Not the upgrade we were hoping for: The 2014 Mac Mini reviewed

It is smooth to experience. Sorry for the Mac Mini. Apple went through all of its Macs closing wireless 12 months, updating them with new Intel Haswell CPUs and 802.11ac c084d04ddacadd4b971ae3d98fecfb2a adapters and quicker SSDs and (sometimes) Thunderbolt 2, even as the Mini sat and waited for an upgrade that in no way got here. In October, Apple quickly announced a brand new Mini at its media occasion, years after the 2012 Mac Mini was introduced. Desktops and laptops have not been significantly superior in the closing wireless year, so for the maximum part, the Mini is simply getting 2013’s improvements 12 months overdue. If that became all that turned into happening, the Mac Mini would be a welcome-if-overdue replacement to the laptop. The 2014 Mac Mini is more exciting than that; however, lamentably, for people waiting for this refresh, it’s more perfect for the stuff it is missing than its improvements.

We typically like to check the base models of computers when viable. Still, in the Mac Mini’s case, the upgraded $699 conwirelessguration is more interesting, and it’s the only one you ought to get in case you care about performance (greater on that later). We will also offer a benchmarks consultant for the $499 Mini; however, it is known in advance that it uses the same guts because of the base-model MacBook Airs and the $1,099 iMac. To evaluate the pc’s SSD overall performance, we have additionally equipped our review unit with a 1TB Fusion pressure, a $200 improvement—we won’t be recapping how this option works. However, our deep dive is over right here.

Mac Mini


Visually, the Mac Mini seems similar to it because Apple stopped delivering SuperDrive-equipped models back in 2011. it’s an unadorned, flattened aluminum box with sharp edges and rounded corners. The front face is broken up by a small white-strength LED and an IR receiver, and the edges are perfectly smooth. A separate piece of black plastic on the again of the unit houses the fan vent and a fairly brilliant supplement of ports, which has modiwiwireless most effective a bit in the last 12 months.

The FireWire 800 port has wi-fi been jettisoned (the 2012 Mini was the wireless of the Macs to consist of the getting old interface, though Thunderbolt-to-FireWire dongles still exist), and there’s a second Thunderbolt 2 port in its location. The gigabit Ethernet jack, HDMI port, 4 USB 3. zero ports, an SD card reader, audio in, and headphone jacks are returning from the remaining yr. It is nonetheless stressful that Apple insists on placing all the ports for its computer systems on the again of the computers. It is no marvel for longtime Mac customers, but pc switchers (a collection of the Mini mainly wireless goals) may want to trade their behavior.

Wi-fi, the new Mini is the same size and weight as the antique one. Hold hope if you have been hoping for a few types of discounts here. Delays to excessive-quit Intel CPUs based on the new Broadwell structure mean that the maximum of the 2014 Mini’s enhancements got here to each other Mac within the lineup in 2013, so the box’s insides do little to wonder. We’re looking at Intel Haswell CPUs instead of Ivy Bridge, which needs to reduce electricity intake even by improving CPU and GPU performance. 802.11ac c084d04ddacadd4b971ae3d98fecfb2a bumps the maximum theoretical hyperlink pace to 1.3Gbps, kind of 3 instances the 450Mbps 802.11n in the 2012 version.

Thunderbolt 2 raises transfer speeds to 20Gbps, and the included DisplayPort 1.2 spec brings 30Hz 4K display support to the Mac Mini. The HDMI port also can pressure 3840×2160 presentations at 30Hz and 4096×2160 shows at 24Hz. This Apple wi-file wireless has extra records on outside show assist. Still, the maximum critical factor you should realize is that the Mini no longer helps multi-move delivery (MST) displays, meaning that 4K output at 60Hz is impossible. The forthcoming DisplayPort 1.3, well-known, is essential to drive 60Hz displays with a single connector, and Thunderbolt 2 simplest includes support for DisplayPort 1.2. replace: loss of 60Hz 4K guide on the 2014 Mini is truelywireless an Intel GPU drawback, no longer DisplayPort trouble. This report outlines the resolutions and refreshes quotes supported through various Intel GPUs.

The GPUs and advanced storage speeds are likely the most important of the alternative important upgrades. 2012’s Minis included Intel’s HD 4000 GPU; the quality had GPU shipped with Ivy Bridge processors. The GPU you get in the 2014 Mini relies upon the configuration you spring for—the $499 base version consists of the Intel HD 5000, the same one you’ll get within the 2013 MacBook or the $1,099 iMac. The $699 and $999 models are the Iris 5100, a particularly faster-included GPU like what you’ll see in a thirteen-inch Retina MacBook seasoned. Unlike the Iris Pro 5200, the 5100 does not include any devoted eDRAM, limiting its speeds. It is nonetheless likely worth the extra cash if you need the fastest Mini you could get.

A brief word about those charts: the HD 5000 results come from a 2013 MacBook Air with a 1.7GHz center i5-3317U because we don’t have numbers for the 1.4GHz model accessible. The base Mini will score a bit otherwise, but the numbers should be greater-or-less the same. Neither of those new included GPUs will flip the Mac Mini into a gaming system, but they bring the sort of improvements we would assume in a generational leap. The HD 5000 improves at the HD 4000 by about 50 percent in the GFXBench T-Rex check and about 25 percent faster within the Cinebench R15 GPU test. The Iris 5100 also improves those numbers, beating the HD 4000 by ninety-eight percent in the T-Rex test and about wi-five wireless percent within the Cinebench. Could you take a look at it? Rankings within the heavier GFXBench big apple test improve as well, though by using a much smaller margin—manifestly, the amount you stand to wi-fit will range from game to sport and task to undertaking.

The soar from SATA III to PCI speciwiwireless-based strong-nation drives presents a nice generational performance boost, the same one we saw when the numerous iMacs and MacBooks made the identical bounce in 2013. both our 2012 and 2014 Minis are equipped with 128GB SSDs from Samsung. The new Mini has forty-eight percent better write speeds and sixty-two. 2 percent better read speeds. These numbers may vary fairly from unit to unit because Apple sources SSDs from a ramiwiwireless producer. The base model Mini nonetheless comes with a spinning 5400RP