A Hostage Situation: Apple Soldering RAM in New Mac mini

Posted by Jim Tanous on October 17, 2014
Mac mini

We’ve already talked about the benefits of using third party RAM to upgrade your shiny new Retina iMac, but those looking to pick up the new Mac mini are in for an unpleasant surprise. Taking a page from its MacBook line, Apple is now soldering RAM to the logic board in the Mac mini. That means that users cannot upgrade RAM after purchase; they’re stuck with what they buy from Apple, and forced to accept Apple’s inflated prices.

The news comes from Brian Stucki, owner of popular colocation service macminicolo:

After letting the system languish for an entire upgrade cycle, Apple finally unveiled the new Mac mini on Thursday. The new model sports the same form factor as its predecessor, but brings the internal hardware up to date, with new Haswell CPUs, Intel Iris graphics, Thunderbolt 2, PCIe-based flash storage, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Ironically, the current Mac mini design was originally lauded for the ease with which users could upgrade the system’s RAM. Now the system is just another example of the disposable future Apple is creating for its Macintosh line. With its departure in the new Mac mini, the only current Macs that still officially support user-upgradeable memory are the Mac Pro and 27-inch iMac.

Users who have already placed orders for the new Mac mini, but who were unaware of the system’s soldered RAM, will want to contact Apple as soon as possible if they feel they’ll need more RAM. At this point, the only way to upgrade is to cancel or return an existing order and place a new custom order with additional memory.

9 thoughts on “A Hostage Situation: Apple Soldering RAM in New Mac mini”

Justin says:
Apple have just put all their eggs in one basket.
orenyny says:
Windows —> Mac —> Final destination Ubuntu
DorjeeVajra says:
Man I am seriously thinking of getting my geek hat out and start looking into Ubuntu.

I’m done with Mac and apple anything check out:


Just upgraded to Win 10 over all not too bad what I hate absolutely no control over what updates I want to use or not use. It’s a deal breaker for me.

Ubuntu here I come.

baligeko says:
Apple needed to produce a $499 Mac Mini to get corporate penetration. Shame they screwed up the high end models.
baligeko says:
I just got a super deal on a 2012 Quad Core Mac Mini. Now I shall max out the memory, and create a Fusion Drive.
With 8 virtual cores, it roars along, and the current 4GB seems to be managed well by Yosemite, even when doing Xcode compiles etc. Was lucky enough to get a Thunderbolt Display for $800 too.
Batman says:
I both agree and disagree with Apples approach here. On one hand, most people buying the mini are perfectly fine selecting the ram wen they buy, and most likely won’t ever need to open it up. Let’s face it, hardware is hardware and it’s reached critical mass-all companies need to keep selling hardware and in 5 years, this MM will seem too slow compared to later releases.
On the other hand, soldering in RAM alienates the DIY’ers and modern who love tinkering with the mini. This will probably just cause more demand for last ten mini’s, with these folks counting for only a few percent of the total market.
And before we gang-bash Apple for hard soldering RAM and other proprietary practices, lets not forget companies like Sony who have long done everything in as proprietary a manner as possible.
So, yeah, I’m not super happy about it, but, it makes (business) sense at the end of the day. I’m ready to give up Apple-but I’m certainly second guessing my decision to by a new mini. Personally i was hoping for a quad-core CPU choices.
facelock2000 says:
In the last 3 years, Apple has been ever so gently shutting its gates to its walled garden, I just gave away a 4th gen Apple airport extreme and replaced it with a Asus RT-AC68U (wow what a great router), I have a 2011 mac mini and ipad 3, when these 2 units calf, I will not be buying anymore Apple products, its funny how my hated Widows machines have started looking good again.
baligeko says:
Yeah. Have fun with that. LOL
woz says:
The hand of Tim Cook, bean counter.
sproketz says:
This kind of behavior is why Apple sucks. Just another evil company that doesn’t care about the environment or its customers.
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Citizen Trudge says:
Apple is the most Apple-friendly company.
icerabbit says:
You make a great point there. Between the anorexic hardware focus, poor battery life with certain iOS devices, the unnecessary flat / monochrome UI changes (mobile and desktop) combined with various inefficiencies ( even simple stuff like only allowing 9 apps per folder view in iOS, having the same number of items on screen on an iPad as an iPhone, … ) and repeat usability regressions (Quicktime, iMovie, iTunes 12, …); they really are making it harder and harder for enthusiasts to be completely satisfied.
Now the news about the 2014 mac mini, with less powerful cpus, soldered RAM and supposed inability to add a second drive if it didn’t come with one, according to some sources (waiting for ifixit or others to confirm) … just makes me feel sick, because it cripples a great machine and forebodes the next revision will be a mere bloated Apple TV. What to upgrade to in the future? Back to a $$$$ mac pro? I don’t think so.

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