Apple's new Mac mini lacks user-replaceable memory

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  • Reply 41 of 160

    I've done some research regarding the to be expected performance:

     

    1. The Haswell-architecture should offer 5-10% more speed per GHz than the ivy-architecture.

    So the i5 dualcore in the new minis should be maximum 10% faster than the i5 in the 2012-version.

     

    But the i7 in the 2012 should be faster still per Ghz because it has 6 MB-cache compared to the 3 MB L3-cache in the 2014-i5's.

     

    And then of course there is the quadcore-option in the 2012-minis that should offer more perfomance with apps that can use quadcores like for example Final Cut pro x.

     

    2. The RAM used in the 2014-minis is calle LPDDR3, the advantage is that it is just as fast as DDR3-memory but does so with less use of power and heat. So for notebooks LPDDR3 is definitely better, but for desktop-macs it doesn't matter. The disadvantage is that it is soldered on, so you need to be careful how much you'll need and want when buying.

     

    The 2012-macminis have DDR3-RAM with the same speed, higher heat and poweruseage, but easily upgradeable.

     

    3. The graphicchip used is iris 5100 in the 2014 macminis (except for the cheapest version which uses HD5000) and in the 2012-mac minis it is HD4000. Here clearly iris 5100 wins when it comes to gaming as it has 256 shaders compared to only 16 in the HD 4000, all other aspects like memory-bandwidth or shared memory... are basically identical. The isis pro would have been a much stronger contender but that is not used here.

    So if you want to game with macminis the new ones are quite a bit better, still not as good as it should be though.

     

    Verdict: For me personally a quad-core-2012-macmini with 8 GB RAM (and if needed I could exchange it for 16 GB down the line) and a 256 GB SSD (plus external bigger HD's, which I already have) makes the most sense performance-wise, as I would only use it for editing in Final Cut pro X (which takes advantage of quadcores) and converting with handbrake, and the usual surfing, office-things. Since I don't game on the macmini I wouldn't miss the better GPU of the new mac mini.

  • Reply 42 of 160
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post



    This is sad, user accessibility is wanted, now you want the upgradability you pay 6 times the price, really?



    I would normally disagree (and I'll niggle a little... that 'users' don't need access, but prosumers do), but there has to be a hobbyist level system path.  The Mac Pro isn't that.  The mini should have more user expandability than disk drives (especially since you got 2 TB2s for that sort of expansion.   Memory is the next click, and then after that is CPU and Graphics.

     

    Sigh.

     

    The other side of me is basically thinking Apple is looking at these as computing units.   You have an external drive, monitor, KB, Trackpad.  You need more 'compute' performance, you replace the 'compute block'  No more tuning memory graphics CPU.  You buy them in discrete blocks.

    Even Corporate and schools, they don't want to get 'inside the box.'   The Mini is the right model for them.

     

    For the masses, this is the Apple Model.  We can't tweak our convection ovens, our HD TVs, our Stereo receivers, all that cost more than our computer.  

     

    We few, we happy few, we who grew up with soldering irons and micro tweezers for jumper placement, don't understand this progress.   But for the other 7Billion people, field upgradeable memory is as foreign as bacteria on Mars.

  • Reply 43 of 160
    I priced out a loaded Mini with education price and it came out just over $2100. A new MacPro would go for $2799. The MacPro would be quad core with 256GB storage and 24GB ram. Graphics would be far above the mini. Something to think about, as I am sure Apple has already done.
  • Reply 44 of 160
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Soundvision View Post

     

    And I was wrong, time to eat crow :-)




    Told you, but you didn't want to listen...LPDDR RAM is soldered in RAM. There's no such thing as an LPDDR DIMM (or SODIMM). 

  • Reply 45 of 160
    In 2012 we have switched whole organization in to Macs including big bunch of Mac Mini and iOS devices, one of the main reason was the reasonable price and upgradebility of minis. I'm VERY disappointed with new line of Apple computers including new useless Mac Mini I think we will start migration process to Windows PC (doesn't matter how much I hate MS) and Android devices. I like Apple ecosystem but I'm not going to pay Apple triple price for weak machines.
  • Reply 46 of 160
    Companies only care about margins. I wonder what their margins were on the old minis.

    I don't think Apple ever intended for their machines to be for hobbyists.

    And Apple has always disliked headless machines. At least so more now.

    Not defending the company. We all want cheap computers. But people have certain expectations for the company. Apple wants to go where the money is.
  • Reply 47 of 160
    fithian wrote: »
    I priced out a loaded Mini with education price and it came out just over $2100. A new MacPro would go for $2799. The MacPro would be quad core with 256GB storage and 24GB ram. Graphics would be far above the mini. Something to think about, as I am sure Apple has already done.

    No you didn't. Apple doesn't do education pricing on the Mini. Nice try though.
  • Reply 48 of 160
    ksecksec Posts: 1,566member

    I dont have a problem with memory if they actually have a fast SSD. But they dont! With swap, HDD is going to be the biggest bottleneck.

  • Reply 49 of 160
    Seems silly to have a hobbyist machine that can't really be tinkered with. Maybe the hobbyists should find something else. :p

    What makes it thus? Are the others physically incapable of doing this or are you just being lazy in your description?

    Under the hood hobbyists can always buy a Windows or Linux PC. I've zero interest in screwing around with the computer anymore. I'd rather get work done.
  • Reply 50 of 160
    pfisher wrote: »
    Companies only care about margins. I wonder what their margins were on the old minis.

    I don't think Apple ever intended for their machines to be for hobbyists.

    And Apple has always disliked headless machines. At least so more now.

    Not defending the company. We all want cheap computers. But people have certain expectations for the company. Apple wants to go where the money is.

    I'll always look for the best deal, but I don't want a junk computer. I've worked with cheap PCs but I've never owned one. Only Macs.
  • Reply 51 of 160
    indyfxindyfx Posts: 320member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

     

    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 .


     

    Mmm... Methinks you have never installed and configured FreeBSD (any BSD) otherwise you wouldn't suggest that as a legitimate option for the average user.

    Ubuntu? Really? Out of the fire (MS) and into the frying pan (Canonical) Might as well pick up a cromebook to go with that.

    If you really want to experiment with Linux install Debian (you do realize it is what Canonical bases ubuntu off, yes?)

     

    For mainstream users however, there really is only two choices (windows & OS X), For the tinkerer hobbyist types; knock yourself, out cobble together discount hardware from a dozen different sources, install linux (or even BSD (but again not for the neophyte)) and make it work. It is a very entertaining way (for some) to spend their leisure time.  Don't however construct a pretense that it is a legitimate option for the mass consumer (or for any professional user who has to value his or her time (and doesn't have a dedicated IT guru/staff to keep things running))

  • Reply 52 of 160
    Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post

    You know what else was said by no one...

     

    Sure do:

     

    "People who don't have a clue about what Apple is and does have been whining about the xMac for the last 17 years. If they don't comprehend by now why it will never, ever be created, they never will, and are therefore relegated to the 'completely ignore' section."

     

    Oh, wait, everyone says that. Because it's more true than any of the nonsense involving an xMac.

     

    And by the way, plenty of people said those things. Get over yourself and your delusions.

  • Reply 53 of 160
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,228moderator
    applegreen wrote: »
    Previous version Mac mini - 2.3Ghz quad-core i7, 4GB, 1TB Fusion drive = $1000 + 16GB RAM DIY upgrade for $150 = $1150.

    New Mac mini - 3.0Ghz dual-core i7, 16GB, 1TB Fusion drive = $1400.

    You get less, and you pay more. Not good.

    I already have a 2012 2.6GHz quad-core i7 with Fusion drive. <span style="line-height:1.4em;">Very disappointed with this Mac mini refresh.</span>

    The $300 upgrade to the i7 is pretty steep and looks like the same CPU from the 13" rMBP, which scores 7190 in Cinebench:

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

    Even the old entry quad scored 11690. The new one is ~60% of the old $799 model although the GPU should be about double. But if they'd used the quad from the MBP, the GPU would be 3-4x and the CPU would be faster at a slightly higher price point. This would have limited the CPUs they could use in the entry model though as it's a different socket.

    Given that the future of the MBP line should be fanless with Broadwell, I expect it'll be the same with the mini.

    This along with the RAM looks like a move to protect the profits on the lineup. People who wanted a quad i7 will now have to get a 15" MBP or iMac. This isn't the end of the world, the MBPs are great machines. A mini with the quad-i7 and Iris Pro would have been $849-899 with 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD. Add a 256GB SSD for $200, 16GB RAM for $200 and you'd be at $1249-1299.

    The 21.5" quad-i5 iMac option comes to $1699 with that spec or $2099 with the i7.
    The entry rMBP option with the i7 has that spec now at $1999.

    The best current alternative IMO is the refurb MBP:

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD103LL/A/refurbished-154-inch-macBook-Pro-23ghz-Quad-core-Intel-i7

    The 2012 model can be upgraded so 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD comes to ~$1400, which is only $100-150 more than the mini would have been and you get the portability. Use that for say 3 years and by that time, the 16GB refurb rMBPs 512GB SSD models will be way down in price.
  • Reply 54 of 160
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by copeland View Post

     

    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. 

     


     

    Very true.  The reason most desktop HD4600s can beat a laptop HD5000 is because tied to 35W-84W CPUs, they can run full throttle.  The 15W TDP that limits the HD5000 means either the CPU or GPU will throttle way down when trying to perform graphically intensive operations or operations that use the GPU to compute.

     

    Also that 4GB RAM is split between GPU and operation so for example running a game that requires 1GB for the GPU (and even some non-intensive games do these days) means only 3GB is left to perform everything else.



    I have an older iMac with 4GB RAM and a dedicated GPU.  It has a Snow Leopard partition, a Mavericks partition, and a 3rd partition I was saving for Yosemite.  After 30 minutes of use I deleted Yosemite.  If I open a browser and spreadsheet at the same time, the machine comes to a halt due to RAM issues.

  • Reply 55 of 160
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post



    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.

     

    Here is the problem.  After 30 minutes of trying Yosemite, I "Time Machined" back to Mavericks.  I have 4GB of RAM and it was just not enough.  My machine is limited to 4GB and not upgradable.  My friend with a similar Mac with 8GB of RAM runs Yosemite fine. The problem is that if you buy a brand new $500 Mini and are stuck with Yosemite, you will be stuck with an awful user experience.  In the past you could swap in RAM later on. Even if you had to pay somebody to do it and it cost $200, you saved some value in your machine.  Now you are stuck with a $500 brick.



    At least you can install Windows on it.  I hate Windows and grudgingly use it on my second work computer.  I have been a Mac user for over 25 years.  So for me to say "at least you can install Windows on it" is really to say, "it is a piece of trash".

  • Reply 56 of 160
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post







    The best current alternative IMO is the refurb MBP:



    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD103LL/A/refurbished-154-inch-macBook-Pro-23ghz-Quad-core-Intel-i7



    The 2012 model can be upgraded so 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD comes to ~$1400, which is only $100-150 more than the mini would have been and you get the portability. Use that for say 3 years and by that time, the 16GB refurb rMBPs 512GB SSD models will be way down in price.

     

    That would be a good option if you want to go portable. But not everyone wants or needs a portable, and don't want imacs with the integrated displays either and don't want to pay as much as is needed for a mac pro.

     

     

     

    There is a (hobby-)market for a macmini with quadcore. And those wanting to use them as mini-servers that can be stacked. Those wanting that and wanting to pay under 1000$/€ have currently no other option than the 2012-macmini-quadcores.

     

    At least until the use of the Skylarc-architecture in future mac minis (2016? If Apple doesn't discontinue the macminis and doesn't go the ARM-route), that promises to use quadcore as a standard in all versions.

  • Reply 57 of 160

    Pulling the quad core i7 was a very odd move, they could have passed on the extra cost to the people who know and care enough to upgrade. So it looks like a deliberate attempt to keep the Mini from taking any high end Pro or iMac sales. This seems dumb to me, since the market interested in the top end Mini doesn't want a bundled display and doesn't want to go dig out yet another 40% more to go to the Pro when they are already paying the Apple premium in the first place with the Mini. For me, the other big advantage of the Mini is it's low power consumption vs. the Pro.

     

    I do some casual gaming on the Mini, so all I really wanted was better graphics with the more or less the same specs as the 2012 model. The Iris 5100 is probably fine for me, but removing half the cores was not, as noted, on multithreaded workloads the 2012 model will wipe the floor with the 2014. They also pulled the last Firewire interface available on a Mac, which I have a large investment in equipment for (that was the LAST interface Apple told us was The Way Forward, if you're keeping score), and I have zero Tbolt hardware (because the Firewire debacle demonstrated Apple's understanding of The Way Forward). At least they finally had to supply USB 3.0 to us.

     

    Anyway, I was ready to buy, now my cash will sit in my pocket to see what they do 2 years from now. I don't think the 2014 Mini is a bad machine by any means, but it does not serve the needs of Apple's most loyal enthusiasts at this price point.

  • Reply 58 of 160
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,228moderator
    That would be a good option if you want to go portable. But not everyone wants or needs a portable,

    You don't need to move it around if you don't want to, you can even run it closed. Put out of your mind that it's a laptop and it's $100-150 difference between the mini you want and for that $100-150, you can use it in your bed if you like or take it somewhere with you.
    There is a (hobby-)market for a macmini with quadcore. And those wanting to use them as mini-servers that can be stacked. Those wanting that and wanting to pay under 1000$/€ have currently no other option than the 2012-macmini-quadcores.

    Apple has provided the numbers in the past. The laptops make up over 75% of their sales, the iMac is around 15-20% so there's around 5-10% split between the mini and Pro. Take whatever small portion is the mini and further split that by price between the lowest end and quads. This hobby market that needs the i7 model is tiny.

    Not having the option for use in a server isn't good but the server market is almost non-existant for Apple.

    This isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened - XServe, 17" MBP, MP design etc. Apple moves to the market trends, which is the only way they can maintain growth in a dying PC industry. Everyone can see these trends so you have to adjust to those just like Apple.
    At least until the use of the Skylarc-architecture in future mac minis (2016? If Apple doesn't discontinue the macminis and doesn't go the ARM-route), that promises to use quadcore as a standard in all versions.

    They've declared that the mini is intended to be a first Mac, it's not supposed to be the Mac you stick with. It's the one that lets you see that the computer is good so you go and buy another computer with a display from Apple (or in the case of the MP, you pay so much that it's not important if you buy their display).

    I think the future of the mini is smaller. Fanless Broadwell eventually at <5W, small PSU. DDR4 will let them cut the soldered RAM space in half. The HDD will have to stay for now but low RPM so it doesn't get too hot with Fusion standard to give SSD speed. This would be like cMBP height with horizontal ports.

    The way to get the PC crowd over is with price, not with power. Once they're over, they can upsell.
  • Reply 59 of 160
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.

    I think that sounds great but I have doubts about the feasibility when you need certain Intel chips if you want to include TB. The options are Intel opening up TB (at least for Apple) and Apple getting rid of TB to just support DP(mDP).
  • Reply 60 of 160
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    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.

    trapped? get even? contempt? you sound like you have issues...possible emotional instability.

    repeat to yourself: "the mini is entry level. the mini is entry level..."
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