Mac mini (Late 2014) – “waited too long”

First time in the history of the smallest and available the Mac, it hasn’t updated in almost two years. Before this update happens once in a year once in a year and a half. Immediately started talking about the inevitable and imminent liquidation of the Mac mini. Familiar? Mac mini comes in October 16, 2014 was updated October 30, 2018, four years later. Sale Mac mini fell below a certain important level for Apple, but it was still off.

For many of these many the possibility of upgrading the little Macs was one of the most attractive features. Cover opening in the body, and all that. In 2014, the Mac mini was deprived of this. About the reasons of falling demand for them, no one began to seriously think. The falling demand for desktop computers occurred around the world, nothing can be done.

The exception to the global trend was the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac, sales of which seems to be even growing. Statistics by models no, but the fact how the company has treated these model series, this conclusion is obvious.

That would have alerted someone to take a closer look at the “depressive” patterns, thinking about how anything that is missing to those who more recently was ready to buy them, what should be the goals of their owners – and came up with a super-duper Mac mini (or Mac nano), which would be demolished the roof. This, according to the company’s management, Apple’s DNA. Alas.

In 2014 externally, the Mac mini has not changed. And he was neither the smallest nor the lightest mini PC in the world. His concept attracted imitators, it is exactly what it was, for such computers even invented a special name. Examples? Intel NUC and HP Stream Mini. At least.

Phil called the Mac mini computer is the most economical in its class. For desktop computers this is not so important, especially as all his ancestors were economical, and economy in any case was insignificant. And the developers of the new Mac mini has been in achieving this advantage was not guilty: Intel Haswell and OS X Mavericks they did not.

Mac mini for a very long time nothing was substantial, and almost no one doubted that this model is the last one.

This is a continuation of a series about the Mac mini, previous parts here:

The first part: Major debut 2005: headless Mac;
Second part: In not listed (Mac mini Late 2005);
Part three: Mac mini, Solo and Duo;
The fourth part: the Mac mini: classified ad…;
Fifth part: 07.08.07: and another thing…;
Sixth part: Mac mini (Early 2009): the return of dark horse…;
Seventh part: a New server for OS X. the Mac mini, October 2009…;
Eighth part: Unibody Mac mini, June 2010;
The ninth part: the Mac mini 2011: again for $ 599 and two times faster…;
Tenth: Mac mini (Late 2012): Fusion debut.

Side effects

The Haswell processor was much more economical predecessors, but everyone has to pay something. For the increased battery life of portable computers had to pay a very modest increase in performance.

So the Mac mini 2014 if exceeded on this option, a Mac mini 2012, just a little bit. But Apple for some reason made it is also a contribution of: 4-core processors in the Mac mini 2014 was not.

There was another side effect of the transition to Haswell: integrated graphics has ceased to be something nasty. Now she could compete (in the lower segment, but still) with discrete graphics from the most famous and popular companies. Although the latter refers only to the most advanced versions of the integrated graphics.

In most Mac mini 2014, Intel Iris 5100 used only in the cheapest of them was the graphics are more low-level, Intel HD Graphics 5000.

To turn a Mac mini into a “hot” or in the computer for the most demanding of games was now absolutely impossible, but with normal games and normal graphics needs graphics from Intel have done.

And using Haswell 2013, Apple managed to reduce the price of “minik” extreme economy class to $ 499.

Common in all Mac mini 2014

All Mac mini 2014 is the same model ID – Macmini7,1, although they would be if engaged in seriously, all the rules among them are two completely different Mac mini.

Trifle seriously confirming that the new Mac mini did. Got someone, appointed term is completed and achieved compliance. Then all participants returned to the place of permanent employment.

Common place: all that is allowed or facilitated the modernization has been extremely simplified, because of which it has become almost impossible. This savings (penny) in the production, and the reduction of development time (a dozen or so tests to exclude, and to think about the consequences of a “field” upgrade not required). The creators of the Mac mini could argue against it, but against big politicians, they were powerless.

The Haswell processor soldered into the motherboard RAM (1,600 MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM) and the processor in the same means of extension (external) and communications.

2 Thunderbolt 2 ports, HDMI (with support for display resolutions up to 4K), 4 USB 3.0, Ethernet 10/100/1000Base-T, SD slot (supports SDXC). IR port for the Apple Remote.

Panel connectors:

Communications – Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (supporting 802.11 a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 4.0.

For work with drives – SATA III (6 GB/s) for hard drives and PCIe SSD flash memory if during the order configuration not included SSD, PCIe SSD was not there.

With a different option

I have already called him a “BJ” extreme economy. In fact, it is a different model.

CPU of 2013 is the Intel Core i5 1.4 GHz (i5-4260U) with the size of the cache third level 3 MB supported Hyper Threading and Turbo Boost 2.0 (clock rate could be dynamically increased to 2.7 GHz).

The base configuration includes 4 GB of RAM, of which Intel HD Graphics 5000, reserved for their needs 1.5 Gigabytes. The computer was shipped with OS X Yosemite, and even worked (I saw it myself, otherwise I would not have believed). And after the order to increase the size of RAM became absolutely impossible.

In the Configurator the RAM size can be increased to 8 GB (for $ 100) or to 16 (for 300).

Hard drive was part of the initial configuration a capacity of 500 Gigabytes, it is very slow (5 400 rpm). For $ 250 instead can install Fusion Drive (128 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD).

Then all was sealed, and froze for centuries. Base configuration cost of $ 499, minimally acceptable (with 8 Gigabytes of RAM) cost 599.

The usual options

There were two. Intel Core i5 2.6 GHz (i5-4278U), with a maximum clock frequency of 3.1 GHz and Intel Core i5 2.8 GHz (i5-4308U) with a maximum frequency of 3.3 GHz. The cache of the third level in both is the same, the amount of 3 Megabytes. The Hyper Threading. The initial configuration cost 699 and $ 999.

In both the integrated graphics accelerator Intel Iris 5100, reserving for their needs the same 1.5 GB of RAM.

In the initial configuration for 699 – 8 GB of RAM and a drive capacity of 1 Terabyte (5 400 rpm).

The RAM size can be increased to 16 Gigabytes, and instead of the slow disk install 256 Gigabytes of flash or Fusion Drive (128 GB flash memory plus a disk of 1 Terabyte) for any of these actions asked for $ 200.

In the initial configuration for 999 the same 8 Gigabytes of RAM and a Fusion Drive.

RAM can be increased up to 16 Gigabytes ($200), instead of the Fusion Drive (128 GB flash memory, 1 Terabyte HDD), you can choose 256 GB SSD – this SSD 512 GB for $ 300 or SSD of 1 TB for 800.

The audience complained. The list of complaints was very large. 13 Jan 2015 one of which Apple responded: the list of options added a Fusion Drive, with a drive capacity of 2 Terabytes for just $ 100. In October 2016, SSD 512 GB and 1 TB cheaper: they now cost $ 200 and $ 600.

These changes were unique: more Mac mini 2014 for 4 years and 2 weeks between 16 October 2014 and 30 October 2018, nothing happened. All of them also ordered, manufactured and delivered to the customer.

Mac mini TURBO

In the Configurator for the normal options (for 699 and $ 999) was offered one more option: Intel Core i7 3.0 GHz (i7-4578U), with a clock frequency dynamically increasing to 3.5 GHz. With 4 MB cache in the third level. Hyper Threading and integrated Intel Iris.

2-nuclear. However, the Mac mini Server sunk into oblivion and 4-nuclear processors.

Configuration for $ 699 changing the processor costs about $ 300 for the configuration for 999 – 200. The performance gain was noticeable, but only just.

Was it worth the game worth the candle? Core i5 clocked at 2.6 or 2.8 GHz pretty well cope with daily tasks. Like to anything. But never know, and to change anything then it is impossible.

Drives, with difficulty, somehow changed – the rest was impossible in principle.

Something else

For the first time in my memory, all variants of the new Mac carefully weighed, and published the results. The weight of the “mini”extreme was of 1.19 kg Mac mini for 699 was heavier by as much as 10 grams 1.2 kg Mac mini for 999 weighed of 1.22 kg.

Now you too know about it.

To be continued

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