Apple has finally "corrected" the price and position of the Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by johngwheeler, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2010
    I come from a land down-under...
    It seems that Apple has finally fixed the "problem" it had with the good value previously offered by the quad-core Mac Mini.

    It used to be the case that you could get an upgradeable quad-core i7 only a shade slower than a rMBP 15 for about $800, and upgrade it to SSD + 16GB RAM for under $1000.

    This was obviously a pretty good deal when you had to pay close to $2000 to get the next step-up with a 21.5" iMac with quad-core i7, 16GB RAM & an aftermarket SSD.

    I'm sure a lot of developers and general "tinkerers" (like myself) were attracted by the value proposition of quad-core Mac Mini, as a small server or reasonably powered workstation, without the overhead of buying an unwanted screen (in the iMac).

    The Mac Pro didn't offer a huge amount more for non-graphics intensive uses for over 3 times the price (quad-core Xeon + 16GB). Sure, the nMP is a nice machine and I'm sure the E5-1620 Xeon is considerably faster than the mobile quad-core i7, but not 3 times better.

    So, apart from the "gap" between Mac Mini and Mac Pro which is kind-of filled by the iMac, many people were happy with the good value offered by the Mini and saw no reason to step up to the next level in cost.

    This was clearly a problem for Apple's accountants....

    It's now been fixed by removing the quad-core option and sending the Mini back to the lowly specifications befitting its price.

    If it's true that the RAM is soldered, then to get a 16GB dual-core i7 Mini with Fusion drive or SSD is going to cost me $1400. If I want a similar quad-core machine, I'm going to have to go the iMac at at $1700-2000 (i5 or i7 with 16GB + SSD), a rMBP at $2000, or the entry level Mac Pro with 16GB at $3100.

    I looked at this problem a few months ago, and having already acquired a quad-core Mini, but wanting "the next step up", got a Dell Xeon desktop.

    Quad-core Xeon E3-1630, 32GB ECC RAM, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD, Radeon graphics card: all for about $1400.

    Sure, it's about 50 times bigger than a Mac Mini, but it's quiet and does the job - albeit with Linux or Windows - and fits into the magical spot that should be occupied by the mythical xMac, i.e. a quad-core desktop with lots of grunt for under $1500.

    Until Apple produces something like this themselves, they don't really have any products that I would buy (with the possible exception of the rMBP, but I'll wait for Broadwell for this)

    That doesn't stop me reading about everything they do on Macrumors though!
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    In my opinion, the Mini that was released yesterday, was put forward simply to "fill a gap" until Broadwell comes along.

    There are complaints about limited processing power, but it looks like Apple's designers may have be restricted a bit by what CPU options were available to them, while still endeavoring to keep power consumption to a minimum.

    The late 2012 Mini had quite-adequate CPU power, but was limited a bit by the onboard graphics.
    The late 2014 Mini has improved graphics but is now limited by CPU power.

    It will "have to do" until Broadwell comes along. The next update we'll see will probably be "early 2016"...

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