New Mac Mini, soldered RAM? really?

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Just bought a Mac Mini, 8gb version, 1tb, intel 2.6.

I was going to get the 4gb model and upgrade the ram... but it appears that everything is soldered now. To me thats disappointing, as in the future that these devices will eventually be obsolete that there will be no reviving them for future use.

On the side, my mini is very responsive and I am enjoying it greatly thus far.

any opinions?
 

pigoo3

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Not really new news. Apple has been heading in this direction for years. Currently the following models have non-upgradable (soldered to the logic board memory):

- Mac-Mini's
- MacBook Pro's (except the low end 2012 13" model)
- 21.5" iMac's
- MacBook Air's

The only Apple computer models that still have upgradeable ram are:

- 27" iMac's
- Mac Pro's
- the single 2012 13" MacBook Pro mentioned above

This topic has be thoroughly & agonizingly discussed here on Mac-Forums. and the main consensus is…most folks don't like it…but it's the direction Apple has been heading the past couple years. And at this point…some models are already on a 2nd generation (or more) of this non-upgradeable ram feature.

- Nick

p.s. I believe that the 2014 Mac-Mini is the first Mac-Mini model with non-upgradeable ram. Just need to purchase all ram you think that you will ever need at the time of purchase.:)
 

dtravis7


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Nick, on all the take apart guides on the normal 21.5" iMac the ram is in sockets but you have to take the whole thing apart and logic board out to change it. Not sure about new Low end 21.5 with the Macbook Air specs. It just might be soldered.

https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2638+Teardown/17829

it's a Pain but the ram still is in sockets! I doubt it will be for very much longer. :D
 
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pigoo3

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Ok. 21" iMac ram is possible to upgrade…just very difficult.:)

- Nick
 
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chas_m

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There's actually a reason why Apple does this, and it's not just to make tinkerers mad.

It gives them considerably more design freedom to put the RAM where it works best rather than where an inexperience user can get to it. It opens the door to potentially using proprietary RAM that has some advantage over off-the-shelf RAM (ie same reason they started making the processors and batteries non-upgradeable). Making the RAM difficult or impossible to upgrade also ensures that the number two cause of Mac instability (bad RAM) is practically eliminated.

Apple has known for years that very, very few (like less than two percent) of users ever upgrade the RAM in their machines, even when it is possible to do so. For the few that decide to do it, Apple can then make this a service they can provide at their AASPs and Apple Stores. Bottom line is that if you order sufficient RAM at the outset, you won't need to upgrade it at any point in the useful life-cycle of the machine, which on average is about four to five years.

I'm not saying I'm happy about the direction this is going, but as with the batteries I can easily see Apple's rationale for doing what they're doing, and why they seem to now view RAM upgrades as something basically only Pros do.
 

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Chas, on the battery thing, For years we told users where liquid accidentally spilled into their Portable macs to quickly take out the battery and Unplug the AC to avoid damage. Now that is impossible and the machine will probably fry before you can ever get inside and remove the battery wires.

People DO make MISTAKES. It's not always their fault. That bugs me we can no longer save the machine if an accident happens.
 
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chas_m

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Star is: one of the reasons the battery is now sealed is -- specifically -- to protect it from damage from minor spills and such. It isn't waterproof, but this is in fact helping protect battery integrity.
 
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Ahhhh… what a relief to know. The battery is now sealed " -- to protect it from damage from minor spills and such.[/I" - meanwhile the super priced internals are being shorted out and ruined.

What a relief to know that. ;) That… the battery will be saved to use again - somewhere, somehow… ;) Any suggestions???
 
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@OP,
Well look at it this way. Either way you was going to get disappointed. Even if the RAM was upgradable like the L2012 model was that I have. If you purchased a system with 8GB of RAM, it would have shipped with 2x 4GB sticks and it only had two DIMM slots anyway.. SO You still would not be upgrading the RAM with a 4GB stick.. All that said, 8GB is what I am running and it runs very very good. Its a pretty safe bet IMHO that 8GB is all you will need on a dual core system.

@ Everyone..
You know, I mentioned before I grew up in the age when upgrading your PC required really good soldering skills and a local Radio Shack. So I frown, yet don't really freak out on RAM being fixed to the board. That said. I really hope Apple doing this, plus going to flash storage saves them room in the enclosure to hopefully re-add back a real freaking video card. Because Intel Iris Pro is still hugely lack luster compared to the really low end offerings from AMD or nVidia.
 

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The Mini never had a Discrete video card at least not the Intel versions of the Mini.

The top end G4 mini had a blazing ATI 9200 with 64 Megs VRAM!
 
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chscag

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Actually Joe, the Intel Iris Pro is a fairly robust integrated GPU and in a Windows machine where it's not throttled, it runs games and other graphic software pretty good. It doesn't do as well in the MacBook Pro machines because of a certain amount of throttling of the CPU and GPU in order to increase battery life and reduce heat. Of course a fast discrete GPU with plenty of VRAM is preferred.
 

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Well what do you know, the 2011 had an optional ATI/AMD video chip if you got the higher priced one. I bet the Iris Pro like Chscag said would do as well or better than that GPU did. It's not that bad. The Mini is very limited in room for any really HIGH END video chipset.
 
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The Mini never had a Discrete video card at least the Intel versions of the Mini.

The top end G4 mini had a blazing ATI 9200 with 64 Megs VRAM!

Almost totally correct ;) The 2011 model did in fact have a AMD HD 6630M, but none of the intel models have since..

You caught that while I was posting.. hehe..
There is actually lots of room in the system once one of the SSDs is removed and replaced with Flash storage. Only concern is heat management IMHO.


Actually Joe, the Intel Iris Pro is a fairly robust integrated GPU and in a Windows machine where it's not throttled, it runs games and other graphic software pretty good. It doesn't do as well in the MacBook Pro machines because of a certain amount of throttling of the CPU and GPU in order to increase battery life and reduce heat. Of course a fast discrete GPU with plenty of VRAM is preferred.

Its better I will say that, but even a low end air-cooled nVidia 720 is extremely faster.. You can buy these all day long for less then $50 for a PC.. Just can't understand why Apple feels the need to not include these in the systems.. People seriously just don't want Intel integrated graphics.. I hate mine, but luckily most things I do are CPU intensive like Lightroom that does not use a GPU.
 
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dtravis7


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I was told this by a friend and over the years I am starting to agree with him. "Apple will DO what Apple will DO!" :D grin

The Mini was always meant as an entry level Mac to see if you like the platform, so I have never expected first class video, but it's always been good enough for the purpose of the machine. I am more bugged by them taking the quad core away as a top end option. I can point you to benchmarks with Apps with more than one thread where the older mini walks all over the new ones. Sad really but for the price I guess we can't say too much.
 
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I was told this by a friend and over the years I am starting to agree with him. "Apple will DO what Apple will DO!" :D grin

LMBO, so true..


The Mini was always meant as an entry level Mac to see if you like the platform, so I have never expected first class video, but it's always been good enough for the purpose of the machine. I am more bugged by them taking the quad core away as a top end option. I can point you to benchmarks with Apps with more than one thread where the older mini walks all over the new ones. Sad really but for the price I guess we can't say too much.

They did this so I would have to buy a Mac Pro.. LOL
Guess what I am going to get NEXT Christmas.. :)
 

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The Mac Pro might look a bit strange but really it's one good system! I read an article even CPU's can be changed if you know what you are doing!
 
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The Mac Pro might look a bit strange but really it's one good system! I read an article even CPU's can be changed if you know what you are doing!

Thats likely the one system that will always remain upgradable just simply due to its target audience and price point. I don't see anyone buying a 3k and up system that can't quickly be fixed if something fails..
 

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