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Thread: Apple's New Cheaper Mac Mini Has Soldered RAM, Making it Non-upgradeable By Users

  1. #1
    Default Apple's New Cheaper Mac Mini Has Soldered RAM, Making it Non-upgradeable By Users


    Unlike some Mac Minis in the past, Apple's new, cheaper $499 Mac Mini that the Cupertino-based company revealed at its special event on Thursday reportedly has soldered-in RAM modules, making it impossible for the end user to upgrade their own RAM.

    This is an unfortunate choice be Apple, especially after the news that the new 27" 5k retina display iMac does have user-upgradeable RAM modules. On the other hand, users can still upgrade the RAM that their Mac Mini will have when customizing their purchase through Apple on their online Web site. The base model sits at 4GB of memory and is upgradeable to 8GB or 16GB of memory. The higher-end models start at 8GB of memory and are upgradeable to 16GB of memory.

    The main downfall to upgrading memory through apple is that their solutions are generally more expensive than third-party manufacturers of RAM on the Web that can offer the same specs for significantly less money.

    While the machine's memory may be soldered into the silicone heart of the device, the hard drive, as Macminicolo reports, is still removable and upgradeable by the end-user.

    Sources: Macminicolo via MacRumors

  2. #2
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    Doesnt seem like a big deal to me. If you're even interested in a Mac Mini it's because you don't wanna break the bank to get a high end Mac. But I'm sure people will mitch and boan about it..

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by gldoorii View Post
    Doesnt seem like a big deal to me. If you're even interested in a Mac Mini it's because you don't wanna break the bank to get a high end Mac. But I'm sure people will mitch and boan about it..
    For $40 I could max out the ram via OWC, so paying $100+ to apple for the same thing is BS & worth ******** about. Apple strikes again!

  4. #4
    Of course so you can pay apple 200 to to from 8 to 16. Seems reasonable...

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  6. #5
    The RAM harness to make it removable is likely too big for this type of device. Plus you need room on the device exterior for access. It is like saying you want removable RAM in a smartphone or tablet- ok a bit different and bigger here but the point remains. Everything is just too compact. It is meant to be a small computer/media server.

    And honestly 8gb of RAM should be enough for 99.9% of users (this is not a "power" user device to begin with). Go try to find an 8gb RAM upgrade for less than about $75 from a legit RAM manufacturer online. It doesn't really exist. So the 4gb to 8gb for $100 that Apple charges seems reasonable.

    I am seeing the same with 16gb. On 2 sticks of 8gb (Crucial, Corsair, major brands) I am seeing an average $150-160 price. This isn't even on 1 stick if that is how this mini is set up. So how is $200 BS? Sure you can go buy some crap RAM for $100 but then why waste your money?

    And if I remember correctly there was a Dell small cube device just like this a few years ago that only came with 3gb RAM and was not user ugradeable in ANY component and no one said "oh Dell sucks a**!" But of course people will bash Apple just to bash because its Apple.

    Again, THIS IS NOT A POWER USER DEVICE IT'S A MEDIA CENTER DEVICE. I am not sure what is so difficult to understand about this point. Complaining you cant get bleeding edge specs makes zero sense as that is not what this device is built for to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian97c View Post
    For $40 I could max out the ram via OWC, so paying $100+ to apple for the same thing is BS & worth ******** about. Apple strikes again!
    BS. Where do you see $40 on OWC? http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memor...mini/DDR3_1600

    I f you ASSUME the stock setup is 1x4gb (not 2x2gb) then you can add 4gb to the 4gb from the factory for about $55-70 after shipping choice (and it appears tax in some states). IF the factory setup is 2x2gb, then its $100 on OWC to get 8gb; same as Apple. Not exactly the biggest ripoff in the world.

    16gb, 2 8gb sticks, is $198 and would be maxing out. Apple charges $200. Wheres the ripoff again?

    The best you could do is add a 8gb stick to the 4gb stock and get 12gb total for $100 (assuming stock is not 2x2gb which it likely is).

    Quote Originally Posted by GrandMstrBud View Post
    Of course so you can pay apple 200 to to from 8 to 16. Seems reasonable...
    See above. 16gb even from a 3rd party is approx $200. You need 2 8gb sticks. Apple is likely not leaving another slot totally free on their setups (2x2gb, 2x4gb and 2x8gb)- no computer manufacturer does it this way either leaving 1 slot free.

    You need a whole new RAM setup- 2 8gb sticks. Works the same with laptops, PCs etc. I still fail to see this ripoff other than the usual Apple bashing.
    Last edited by stulaw11; 2014-10-18 at 08:10 PM.

  7. #6
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    I'm sure someone will find a way to do it, but it'll certainly be more difficult!

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  8. #7
    All other thoughts on non-upgradable RAM aside, it does seems crappy they changed it to not be upgradable when there was no apparaent changes to the overall design to make that necessary.

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  10. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by stulaw11 View Post
    The RAM harness to make it removable is likely too big for this type of device. Plus you need room on the device exterior for access. It is like saying you want removable RAM in a smartphone or tablet- ok a bit different and bigger here but the point remains. Everything is just too compact. It is meant to be a small computer/media server.

    And honestly 8gb of RAM should be enough for 99.9% of users (this is not a "power" user device to begin with). Go try to find an 8gb RAM upgrade for less than about $75 from a legit RAM manufacturer online. It doesn't really exist. So the 4gb to 8gb for $100 that Apple charges seems reasonable.

    I am seeing the same with 16gb. On 2 sticks of 8gb (Crucial, Corsair, major brands) I am seeing an average $150-160 price. This isn't even on 1 stick if that is how this mini is set up. So how is $200 BS? Sure you can go buy some crap RAM for $100 but then why waste your money?

    And if I remember correctly there was a Dell small cube device just like this a few years ago that only came with 3gb RAM and was not user ugradeable in ANY component and no one said "oh Dell sucks a**!" But of course people will bash Apple just to bash because its Apple.

    Again, THIS IS NOT A POWER USER DEVICE IT'S A MEDIA CENTER DEVICE. I am not sure what is so difficult to understand about this point. Complaining you cant get bleeding edge specs makes zero sense as that is not what this device is built for to begin with.



    BS. Where do you see $40 on OWC? Apple Mac mini Memory DDR3 / Ram upgrades for 2012 Mac mini unibody models

    I f you ASSUME the stock setup is 1x4gb (not 2x2gb) then you can add 4gb to the 4gb from the factory for about $55-70 after shipping choice (and it appears tax in some states). IF the factory setup is 2x2gb, then its $100 on OWC to get 8gb; same as Apple. Not exactly the biggest ripoff in the world.

    16gb, 2 8gb sticks, is $198 and would be maxing out. Apple charges $200. Wheres the ripoff again?

    The best you could do is add a 8gb stick to the 4gb stock and get 12gb total for $100 (assuming stock is not 2x2gb which it likely is).



    See above. 16gb even from a 3rd party is approx $200. You need 2 8gb sticks. Apple is likely not leaving another slot totally free on their setups (2x2gb, 2x4gb and 2x8gb)- no computer manufacturer does it this way either leaving 1 slot free.

    You need a whole new RAM setup- 2 8gb sticks. Works the same with laptops, PCs etc. I still fail to see this ripoff other than the usual Apple bashing.
    I love when people actually know what they are talking about or do the research before making stupid comments. Thank You sir for being intelligent.

  11. #9
    I just went and bought an older Mac Mini. 2.5 GHz i5, RAM upgradable and only $397. Not bad for the price. Sure, the graphics chip is older but who cares? It will drive my 1080p TV well for all my needs (I do not play video games). As a bonus: I can downgrade to 10.8 or 10.9 and not have to deal with the hideous flat UI of 10.10.

  12. #10
    Your right it does cost $300 to go from 4GB to 16GB of RAM...

  13. #11
    The main downfall to upgrading memory through apple is that their solutions are generally more expensive than third-party manufacturers of RAM on the Web that can offer the same specs for significantly less money.
    This is precisely why Apple has the RAM soldered on the board. It's a bait-and-switch technique; shoppers think, 'hey, I can get a Mac for $499,' and they don't realize that's a 'barebones' system, so they come into the store. Then, the sales rep starts to show them the other configurations, and talks to them about how important RAM is for the system to run quickly, and voila, the customer is now forking out another $200 for more RAM.

    And before anyone decides to flame me for this, it's a practice that most computer stores/sellers engage in: Advertise the hell out of the cheapest system, knowing once people are in the store to buy, they'll stretch their budget for a better system. Apple's just making it more difficult for savvy end-users to open up the system and do the RAM upgrade themselves. It's a very shady practice, and I say that as a former Apple employee.

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by GrandMstrBud View Post
    Your right it does cost $300 to go from 4GB to 16GB of RAM...
    So? Read my long comment above. Even if you wanted to go through the effort to re-solder in new RAM, you can't even get it from a 3rd party website for much less than $200. That is just the going price for 16gb RAM.

    And it's only $300 if you upgrade the lowest model to 16gb. $200 on the others which is reasonable and market price for RAM. I still can't fathom why anyone would want to upgrade the slowest i5 to 16gb RAM anyway. It's like putting a supercharger on a 4 cylinder engine- sure it'll go faster than stock, but why bother? Should have started with the V6/V8 engine and went from there.

    I can't imagine putting more than 8gb of RAM on a 1.4ghz i5 instead of going up to the 2.6/2.8 chip that already comes with 8gb of RAM stock. If you're going to upgrade the $499 model, why not get the beefier chip, 8gb RAM and 1TB drive then for $200? Upgrading the low model beyond just the 8gb RAM upgrade for $100 is the sucker move. RAM is only going to do so much good on a "slower" chip.

    Quote Originally Posted by pulsecub View Post
    This is precisely why Apple has the RAM soldered on the board. It's a bait-and-switch technique; shoppers think, 'hey, I can get a Mac for $499,' and they don't realize that's a 'barebones' system, so they come into the store. Then, the sales rep starts to show them the other configurations, and talks to them about how important RAM is for the system to run quickly, and voila, the customer is now forking out another $200 for more RAM.

    And before anyone decides to flame me for this, it's a practice that most computer stores/sellers engage in: Advertise the hell out of the cheapest system, knowing once people are in the store to buy, they'll stretch their budget for a better system. Apple's just making it more difficult for savvy end-users to open up the system and do the RAM upgrade themselves. It's a very shady practice, and I say that as a former Apple employee.
    How is it bait and switch? EVERY single computer company out there has low end and high end models and allows you to upgrade specs. The Apple website is very clear what the $499 unit comes with and what you can upgrade it to.

    4gb of RAM is just fine honestly for the average customer of a mimi device. It's a media center type device, NOT meant as a full fledged desktop replacement. I still have a Dell XPS 15 with and 2ng gen 2.0ghz i7 and 6gb DDR3 RAM and it works perfectly quick still years later.
    Last edited by stulaw11; 2014-10-19 at 09:11 PM.

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by pulsecub View Post
    This is precisely why Apple has the RAM soldered on the board. It's a bait-and-switch technique; shoppers think, 'hey, I can get a Mac for $499,' and they don't realize that's a 'barebones' system, so they come into the store. Then, the sales rep starts to show them the other configurations, and talks to them about how important RAM is for the system to run quickly, and voila, the customer is now forking out another $200 for more RAM.

    And before anyone decides to flame me for this, it's a practice that most computer stores/sellers engage in: Advertise the hell out of the cheapest system, knowing once people are in the store to buy, they'll stretch their budget for a better system. Apple's just making it more difficult for savvy end-users to open up the system and do the RAM upgrade themselves. It's a very shady practice, and I say that as a former Apple employee.
    So after your whole first paragraph rant, You completely negate it by admitting everyone does it. So your only issue, after all that, is that the RAM is soldered, which is not "bait and switch" or devious to the customer if they can know about it before ever buying it.

    Sounds like a very jaded ex employee, if you actually worked for Apple at all.

  16. #14
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    The Mac Mini is far more powerful than my personal computer, so I'm not sure what you guys are talking about...

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