The 2014 mini is actually quite the upgrade over the 2012 in many ways...

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by WilliamG, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. WilliamG macrumors 604

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    #1
    Yep, I couldn't believe it either. I just switched from a 2.5Ghz 2012 to the 2.6Ghz 2014.

    1.) AC Wifi is night and day faster than the 2012 N wifi. It's not even a contest. Streaming movies and transferring files are just much, much faster over my network, now. Remote desktop work is much smoother, too.

    2.) Thunderbolt 2 is, perhaps strangely, much, much faster than Thunderbolt 1, - even though in my case the Thunderbolt source does NOT saturate the limits of even Thunderbolt 1! For example, my OWC Thunderbay 4 with 4x Seagate 5900rpm drives in RAID 5 gets noticeably faster throughput connected to the 2014 mini than the 2012 mini. I hit around 500MB/s read/write on the 2014 mini, but only around 370MB/s read/write on the 2012. I can't tell you why this is, but it happens.

    3.) The 2014 mini fan seems to be a little different from the 2012 fan. The noise under load isn't as noticeable, but I didn't examine both fans closely enough to explain the difference.

    4.) 4K over HDMI. Since I remote desktop a lot to my mini from my 5K iMac, it's really nice to get a higher resolution remote desktop window (using a Fit HDMI adapter - ~$25).

    5.) Greatly reduced wireless "interference." Using a wireless keyboard/mouse connected to my 2012 mini resulted in me needing to be pretty close to the mini for the keyboard/mouse to even respond. On the 2014 mini, the range is greatly increased. I think this is due to the better shielding/design of the 2014.

    I won't touch on CPU speed, since I know that's a sore point for many. However, for me - the mini really is a nifty little upgrade.

    PS No matter what people may think of the 2014, it's a AAA experience in terms of build quality. I took mine completely apart to upgrade the hard drive to SSD etc, and boy - it's just beautifully put together. It felt like unwrapping a present to open it up.
     
  2. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #2
    Other improvements:
    • gpu
    • heat management
    • pcie ssd

    People are mainly pissed about the missing quadcore option and the ridicolous ram soldering.
     
  3. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #3
    Seconded.

    The Iris GPU is miles ahead of the HD 4000.

    And the PCIe SSD too.

    RAM soldering, so what? It's not that expensive to get it to 8GB, which is enough for most people.

    And how many people actually utilize all 4 cores in a QC processor?
     
  4. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #4
    You preaching to the choire. :D 4gb are fine for most.
    It still makes non sense to solder the internals in a desktop.
    It seems as if their engineers enjoy our ram threads too much.
     
  5. xylitol macrumors regular

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    Nov 2, 2013
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    Finland
    #5
    So it wasn't a great machine out of the box. That 5400rpm spinner shouldn't be there in the first place (it was more understandable in 2012). That's my main irritation, either you have to do some work yourself or pay CTO prices.
     
  6. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #6
    I run my 2012 headless similarly in 1680x945 HiDPI and have it connected to my Retina iMac over Thunderbolt Bridge, although the refresh rate is stuck at 15 Hz. It can do 4K as well, also at 15 Hz.

    ----------

    My 2012 Mac mini was very glitchy running at these high resolutions on 4 GB due to the shared video memory, the upgrade to 6 GB seems to have mostly fixed it. One of the reasons I recommend more than 4 GB in a Mac mini.
     
  7. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #7
    What resolution are you running?
     
  8. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

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    #8
    Soldering RAM makes sense on a thin laptop, if it saves space and allows for more room for battery, or allows for a thinner profile. Whether it accomplishes those goals is debatable, but it's a valid goal nonetheless. (sidenote: if you open the macbook air, or look at teardowns, you can see there is enough room between where the RAM is and where the lid sits, that it could have been socketed without taking away any battery or adding any thickness)

    On a desktop, it makes no sense. Space isn't a concern as much. If anything, Apple has made it more difficult for themselves by having to produce a wider variety of logic boards: 9 possible logic boards with RAM soldered versus 3 possible logic boards with RAM sockets). It also completely closes the door on DIY upgrades and repair.

    Accepting your statement that it isn't expensive to get what you need and will need in the future right away, it still doesn't address repairs. I have had RAM die in the past. It happens. When it's soldered, the whole computer is pretty much dead. That really makes their whole claim of how green and environmentally friendly the new mac mini is seem very disingenuous.

    My point is: there is absolutely NO benefit to having RAM soldered on the Mac Mini. Most points are either neutral or negative.

    The only positives are for Apple in that it pushes people to buy AppleCare, it lowers second hand desirability thus resulting in more sales of new stock.
     
  9. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #9
    Like I mentioned, 1680x945 HiDPI and 1920x1080 HiDPI. I still occasionally have graphical problems in 4K so I usually keep it to the lower of the two.
     
  10. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #10
    I don't understand.
    Do you run the iMac 5k in target display mode with the 2012? Why?
    Also 15Hz is really bad. That must be choppy as ****!

    My 2012 base mini runs well with a 1080p screen. Works as media center and runs Lightroom and safari without issues. Since Mavericks I can feel the sluggishness of the hdd however and I know it's time for an ssd.
     
  11. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #11
    The 5K iMac can't do Target Display Mode. I access the Mac mini through Screen Sharing, where I have come to expect some choppiness. However, I get a nice window of the Mac mini's screen in HiDPI.
     
  12. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

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    Mar 29, 2008
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    Seattle
    #12
    Interestingly, with the Fit 4K HDMI adapter I received today, I'm only able to get 53hz at 1080p on the 2014 mini, and 15hz at 3840x2160. Not really sure why, since my 1080p fit adapter does 60hz at 1080p without issue, and the 2014 mini is capable of 30hz at 2160p.

    Very odd..
     
  13. bbnck macrumors 6502

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    Mar 19, 2009
    #13
    Like many others, I don't like the fact Apple soldered the memory on the 2014 models and I hope they will change their mind with the future models. It is frustrating to many professional users. I am not sure how many times I can forgive Apple if they keep doing that...

    Grudges aside, I too think the 2014 Mac mini is a very good upgrade over the 2012 model (apart from the soldered RAM!) - better graphics, two Thunderbolt 2 ports (e.g. easily use three displays with the dedicated HDMi port) and while I haven't owned a Mac mini before, I'm surprised at how cool and quiet it remains even under heavy load. I just wish they would make a "Mac mini Pro" with dedicated graphics and more powerful CPUs! (Please!)
     
  14. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #14
    There is another benefit.

    It prevents people from opening it up to replace RAM themselves. Every time people try to replace something themselves, there's a chance that they might break something else in the process.
     
  15. Joelburman macrumors regular

    Joelburman

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    Oct 31, 2014
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    Stockholm
    #15
    Not in agreement. The ram sticks were always super accessible. The only problem I can see is from static electricity. If this truly were a reason they should have soldered the harddrives because thats something that needs way more surgical precision.
     
  16. Larry-K macrumors 68000

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    #16
    So being protected from your own stupidity is a feature.
     
  17. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #17
    Yes, it is.

    For the record, I'm a cryptography software engineer and have replaced my fair share of parts in servers.

    Rather, it's just that there's too many people who don't know what they're doing. So to stop them from damaging, Apple sealed it down.
     
  18. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #18
    Do a forum search.... There have been tons of threads of people breaking the "tabs" that hold the RAM sticks in. With that said I would have preferred user replaceable memory....
     
  19. Larry-K macrumors 68000

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    Jun 28, 2011
    #19
    I'm glad you feel protected, I've replaced all manner of electronic components for over 40 years, and I've never damaged one yet.

    I don't think most Mac Users have any idea what is inside their machines, nor do they care. I doubt Apple's motivation was anything other than profit.
     
  20. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #20
    Attached are the resolutions and refresh rates shown in Retina DisplayMenu on my 2012 Mac mini with the Fit 4K HDMI display emulator. Are you saying the refresh rates are the same or similar on the 2014?
     

    Attached Files:

  21. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

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    Seattle
    #21
    Attached are the resolutions and refresh rates on a Fit 4K connected to a mid-range 2014 mini. Yeah, not cool! Can't even get 1920x1080 @60hz, whereas I can just fine on their non-4K model.
     

    Attached Files:

  22. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

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    Mar 29, 2008
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    Seattle
    #22
    I'm actually wondering if the 4K Fit I have is broken, because check out these results from my non-4K version, attached...

    See? 2560x1440 @60hz, no trouble. I can't do that on the 4K model!
     

    Attached Files:

  23. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #23
    How come the refresh rate on yours isn't grayed out like on mine? Did mousing over it produce a menu?
     
  24. WilliamG thread starter macrumors 604

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    #24
    Yes, it produced a menu. I could pick 50hz or 60hz at 1080p. At 2560x1440, it's locked to 60hz. Still, pretty happy to get 1440p at 60hz. Again, this is ONLY on the non-4K adapter. On the 4K adapter my results are far, far worse, but I can't tell you why.

    So I'll stick with 1440p @60hz for now. Bit of a bummer the 4K Fit just doesn't work properly with 2014 minis.
     
  25. screensaver400 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 28, 2005
    #25
    I'm considering ordering a Mac mini for headless use. Has anyone had luck running 1024x768 HiDPI at a normal refresh rate? The screen shots above show 17hz.

    Thinking of trying to run it at native resolution on my retina iPad.
     

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