Why did Apple cripple the 2014 Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by yahoodlums, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. yahoodlums macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2008
    I just don't get it. Very cynical move by Apple to remove user upgradability and cripple the mini with such low specs.

    Surely this move alienates the very core of users who buy the mini and rave about it.
  2. cinealta macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    It makes perfect sense. Look at Apple's bigger picture. Everything will be moving from local to iCloud. No more local storage, processing etc. Eventually all you will need is a simple network appliance to access iCloud. If you need higher specs there is the Mac Pro line.
  3. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Why are you asking MacRumors? None of us are privy to Apple's business choices.
  4. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    I'm still bummed about them deleting the optical drive, and you want us to answer why they went from quad to dual core??
  5. boast macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2007
    Phoenix, USA
    Seeing what their next move is would determine if this was really true, or if it was a vocal minority.
  6. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    This has been discussed ad nauseum. If you want to complain about someone, then complain about Intel who changed the socket configuration between the quad-core and dual-core CPUs making it uneconomical for Apple to offer a quad-core version. They probably have decided that lowering the Mac Mini price is a better idea than raising it only so that they can cater to a small group of performance-aware users. Mac Mini has always been intended as a space- and power-efficient office/home media machine and it is excellent at this, quad core or not.

    And by the way, fear not. The quad-core is without doubt coming back once Intel unifies the socket again.
  7. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    That doesn't seem correct - how did you draw that conclusion?

    Intel has the latest Haswell-H BGA-1364 socket CPUs available as both i5 dual core and i7 quad core.
  8. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Apple does it because they can. It fits their marketing model scheme where they tell us what we want or move over to the next device they offer.

    As for anyone saying there is always the Mac Pro... please that is a weak offering given the difference between pricing of a Mini and a Mac Pro.

    As for mentioning Intel's chipset disparity between dual and quad, lets be clear Apple could have gone all quad which is what they should have done given this is supposed to be a computer not a thin client to the cloud. This is about directing buyers, manipulation and taking advantage of good will because they can (and gain profit). I am not faulting Apple but simply saying this is not untypical of Apple these days. The only thing innovative about Apple is the ability to sell castrated devices as if they are new and exciting Apple products.
  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Apple uses the U class CPUs, which are FCBGA1168. You are probably referring to the E class CPUs, which are lower binned and include slower graphics. But put like that, you are kind of right. Apple also could have used the i5-4400E in the lower end and quad-core CPUs in the higher end. However, TDP would probably be an issue.
  10. koyoot macrumors 603


    Jun 5, 2012
    Isn't it the same scheme we saw with Mac Pro few years ago...?

    Update, veeery long wait for next one, and when it is, its a small one.

    Next step was... you know, new Mac Pro.

    Maybe its the same for Mac Mini?
  11. antonis macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    It can be anybody's guess, why Apple chose to release a mac mini with these specs. Chipset, pricing, bad timing with intel's cpu life-cycles, a small update before an upcoming complete redesign, whatever.

    However, there's no real excuse why they chose to glue the ram... This is a step backwards beyond any objection, and there are no technical reasons to justify this.
  12. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    Though the update was underwhelming, and not the upgrade that geeks wanted, Apple didn't cripple the Mac Mini for 2014.

    They did remove user RAM upgradability, but the the maximum RAM option offered is the same as the maximum that can be installed in its predecessor. It has upset DIY geeks, who are after adding a more RAM than the 2012 standard at less cost, but my guess is that most folks don't give a hoot.

    At 1.4 Ghz, the lowest CPU speed is much lower than the slowest of the previous generation. However, with turbo boost, it can match its performance in use for most day to day tasks. The others have slightly increased speeds, and perform a little better than the previous equivalent when doing single core tasks.

    The loss of the i7 quad core model is a blow to those who do have a use for the multi-core grunt. It seems that is more down to Intel not being able to supply a suitably socketed CPU.

    All tricked out, the 2012 quad core Mac Mini cost about two thirds the price of the lowest level new Mac Pro, which would probably be a better option for users requiring such power anyway.

    On the computing side, then, most 2014 models are at least the equivalent to the previous generation.

    It is in other areas that the 2014 Mac Mini is an improvement over the previous generation. There are slightly improved HDD and SSD options available. There is an improvement in graphics. Connectivity is upgraded with two Thunderbolt 2 ports and up to date wifi.

    All in all, not enough to encourage owners of recent generations to make the move to the 2014 Mac Mini, but still regarded as a sound enough machine by few reviews that have appeared.

    The Mini is alive and well, and a new Mac Mini is almost certainly coming.

  13. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    People seem to be forgetting that the vast majority of people who buy the Mac Mini have no need for quad core, nor lots of ram, nor upgradability. The vast majority of Mac Mini purchases will do nothing more strenuous than maybe us Safari, iTunes and Mail at the same time.

    My personal logic behind the move is that it allows them to share parts with the MacBook Air.
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Yet, its still a step backwards, True the basic consumer is only interested in Facebook, emails but there are many other customers who used it. I think it was a foolish step on apple's part.
  15. G4er? macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2009
    Temple, TX
    Then Apple needs to offer the xMac for the rest of us.
  16. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    Apple no longer wants to allow consumers access to quad core CPUs, without paying significantly more. They have also taken this same approach with the internals as well - RAM & storage.

    Apple will continue this path as long as people keep on buying. The customers needs are secondary to marketing and the bottom line. It hasn't always been like this, but we all have to accept that this is the new Apple, and plan accordingly.

    I'll be holding out with my 15" cMBP as long as I can. Luckily with 16 gigs of RAM and SSD & HDD, I can last a long time.
  17. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    Originally Posted by Brian Y View Post
    People seem to be forgetting that the vast majority of people who buy the Mac Mini have no need for quad core, nor lots of ram, nor upgradability.

    Whatever Apple does the purpose is to make money and they are not in the charity business for their user base. IMO Apple does not want to cannibalize the lower segment of imac sales. Many mini users are not power uses but there are plenty of people who are quite capable of maxxing out their mini's capabilities; it isn't all that difficult, lol. I used to do it all the time, rip my music, edit movies, etc. I remember when my mini's fan was cranked up all the time, lol. To say imac users are more power users than mini users, I could go with that but to say mini users have no use for quad cores, IMO, is unfounded. Anyone who has used dual core machine for real world use knows how bad it can be. I would say people should never buy a computer with less than 8GB of ram and/or less than 4 cores. There are many entry level computers which are very inexpensive. That being said I reiterate Apple isn't willing to cannibalize users who opt for imac but really don't need the imac's potential and they can make more money on an imac than a mini. With that in mind I think Apple is lowering the capability of the mini to expand the imac base. No surprises there.
  18. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    While I am not happy about the mini downgrade either, I agree with you.
    The vast majority of consumers have no use for quadcores.
  19. MRrainer macrumors 65816

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    My parents got the 2012 i5 with 4 GB RAM (must add 16 at some point) and the original 500G (rotating rust) hard disk.
    They didn't complain yet.

    As I got them a Apple Care, I'm not sure if I will add an SSD before it has run out. Hopefully, there are still SATA3 SSDs in 2017...

    They could probably get by even with the new low-end 2014 Mini.
  20. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Considering the Single Thread Score between the 2012 and 2014 bases are the same and the 2014 only lags a few hundred points in multi-threaded AND the GPU is considerably better in the 2014, they definitely could have gotten away with the Base.

    Now granted the memory could become a problem....


    I'm not sure you know the definition of Cripple....

    cause (someone) to become unable to move or walk properly.
    "a crippling disease"
    synonyms: disable, paralyze, immobilize, make lame, incapacitate, handicap, leave someone a paraplegic/quadriplegic More

    cause severe and disabling damage to (a machine).
    "over-lubrication might well lead to piston seizure, crippling the engine"

    cause a severe and almost insuperable problem for.
    "developing countries are crippled by their debts"
    synonyms: devastate, ruin, destroy, wipe out; paralyze, hamstring, bring to a standstill, put out of action, sideline, put out of business, bankrupt, break, bring someone to their knees

    Is it still a fully functioning computer? Is it still able to complete the intended tasks? Disappointing, yes. Crippled, no.
  21. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    I don't get this "it's Intel's fault" on the CPU socket. It was Apple's decision to go with the Haswell "U" CPUs (BGA-1168 socket), which doesn't offer a quad core.

    The Mac Mini 2012 used the Ivy Bridge "M" (2 core) and "QM" (4 core) CPUs, which had up to 45W TDP. Intel has Haswell versions of the "M" and "QM" CPUs (up to 47W TDP) which are direct replacements for the old chips.

    And the U chips aren't cheap - this wasn't a cost cutting move. It was purposely done to "force" users looking for a little more horse power into the iMac or even a Mac Pro. This is the kind of BS that was common back in the 90s that almost destroyed the company (not to be overly dramatic or anything ;) ).
  22. iZac, Jan 5, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015

    iZac macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2003
    They crippled now it so that when the redesigned super small disposable mini comes out in next Christmas, compared to the 2014 mini it wont seem like a downgrade.

    Sounds like a sarcastic comment but it's my honest opinion :p

    If they crippled it when they release the redesign then people would be much more vocal about the death of their favorite little Mac.

    ...And by crippling, I refer to the soldered RAM and missing 2nd SATA connection. Less upgradable and more locked down. The lack of quad core is very unfortunate but the standard config is comparable and will help Apple's goal of re-focusing this as a low power replaceable machine rather than a small, cheap powerhouse.
  23. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    Exactly. All four of my Macs are 2012 models, three of them purchased in 2014.
  24. yahoodlums thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2008
    I got the Mac mini earlier this year (thankfully it is a 2012 spec model) so I got the quad core and maxed out the RAM to 16GB with a fusion drive. A very fast useful little computer at the fraction of the price of a Mac Pro.

    That (for me at least) was always the appeal of the mini. You could buy A low cost, highly upgradeable entry into the Apple franchise. Soldering the RAM is just mean and cynical to squeeze out a few more dollars from the false base price. The loss of the 2nd SATA connection and quad core CPU are an inexplicable swipe at the very users who love the mini. That's what I don't get.

    If you haven't got a worthwhile upgrade to roll out, why bother rolling out a downgrade? Why not wait until you have something significantly better to launch (as in the redesigned Mac Pro)?
  25. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    All of those aren't crippling by definition. Disappointing, but not crippling. It isn't like Apple put 1GB of RAM into it with an Atom Processor and relied on network storage....

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