“Mac mini fans waited a heck of a long time for an update and, upon witnessing Apple’s unveiling of the 2014 Mac mini during October’s iPad event, issued a collective sigh of relief,” Jim Tanous writes for TekRevue. “Finally. Sure, the new model sported the same form factor as its predecessor, and there was seemingly nothing radical to justify Apple’s delay in updating the product, but at least the Mac mini could finally get the “new” features that have been available on other Macs for over a year, such as PCIe-based flash storage, Haswell processors, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Apple also cut the entry level price by $100 to boot, bringing the system back to its original, psychologically significant $499 price point.”
“But it didn’t take long for even this arguably consolation prize-style update to begin to unravel. It was soon revealed that Apple was using soldered RAM in the new Mac minis,” Tanous writes. “Compounding the memory upgrade situation is the company’s choice of CPUs. Yes, they’re Haswell, but they’re not as fast as their 2-plus-year-old Ivy Bridge predecessors. The old 2012 Mac mini lineup included options for both dual- and quad-core CPUs, but the new 2014 models are dual-core only, and the efficiency improvements in Haswell can’t compensate for the loss of those two cores.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Mac mini is an entry-level Mac and Apple did what they had to do in order to get the price below US$500 – a magic price point for luring hapless Windows sufferers into the light. If you want to be able to add third-party RAM and deploy faster processors, then – Newsflash! – you are not a Mac mini customer.
The fact is that Apple’s Mac mini product is an excellent value. Stop blaming Apple because you are trying to shoehorn yourself into the wrong Mac product. You don’t get a Mac with replaceable RAM for under $500. Apple’s RAM margins are a big part of why the entry-level Mac can even start at $499. Furthermore, any budgetary concerns you may have are your own problem, not Apple’s.
UPDATE: 12:56pm EDT: Note to Apple: You are missing something between the Mac mini and the Mac Pro. A Mac minitower — a really short “tower,” call it the “Mac mini Pro” — with user-swappable RAM more processor options starting at $799 would go a looong way here (especially with the Mac’s rejuvenated growth). You are leaving money on the table.