Tech Radar Mini 2014 Review: 4 stars out of 5

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dogslobber, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    To be fair, the ability to run two displays of your own choice (2560x1600, if need be) is definitely worth something.
    I just don't know if it's really worth that much.
    Admittedly, a question that each prospective buyer can only answer for himself.
    For me, the lack of Quad-Core would probably be the worst problem in the long run. Everything else (even the not really great SSD prices) can be overcome. (grudgingly, teeth grinding).
    But if you never run VMs, two cores are probably all you're ever going to need, even with two large displays.

    If you begin adding nice displays, even the price of the max-ed out top-end Mini kind-of shrinks in comparison.
     
  2. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    The mini 2014 isn't a bad machine depending upon what you need it for.

    For someone still using a 2009 mini then they are quite good, will still be an upgrade and if on a 2009 still then won't need the Quad anyway.

    When I upgrade from my 2009 will likely be more for the OS support running out as opposed to needing more power.

    As an iTunes/Elgato system then the Dual Core and even a non-SSD disk isn't a big issue.

    If you need more power, more gpu power etc then it won't be suitable, but that doesn't make it a bad machine.
     
  3. corvus32, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014

    corvus32 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    It's that they jacked up the price of the 2.6GHz model $100 more than the previous 2012 2.5GHz model, switch to soldered RAM so people are forced to pay Apple's extremely high prices for more memory, and took away the 2nd SATA port and made the Mini harder to get into so people are again pushed to pay Apple's extremely high prices for storage options.

    Had they offered the 2.6 Mini for $499 and still offered the quad core i7 option then everyone would've been delighted, but instead they use the 1.4 Mini with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB drive to scare people into buying the now $700 dual core Mini.

    All of this is bad bad bad. Apple went the complete opposite direction everyone was hoping they would go. Of course, the devoted will still follow them and give them their firstborn, but anyone familiar with technology and of a free mind knows this a poor value.
     
  4. Tsavo macrumors newbie

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    #5
    How is it a poor value? I bought a base Mini with 8GB. $80 less than an identically configured DIY Intel NUC device.
     
  5. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    It isn't the direction MANY, or MOST people on this forum who are enthusiasts were hoping for, is what you meant to say there perhaps.

    I actually quite like the direction that the mini has gone as MY needs are for lower power consumption as opposed to more power. I would actually like to see Apple go down the Avoton route with the Mini as promises even lower consumption then the Core series. I leave my mini on 24/7 and don't need the extra grunt provided by the Quad.

    Am seriously thinking of leaving the Mac behind for my next iTunes/DVR system for the Avoton platform, providing can find suitable software. This is however the lower power draw and FreeviewHD tuner requirements as opposed to Apple closing down the mini.

    As such it isn't EVERYONE that Apple have disappointed here. I haven't been disappointed with the direction Apple are taking the mini. Or perhaps I am not part of "everyone", despite being a mini owner and user.

    Like I said the mini 2014 isn't a bad machine IF it meets your needs. For me the Dual Core, and even hdd as opposed to an ssd still meets MY needs and requirements. The soldered memory saves ME the convenience of ordering, collecting ( am not in for delivery so have to collect from Post Office ) and then spending the time opening the mini. For that convenience and my time then Why is this machine a bad machine for ME!

    It clearly doesn't meet YOUR needs, or indeed wasn't what MANY/MOST of the people here were looking for but that does not make it bad, simply unsuitable for you. Which is the point that I was making in my post!
     
  6. cornerexit macrumors regular

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    Sep 11, 2014
    #7
    I can't think of any other industry where performance decreased and it was acceptable, unless they severely dropped the price. Definitely not in computing, certainly not in automobiles, motorcycles, televisions, nothing. You won't find it accept with Apple zealots.
     
  7. newellj macrumors 601

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    #8
    If you're talking about performance changes from dropping the quad core option, that's true, but only for applications that use all cores. Many Mini users will likely never notice the difference. I hate to see soldered components and elimination of the quads, but I don't think that's where the Mini market is at.
     
  8. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    $350 for the NUC
    $65 for 8GB of RAM
    $45 for WD 500GB hard drive

    That's $460 total, or $140 less than the base Mini w/ 8GB of RAM.

    A lot of people, Mac users included, already have a copy of Windows or aren't afraid to use Linux so that's not an added expensive for everyone.

    If you went with the 1.4 Mini over the 2.6, then chances are good you could go with the 1.7Ghz i3 NUC for $280 and save even more.

    If you have a previous Mini (or notebook) that you upgraded to 8GB or 16GB of RAM and a SSD, then you're good to go for just the price of the NUC. Drop those in and presto. You can't do that with the new Minis.
     
  9. Tsavo, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2014

    Tsavo macrumors newbie

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    #10
    No wifi/bt card. No OS. That's another $180. That's $640...$80 more than I paid for my new Mini. That's new, part for part...unless you have lots of Mini parts laying around, LMAO.
     
  10. corvus32, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2014

    corvus32 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    An Intel wifi + BT card is like $15, which is less than the $30 HDMI-to-DVI adapter Apple use to include for free.
     
  11. dogslobber thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

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    #12
    The 2014 Mini crisis has shaken the Mac community to its core. There is zero positive press for the 2014 Mini once you remove those pandering to Apple's whim.

    The bottom line for the 2014 Mini is that this is the beginning of lockdown creep. Apple will lockout the third party upgrade market and solder memory in desktop computers is just the start.

    Grab your 2012 Mini while there's still supply.
     
  12. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #13
    No it is not - the beginning that is. I would have to say that it started with the low-end 21.5'' iMac.

    Like it or not computers in general are moving towards a more shut out system, being propelled by phones, tablets, and ultra thin laptops. Apple has been the main player to move in on the desktops but surely others will follow. Not too far in the future the only way to have an upgradable system may be to build one yourself.

    Yes, I have grabbed my 2012 :cool:
     
  13. Tsavo macrumors newbie

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    Dec 6, 2014
    #14
    LMAO. Shaken to the core? Really now.

    The Mini is a competent dual core box that's unmatched in hardware and software for its price. The only thing that people see as detracting from it are the quad lovers and the upgradeable ram.

    So much hate for such an awesome little box. I got my base Mini for $80 cheaper than an Intel NUC that has inferior build quality and noise. NUC's are LOUD little ****ers. And HOT.

    Who cares that it's TC/4T only. The thing sips electrons, runs cool and silent.
     
  14. newellj macrumors 601

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    #15
    To a small enthusiast market, sure.

    To the real Mini market, not a chance. :(
     
  15. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    You paid $140 more for the Mini.
     
  16. Micky Do, Dec 11, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014

    Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

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    #17
    Yeah, yeah…. we all know you are happy tinkering around with computer hardware, different OS, and no doubt apps. Some others do, but many have little or no interest. We just want to do stuff, without hassle.

    It is OS X that makes a Mac. The hardware Apple chooses for Macs is is in keeping with the what is required for OS X and apps that it runs.

    Apple probably has little interest in geeks after bragging rights to the computer with the flashiest specs in the neighbourhood.

    The press was underwhelmed by the 2014 Mac mini when it was released, thus reviews (including Tech Radar's)were slow to come. However, the reviews that have been published have not been negative.

    Sure, there have been reservations about the soldered RAM and the loss of the quad core, but in reality those shortcomings are relevant to relatively few.

    While performance has changed little with most of 2014 Mini range, which means , there are other improvements which make for a better computer going forward.
     
  17. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    It's PC hardware that makes a Mac.
     
  18. paulrbeers, Dec 11, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2014

    paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #19
    Who cares about the HDMI-to-DVI connector? I haven't bought a DVI only monitor in 5+ years. They all have at least HDMI if not DP. Many anymore don't even include a DVI port.

    Oh and you keep forgetting that OSX upgrades are all free. When was the last time Microsoft gave away an OS? (rhetorical question, but the answer is never).

    I have two quad core 2012's. I'll keep them as my VM machines and servers. I will be getting a 2014 at some point to run both of my 27" 1440P displays since I can finally do that with 1 Mini. Right now they are split between my two 2012 Mini's. The Mid-Mini will be perfect for my needs. Since I won't be running VM's on it, 8GB is more than OSX gets on either of my Mini's now. The real loss is that I can't have one machine to do it all (quad cores to run VM's and OSX at the same time and run dual displays).
     
  19. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

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    #20
    PC hardware without the OS X is not a Mac.

    Reviews of the latest OS X, installed on the latest Mac Mini, have generally been positive. The hardware chosen and the software work well together.

    While reviews of the 2014 Mac Mini have not been gushing praise, they do suggest there is a Mini with adequate performance for many uses and users.

    If you don't want OS X, don't get a Mac.
     
  20. TruckdriverSean macrumors 6502a

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    Texas, US
    #21
    I find this whole thing rather comical. I'm sorry, I want to be kind to people's feelings but that's the truth.

    Fact 1: The 2014 Mac Mini sucks for budget-minded home studio graphic pro's looking to do their pro thing on a sub-$1500 machine.

    Fact 2: That individual is a subset of a subset of not just Mac buyers, but subset of Mac Mini buyers.

    Here's my little personal list of where I've actually seen Mac Mini's in the wild:

    1) As cash registers for a local liquor store. (They have 6-8 of them, some are pre-2009s)
    2) At a hotel bolted to a cheap monitor as the guest computer. (They had 1)
    3) As a server at a local publishing business
    4) As the home computer for a friend's daughter.
    5) My desk after I found an open-box deal for my first Mac. (Sold it a while back)

    Guess which Mac Mini had anything at all upgraded from factory specs?

    Apple for better or worse doesn't see most of their Mac Mini sales going to a subset of a subset who want a "pro" machine with a 2^2cm footprint. I mention that because at the prices you folks are paying for a 2012 quad mini you can get an 8-core 4,1 Mac Pro tower. Yes, it has a heatsink the size of your entire Mac Mini (actually, it has 2 of them at that price) but they serve a purpose. Seriously, are Yall doing your businesses in a space station? Wait, is that where all the telephone booths have gone?

    All kidding aside, most Mac Mini's are institutional purchases & home machines. They get unboxed, plugged in, used until long after the OS X updates stop coming, then one day they die, without one thing ever being changed. Rocked to the core these average customers are not.

    To put it another way, it seems many on this forum still have the pre-iPod Apple owner in their brains. Well, contrary to what may be believed on a forum, the consumer macs (Mini's, Air's, 21" iMacs) aren't all owned by Apple loyalists who are fighting the good fight and need reassurance for their "think different" approach. Just normal people who got a Mac for its low maintenance approach to computing.

    That isn't to say I'm a big fan of the 2014 upgrade. If I worked in Cupertino, there would be a quad mini. Heck, there would be a quad mini and a removable base plate with a real graphics card. But sadly, Cupertino hasn't called. Maybe spending a few million dollars on my super quad mini that costs almost as much as a nMP doesn't make sense. But I'm almost certain there would be literally hundreds and hundreds of orders before the orders finally stopped. The average "buy it cheap and forget it" Mac Mini consumer isn't interested.
     
  21. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #22
    Couldn't have said it better myself. The mini is a throwaway machine for 95% of the market. the problem is that review sites are run by hardware enthusiasts and these forums are generally accessed by Mac entgusiasts. until 2011 and really the 2012 machine, these weren't "Pro" machines. If the 2012 mid-mini never existed, then we would all be ecstatic about the 2014s.
     
  22. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #23
    I'm trying to figure out how a 4 out of 5 is considered a poor review....

    If I get a 4 out of 5 at my job, that's considered good. In American grading system, that's like a B.
     
  23. scottsjack macrumors 68000

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    Arizona
    #24
    I missed where dogslobber said the review being discussed is poor. He does make a good point that the 2014 mini represents a bad direction for mini enthusiasts.

    Of course the unknowing will still buy them. I've watched people carry new Macs out of an Apple Store on the day before a Mac upgrade announcement. You know that in many cases they paid the same price as people buying the upgraded machines the next day.
     

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