB4, PCIe 4.0  

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zvz
 zvz
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@itsage, oof, I imagined it'd be faster, bc PCIe 4.0 and apple's "twice as fast ssd* *conditions apply" lingo, but hey, that's a data point we have now, thanks.

 

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fiatlux
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Posted by: @itsage

I was most interested in identifying the Thunderbolt controller/s. It's a nice surprise to see two Intel JHL8040R controllers providing dedicated connection to two Thunderbolt 4 ports. Last but not least is the power supply. Apple uses the same internal 150W (12V~12.5A) PSU as found in the 2018 Intel Mac mini.

According to its data sheet, this TB controller supports Displayport 1.4. Hopefully that means I could drive my DIY 5K monitor with a single DP cable, as I do today from my eGPU. As long as I can find a TB-DP adapter that supports DP 1.4?

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Leovinus
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Is there any way to check the clock speeds of CPU and GPU cores? I'd love to know more about the clock behaviour of this chip. Since it's under active cooling it would be interesting to see throttling behaviour. If any.

Rocking a Mac mini 2018/2020 i7-8700B 6C/12T with 32Gb RAM, and a PowerColor 5700 XT humming along in its Razer Core X.

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
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Great tear down as ever! And yeah, great photos and in such a short time frame! It looks to me like a next gen Mini could be half the size if they redesigned the cooling (this looks like a bit of a retro fit using existing tooling).

Now you have this mini to play with, how do you feel the day to day performance compares to the intel Minis and would buying an Intel mini now be a crazy idea?

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
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GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
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LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
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Leovinus
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Hey! don't give them any ideas @eightarmedpet. I mean, they could make a super tiny Mac mini that has the size of a disk-drive, sure, but if they keep it "big" they might shove twice the CPU and GPU cores into it and have a mini Pro! 😉

 

Rocking a Mac mini 2018/2020 i7-8700B 6C/12T with 32Gb RAM, and a PowerColor 5700 XT humming along in its Razer Core X.

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
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@leovinus, thats good point! Totally didn't see it from that perspective, there will be more powerful Mac minis so maybe they are keeping it that size to accommodate... 

 

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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Leovinus
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@eightarmedpet, honestly I was mostly joking. But I'd love to see a mini Pro. I'm sure there will be a redesign soon-ish to mark the break between Intel and ARM visually for consumers. A... and a Pro machine would certainly benefit from an eGPU option hehe

With the current size they could seriously beef up the capabilities within the thermal envelope it has. The PSU is way overpowered for what the M1 mini pulls too (meaning less efficiency since you're way off the sweet spot) since I understand it's the same as before. And I love the design as is so I hope they keep it for a possible "mini Pro". If nothing else all the stands and size dependant peripherals etc. that are on the market would fit.

 

Rocking a Mac mini 2018/2020 i7-8700B 6C/12T with 32Gb RAM, and a PowerColor 5700 XT humming along in its Razer Core X.

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 [build link]  


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joevt
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Posted by: @itsage

All M1 Macs come with Thunderbolt 4 ports.

Apple can't call it Thunderbolt 4 because Thunderbolt 4 requires that a Thunderbolt 4 port can do dual 4K displays. The M1 Macs cannot do dual 4K displays because the Thunderbolt controller has only one DisplayPort connection.

Posted by: @itsage

It's a nice surprise to see two Intel JHL8040R controllers providing dedicated connection to two Thunderbolt 4 ports.

The Thunderbolt controller is built into the M1. The JHL8040R is just a retimer. I guess a retimer helps to get the signals from the M1 to the ports. I suppose it has to work at the Thunderbolt clocks (10.3125 and 20.625 Gbps) and USB4 clocks (10 Gbps and 20 Gbps) as well as the other clocks (USB 3.0 (5 Gbps) and DisplayPort (2.7 Mbps x 1..30)).

Posted by: @itsage

At the moment Thunderbolt devices are working well with Apple M1 Macs.

I wonder if it supports 6 devices in a chain like Thunderbolt or only 5 devices in a chain like USB4?

What about raid of two Thunderbolt 3 devices? Is it limited to ~23 Gbps or ~40 Gbps?

OWC has a Thunderbolt 4 hub (available soonish) with 3 downstream facing ports. It would be interesting to see if that works with the M1 Macs (or even Intel Macs with Alpine Ridge, Titan Ridge, or Ice Lake Thunderbolt controllers).

Posted by: @mar_kelp

any idea if a Thunderbolt hub with multiple graphic outputs can run multiple displays thus passing the two display limit?

graphics outputs is not the limit. graphics inputs is the limit. Only way to get more inputs is to add eGPUs which macOS doesn't support on M1 Macs yet.

Posted by: @fiatlux

According to its data sheet, this TB controller supports Displayport 1.4. Hopefully that means I could drive my DIY 5K monitor with a single DP cable, as I do today from my eGPU. As long as I can find a TB-DP adapter that supports DP 1.4?

All we know from the Apple specs is that it is able to do DisplayPort 1.4 HBR2 with DSC (to get 6K on XDR display). DisplayPort 1.2 and HBR2 without DSC are probably a given (because backward compatible). It should be able to do HBR3 (because DisplayPort 1.4) with DSC (because DSC works with HBR2 for XDR display) and without DSC (because backward compatible) but it needs to be tested since Apple sucks at tech specs.

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mar_kelp
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Great info!

OWC has a Thunderbolt 4 hub (available soonish) with 3 downstream facing ports.

What performance do those three ports offer? Since the TB4 hub is fed with a single TB stream from the host at 40Gbps, the performance could be significantly lower if all ports are in use?

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + RX 580 Gaming Box + macOS 10.14.3 and Windows 10 (BootCamp with rEFInd)

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 10.13 & Win10 [build link]  


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mac_editor
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@leovinus,

Posted by: @leovinus

Is there any way to check the clock speeds of CPU and GPU cores? I'd love to know more about the clock behaviour of this chip. Since it's under active cooling it would be interesting to see throttling behaviour. If any.

:p yes there is. Stay tuned for updates.

 

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