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The Mac Mini (2014)

REVIEW OF THE 2014 MAC MINI (ABOVE)

THE OLD STANDARD – THE 2012 MAC MINI 2.6 GHz SERVER

The Mac Mini once was the superstar of small form computers. Well built, elegant, and at one time a real powerhouse.

The 2012 Mac Mini offered a 3rd generation Ivy Bridge 2.6 GHz Intel i7-3720QM (4C/8T) [4 cores/8 threads] which could Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz. For the time, it was an enviable CPU.

Intel’s Flagship i7-3770 had a higher base frequency (3.4 GHz) but only had a turbo boost up to 3.9 GHz. So the 3720QM mobile CPU was not that much slower.

While the 2012 Mac Mini did not have a graphics card, it did have a Intel’s HD 4000 iGPU [integrated graphics]; and was capable of doing reasonable video editing with Apple’s Final Cut Pro.

But beyond that, the 2012 Mac Mini could easily be upgraded in RAM and storage.

It also had the quite aesthetic benefit of having its power supply inside the case.  It was a gem.

Indeed, the Mac Mini 2012 created a vibrant subculture among Mac Users. Geeks loved the 2012 Mac Mini because it was so easily upgradeable. Normally, Apple Mac products attract people who are techno-probic. Not so with the 2012 Mac Mini, which had aficionados in the Geek world.

BUT THEN APPLE RUINED IT.

THE DISASTER – THE 2014 MAC MINI

With the 2014 Model, Apple got rid of the quad-core option. Then to add insult to injury Apple started soldering in the RAM. Then Apple made storage upgrades very difficult. It was a total mess.

The reaction across the Appleverse was near total revulsion.

When the Mac Mini 2014 was released, it was received so badly that the price for the older quad-core 2012 Mac Mini shot through the roof. Indeed today, five years later, the 2012 Mac Mini can command a higher price that it did when originally released, and still higher than the newer – but still old 2014 Mac Mini.

THEN APPLE DID NOTHING FOR THREE YEARS

Apple has not refreshed the Mac Mini for three years, and is still selling the 2014 Model with the older Haswell CPU, limited to 2 cores/4 threads.

Mini fans are furious. At every Apple event, they make comments on Twitter begging for a new Mac Mini.

So far, Apple has not obliged them.

This has lead to many people abandoning Apple altogether. And it has been a major impetus for the burgeoning hobby of building Hackintosh computers.

After years of waiting for a decent upgrade to Apple’s desktop computers, I’ve given up. I decided to build a PC; then make it work like a Mac.

. I wanted a new Mac Mini because it’s about the size of two best-seller books stacked next to each other — easy to stash right beside our TV. It also starts at only $499 (you have to supply the monitor, keyboard and mouse, which I already have).

The problem is Apple hasn’t updated the Mac Mini since October 2014.

This year, it was time for a replacement. … If I bought a Mac Mini today, I’d be paying full price for a machine more than two years old.

Apple, you let me down.

SOURCE: — CNET

That quote was from an article about a year old. The situation is even worse, today.

THEN COFFEE LAKE PROBLEM

If Apple releases a new Mac Mini in 2017, with Kaby Lake options, it will be out-of-date in a few months when the Coffee Lake Chips come on board. It is not like Apple has not released items in the past with dated technology; but in light of the upcoming Coffee Lake CPUs, this would be highly criticized.

If Apple does not release an i7 quad-core option, there will be howls of protest. More than anything else, the withdrawal of the quad-core option infuriated Mini Fans in 2014.

If Apple keeps soldering the RAM, and making the storage hard to upgrade, then Mini fans will still depart.

What made the Mini so attractive to purchasers was that if offered the tinker-ability of a PC, even though it was an Apple.

If Apple does not take a step back, it will finally lose much of whatever customers were out there ready to buy a Mac Mini.

However, if Apple waits until spring, and releases the Mac Mini with the new Coffee Lake chips, the 2018 Mac Mini may outperform two or three year old iMacs, which cost thousands more. Apple apparently does not want to offer a good alternative to its high-price, and highly profitable iMac.

So Apple is not paying attention to its customer base. I fear the Mac Mini may suffer.

Right now, one should not buy a Mac Mini. The only alternative is the quasi-legal Hackintosh.

A QUASI-LEGAL HACKINTOSH BUILD

This build approximate a small form factor.

BTW: The reason his 2016 i5 (4C/4T) build outperforms the 2012 i7 quad-core option (4C/8T) is because he using a full power i5-6500 CPU desktop CPU; not the lower-power mobile i7-3720QM CPU, as was in the Mac Mini. In theory, the 2012 MacMini had more threads, but it was a mobile chip. In this case, the extra power was more important than the extra threads.

DO NOT BUY A MAC MINI UNTIL APPLE REFRESHES THE MODEL