Not everyone can afford a Mac Pro, which is Apple’s most customizable computer. The next best option was the Mac Mini, an affordable desktop computer that allowed users to replace the RAM and hard drive – though the latter took more work.
It was one of the best features, as you could easily buy the lower-end Mac Mini and simply install higher RAM cards yourself. Or you could just upgrade later if needed. This is one of the main reasons why the 2014 Mac Mini announcement left me with a bitter taste.
It turns out the new Mac Mini has the RAM soldered into the mother board. This means it is no longer user-accessible and you better upgrade as much as you can upon purchase, because you will be stuck with whatever configuration you take home.
As for the hard drive, it can still be upgraded by tinkerers, but you do lose warranty, so be sure you know what you are doing. If you want to play it safe, just upgrade right away.
Why did this happen
While apple is not being specific, it’s hard to believe this is the only way they could have built the Mac Mini. I don’t want to throw accusations without proof, but this does seem to be like a technique to force users into upgrading devices directly from Apple. And we all know their upgrades are not exactly the cheapest.
Who is the new Mac Mini for?
Is Apple wrong to do this? I certainly don’t like the idea of not being able to upgrade my own RAM on a desktop, but we must also keep in mind who Apple is targeting the Mac Mini at.
Previous iterations served greatly to the tinkerers and geeks, but that is not exactly where Apple wants the Mac Mini to be. The device is meant to be an affordable way to bring Mac OS to the masses. It’s meant for casual Mac users and HTPC set-ups.
If you want more freedom, Apple wants you to upgrade to the Mac Pro. Which, by the way, the new Mac Pro is also less customizable than its predecessors.
With all this in mind, the Mac Mini continues to hold its value, but this will be very sad news to many of us. You better make sure you make your necessary upgrades ahead of time, guys. Or if you don’t want to deal with Apple’s new system, you can check out our favorite Mac Mini alternative.