Apple's new Mac mini lacks user-replaceable memory

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  • Reply 21 of 159
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 804member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     



    Ah yes, Mr. Bandwagon himself. 

    You know what else was said by no one (except for one know it all, of course, and with his typical derision and false confidence to try and destabilize everyone else's arguments through arrogance and intimidation)?

     

    "Apple will never release a 5.5" iPhone!"

     

    Credibility: Zilch. 

     

    "What Will Tallest Ski Be Wrong About Next?™"

  • Reply 22 of 159

    Many people seem to be disappointed. This is par for the course with the Mac Mini since 2008. How many disappointments will you take before switching away from OS X? I don't expect anybody to go back to Windoz.

     

    What about GNU/Linux or BSD? You can get an OS free and only load the programs you want; or you can choose a full featured version that come full of all of the types of programs you might need installed. Having to hunt for drivers is rare these days if you get Ubuntu or Open SUSE.  Even Fedora has loads of drivers included. Free BSD has a reputation of being super stable because they don't go the leading edge route. Stability is their forte. They just aren't as up to date as the GNU/Linux variants.

     

    So if you go this route you can buy a tower used or new and get all of the hardware you really desire. Towers are upgradeable and can be packed with numerous drives. If you get one with the same type of power supply used by System 76 you can save 80% of your power. Of course you could buy a System 76 machine ready made to run GNU/Linux and get support from an American company that assembles their machines in the USA.

     

    Apple started small and was a niche company for a long time. Companies like System 76 in the USA are what Apple was long ago. You should consider going with a company that cares and allows you to build the machine you want and to work on the machine and upgrade it if you choose. You really should check out this company. Check out their web site. http://system76.com .

  • Reply 23 of 159

    Just make the Mini bad enough that the sale numbers go further down.

    Then argue: Nobody wanted to buy the Mini anyway -->EOLed

  • Reply 24 of 159
    yeah this is a sucky thing... I would not recommend using a mac without at least 8gb out of the box especially if you'll use it for more than browsing

    if they wanted to go down this route they should've started with 8gb as minimum.
  • Reply 25 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    konqerror wrote: »
    If you read the specs, it lists the RAM as being LPDDR3, which is what the 2013 MBA and cell phones use. There isn't a DIMM for LPDDR because the extra drive strength and signal integrity requirements would consume much more power and is unnecessary for things like phones.

    I didn't catch that looking at the specs. If true ( I'm disappointed with Apples spec sheet) that may have a big impact on idle power which would be great for always on usage.

    Your point about the drive circuitry should be noted but people really need to get over this because even if soldered in RAM isn't required in this rev it will be almost certainly in the future. Slow RAM can be likened to the slow magnetic drives that we just recently divorced ourselves from in that to improve things you need to think different. In this way Apple went with flash based SSD.

    RAM to get significantly faster needs to be electrically closer to the processor. The effects of slow RAM are easy to demonstrate when it comes to the so called APU chips as the GPU performance scales almost linearly with faster RAM until the RAM tops out. Intel has addressed this some what by including a RAM chip right in the processor package on some Iris models. Short term DDR4 will be here.

    Long term(a couple of years) we might see RAM integrated right into the processor module for high desk top processors. Intel is already exploring such with Xeon Phi and Memory Cube tech. They are looking at putting 16 GB right in the processor module.

    In any event what I'm trying to say here is that people need to calm down because the technology trend is towards smaller and higher performance. The first step there will be soldered in RAM and the second step will likely be RAM built right into the processor module.
  • Reply 26 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    inkling wrote: »
    $300 to upgrade to 16 Gig of memory? I upgraded mine (prior version) from third-parties for under $100.
    With LPDDR3 RAM? I really doubt it. If this is in fact the RAM indicated then Apple has made a major step forward here.
    Apple is getting sleazy here, putting in too little RAM (4 gig), making it not upgradable, and charging over twice the market price for that necessary upgrade.
    Honestly I don't like them cheating out on RAM either. This isn't desktop RAM though.
    Do they really think we're this stupid? They shouldn't forget that, even those who're trapped in Apple's ecosystem can still get even for this by discouraging others. That's precisely what I do with AT&T.
    Well for one I'm not going to get excited antil we actually see verification of what is in these machines. However the knee jerk response I'm seeing are completely stupid. For one the cost of LPDDR3 is not comparable to desktop RAM and further we have yet to see a tear down that indicates actual non upgrade able RAM.

    Beyond that non upgradable RAM simply isn't the problem it has been in the past. 16 GB is a lot of RAM of for most users and is in fact a lot of RAM for the processor in these machines. Further soldered in RAM is just more reliable compared to socketed RAM.
    I can do it with Apple if it doesn't get its act together. I can also make my high-end Mac mini last long enough to make a used Mac Pro reasonable.
    Give me a break here, if you need a Mac Pro then the Mini was never the right choice. Even the quad core models left a lot to be desired for demanding work.
    And I'll spare you the contempt I have for Phil Schiller if he thinks the only options Apple ought to offer us is an underpowered Mac mini or an iMac that forces us to deal with the double-trouble woes of having the computer and display in the same device. When one fails, the other is worthless. He's rich enough not to care. I'm not.

    Hey I don't like the IMac either and frankly for similar reasons. However I don't see why you are so damn negative with respect to this update. Yeah the lack of quad cores suck, no doubt there. However you are getting markedly better GPU performance, slightly better CPU cores and TB 2 ports. I'm not even sure if Intel has a suitable mobile Haswell, to put a quad core in this machine and maintain thermals. This is a machine that targets the needs of a wide array of users. If you step back a bit the concept isn't bad even if the pricing is a bit suspect.

    Beyond all of that Apples RAM pricing isn't really that bad anymore when compared to other mainstream PC vendors. No it isn't at DIY levels but you don't see HP, dell, Lonovo or anybody else selling RAM at DIY levels.
  • Reply 27 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    frank777 wrote: »

    Nonsense. It's a real issue.
    Slurpy has a very valid point. RAM upgrades just aren't a big issue like they have been in the past. 16 GB of RAM in a Mini will last most users a very long time. If you need more than 16 GB Of RAM you are buying the wrong machine anyways.

    Beyond that the industry will be going through a transition to DDR 4 RAM real soon now. It just won't make good economic sense to upgrade an old machine when the performance advantages of DDR 4 arrive. Of course here Apple is using very low power RAM but even so that RAM will switch to a new generation soon.
    We've all known that the Mini is the computer Apple hates. That's fine, but what Apple's done this time is to kill the soul of the machine.
    What in the bloody hell are you talking about? The lack of a Quad core does suck but beyond that this is a very nice upgrade to the Mini.
    The Mini is the hobbyist machine. It's the only part of the Mac line that you can modify to run billboards, in-car systems, trade show booths, security systems, concert lighting, business servers, telephone systems and whatever else your mind dreams up. It's the Hypercard of Mac hardware.
    Yep so how does this machine comprimise that? For some usages it is actually a better platform than before with the dual TB 2 ports.
    Contrary to many, I'm fine with the chip. I don't expect Apple to put a top notch chip into its el cheapo machine. Ditto for graphics.
    I'm mixed as I would really like a Quad core in the machine but I understand the design limits of an 85 watt machine. Even then one shouldn't underestimate how important Iris graphics are here. Not only do you get better mainstream GPU performance, Intels Iris real rocks when it comes to OpenCL. In some cases this will actually result in better performance than a quad core could deliver when the software is OpenCL accelerated.

    like you I don't expect a top of the line desktop chip. However this chip is nothing to sneeze at, I would expect it to run Yosemite well even with all of the new GuI behaviors.

    But this is still a machine for tinkerers, and non-upgradable RAM is a poke in the eye.
    Baloney! You can top this machine out just like before.
    As Panoptician said, maybe it would be less insulting if Apple had explained the long wait to upgrade the Mini with a move to a smaller form factor.
    Actually the mini has become somethig of a Small form factor standard these days. I've seen the Mini designed right into machinery and instrumentation. Sadly they are running Windows but it is non pe the less a Mini.
    But to wait so long just to put new Airport connectivity, remove Firewire and then hardwire the RAM is abysmal.

    Well yeah it sucks. We can speculate all we want but I have to believe Apple wanted to put Broadwell in this machine. Frankly it is the only choice to markedly better performance.

    Frankly I can't wait to see a tear down!
  • Reply 28 of 159
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post





    ...Not only do you get better mainstream GPU performance, Intels Iris real rocks when it comes to OpenCL. In some cases this will actually result in better performance than a quad core could deliver when the software is OpenCL accelerated.

    ...

    Unfortunately you don't get Iris graphics in the base model.

    And the HD5000 at those low frequencies isn't any better than the HD4000 at the higher frequencies in the 2012 base model.

     

    Furthermore they are skimping on the RAM in the base model that comes with a 500Gig HDD. So any swapping necessary with higher requirements of Yosemite will bring this machine to a grinding halt. 

     

    And that is the machine that is targeted to the technically inexperienced. They expect a snappy machine, because thats what the see in ads and on displayed machines and what they get is a "not so fast" machine.

     

    The Fusion drive will be $250. I don't think many - going for the base model - will pay $250 for a 1TB drive.

  • Reply 29 of 159
    llamallama Posts: 47member

    I'm still waiting for an actual tear down, but while I wait I picked up a quad core i7 Apple refurb for $589 USD, ordered 16GB for $125 USD, and the SATA cable/kit to install a second drive (my existing SSD) for $29 USD.  $743 is a heck of a lot better than the similarly spec'd 2014 at $1199 - *I* won't be missing TB2 (or a second TB2 port) and I doubt the 2x faster GPU will be noticed by my non gaming rig. 

  • Reply 30 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    Looks like the Mac mini 2014 is sort of a step backwards.
    At the high end yes a step backwards with the lack of Quad cores but this is offset by vastly better graphics or GPU support. This is important because with modern Mac OS a GPU is very important when it comes to delivering all the GUI features.
    It is really sad, but this is what Apple frequently does - dribble out the barest of modernizing of a model it does not wish to be promoting.
    Blaming Apple really isn't the way to go here, they are apparently wedded to Intel for this product and thus stuck with what Intel has to offer.
    So, sitting in front of the new 2014 Mac mini running office software and web browsing, it seems one would not really notice much difference. Yes, $100 less, but basically, the same user experience.
    Actually a $100 is a big deal for many. I wouldn't want the entry level machine but it probably runs circles around my old 2008 MBP.
    When of course, actual computer chip power is now much more powerful in the two years since the last mini rev. And most computers come with 8 GB now, not 4.  Sigh.
    Compare Mac mini 2014 vs 2012 (standard/base models):

    CPU:

     2014: 1.4/2.7GHz dual Core i5 4260U *

     2012: 2.5/3.1GHz dual Core i5 3210M **
     both are 2 core, 4 threads (hyper-threaded)

    RAM:

     Looks to be basically same 4 GB of DDR3 1600 MHz

    HD:

     Looks to be same 500 GB 5400rpm

    Graphics:

     Improved Intel HD 5000 vs 2012 HD 4000.

    *Likely this 4260U chip - it has exact same Intel Ark specs as Apple new Mac mini published specs, and it is the same CPU used in recent new low-end June 2014 iMac.
    For me the most frustrating thing about Apple of late is their inability to write a decent spec sheet.
    **Comparing benchmark scores at Passmark and Geekbench indicate that on whole the two CPUs are comparable, in same numbers range, thus no noticeable improvement, save for graphics video.

     I'm not sure how and what user software would best show the improved graphics of Intel HD 5000 performance.
    But besides that, this 'new' model seems a wash.
    They are all a wash. The problem is Intel improved the CPU cores in Haswell then turned the clocks down so that they could devote more power to the GPU. This is a good thing because Intels GPUs have sucked so badly in the past, plus Mac OS really needs a decent GPU to perform well. From that perspective these machines should be much better running Yosemite. This especially the case for the Iris powered models.

    Now that doesn't explain the loss of the so called server model, which was basically the quad core offering. I suspect that a lot of customers are still largely focused on clock rate as a performance indicator. That is sometimes valid but it is also the case that many are better off with quad core machines.
  • Reply 31 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    copeland wrote: »
    Unfortunately you don't get Iris graphics in the base model.
    And the HD5000 at those low frequencies isn't any better than the HD4000 at the higher frequencies in the 2012 base model.
    It won't be a regression though.
    Furthermore they are skimping on the RAM in the base model that comes with a 500Gig HDD. So any swapping necessary with higher requirements of Yosemite will bring this machine to a grinding halt. 
    I'm not a big fan of Applle skimping but 4GB is still a lot of RAM to run Safari or a word processor which appears to be the users targeted with this machine. It isn't the machine for me but I'm confident that many users would be happy with it.
    And that is the machine that is targeted to the technically inexperienced. They expect a snappy machine, because thats what the see in ads and on displayed machines and what they get is a "not so fast" machine.
    Isn't that a common problem with advertising? It happens all the time in the auto world.
    The Fusion drive will be $250. I don't think many - going for the base model - will pay $250 for a 1TB drive.

    You would be surprised.
  • Reply 32 of 159
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    llama wrote: »
    I'm still waiting for an actual tear down, but while I wait I picked up a quad core i7 Apple refurb for $589 USD, ordered 16GB for $125 USD, and the SATA cable/kit to install a second drive (my existing SSD) for $29 USD.  $743 is a heck of a lot better than the similarly spec'd 2014 at $1199 - *I* won't be missing TB2 (or a second TB2 port) and I doubt the 2x faster GPU will be noticed by my non gaming rig. 

    Buying used is almost always a better way to go than buying new.

    As for TB2 if you don't use it isn't a big deal. The GPU on the other hand is important. Yosemite is just more demanding if you have all that GUI goodness working for you.
  • Reply 33 of 159

    I think the 499$-macmini is really not recommendable, but can still have its use where just email and surfing and basic office-work is required. In that scenario even the 4 GB RAM will be sufficient.

     

    But for anyone wanting to do some more with the macmini, 8GB RAM (and really for most uses 8 GB is more than enough) would be needed, and for the upgrade-price Apple asks, it would be best to just go for the middle-version and get the faster CPU and graphics as a bonus.

     

    But if I were Apple I would have built in a 500 GB SSD as standard in the middle-version to sweeten the deal.

     

    For the most expensive version I would have built in a quadcore i7, also with a 500 GB SSD as standard, for those craving the extra power but don't want to get the big mac pro. But that would also mean to build in a fan to manage the heat.

  • Reply 34 of 159
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post





    With LPDDR3 RAM? I really doubt it. If this is in fact the RAM indicated then Apple has made a major step forward here.

     

    LPDDR3 16Gb Mobile DRAM's price is about $15 as market price.  Namely, $7.5 per 1 GB.

     

    Apple says that 4GB of RAM can be upgraded to 16GB for an extra $300.  It will be seen as against business ethics.

  • Reply 35 of 159
    [@]wizard69[/@] --- ^^^^^ THANK YOU for all of the above posts! ^^^^^

    I'm just amazed at how many people don't understand computers or chips configurations any longer, and make silly statements from their past experience... as if it has an iota of bearing on today's computers.

    1) did anyone realize in the presentation of the iPad Air 2, what they were doing with a mobile chip and (rumored) 2 gb RAM: full 5k photo editing with content aware fill (Pixelmator) in seconds; video clips (9 I believe in the demo) synced, cut in time to music and effects added in SECONDS with Replay.

    If an iPad can do that, so can this new Mini in any configuration top to bottom and it wouldn't surprise me if when benchmarked, the new configs are 25-30% faster than the Mini's they've replaced.

    2) Interesting article about the new [URL=http://www.marco.org/2014/10/16/retina-imac-vs-mac-pro]Retina 5K iMac in comparison to the nMP[/URL]:

    [INDENT][B]Performance[/B]

    Intel’s next CPU cores (Broadwell) are significantly delayed, so in the meantime, they released a few more high-end Haswell models. The Retina iMac’s 4 GHz option is the Core i7-4790K, which is currently the fastest CPU in the world for most single-threaded tasks.

    Since the Xeons in the Mac Pro are based on the even older Ivy Bridge microarchitecture, they’ve been lagging behind even the previous iMacs for single-threaded apps. [B][COLOR=red]According to early Geekbench reports, the 4 GHz, 4-core Retina iMac appears to be 25% faster than the 6-core Mac Pro in single-threaded tasks and only about 15% slower in multi-threaded tasks. That’s incredible.[/COLOR][/B]

    [/INDENT]

    These computers have almost NOTHING to do with the computers of just a few years ago, other than the technical names of the chips to describe and differentiate them. The next Mac Mini just might be the size of a pack of cigarettes and be an ARM 64 chip set, since I do believe that initially, they were designed for SERVERS.
  • Reply 36 of 159
    llamallama Posts: 47member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post





    Buying used is almost always a better way to go than buying new.



    As for TB2 if you don't use it isn't a big deal. The GPU on the other hand is important. Yosemite is just more demanding if you have all that GUI goodness working for you.



    Indeed, getting a refurb from the Apple Store for a current model is a no brainer, but getting a refurb from the Apple Store that better suits my needs than the current model is a definite win. 

     

    As for GPU performance in Yosemite, I've been using Yosemite on some pretty old hardware (2009 MBs for example) and don't really feel that normal OS operations are any different than Mavericks (or previous).  To be certain, these older machines are primarily email/web/Office/testing drivers so that likely plays into it.  Running an Android emulator on the old (even for a Mac) MB is pretty painful, but that is probably shared with the 2Ghz C2D as well as the GF9400M.

  • Reply 37 of 159
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    slurpy wrote: »
    Meh, cue vehement screeching from a tiny minority, 95% of people won't give a shit. Really, upgrading memory is hardly done anymore and not as necessary as it used to be. Non-issue.

    Whoa there.

    I feel vindicated that I bought the previous i7 quadcore macmini and bought third party ram.

    As for "who the hell upgrades the ram anymore?" everyone. Par for the course is that Apple should have been maximizing the amount of RAM installed in all machines in the first place, thus negating a need for "upgrading"

    As for who actually buys a mini over an iMac. Repeat with me "I already have a monitor I spent 1000-2000$ on"

    Past experience with all hardware has proven that in order, the following parts will fail:
    1. The cheap TN LCD monitor will fail in 3 years, the less cheaper ones just get dimmer over time until they reach a 50% brightness point and then they should be replaced. I've had no less than 2 LCD monitors and one laptop LCD critically fail since 2006, the time I bought the first MacMini.
    2. The GPU will fail within 3 years or will last indefinitely. Past experience has shown that nVidia parts have the worst build quality (fans blowing themselves apart, being common), while AMD parts have non-core fails (I've replaced 3 cards in a desktop since 2006, going from 2600 to 5750 to 7770) where some aspect of the card is failing between the monitor and the GPU core logic.
    3. I've had the CPU fail once, and the motherboard fail once

    Ultimately, the 2006 Macmini is still working, but the amount of "sunk cost" in the windows desktop could have bought 3 refreshes of mini's in that time frame. So I bought the 2012 Macmini as a fallback in case of desktop fail, and use it for development work I don't want to lose.

    I'd rather have a desktop mac without a permanently attached monitor because the monitor is something I cycle through only when it fails. The current monitor I'm using on my desktop I bought around christmas 2007. The monitor I bought for the 2006 Macmini was a (Proview) monitor that burned itself out around 2011. If I had been buying iMac's the GPU would be long obsolete before the monitor part fails.

    We may be reaching an endpoint in the next year or so where CPU, GPU, RAM and Monitor specifications don't improve significantly, thus justifying the "all-in-one" models Apple has been selling forever. But up until Ivy Bridge, the performance increase year over year for CPU and GPU specs would never justify an all-in-one model, nor would it justify a proprietary design (like the current Mac Pro) that limits upgrade options.

    Like if you look at http://www.cpubenchmark.net/singleThread.html The Core i7-870 is nearly half the spec of the top end Intel Core i7-4790. The i7-870 was released in Q3'09, while the i7-4790 was released in Q2'14. "Moore's Law" was every 18 months, this is nearly 4 and a half years. The previous doubling was over the Core 2 Duo introduction in 2006. So 2006, 2009, 2014. That means the next "double" is due for 2021. As far as multi-core goes, very little out there is making use of multiple cores. 2 Cores is fine because that gives the OS one core and whatever you have in the foreground one core. When you have 4, 6, 8, 12, 16 cores, no single software product will ever use all of those cores because developers still develop software like there is only one cpu core. Look at the designs of DirectX and OpenGL. Who can blame them in 1999 of not seeing the future. Developers are still not producing 64-bit native software 8 years after 64-bit CPU's became the norm.

    Nobody out there really cares about improving something while maintaining backwards compatibility. It's either Linux "keep throwing the babies out with the bathwater", thus ensureing everyone hates developing on it. Or it's Windows "will never work on anything but the latest Windows" style development. Apple is all by it's lonesome, controlling both the OS and the hardware, and even they can't get developers to only release 64-bit software, with developers balking at listing their software in the App store.

    So in closing, if Apple is hellbent on pushing people to the iMac, it's not working. The Macmini for many is a "necessary" cost of business to get into the iOS app store. For everyone else, it makes for a cost-effective server http://macminicolo.net/ farm, instead of paying through the nose for "cloud" computers.
  • Reply 38 of 159
    I think Apple is trying to strengthen the case for the MacPro - widen the gap. They've already widened the gap with the price - have you seen the prices of the MacPros? I think they could have pushed the limits more so with this new Mac mini - but why would they? They don't want anyone with professional requirements getting this. The new Apple does seem to be more price sensitive, just not with the Mac Pro and and Mac mini.
  • Reply 39 of 159
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,567member

    Most people are buying these like they'd buy a Corolla; it's a reliable Mac with no fuss associated with it, and they buy them over and over again. These are the appliance Mac and I'm happy to have a 2011 model, and a previous 2006 model, and even the original G4 model sitting around.

     

    Trying to make the Mac Mini something it isn't is a pointless exercise, and sorry that there isn't a headless model in between the Mac Mini and the Mac Pro, but there's no money for Apple in it, and frankly, you would all complain about that too.

     

    Buy an iMac and get great performance, then sell it when your Applecare is up. Lather, rinse, repeat. Those "professionals" that "need" a quad core i7 probably need more than HD5000 graphics anyway.

     

    As for the price; buy it, don't buy it. Easy.

  • Reply 40 of 159
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    inkling wrote: »
    $300 to upgrade to 16 Gig of memory? I upgraded mine (prior version) from third-parties for under $100.

    Apple is getting sleazy here, putting in too little RAM (4 gig), making it not upgradable, and charging over twice the market price for that necessary upgrade.

    Do they really think we're this stupid? They shouldn't forget that, even those who're trapped in Apple's ecosystem can still get even for this by discouraging others. That's precisely what I do with AT&T.

    I can do it with Apple if it doesn't get its act together. I can also make my high-end Mac mini last long enough to make a used Mac Pro reasonable.

    And I'll spare you the contempt I have for Phil Schiller if he thinks the only options Apple ought to offer us is an underpowered Mac mini or an iMac that forces us to deal with the double-trouble woes of having the computer and display in the same device. When one fails, the other is worthless. He's rich enough not to care. I'm not.

    While you might think that Apple doesn't like Mini people, this isn't true. Apple likes Mini people just fine.

    There just aren't enough of you buying these things (not to mention at a price that would be worthwhile for Apple) for Apple to have any incentive to put more effort into the line.

    The market has been trending away from desktops (except for AIOs) since the mid 2000s.

    Additionally, Apple is still able to keep costs down on the Mini by still delivering something decent at entry level. Naturally, don't expect too much out of any Mac at this level in terms of a big spec sheet. The Mini is for beginners who are dying to get into a Mac but dont want to spend a whole lot. At these prices they might be better advised to get into an iPad instead, but it's still handy to have a desktop configuration that won't break the bank.

    Your anger is misplaced, or at the very least, isn't based in any kind of economic reality.
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