TechJunkie is a BOX20 Media Company

Home PC Windows The New Mac mini is Quickly Turning into a Disaster

The New Mac mini is Quickly Turning into a Disaster

The New Mac mini is Quickly Turning into a Disaster

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. 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, an unfortunate development that meant that customers would no longer be able to upgrade their memory after purchase. Want the maximum 16GB of RAM for your new Mac? That’ll be $300 extra at checkout, with no option to find a cheaper third party alternative, or upgrade down the road if memory prices decrease.


The 2012 Mac mini offered easy RAM upgrades. Lee Hutchinson / Ars Technica

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.

Moving in Reverse

So, what does this mean? At best, it means only very modest improvements for some models, certainly less than most would expect from a system as old as the 2012 Mac mini. At worst, it means a dramatic decrease in performance, with some 2012 configurations absolutely destroying their 2014 counterparts in multi-core workflows.

Apple elected to use an underpowered class of Haswell chips in the new 2014 models, and there seems to be absolutely no reason for it

According to Primate Labs, makers of the popular cross-platform Geekbench tool, single-core performance for the 2014 Mac mini is up to about 11 percent better than the 2012 model in some configurations, but a staggering 40 percent worse in comparisons of the top-end models for each year. No wonder Apple hides the Mac mini on the second page of its online store listing.

Here’s a quick overview of the performance difference between the 2012 and 2014 models, based upon the best verifiable 64-bit Geekbench score. We’ll start with single-core improvements using the following specifications:

  • Entry Level: 2.5GHz i5-3210M (2012) vs. 1.4GHz i5-4260U (2014)
  • Mid Range: 2.3GHz i7-3615QM (2012) vs. 2.6GHz i5-4278U (2014)
  • High End: 2.6GHz i7-3720QM (2012) vs. 3.0GHz i7-4578U (2014)

[table id=15 /]

Single-core performance is indeed better, but not by much, with only the high end configuration enjoying a modest 11 percent improvement. Here’s multi-core performance, where things get ugly:

[table id=16 /]

Ouch. If you were waiting on a new Mac mini to replace a mid-range editing or production workstation, or if you just wanted a new mini that would make encoding home movies in iMovie faster, you’re completely out of luck. Apple elected to use an underpowered class of Haswell chips in the new 2014 models, and there seems to be absolutely no reason for it.

Apple executives, including the late Steve Jobs, used to frequently tell their audiences that the new Mac-whatever was “the fastest Mac-whatever yet,” and every time I heard that I would think to myself, “No kidding. I mean, if you come out with a new iMac or Mac Pro and it’s slower than the one that came before, you’ve made some kind of serious mistake!”

Of course, there are occasions when a reduction in performance from one model to the next is not necessarily a bad thing, and the trade-off between performance and battery life is a perfect example. In fact, Apple has made great strides in terms of battery life on the company’s MacBook line, with new models occasionally slower than their predecessors over the years.

But the Mac mini is a desktop, and power consumption is nowhere near the same level of importance compared to a portable device. Even with a reduction in idle power usage (which I’ll touch on in a moment), the 2012 Mac mini was already one of the most efficient desktop computers on the market. Is such a drastic loss of performance worth saving just a few watts at idle?

Who Would Buy This Thing?

Okay, so I’ve been pretty hard on the 2014 Mac mini so far, and while I think it’s a terrible deal for most users, there are still a few reasons that a new 2014 model makes sense over a used 2012-era mini.

Graphics: If you plan to use your Mac mini for any kind of gaming or computational work that leverages the GPU, the 2014 mini will offer a bit more performance. The exact numbers vary wildly depending on the task, but you can expect the Intel HD 5000 or Iris 5100 GPUs in the 2014 Mac mini to beat the Intel HD 4000 GPU in the 2012 model by between 15 and 80 percent.


Connectivity: The importance of this category will depend entirely on your planned workflow, but the 2014 Mac mini offers connectivity options that aren’t available in the 2012 model, including 802.11ac Wi-Fi and two Thunderbolt 2 ports. However, that extra Thunderbolt 2 port comes at the expense of FireWire 800, which is now completely absent from Apple’s product line (RIP, FireWire). Of course, you can always work around this limitation by using one of those Thunderbolt ports with a FireWire adapter or FireWire-enabled dock.


Storage Speed: A 2012 Mac mini with a solid state drive was no slouch, but if you elect to upgrade to the PCIe-based flash storage on the 2014 mini, you’ll see some significant performance gains. The 2014 Mac mini’s solid state storage, unencumbered by the SATA interface bandwidth limitations experienced by its predecessor, is about 60 percent faster for reads, and 50 percent faster when it comes to writes.

Energy Efficiency: As mentioned earlier, this isn’t a huge deal for most users, but the 2014 Mac mini uses half the power at idle compared to the 2012 model. Of course, the 2012 model was already idling at an impressive 10 watts, so the roughly 5 watt idle usage from the 2014 model suddenly appears less significant.

To put energy efficiency in perspective with a best-case scenario, let’s say that your future Mac mini will idle for 16 hours per day, which is not an unrealistic figure considering that the system will have periods in an idle state even while you’re using it. With an average energy cost in the United States of about 12 cents per kilowatt hour, the 2014 Mac mini’s 5 watts of savings at idle equates to about $3.49 per year. Assuming the absolute highest cost of 36 cents per kilowatt hour, you’re still only looking at $10.48 worth of energy for the entire year. So, yeah, militant environmentalists will appreciate the efficiency improvements, but for everyone else, such improvements are only a small bonus that’s likely to go unnoticed.

A Holding Pattern?

Some users may indeed value the 2014 Mac mini’s advantages over the 2012 model, even if those advantages are relatively minor. But questions over the new model’s underpowered components and the timing of its release remain. Apple waited almost two years — 723 days — to update the Mac mini, and there are no fundamental changes to to the product that justify the delay. So, why did it take so long to produce an arguably mediocre product?

The first, and likely correct, theory is that the Mac mini is simply not a priority for Apple. The mini’s fans, myself included, are a vocal minority and fond of its versatility, but Apple is becoming increasingly consumed with gadgets, consumer electronics, wearables, and even fashion. It’s unlikely that the company will abandon the Mac any time soon, but it’s also unlikely that it will choose to expend resources on a tiny part of a relatively small segment of its business. More exciting, higher profile, and higher margin products, like the new iMac with Retina 5K Display, are more worthy of the company’s finite attention.


But there’s another possible theory: Apple is working on something big for the Mac mini, and it just couldn’t pull it together in time for a release this year. Sensing customer frustration, and the embarrassment to the company of keeping a two-year-old computer on the market, Apple hastily threw together a component upgrade at as little cost as possible.

Several rumors that circulated in the months before the mini’s 2014 update offer some ideas of what exactly “something big” means. The next Mac mini could be a test platform for Apple’s potential transition to ARM-based processors. It could also serve as the next step in Apple’s home automation plans, merging with the equally neglected Apple TV and AirPort Express to form a hub that combines OS X computing with entertainment and home control features.

Just a Disappointing Landing

If I had to put money on it, I’d stick with the first theory, and wouldn’t be surprised if Apple phased the Mac mini out in the next few years. The company’s mobile lineup is becoming increasingly, almost alarmingly complex, and Apple executives would likely be glad to simplify the less profitable and popular aspects of the company’s business.

That’s a reasonable and understandable business strategy, but it leaves long-suffering Mac mini fans out in the cold. The 2014 Mac mini is still the cheapest way to buy a Mac and, even with its significantly reduced multi-core performance, it’s still more than capable of handling basic day-to-day tasks.

But the Mac mini during the last few generations had the potential to be powerful. Maybe not at the entry level configuration and price point, but the upgrade options were there for those looking for a powerful Mac at a relatively affordable price. Now, with the underpowered processors found in the 2014 Mac mini, users looking to upgrade will either have to take their chances finding a used 2012 model or spend significantly more on an iMac or, if they prefer their own display, a Mac Pro. It’s a depressing realization for a group of dedicated fans who have grown to love the Mac mini, but it may be time to walk away from this mess.

Will a Verizon iPhone 5S Work With Boost Mobile?

Read Next 

30 thoughts on “The New Mac mini is Quickly Turning into a Disaster”

Jonathan Klemm says:
What apple should have done is gotten rid of the ddr3 memory and replaced it with dd4 memory supporting 32Gig of memory. Use SO-DIMMs for memory used better graphics still use the same hard drive disks or had a regular 2.5 hard drive mixed with a m.2 ssd drive. Using soldered memory was stupid. There would have been plenty of people willing to trade there old 2012 and older mac mini but Apple didn’t care. More and more I’m looking to switch to Linux but I will have to investigate and as well as the Windows-X platforms.
Enter Ranting says:
Apple – the disappointment company.
Dan Wolfie says:
I’m glad I decided to opt for a used 2012 2.3 GHz quad-core i7 Mac Mini that cost me $500. A VERY speedy and powerful computer for a Mini!
Mark Potochnik says:
Took my 2012 mini, which was slowing down in. Installed full memory and a SSD. Running VERY HAPPY. It just works. What else can I say. Sure don’t want a PC… No complaints at all. My son is running an 2008 Mini. Works great… Both running a SSD with full memory. Maybe ignorance is bliss. But I’m happy. Buy the mini for $500 without any extras. No additions except for a display,mouse and keyboard.
Stan Goodvibes says:
Bought a mini-mac and now wish you hadn’t? Be of good cheer – at least you didn’t buy an Intel NUC, which, no matter how bad the mac-mini is, is infinitely worse.
Roy says:
Really? I have 2 NUCs and a mid range (2014) Mac Mini, the NUCs are far superior to the Mac, so much so that I use an i7 NUC as my main desktop machine, the Mini has been relegated to streaming football once a week. The Mini has sloth like performance in comparison to the NUCs. It takes an age for the Mini to do anything useful, it seems that the 8GB RAM is necessary to launch the spinning beach ball, something that makes frequent appearances. I won’t be buying another Mac Mini, this one was bought to replace a 2007 Mini that had served me very well for years until it was no longer supported in OSX upgrades.
Frustrated Dev says:
Sorry, but all things Apple are overpriced and if you did a price comparison between any Apple and a comparably specced PC, the PC will win every single time and cost probably half as much as the Apple. Stop being an iSheep.
Stan Goodvibes says:
sorry but your use of the word iSheep rendered the rest of your reply irrelevent.
ManWithAnOpinion says:
Well, then all but one word of my reply remains relevant then. Sorry to hit a nerve you sheeple you.
Stan Goodvibes says:
Sorry all I can hear is an irritating bleating sound coming from your keyboard
freakqnc says:
Nope… regardless what one thinks about Intel NUCs it’s no justification for F-ing up what was once a decent machine. The mac mini 2012 model was still usable and if anything Apple should’ve gone that route (rather than the trashcan form factor) when looking to build new hyper-compact mac pro (cube anyone?) so that at least PCIe cards could still be made for it without the need of external thundercrap expansions for PCIe cards and have a spaghetti monster attached to a shiny black trashcan.

Because one product by a competitor is deemed inferior (other might disagree) won’t elevate the quality of a new mac mini, much less make idiotic design choices (based on increasing the speed of obsolescence and sales turnaround times) a decision that will benefit consumers in any way. It’s solely shrewd business move forcing end users to get a new machine more often than ever before. That’s just a fact as it’s a fact that I am writing this on a Mac Pro 8-core from 2007 with some upgrades which still works absolutely fantastic with graphics and video software and it’s even using (despite the imposed absurd limitation…again rolled out solely for obsolescing purposes) El Capitan 10.11.3.

Apple has cared far more for its mobile line of products than for desktop ones. It pats itself on the shoulder when it comes with “innovative” designs like the pro no real pro would want to buy (proof is in the massive used market of pre 2013 trashcans. And has been sitting on its laurels mostly because the vast majority of Apple users use laptops and most corporate use has shifted to iMacs.

Mac mini for home aren’t sought after anymore (after all since one still needs a monitor might as well get an iMac too!). So with pro sticking to old pre-trashcan models or getting iMacs, with home users getting laptop or iMacs, and with the rest using mosty PCs, I am surprised mac minis are even alive today.

What’s really upsetting is that PC manufacturers for the most part haven’t really dedicated themselves to making small and power efficient/low power form factor PCs as mainstream as they should (no wonder there’s an army of extremely affordable and low power Raspberry Pi devices deployed everywhere for home entertainment and some home automation/IoT.

So the lameness is on both sides… not just one. And something being the lamest (in your opinion that would be NUCs), won’t make the other thing cool, much less great and attractive.

Stan Goodvibes says:
thanks for that succinct reply freakqnc. You put forth a good argument, I will give you that, and certainly didn’t scrimp on your research, but I’m sorry, my NUC is such a screaming pile of gobshite that I can’t comprehend of anything being worse. Anecdotal I know, but Intel managed to lower the bar so low that I often contemplate whether my NUC would be better put to use a door stop. So unless Apple are simply branding a small rectangle of solidified dog poop and calling it a mini, then the NUC remains the worst invention in the history of computing since Steve Jobs created the Lisa.
freakqnc says:
Thanks Stan and I get the disappointment. I’ve been looking for ages to get a PC that could do office, web/email, some occasional entertainment, gaming, graphic and video editing. I am talking SOHO, family entertainment and video including some gaming without firing up a workstation or gaming rig that would suck juice in the 1/2 kWh and up range.

Not looking for a high end gaming workstation or XBox/PS4 replacement that would also be an NLE and effects powerhouse… rather something workable across the board which would stay below 200W peak consumption (ideally below the 100W as mac laptops use 65W~90W power bricks and the the mac mini has an 85W internal PSU). I mean, if one could do all that (video, gaming, etc) on a retina macbook pro running off internal battery, or on a mini with an 85W PSU, why can’t competitors in the PC world can’t offer a darn semi decent low-power compact PC that could do the same?!

That’s why I even considered the mac mini, sadly can’t run Windows natively (though possible through virtualization albeit with some limitations). I got several mac and have owned many across the years (my first one was a Macintosh Plus with OS 7.5.5) and that’s why I get ticked off by the choice of going backwards like stepping down from 4 core to 2 (albeit with slightly better on-die GPU), even worse to make RAM impossible to upgrade as it comes ONLY soldered on the logic board, which is definitely not OK and does not save space, besides it’s not like we’re talking of an ever-shrinking Macbook Air therefore NO, there’s no good reason for ditching upgradable RAM slots in favor of soldered chips. And by the way who says the mac mini should be thin so any sacrifice in the name of size would be justified? IT’NOT A MOBILE DEVICE APPLE! They even ditched the 2nd sata port that was present on the 2012 models hence can’t beef up internal storage anymore with a strategic update.

So in conclusion, I get you’re pissed beyond imagination about having experience a NUC being an absolute pile of steaming cow dung and I hear you even when there will surely be others who will love their NUCs and will disagree with you. Though you might also hear me, just because Intel doesn’t hold itself to higher standards and sells as PCs what are really pile of gobshite that would at most be good as door stops, that does not mean for me that a chocolatier who used to make great tasting treats can get away with filling up the box of treats with increasingly lower quality goodies, because before you know it you’ll might as well find yourself holding a branded small rectangle of solidified dog poop indeed! ;)

anoynamouse says:
NUCs I’ve got are a fraction of the price and running our video displays all over our resort. No problem here and the mini or appleTVs make no sense for our need.
Stan Goodvibes says:
Good to hear. I ended up throwing mine away and buying a laptop because despite all the endless bios updating, driver updating, and windows 10 updates, it would just die randomly about once a day and sit there pre-bios with the message “a bootable drive could not be found” (the SSD is the recommended Intel one).

It would be fine again if I left it for an hour or so, only to die again later for no reason (even when just sitting there alone not being used).

My Dell laptop makes the rubbish display and lack of sound on the NUC look like it’s decades ahead. And it works, without having to add peripherals.

The NUC is the hands-down winner for The Worst Piece Of Tech I Have Ever Owned, and that’s saying something considering I once had a Sinclair ZX50!

Longjohn says:
The current 2014 base config MacMini (and for that matter base iMac) is fundamentally unfit for purpose – It is crippled by:

A woefully under-specified hard disk which fails to create a balanced performance configuration – despite being connected to a 6 Gigabit capable SATA III chipset the 5400 RPM HD only manages a 3 Gigabit negotiated link speed. Leading one to be believe it is a best a SATA II drive – a 10 year old technology that was replaced in 2008.

An inadequate & non-upgreable memory configuration of 4GB

Built down to a cost not representative of Apple’s past quality offerings

Sell broken iPhone screens says:
Samsung galaxy and other cell phones are normally damaged because of various reasons some of which are getting in contact with rough surfaces, hitting the screen with tough objects and may be weak screens. Generally, when the LCDs are damaged, the best option is to replace the screen as fast as possible for one to continue enjoying the device usage. This helps in recycling the screens in order to produce more good ones at a faster rate and it’s also cheaper since the manufacturer does not incur cost of looking for new materials. To Refurbish Cell Phone LCD, users get their losses lifted by finding a place to dispose their damaged products. It’s also good news to the phone users that these organizations also repair broken screens.
lize limbo says:
Wonderful! So simple. Thanks for the info, super helpful. I’ve found AltoMerge – online service for files merging. It’s pretty easy to use. You can find it here
iPhone lcd buyer says:
Get a case. There is a plethora of types of cases available for you to use to protect your iPhone. Some of them include flip cases, slip pouches, gel skins, rigid cases, weather resistant cases, and leather cases. You can get sports cases for when you don’t have a pocket or a free hand. Sports cases are armbands with an attached pocket or sleeve for your iPhone. If you are fashion conscious, you can even get Gucci and other designer iPhone cases. You can get cases that look like purses. iPhone cases come in every color imaginable. Some cases fit so tightly around your phone, leaving the screen open for you, that they look like the phone itself. So whatever your preference in a case, you can find one that you like, and it can keep your iPhone looking like new.
Longjohn says:
I am a longtime loyal Apple user and up until now have sworn by their products and often recommended them to friends and colleagues. However I am shocked by the latest technical specs and short-comings of most of their current low end offerings. Apple are now obviously building down to a price point and compromising their reputation in the process. I recently recommended a neighbour to buy a new MacMini (late 2014 model), base model as that is all her budget could stretch to. I am horrified at the sluggish performance this model exhibits – it is much slower than a 4 year old budget Windows laptop she replaced. I have traced the sluggish performance down to the hard drive that Apple now seen to be fitting to all base Macs & MacBooks – a really slow conventional 500Gb 5400 RPM SATA 2 (3gb speed) drive. This despite the fact that the rest of the hardware is capable of supporting SATA 3 (6Gb speed) drives. This is slower than the drives they were using a number of years back and is spoiling the ship for a ha’peth of tar! In this day when SATA 6 is the norm why oh why use SATA3 technology – or even why use rotational drives in preference to SSD’s now that SSD’s are so much more competitive in price.

To prove my point I created a OSX El Capitan boot drive on a £20 USB 3 memory stick and booted the MacMini from that – in comparison the internal drive, the machine flew and that was just using the USB 3 interface which is much slower than the internal SATA3 interface the machine has!!

It seems all computer manufacturers are touting CPU performance – whereas the speed bottle neck in most computers has always been the hard drive interface.

buy broken lcd screens says:
At the time, we were changing glass manually (long before glass changing machines were introduced into the market) for our own LCD’s. We thought maybe we could provide a lucrative solution that is not only safe for the environment but also great for the wallets of our customers. Since then, we have been providing recycling solutions for store owners and wholesalers all around the globe.
Olaf Herman says:
Fajny mini komputer ale gta 5 to chyba na nim nie pòjdzie.
sjsobol says:
I’ll keep my 2012 Mac Mini and upgrade it, thanks. Gonna go from 4GB to 16GB because now I’m going to be doing video editing on it (all of the After Effects plugins I want to use are Mac-only). I also plan to install an SSD. Unfortunately I’m still stuck with the el-cheapo Intel onboard graphics chipset, but no way in hell am I upgrading to a computer with RAM soldered onto the motherboard, especially when I’m paying a premium to buy an Apple product.
Gary says:
Hi Jim, it’s Q2 of 2015 now. I’m looking for a basic Mac for developing in Xcode so I can produce iPhone/iPad apps, etc., nothing else. But I also don’t want to be stuck with an development environment that’s slow and cumbersome and that may not be upgradeable to the latest version of OSX and Xcode. I don’t think the CPU speed or graphics or connectivity matters all that much for writing apps.

But besides a decent amount of RAM (16GB?) what do you recommend?

TekRevue says:
Hi Gary,

The CPU speed primarily matters when it comes to compiling your apps. If you plan to do a lot of iteration and testing, you'll want at least a quad-core CPU like those found on the iMac or 15-inch MacBook Pro so that you can compile quickly. On the other hand, if you don't mind waiting, any Mac released in the past 3 years or so should suit your needs.

A good place to save some money on recent macs is the Apple Refurbished Store. Apple regularly refreshes its refurb inventory, so check back frequently if you don’t see anything enticing at first glance. If you see a 2012 Mac mini pop up there, I’d grab it. Otherwise, check places like eBay and Craigslist for used Macs. The 2011 quad-core i7 iMac is still a beast of a system and will suit you quite well for app development. A quick check on eBay shows that they’re going for around $1,200.

RationalActor says:
Disk speed matters most when compiling apps. Period. Most compiling is single threaded by it’s very nature (cant go on to step 2 until step 1 is completed fully)

I’m not sure where you got the idea compile is cpu-bound. For all the libraries and parsing and information that goes into compiling and linking, the system spends the most time waiting for IO in almost (almost) all developer activity.

adam says:
compiling is cpu-bound as well… and is not single threaded… separate threads will launch to compile multiple files (based on dependencies). If you do a full build on a dual core vs quad core you’ll can see the difference for yourself (and why most devs get the 15″ MBP)… with incremental builds they’re fairly quick and small so though there’s a difference, you won’t be too bothered (I do heavy duty development on a 11″ 8MB i7 Air since it’s an insanely portable machine and the reduced performance from not having 16GB and 4 cores doesn’t drive me totally nuts)
Peter.B.H. says:
quoting the purported advantages of the MM2014:

” It’s $100 cheaper,”

Welcomed, but miniscule.

“better connectivity,”

Marginally, and only of advantage to heavy Thunderbolt users, and likewise heavy WLAN users. NB: 802.11ac running 5 GHz band will have the same performance problems that 11n had if there isn’t line of sight between base station and computer. In that case, ac won’t be much of an advantage.

“better power savings,”

Likewise welcome, but miniscule.

“better graphics.”

Again, this is welcome, but really only of relevance to gamers, and gamers wouldn’t use a computer with an integrated graphics subsystem. They would go for a iMac, if at all a Mac.

Then there is the drawbacks, specifically the soldered RAM, which is a pig move by Apple. Thats the sort of stuff I’d come to expect from bottom-of-the-barrel PC manufacturers.

jdizzl says:
Apple knows what they are doing. Mac Minis were getting too close in power to their iMac line… ripping into their sales… how to increase them? Deprecate the mini a bit, force users to get the iMac or Mac Pro. Their original market of “windows switchers” and something basic to run mac still works. It was never intended as a powerful machine, even though it became one.
Publius says:
There is nothing between a Mini and a pro, save the iMac which comes with a screen. If you want an underpowered, unupgradeable, overpriced computer buy a mini. If you want value for your money, build a Hackintosh.
daniel says:
The only disaster I see here is the one coming tekrevue’s way if they keep writing misleading articles.

You are buying the wrong Mac if you are frustrated that the mac MINI doesn’t let you mess with every feature you want. Mini means it is not a pro, even if Apple packs the same power they pack in pro models.

TekRevue says:
Read the article, then comment. It’s a good strategy.

I don’t want “pro features.” I want at least the same performance as the 2-plus-year-old model that the “new” one replaces. It’s not a matter of cost, it’s a matter of practicality. The Mac Pro or iMac are not suited for the tasks of the mini based on their form factors. As I said, it would be one thing if Apple made significant changes to the mini’s form factor, or introduced some other radical change that could compensate for lower performing chip selection. Instead, they give out the bare minimum (802.11ac and Intel Graphics are years old now) in the same form factor with less repairability/upgradeability and significantly reduced multitasking performance. Take a minute, think critically, and explain how that assessment is “misleading.”

daniel says:
I read the article and the claim is clearly about a disaster that is non existant or at least exaggerated.

I never mentioned you wanting pro fratures. The mini is simply an entry level computer regardless of what previous models offered. You are given certain liberties. If you want more get a model that fits your style better.

TekRevue says:
It’s an entry level computer that is significantly slower than its 2-plus-year-old predecessor for many common tasks. It’s not as if Apple introduced a brand new line of Mac and people said “I wanted more.” The company introduced an update to its existing line that is worse in many important ways than the one it replaced. Its status as “entry level” has nothing to do with it. The old Mac mini was entry level, too, and the new one is slower and less flexible from an upgrade and repairability standpoint.

The Mac mini, in terms of power usage and size, cannot be replaced by an iMac or Mac Pro. That’s why I (and many, many others) characterize it as a disaster. Those who rely on this product line waited years for an update and we were offered something that, in many ways, is worse than what came before.

If Microsoft came out with a new Surface tablet, for example, that was 40 percent slower than the model it replaced, the company’s critics and customers would be rightfully upset, and it would be the topic of derision on many Apple- and technology-related blogs and websites. It’s therefore quite acceptable for Apple to face the same reaction in a similar situation. You obviously are not familiar with the capabilities and usefulness of the previous generation of Mac mini, especially as they relate to the diminished capabilities of this new model, and that’s OK. But it’s not unreasonable to consider this latest update from Apple to be disastrous for the needs of many Mac mini users.

Anadiscus says:
What should I get then? When newer model is damn slower than previous model. I wait 2 years for better graphic to update but I don’t want sluggish processor, currently I use Quad Core i7 and now I have to upgrade to Dual Core? Such a mess. And with soldered RAM, great! same chassis as 2012 why would you do that? Save space? Is Mac mini smaller? No.

Only Good thing about new mini is Iris Graphic. Oh! and another thunderbolt port, wow a pro feature.

If you don’t use mini’s don’t do groundless talk.

Anadiscus says:
Funny, people here defending apple in a 2014 product that deliver neary same production power as 2012. How many people here are actual use mini? Many people here are not into mini and never want to buy one, but they only here because someone call their belove company launch disaster.

If you actual wait for mini or currently owned mini 2012, you will call this 2014 disaster. Since I may need to wait another 2 years for replacement of my 2012. Also unsure that what 2016ish will be good or underpowered, waiting 4 years without fortune is a disaster indeed.

derTobi says:
What’s that game displayed in the section “Who would buy this thing”?
TekRevue says:
The game is Civilization V.
tomatodon says:
I waited a year and half wanting to upgrade my older Mac Mini to what I thought was going to be a new and improved version and what they gave us was an inferior product. I’m greatly disappointed. And now to get the one I passed on is a thousand dollars higher than the day before they introduced the new model. I should have seen it coming.



angryshortguy says:
I’m profoundly disappointed in the direction Apple is going with the Mac Mini.
I had cash in hand, ready to spend on a new Mini, but after seeing the specs on the new model, I’ll keep both my money AND my 2012 Mini.
I use my Mini for family video transfers, media server, and general work computer for things I do at home.
Soldered memory?
Questionable CPU switch?
Hard drive restraints?

No thanks, I’ll pass…

G B says:
We all win when energy is conserved, as happens with the Mini. Here’s why:

Ernest Rider says:
It is absolutely a disaster just like all the post jobs Mac hardware. There’s an old saying beauty is only skin deep. And this applies to post jobs Polit bueru thinking at apple. I personally along with thousands of Mac fans are going wayland linux because we cannot buy into Macintosh low and upgrade over time. Intel is somewhat to blame here also. If Mac had halved the clock speed and doubled the cores with multi ported memory like a mobile version of the 2011 socket we would have said apple was a trend setter. Intel cannot sell to prosumers at the moment because there attitude changed since releasing the 1366 i7 920. Then the had AMD supercomputers eating into there bottom line.
SaugatuckMom says:
Just got the new, as in not refurbished, Mac Mini last night and already I’m on the phone with tech support. The lag time is ridiculous – this computer is slow. 2 days to download WolfQuest? 2 minutes to connect after clicking a hyperlink? Crazy. They’re having me reinstall which will take 1 1/2 hour then I have to wait for them to call me back again to see if it worked. I think this lemon is going back into the box and headed for the return desk.
matt10023 says:
I’m very pleased I picked up a refurb Quad Core i7 last year. Can boost the ram when I feel like it, swap out the drive for an SSD. Both of those mods benefit from waiting as prices for the components drop in price over time, and my power needs rise. You can’t do much if the CPU is crippled, and since I don’t do gaming, the graphics advantage of the new minis is moot for me.

I’m not sure why Apple did this, but it doesn’t feel like they are keeping with their premium positioning with this refresh.

titietrominet says:
Thank you for this article, this is exactly my thoughts. What a dick move from Apple !
Sapling says:
I have a Mac Mini off 2007,and I have just been using it till the new Mac Mini`s came out.
To tell you the truth there was not much difference but I did remove nearly all of Apples Application`s.
I had an iMac,but it had trouble with the faulty screen issue and the fault was in the screen itself.
If you want to see it done go to and you will see him fixing it it`s worth watching him.
I have the new Mac Mini now and I am not very happy with it.
If I knew it was just the basic model and now I have to upgrade it to 16 GB plus the Fusion Drive.
I was trying to buy the Mountain Lion Mac Mini but there seemed to be a rush to buy them because the bottom could screw off and you could upgrade the memory and hard drive your self.
I can`t understand Apple the Mac Mini could be the best computer ever made,and my old one 2007 proves it I am still connected to the internet it`s slow has you would expect and I have Photoshop on it.
I get annoyed when they keep on saying that it is the cheapest Apple Mac to start off with when it`s quite clearly not, has the guy below proved it by getting all the top specs.
I would scrap the iMac and concentrate on the Mac Mini.
Ivan says:
Mac was always too expensive to build a game rig.
A PC Machine was always a better option. Mac Mini has an appeal in budget markets.
Small developers have huge savings in Mac Minis . $10/year doesn’t matter in a 5-10 machines company. Imagine in a solo mobile developer (me included).
If you have a big company you buy tons of iMacs an Mac pros in volume. Cheaper than retail market.
I have a fast PC and Mac was always too expensive and I don’t saw any productive improvement for my business in using Mac. Windows and Linux solve my problems, EXCEPT compiling and publishing for Apple plataforms.
The only product I saw some benefit was Mac Mini. Cheap memory/hdd upgrade and CPU scalability.
It’s expensive to play in Mac, so, Intel Iris has no benefits to me.
The 802.11ac it’s a good improvement, but you can buy an external USB . Not a big deal.
Mac Mini was always agood option for people that wants to try Mac for firt time.
The server was a good option for companies and individuals to develop products for Mac, in same time they still have a Windws/Linux business .
The HD 5000 is not a good option to play games, Iris is insteresting BUT ONLY THE IRIS PRO.
The average Iris has a small advantage over HD5000.
I don’t see any Iris Pro in the configuration because the use of cheap 2 cores, low power CPUs.
So, I don’t think the point is turn Mac Mini into a reasonable cheap game machine . This could be interesting to gain users from PC machines.
I think the point is : cut 100 dollars in price for entry level and make other configurations more expensive.
The buyers will not see if you got a cheaper entry level.
CPU makes difference in productivity for me to make Apps for mobile, even Games.
With a HD4000 and 16 GB RAM, the video memory raises to 1024MB. And the video performance is enough to test mobile apps.
I made my decision : I bought an old stock Mac Mini Mid 2012 server and an Apple care for it.
Hans Clausen says:
I just wish to add my own personal appeal. I’ve been a mac mini user for years. I love how I can use it with a much much larger display. In the Apple stores they keep trying to steer me toward the iMac with the 27″ displays. I find those screens too small for all that I do, with all the writing & graphics ‘ironically’ miniaturized while I in-store test them. Not good enough for me. I use my mac mini for creating music videos, downloading CAD drawings, writing songs, creating presentations in all media, and so much more, all while watching Hulu. There’s nothing else like it. I can only hope, as someone who just wishes the world was a better place, that Apple execs will hear our voices crying out from the desert wind and keep improving our minis into the future. In my opinion, the mac mini is the one true creative computer Apple offers, above all of the rest.
Gabe Martin says:
I don’t think Apple will abandon the Mac-mini, I think Apple looks at it’s product range; they like to have products at different price points to appeal to different people / sections of the market. If someone decides to buy a Mac-mini, that might be thier first Apple product they own, they then might decide to buy another and so forth.. I think having different products at dfferent price points is more important than simply which products are most profitable. Its a family of products that work together through things like iCloud, iTunes accounts etc. The point is simply having a product at that price, not the performance. Apple dumbed it a little down to protect iMacs and Mac Pro sales, and to differniate it’s product lineup.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Jim Tanous

Dec 1, 2014

676 Articles Published