Does 2011 Mac mini have proprietary hard drive thermal sensors?
I am considering purchasing the 2011 Mac mini since I want a computer that is both cool and quiet, if possible. My question concerns the thermal sensor(s) on the internal hard drive(s) used to control fan speed in the 2011 Mac mini. My question is specifically this: Can the hard drive(s) in the 2011 Mac mini be replaced with non-Apple supplied “off the shelf” hard drive(s) (or an SSD) without causing the cooling fan to ramp up to maximum speed due to lack of thermal data from the hard drive(s)? This would make the computer too loud, in my opinion.
Some background information may help some readers understand why I am asking this question.
On the 2010 Mac mini, a thermal sensor was taped to the hard drive. This was also done on the older iMacs. But the 2011 iMac switched to proprietary sensors internal to the hard drive itself, as noted the following article:
It starts out:
Other World Computing (OWC), supplier of many parts for new and old Macs, has gone in-depth into the reported restriction of Apple’s mid-2011 iMacs. The issue is that if a non-Apple hard drive is placed into the 2011 iMac, the fans will eventually spin at their maximum speed and the iMac will fail the Apple Hardware Test.
Apple is using custom firmware on their supplied hard drives to monitor the thermal properties of the hard drive while it is operating. In order to accomplish this task, Apple must use a special 7-pin SATA cable with the additional two pins being used for thermal monitoring.
Was this change also made to the 2011 Mac mini? I thought that it might have since there is no longer a thermal sensor taped to the drive in the iFixit teardown.
The teardown is here:
But some of the commentators hint that basically there are no thermal sensors for the hard drives at all! I would like to have a clear answer, if possible. If the drive were to fail after the warranty expires, I would want to install a non-Apple supplied “off the shelf” hard drive myself rather than pay apple to do the work to install their proprietary hard drive.
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