Apple's new Mac mini lacks user-replaceable memory

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  • Reply 121 of 160
    Marvin wrote: »
    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.

    Another thing that is not being addressed here is the fact that the dollar is worth less. How many people have looked at what they are spending on groceries recently? My rough estimate is that prices have risen 30-40% over the past several years.
  • Reply 122 of 160
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,228moderator
    fz750 wrote: »
    What happens in 2-3 years when 8Gb is not enough. You're screwed - like many people who complain about soldered in memory..

    I don't know why people assume that memory won't be enough over time. It just goes into swap like it has done for years. On top of that, it now compresses inactive memory so you get even more space.
    fz750 wrote: »
    It worked fine like that when I got it, but after Mavericks it did not.

    Mavericks is designed to use all the memory, it's not running out of memory, it just caches more things and flushes those caches out when other processes need it. If you add up everything minus the file cache it won't be much different from older systems.
    frank777 wrote:
    I'm sorry, that's insane. This is a machine for switchers. Telling people new to the platform to sell their new machine and buy a different one is an exercise in business failure.

    It was the buyer's fault in exactly the same way if they buy a 16GB iPhone and need to put 40GB of music on it. It's not insane to tell them they should have bought the 64GB model. People who use more than 4GB of RAM tend to know this and they buy enough to begin with. Like I say, the worst case for people who run out of 4GB is that they start swapping out to the drive but low-end buyers likely won't be too bothered about it.
    frank777 wrote:
    Apple's going to have to up the base RAM in the Mini to 8GB as soon as they can.

    If DDR4 lets them lower prices to the point that 8GB is inexpensive, they can do that but there's no urgency. Part of the reason they can drop $100 is by removing 4GB of memory. The margins are low on these machines.
    frank777 wrote:
    If you're going to deny upgrades, the specs have to be good in the first place.

    They offer higher models but they need to have a minimum. They have put a floor on the amount of RAM and that is 4GB. If they decided on 8GB, it wouldn't be $100 cheaper.
    Another thing that is not being addressed here is the fact that the dollar is worth less. How many people have looked at what they are spending on groceries recently? My rough estimate is that prices have risen 30-40% over the past several years.

    This site says it's 22% since the original 2005 $499 mini:

    http://www.usinflationcalculator.com

    So a $499 mini then would cost $608 today. Component prices do come down a bit over time but they tend to just put more in for the same price point e.g 1TB HDD vs 500GB, 4GB vs 2GB. The original mini 9 years ago had 256MB RAM that could only be upgraded to 1GB. Now they bundle 16x that amount.
  • Reply 123 of 160
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    xixo wrote: »

    you can buy a synology NAS that does/has everything you mentioned and much more (Time Machine server, iTunes Server, VPN server, GigE, USB 3.0), much better (RAID, etc), for much less than the mac mini configuration you're contemplating.

    as I stated elsewhere, I'm very glad I bought the mini server quad core I7 model just before it was discontinued. with 7200RPM drives and 16GB ram running yosemite, it's a developer's dream machine.

    this new mini stuff, ugh.

    You've piqued my interest, but I'm unclear how a device that doesn't run iTunes will be able to show a shared library in the iTunes app on another device.
  • Reply 124 of 160
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,985member
    Perhaps they need some coding messiah to come in and save the day. At which point, Microsoft can exclaim, "Hallelujah!"

    From meshugganah to messiah is a tall order. :lol:
  • Reply 125 of 160
    fz750fz750 Posts: 14member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    I don't know why people assume that memory won't be enough over time. It just goes into swap like it has done for years. On top of that, it now compresses inactive memory so you get even more space.




    Mavericks is designed to use all the memory, it's not running out of memory, it just caches more things and flushes those caches out when other processes need it. If you add up everything minus the file cache it won't be much different from older systems.

     

    Please take the time to read and digest what people are complaining about..

     

    We all know about caching to disk. (slow, undesirable, insert your favorite expletive..). Maybe you think we all have SSDs..?

     

    We all know that Mavericks had a new way of handling memory. and..? It doesn't matter, who cares... We're quoting problems not observations about memory usage.

     

    The bottom line is that many people have had problems with Mavericks (or ML) and the only solution has been more memory (or a new machine).

     

    The logical conclusion with non-expandable memory is that somebody, sometime is going to have problems, whether that's with next years release, the one after or simply running too many desktops and apps simultaneously and they will have no option to keep that machine running with acceptable performance by buying additional memory.

     

    Selling 4gb fixed memory machines is a stupid idea, especially without an SSD and with a slow processor. 8Gb should be the minimum.

     

    Yes, the really cheap price looks good and got a big round of applause at the event last week,  but add up the prices of a mac Mini with what you really want and it's probably better not to buy one unless you really don't want much...

  • Reply 126 of 160
    xixoxixo Posts: 422member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    You've piqued my interest, but I'm unclear how a device that doesn't run iTunes will be able to show a shared library in the iTunes app on another device.

    Synology NAS is an iTunes server that hosts your media, stored on a fast RAID array.

    Your iPhone, AppleTV, Mac, iPad all see the iTunes library in the media library list.

    So, short answer: put the Synology NAS and an AppleTV on your lan and you'll be able to watch all your stuff quickly & easily.

    Using the VPN server you can even watch your "stuff" remotely and securely.

    Synology has servers starting at $129 up to five figure Xeon rack mounted units.

    Their DSM OS for NAS is pretty amazing.

    I'm saying this as someone who had a Mac 128k when it 1st came out.

    Check out the web / reviews. They have the best most cost effective NAS on the market
  • Reply 127 of 160
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    xixo wrote: »
    Synology NAS is an iTunes server that hosts your media, stored on a fast RAID array.

    Your iPhone, AppleTV, Mac, iPad all see the iTunes library in the media library list.

    Using the VPN server you can even watch your "stuff" remotely and securely.

    Synology has servers starting at $129 up to five figure Xeon rack mounted units.

    Their DSM OS for NAS is pretty amazing.

    I'm saying this as someone who had a Mac 128k when it 1st came out.

    Check out the web / reviews. They have the best most cost effective NAS on the market

    I currently have a 4x4GB disk RAID 10 (connected to a Mac). Which Synology model do you recommend for my needs?
  • Reply 128 of 160
    xixoxixo Posts: 422member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I currently have a 4x4GB disk RAID 10 (connected to a Mac). Which Synology model do you recommend for my needs?

    Synology DS415. Just came out this month. Google it / check the specs. You already have the drives, so you can pick up the device for less than a Mac mini server.
  • Reply 129 of 160
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    xixo wrote: »
    Synology DS415. Just came out this month. Google it / check the specs. You already have the drives, so you can pick up the device for less than a Mac mini server.

    I read this, which is a nonstarter for me.
    Playing Media Using Web App
    This is the part that really tripped me up:

    As I've mentioned before, the Apple TV cannot PULL media using Home Sharing because the NAS doesn't support it. So you must PUSH it from the NAS.

    This means using the web app or using the iOS apps.

    To use the web app, open up "Video Station" and select the movie you want to watch and click the play icon in the upper right corner of the window, then select "Apple TV." It will open a player in a new window/tab, but it'll send the content to the Apple TV. You can also use this player to control the video feed and select audio/subtitle tracks.

    I don't want to push it from some other app. If I can't use the Apple TV UI to access it the way the household currently accessing an iTunes Library is simply won't work.
  • Reply 130 of 160
    gmhutgmhut Posts: 242member

    "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."

     

    Absolutely false.

  • Reply 131 of 160
    nhtnht Posts: 4,494member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

     

    Then their machines kept adding more and more bloatware. I really don't care about fancy graphical transitions between programs and social media, or iPhone integration.


     

    Lol...there isn't that much integration with social media and there hasn't been iPhone integration until Yosemite and Continuity.

     

    Quote:

    OS X needed more and more horsepower to run those things. I just wanted iWork to be better than Office but they wouldn't really address that. 


     

    If you don't need to work with Office users then iWork does work better than Office in my opinion.  Keynote is stellar. Pages okay.  Certainly far better than OpenOffice in terms of ease of use and features. 

     

    Quote:

    I dabbled with Ubuntu starting in 2010. I found it faster than OS X even though it was running on an inferior HP machine. By 2013 I was trying other GNU/Linux variations. Eventually that became my main OS.

     

    Noivad you should let go of any disheartening attachment to Apple. Apple is a corporation that has the sole purpose of earning more money. It has no real care for individuals or even fans.  It wants to build products that it feels will reach more people per unit of time. If that means forgetting about people who want upgradeable hardware then that is what they will do. It isn't about caring. It is about earning as much money as possible. That is why they will drop desktop machines in the future. 


     

    Apple as a corporation has shown that it's purpose is to build the best computers it can for everyone and make a boatload of money as a consequence.

     

    Geeks are not the key demographic for Apple so things like upgrades are very low on the priority list.  Ease of use and attention to detail is high on the priority list because that matter most to more folks.

     

    Quote:

    Buy a secondhand tower with decent specifications and start playing with GNU/Linux. See what it can do. Try a few distributions and don't forget to search for specialized software you might use. There are some alternatives. I make it fun learning about the OS and learning terminal commands. Think of a journey into the alternative OS as an adventure with plenty of discovery. Anybody can stick with OS X and Windoz but adventurous people aren't afraid of trying something new that they just might find works better for them, or is at least more fun. 

     

    LOL...terminal commands.  This leads me to believe that you have no clue about OSX and just trolling.  There's very little you can do in Linux that you cannot do in OSX via MacPorts.

     

    The big thing is that OSX has support from major vendors.  Linux does not.  No office, no photoshop, no iLife, etc.

  • Reply 132 of 160
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

     

    Lower the price $100 and double the price of the RAM.


     

    And have option for a discrete graphics card. You should be able to get a decent graphics card, 8 Gigs of RAM and start using a Mac for $450 or less.

     

    There's no point to this Mac mini as configured for me. Sure it might be entry level -- but I'd also like to make Kiosks with these. 8 Gigs doesn't cost them that much and it's what a base system should come with today.

     

    For the iMac Neutered -- they should be asking about $300. I'm sure it's cheaper for them to build than an iPad Air so price accordingly.

  • Reply 133 of 160
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMHut View Post

     

    "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."

     

    Aboslutely false.


     

    No "absolutely false" -- just not completely true. But MOSTLY true. Apple's newer OS does take advantage of multi CPUs even if the software doesn't. MOST applications that need multi-core tend to be optimized for them. Exceptions seem to be Adobe products which "kind of" takes advantage but not as well on the Mac.

     

    You don't need super fast on most single-CPU apps. And most games are going to be effected by the Graphics card. And Adobe needs to be forced kicking and screaming to optimize their stuff.

  • Reply 134 of 160
    mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    No you didn't. Apple doesn't do education pricing on the Mini. Nice try though.

     

    Uh, yes they do.

     

    http://store.apple.com/us-hed/buy-mac/mac-mini

  • Reply 135 of 160
    xixoxixo Posts: 422member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    I don't want to push it from some other app. If I can't use the Apple TV UI to access it the way the household currently accessing an iTunes Library is simply won't work.

     

    I was not aware of that. This thread on another forum might be of interest:

     

    "Just tried the latest versions of VideoStation and its companion iOS app - it all works rather well. You basically have to use your iPhone (or iPad) as a remote control. iOS app gives you a nice UI to navigate your library, select a video and launch playback to an Apple TV. After that, the iOS app can be closed and the playback can be controlled with a standard remote."

     

    I use the Synology to host php apps for small workgroups and it is excellent for this (it's an embedded LAMP server).

  • Reply 136 of 160
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

     

     

    Uh, yes they do.

     

    http://store.apple.com/us-hed/buy-mac/mac-mini


     

    They just did that with this generation then, it wasn't that way last week.

  • Reply 137 of 160
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    xixo wrote: »
    I was not aware of that. <a href="http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1522038&page=2" style="line-height:1.4em;" target="_blank">This thread</a>
    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">on another forum might be of interest:</span>
    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">"</span>Just tried the latest versions of VideoStation and its companion iOS app - it all works rather well. You basically have to use your iPhone (or iPad) as a remote control. iOS app gives you a nice UI to navigate your library, select a video and launch playback to an Apple TV. After that, the iOS app can be closed and the playback can be controlled with a standard remote."

    I use the Synology to host php apps for small workgroups and it is excellent for this (it's an embedded LAMP server).

    1) I appreciate the feedback, but I want need playback via Home Sharing, or at least something that doesn't require any 3rd-party app UI to be involved in the process. For this reason I will get a 2012 Mac mini to replace my 2001 iMac (<=(FW400)=> 4x4TB RAID10) setup for Home Sharing and Time Machine.

    2) It's too bad Apple doesn't offer a solution. I'd think that a Home Server solution would not only be popular but profitable for Apple, not to mention help complete their ecosystem. It's been years since Tim (or was it Steve) said that the Mac/PC is no longer the hub, yet you can't do most basic things in the Music and Video apps that you can on iTunes (like fixing a track name), and since there is no iTunes UI in iCloud.com (I use iTunes Match so this would be very helpful) you still need a Mac or WinPC with iTunes for managing your iTunes Library.

    I'd even be happy with an AirPort Server running iOS with an Intel processor that supports TB for data transfers so you can setup a RAID so that you can truly have a centralized hub. They could even expand this to have app and OS updates DLed once to save time, bandwidth, and data usage, regardless of the number of devices and accounts on the network because it would know which Apple devices are tied to an account (as noted on icloud.com » Settings).

    They also already have Back to My Mac, which means you don't need a static IP address, to record what your IP address is at any given time, or create a simple script that can be initiated via email to get your home Mac's IP address, which means Apple could create the simplest VPN* setup and access anywhere. They finally created the simplest tethering option with Yosemite (not sure if iOS 8 is required for that) when before it was a chore to walk people through each time they want to make a connection with an iDevice.


    * VPN is not a very consumer-friendly term so I'd expect something more flashy and descriptive in some simplistic way that would inform the consumer of why they would want to use this encryption on public WiFi.
  • Reply 138 of 160
    gmhutgmhut Posts: 242member

    "No "absolutely false" -- just not completely true. But MOSTLY true."

     

    When you say "no" and there are "some" if not "many" than yes, "no" is absolutely false. You can't be a little bit pregnant.

     

    People who do 3D work use apps that utilize every core at render time. While the mini is not exactly a work station, a quad core i7 haswell mini would be an excellent low cost machine for creating hi-quality still illustrations and short animations. Mini's make (made) excellent candidates for building a bare bones, cheap, scalable render farm.

  • Reply 139 of 160
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,228moderator
    fz750 wrote: »
    Maybe you think we all have SSDs..?

    Everybody should have SSDs.
    fz750 wrote: »
    8Gb should be the minimum.

    But it would cost $100 more and that option is available. If someone feels that 4GB isn't a high enough minimum, they click on the base model and switch to 8GB for $100 more.

    You are either saying that Apple should have kept the entry price at $599 or they should ship a $499 machine with 8GB of memory and take the hit on their profits. The first results in lower sales, the second results in lower profits. They only make $125 net profit on them so $100 hit just isn't feasible or as they've worded it in the past they 'don't know how to make a $500 computer that isn't a piece of junk'. They went the route that puts the decision in the hands of the buyer.

    It may be true that new buyers to the Mac platform will find performance to be slow eventually, especially not having an SSD but what do they expect buying the cheapest model? If they made the experience at the low-end so great, people wouldn't buy the more expensive models. Apple's average selling price for Macs is $1200-1300, the entry model is $500. For the average to be so high, they expect quite a lot of buyers to be coming in above $1200. They have no desire to encourage people to buy cheaper machines, quite the opposite.

    I personally don't think 4GB is an unreasonable minimum. Let's say you have the IGP using 512MB, the OS and processes using 1.5GB, Safari 1GB, a few apps with 200MB each then you'll fill up 4GB but it'll start compressing memory and give you an extra 1GB or so to work with before swapping. It's not going to be good for anything productive but should be fine for Office, Facebook, web browsing, email.

    Let's say that a new user buys the entry model and over 1-2 years they start to be more productive with it and start noticing some slowdown, what are they likely to do? Abandon the platform entirely? I doubt it, the reason they switched was because they were so tired of Windows and a little beachballing is nothing compared to that nightmare. So, they'll ask Apple what to do and they can recommend a model with more memory and/or an SSD and they can either hand down their old one or sell it on eBay.

    I don't see there being a horror scenario for a customer nor Apple that offering 4GB on the entry model would bring about.
  • Reply 140 of 160
    fz750fz750 Posts: 14member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    Everybody should have SSDs.

    But it would cost $100 more and that option is available. If someone feels that 4GB isn't a high enough minimum, they click on the base model and switch to 8GB for $100 more.



    You are either saying that Apple should have kept the entry price at $599 or they should ship a $499 machine with 8GB of memory and take the hit on their profits. The first results in lower sales, the second results in lower profits. They only make $125 net profit on them so $100 hit just isn't feasible or as they've worded it in the past they 'don't know how to make a $500 computer that isn't a piece of junk'. They went the route that puts the decision in the hands of the buyer.



    It may be true that new buyers to the Mac platform will find performance to be slow eventually, especially not having an SSD but what do they expect buying the cheapest model? If they made the experience at the low-end so great, people wouldn't buy the more expensive models. Apple's average selling price for Macs is $1200-1300, the entry model is $500. For the average to be so high, they expect quite a lot of buyers to be coming in above $1200. They have no desire to encourage people to buy cheaper machines, quite the opposite.



    I personally don't think 4GB is an unreasonable minimum. Let's say you have the IGP using 512MB, the OS and processes using 1.5GB, Safari 1GB, a few apps with 200MB each then you'll fill up 4GB but it'll start compressing memory and give you an extra 1GB or so to work with before swapping. It's not going to be good for anything productive but should be fine for Office, Facebook, web browsing, email.



    Let's say that a new user buys the entry model and over 1-2 years they start to be more productive with it and start noticing some slowdown, what are they likely to do? Abandon the platform entirely? I doubt it, the reason they switched was because they were so tired of Windows and a little beachballing is nothing compared to that nightmare. So, they'll ask Apple what to do and they can recommend a model with more memory and/or an SSD and they can either hand down their old one or sell it on eBay.



    I don't see there being a horror scenario for a customer nor Apple that offering 4GB on the entry model would bring about.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

     

    They just did that with this generation then, it wasn't that way last week.


    well, I looked 1, 2 and 6 months ago and the Mac Mini was available on edu pricing, but no way is it a viable option now..

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