Apple's new Mac mini lacks user-replaceable memory

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  • Reply 81 of 159
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,780member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MaClassic View Post

     

     

    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.


     

    Absolutely. Someone buying a basic Mini to test the Mac experience will come away saying that the Mac is an underpowered toy.

     

    When you say to them that they need more RAM but can't add memory to their machine, they're going to hate it even more. How does this help in the fight to get PC users to switch?

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nightcrawler View Post

     

    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.


     

    Yes.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MaClassic View Post

     

     

    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.


     

    Yep. This is the crux of the problem. If adding DIMMs negatively affects system performance, why can you add memory to the higher end of the line, where performance is more crucial? Was anybody's Mini overheating because of DIMMs in the 2012 model?

     

    Limiting RAM expansion is purely a business decision for Apple. And I think it's a bad one.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NolaMacGuy View Post





    many of your examples are commercial (running billboards, booths, concerts), in which case they buy the ram.

     

    True. I'm not arguing that commercial users can't afford the RAM upgrade at purchase. I'm saying the decision to restrict upgrades to at-time-of-purchase limits the appeal of the computer for hobbyist uses, and makes the Mac solution more expensive to start with than PC alternatives.

     

    Even non-commercial users are affected. The selling point of the Mac used to be its creative potential. How many people can switch to Mac, start using iLife and iWork and not be affected by an artificial 4GB RAM limit in the first three years?

     

    What happens when they go to the App Store and discover that Pixelmator costs just 30 bucks?

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CanukStorm View Post

     

    Forget about the new Mac mini or 27" Retina iMac.  What I want is a 21.5" 4K (3840 x 2160) Retina iMac.


     

    Everything will go Retina eventually.

    But I don't think the 21" will go Retina for at least 12-18 months.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by reyesmac View Post

     



    The whole point of the mini is the what you can do with it for the price. When Apple started selling intel Minis the first was was slow and not well received and they upped the speed and passive aggressively it feels like raised the price by $100. Then it became powerful enough to make money with it so Apple stopped updating them to see if people would get tired of waiting and buy an iMac. It was still popular so they made sure to take away the GPU on the affordable models and gave you the ability to have a real fast one at the price of an iMac. People still kept buying them so now they just raised the price of the $599 model by another $100 and made the cheap model as underpowered as a macbook air, which since its using chips that are years and years old now is not costing them much to produce. So now they want more money up front by not giving you enough ram that you must buy from them at time of purchase or never be able to upgrade again. Any used mini is better than these ones and the come at a lower price.


     

    Apple does feel the need to protect its iMac line against the Mini line. I think the reason for this historically was that they used to use economies of scale to procure the same screens for the iMac and Powerbook/MBP lines at lower cost. This stopped when the iMac went over the 15/17-inch mark. (Did the iMac share a screen with the 17" MacBook Pro? I can't remember.) If the Minis got too popular, it would negatively affect the cost of the mobile line as well.

     

    Naturally, this rationale went out the window many years back. Now I think the rationale is the same as the Auto industry: Sell small and profit small, but sell big and profit big. It's obviously more profitable to sell a computer with a screen and a limited shelf life than one that can be upgraded to last seven years. It makes a mockery of Apple's supposed environmental credentials, but nobody's supposed to mention that.

     

    I understand Apple's need to structure their line competitively. As I've mentioned, I have no problem with putting a lesser chip into the $499. offering, or restricting the base model to integrated graphics. This is appropriate to the target market.

     

    I just want to be able to add a stick of RAM if the need arises, or change the hard drive if it fails.

    To me, this is just basic computer maintenance.

  • Reply 82 of 159
    Would be nice to see them bring back high end Mac Pro work stations.
  • Reply 83 of 159
    winterwinter Posts: 1,238member
    I definitely don't agree with the decision on 4 GB for the base model. 4 GB was too low for Lion let alone Mountain Lion, Mavericks, and now Yosemite. 8 GB to me is the minimum and 16 GB is recommended.
  • Reply 84 of 159
    mytdavemytdave Posts: 434member
    I can't even begin to express how disgusted I am with Apple over this Mac mini "upgrade". The mini was the only machine they made keeping me on the Mac platform, and now they've neutered it. Absolutely disgusting. Mind boggling disgusting. No, I'm not kidding. Sayonara.
  • Reply 85 of 159
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post





    It won't be a regression though.

    The performance of a 2012 machine in a late 2014 machine is a regression in my mind.

     



    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.

    Isn't that a common problem with advertising? It happens all the time in the auto world.

    You would be surprised.

     

    I know I'm not Apple's prime target for this machine but it is the only machine that reasonably meets my needs for it.

    No iMac for me, don't need a new screen, keyboard or mouse. Mac Pro is far out of my needs. MB or MBA I do not need, I have one for work.

     

    I have an early 2009 Mac mini that I wanted to replace with this revision, but I will wait another 2 years. I will just slow down my adoption rate.

  • Reply 86 of 159
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



    ... 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 split exists because Apple is artificially building its strategy to get there. They heavily promote their mobile gear and the iMac, all other machines are requisites.

     

    To my mind you are wrongfully taking the result created by Apple's willful decisions as the reason why Apple had to take these decisions.

     

    The buying behavior form Apple's customers was created by Apple marketing heavily the mobiles and iMac and letting the other machines languish at a bad price/performance ratio.

     

    If Apple had given the mini more attention its sale numbers could be much higher. (I know the margin on the iMac is higher)

  • Reply 87 of 159
    I got tired waiting for the Mini refresh. Boy, am I glad I did. Bought one of the 2012 models couple of months ago to record and serve up TV, music, video, etc., to the household. I required more RAM and a bigger HDD (installed a Fusion for speed). If I'd waited for this 2014 model I'd be stumped. It's a rip-off and, once again, Apple Board members and shareholders (except me and hopefully others) can scoff at people who love their integration but groan at the cynical hardware choices.
  • Reply 88 of 159
    winter wrote: »
    I definitely don't agree with the decision on 4 GB for the base model. 4 GB was too low for Lion let alone Mountain Lion, Mavericks, and now Yosemite. 8 GB to me is the minimum and 16 GB is recommended.

    I have a 2008 iMac with 4GB RAM. Runs Mavericks fine.
  • Reply 89 of 159
    marvfoxmarvfox Posts: 2,275member

    Apple advises use only up to 8 gigs of memory not 16 they told me about the 2011 model I own.

  • Reply 90 of 159
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    copeland wrote: »
    This split exists because Apple is artificially building its strategy to get there. They heavily promote their mobile gear and the iMac, all other machines are requisites.

    To my mind you are wrongfully taking the result created by Apple's willful decisions as the reason why Apple had to take these decisions.

    The buying behavior form Apple's customers was created by Apple marketing heavily the mobiles and iMac and letting the other machines languish at a bad price/performance ratio.

    If Apple had given the mini more attention its sale numbers could be much higher. (I know the margin on the iMac is higher)

    I have to disagree -- mobile isnt popular because apple waved a magic wand and brainwashed everyone using "marketing". mobile is popular because that's what people want. Apple then uses marketing to sell their brand over the competitor's.
  • Reply 91 of 159
    Originally Posted by mytdave View Post

    No, I'm not kidding. Sayonara.



    Okay. We don’t care. Enjoy your garbage.

  • Reply 92 of 159
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,545member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mytdave View Post



    I can't even begin to express how disgusted I am with Apple over this Mac mini "upgrade". The mini was the only machine they made keeping me on the Mac platform, and now they've neutered it. Absolutely disgusting. Mind boggling disgusting. No, I'm not kidding. Sayonara.

    I guess you were never really "locked in" to Apple, so it's easy to leave.

     

    Buh Bye...

  • Reply 93 of 159

    I definitely want a new Mini to replace my one which is 4-5 years old now.  Initially I was excited at being able to upgrade for only $499.  But the lack of ram upgradability will be an issue.  At least the HD size is usable.

    So then I looked at options for add ons.  Obviously 8GB ram is a no brainer ($100 extra).  But then I also looked at the CPU in the base model.  Spec'd at 1.4 GHz.  I noticed that the mid-range model has a faster processor, the ram I wanted and also a larger HD. All for only $200 more.

     

    So I think I now understand Apple's strategy.  The base model is really the cheap of the cheap.  It gets people interested and then for those who have no idea what the specs mean they will happily buy one.  For those who have some experience they will realize that they need more ram and power and go for the next model up.  

     

    Apple have always used this strategy but it can be annoying in times like this.  Its a bummer about the upgradability of the newer machines but at this point my old mini is getting too long in the tooth and needs replacing.  I had already spent ~$200 or increasing the drive space and memory but only a SSD will provide enough boost to keep it going and I am not willing to put more into it.  So at the cost of $750 incl. taxes I will be able to get a new machine that lasts another 5 years or maybe longer this time.  That is essentially what I paid the last time and if I remember correctly then I opted for the mid-range model then too.

  • Reply 94 of 159
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,545member

    It doesn't take much to see that Apple is going for a future entry level OS X device built to its mobile standards; no internal expansion, fanless, pocketable, the ultimate appliance. Same place Intel is heading. Might even look like a mobile device; I hope so.

     

    What's the point of internal expansion anymore, it will all be done externally, and using mobile memory and storage is just the last step. I look forward to USB 3.1 Type C connectors and Thunderbolt 3: the future.

     

    If this Mac Mini isn't your cup of tea, neither will future ones be.

  • Reply 95 of 159

    The real problem is that a new version is slower than a version brought to market two years ago, e. the quadcore one. That's inexcuseable. The most-expensive new version should have a quadcore i7.

     

    So anyone wishing to buy a new macmini and wanting to do more than surfing and office-work, like for example wanting to edit videos, transcode them... or other cpu-hungry tasks I strongly suggest to buy the 2012-quadcore-macminis instead. They are still available as new in lots of online shops, just not from Apple itself.

     

    I just ordered one with quadcore 2,3 GHz-i7-cpu. 

     

    The additional upside will also be that I can circumvent the imho hideous looking new Yosemite-MacOSX for the next few years. Don't need the new features.

    And it still has a firewire port for my external firewire-HD.

  • Reply 96 of 159
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,208moderator
    copeland wrote: »
    This split exists because Apple is artificially building its strategy to get there. They heavily promote their mobile gear and the iMac, all other machines are requisites.

    To my mind you are wrongfully taking the result created by Apple's willful decisions as the reason why Apple had to take these decisions.

    The buying behavior form Apple's customers was created by Apple marketing heavily the mobiles and iMac and letting the other machines languish at a bad price/performance ratio.

    If Apple had given the mini more attention its sale numbers could be much higher. (I know the margin on the iMac is higher)

    Supply and demand affect each other no question - if you supply what people don't want, you'll have poor demand; if demand is low for what you sell, supply needs to be adjusted to suit. Apple has been at this a long time and they can see what's selling and where retailers are ending up. Not many computer manufacturers have lasted 30 years. Samsung ditched their European PC market entirely this year, HP wanted to sell their PC division off (they are the largest PC manufacturer in the world), Sony has sold off its Vaio line and no longer makes PCs. Acer's CEO resigned after their poor PC sales last year. It happened a long time ago with smaller brands:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4719833.stm

    These trends are industry-wide, go into any computer store, even online stores and you'll see the same thing:

    1000

    If PC manufacturers could shift demand back to desktops it's guaranteed they would in a second but they've tried everything. Before Apple went with quad-i7s around 2009/2010, Intel had Core 2 Quads in 2007. PC manufacturers jumped at this to give desktop users higher performance. The bundle deals were very cheap. They'd throw in everything - display, keyboard/mouse, as much RAM as you wanted, as much video memory. So what happened? The customers didn't need to go back. Not only had they cut their margins so low that it was barely worth doing in the first place, they elongated the upgrade cycle.

    At first this seems like a win for the customer but not if it's not profitable for the seller as they'll either go bankrupt or change strategy.

    If Apple had offered a quad-i7 Iris Pro mini for $849-899, they'd sell more to a certain class of buyer but it's wrong to assume this type of buyer represents a high volume market. It's easy to assume that the 15" Retina Macbook Pro is a high volume seller simply because it's far more powerful but it's not high volume. The high volume in the laptop side comes from the Air and 13" MBP. For every person needing to batch encode movies or run a server or render intensive creative projects, there are 10 people who just want a cheap machine for the office.

    They could make a high-end mini that is really expensive but it needs a different motherboard for the quad-i7 and hardly anyone would pay over $1000 for one so why bother when they can sell those people an iMac or rMBP and make a profit on the display sale too?

    What's the downside? It's not a high volume market no matter how you look at it, all mini users can stop buying if they want and it won't affect Apple one bit. The portion that previously bought an i7 who want to stay with Apple and still need a quad-i7 will buy an iMac or MBP and Apple will make twice the profit. The xMac crowd that have finally had enough will go and find out how much of a headache running a hackintosh is and regret it or just use Windows and regret it even more.
  • Reply 97 of 159
    xixoxixo Posts: 417member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    $300 to upgrade to 16 Gig of memory? I upgraded mine (prior version) from third-parties for under $100.

     

    Source for such cheap ram, please?

     

    I paid $165 to go from 4GB to 16GB on my 2012 quad core I7 2.3ghz dual drive server model (the one just discontinued).

     

    It ran surprisingly poky under mavericks, now running quite fast under yosemite, i'd say at least 20% faster.

     

    so, who did you get that cheap 16GB from?

  • Reply 98 of 159
    [@]Marvin[/@] - once again thanks for another of your great spot-on posts!^^^^^
  • Reply 99 of 159
    nikon133nikon133 Posts: 2,600member
    I don't think so. It's true there was a trend away from desktops to phones and tablets because for the mainstream it was the hot new thing because they do websurfing and communicating so well. But more and more people realize that phones and tablets aren't well suited when it comes to being productive.

    And so I think the desktops are here to stay and will gain in interest again soon. 

    The reason why the architecture of the new macminis isn't so impressive is because Apple deliberately chose to downgrade it in order to boost the interest in an imac or the mac pro.

    But I think that is a wrong strategy, the macmini is a formfactor that people are interested in and wouldn't want any other formfactor, they want to use their own display and have that little machine separate. For those people there should be all options available, including quadcore.

    If people want integrated displays they will buy imacs, but it's not good to artificially create deficiencies in order to coerce people to buy imacs instead. 

    I agree with you.

    Smartphones and tablet being mobile devices, it makes more sense to me that, eventually, they will be replacing laptops for many users. Not that laptop cannot replace desktop for many, but there's always an issue of screen's real estate - 24 - 27" is so much nicer than 13 - 15", where majority of laptops sit, regardless of platform. And then, one gets more upgrade-ability on desktop size, compared to laptops (on average) - an additional bonus. Also more performance for the money, easier maintenance and less heat related issues.

    Personally, I need/want laptop, but the only REAL reason for that is that I like fiddling with Lightroom and large RAM images when I travel, which requires proper laptop hardware and storage. Save for that, a SoC or Atom based tablet could do everything else I need away from home, and everything for coffee-table device as well. My current laptop is hardly being touched when I am at home. My tablet has to be recharged every day or two, meaning it gives at least 3 hours of actual use every day. And my desktop gets, I'd say, at least 10 hours of use during the week, though it has largest variations.

    With Broadwell parts entering tablet market, I believe I will face situation where slim tablet actually can, completely, replace laptop for me. At present, Surface 3 is almost there - almost, but not just yet.
  • Reply 100 of 159

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