2018 Mac Mini - are they smoking crack?

Oct 9, 1999
12,503
7
91
#1
i3-8100, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD. For $799.

:tearsofjoy: Guess I'm sticking with my Hackintosh.
 
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sweenish

Diamond Member
May 21, 2013
3,656
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#2
It'd be fine if it came with a screen, keyboard, mouse.
 

Ranulf

Golden Member
Jul 18, 2001
1,476
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#3
Y'all are just haters man! /s

Besides, for an extra $100 you can get a built in 10GB ethernet port. From what I've seen though in news reports, the ram is possibly replaceable as it is so-dimms but the pcie ssd appears to be soldered to the mobo.
 

PeterScott

Platinum Member
Jul 7, 2017
2,605
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#4
i3-8100, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD. For $799.

:tearsofjoy: Guess I'm sticking with my Hackintosh.
Show me a similar small form-factor system with a high-quality aluminum case(streacom/dancase), high quality storage(Samsung 970 pro),Thunderbolt ports, and real Windows OS license and see what it costs.

There is an Apple premium but it isn't as bad as your flame bait title suggests. At least until you start adding upgrades, but at least there are RAM slots to mitigate some of the typical upgrade costs.

Storage upgrade costs are painful though. It really should come with 256 GB minimum.

Example, using Streacom Mini like case and Nano PSU. It's essentially the same price as the Mini. Of course not as slickly built, with only 1 Thunderbolt port.
 
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TheStu

Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
Moderator
Sep 15, 2004
11,971
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#5
You'd be better off comparing it against the mini workstations/business machines from HP (competitively specced is break-even, but has no 10GbE, and I think 1 TB3 at best), Dell (base price of $499, no 10GbE option, no TB3, and ships with 4GB RAM), and Lenovo (their current gen doesn't have prices listed on their website.

It just seems like prebuilt systems are getting more expensive.
 

rchunter

Senior member
Feb 26, 2015
931
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#6
I wonder what kind of heat that 10gb nic is putting off..
I don’t know that I trust apples design decisions so well.
All they really care about is form factor. If something goes wrong with it you’re screwed because everything is soldered.
 

gdansk

Senior member
Feb 8, 2011
356
4
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#7
If the storage was replaceable and it was $100 cheaper, I'd consider it. What's the MTBF for these drives? I'm guessing the drive fails in 5 years. No one but Apple can repair it and they would have to desolder the storage. That would be an awful waste, not really good for the environment is it?
 

PeterScott

Platinum Member
Jul 7, 2017
2,605
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#8
It just seems like prebuilt systems are getting more expensive.
It just seems like EVERYTHING tech is getting more expensive. Like the good old days of ever rising performance, and dropping prices are behind us. :(
 

PeterScott

Platinum Member
Jul 7, 2017
2,605
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#9
If the storage was user-replaceable and it was $100 cheaper, I'd consider it. What's the MTBF for these drives? I'm guessing the drive fails in 5-7 years. No one but Apple can repair it and they would have to desolder the storage. That would be an awful waste, not really good for the environment is it?
I am betting that since it is soldered in, Apple has over provisioned a bit more for long term durability, though I think 128GB is a bad joke for a starting point on a desktop computer in 2018. I would also vastly prefer removable storage. Don't need crypto, nor the extra speed boost from this proprietary soldered in solution.

Edit. I would also much rather have the RAM soldered and the Storage user replaceable than the other way around if I could only have one. I like to use my computers for ages (Still using 10 year old C2Q PC). So I see soldered storage as a wear item that will junk the computer when it fails which seems likely in a 10 year window.
 
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corinthos

Golden Member
Mar 22, 2000
1,849
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#10
I am betting that since it is soldered in, Apple has over provisioned a bit more for long term durability, though I think 128GB is a bad joke for a starting point on a desktop computer in 2018. I would also vastly prefer removable storage. Don't need crypto, nor the extra speed boost from this proprietary soldered in solution.

Edit. I would also much rather have the RAM soldered and the Storage user replaceable than the other way around if I could only have one. I like to use my computers for ages (Still using 10 year old C2Q PC). So I see soldered storage as a wear item that will junk the computer when it fails which seems likely in a 10 year window.
One can opt for 128g base storage option and use tb3 external sad for storage or for everything including boot. Concern about soldered chip capacity or longevity become non issues.
 

PeterScott

Platinum Member
Jul 7, 2017
2,605
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#11
One can opt for 128g base storage option and use tb3 external sad for storage or for everything including boot. Concern about soldered chip capacity or longevity become non issues.
How does that work with the new T2 equipped Macs?

Edit: Found it. You can turn enable external boot with T2:
https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT208198

So that is one option to keep going, but it still should come with more than 128GB.
 
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rchunter

Senior member
Feb 26, 2015
931
23
91
#12
If the storage was replaceable and it was $100 cheaper, I'd consider it. What's the MTBF for these drives? I'm guessing the drive fails in 5 years. No one but Apple can repair it and they would have to desolder the storage. That would be an awful waste, not really good for the environment is it?
I would be concerned with the heat generated by this machine. Especially the 6 core model and the 10GbE option.
Definitely buy apple care if you get one and keep current on your backups. Don't leave anything super important on the internal m.2 drive without having a backup at least.
I don't know how they can cram a 10gb nic in there without a big heat sink and lots of heat. Curious to see network performance with this nic to see if there is any heat throttling from large file transfers.
 

gdansk

Senior member
Feb 8, 2011
356
4
91
#13
I would be concerned with the heat generated by this machine. Especially the 6 core model and the 10GbE option.
Definitely buy apple care if you get one and keep current on your backups. Don't leave anything super important on the internal m.2 drive without having a backup at least.
I don't know how they can cram a 10gb nic in there without a big heat sink and lots of heat. Curious to see network performance with this nic to see if there is any heat throttling from large file transfers.
I'm not too concerned about the NIC. Modern 10GbE NICs do not draw much power. The AQN-107 has a small heat sink, for example, and it's a year and half old on 28nm. Regardless, I wouldn't pay for that option. I don't need it.

But yeah, I'll wait for reviews. I'm concerned Apple has throttled these like their laptops.
 

rchunter

Senior member
Feb 26, 2015
931
23
91
#14
I'm not too concerned about the NIC. Modern 10GbE NICs do not draw much power. The AQN-107 has a small heat sink, for example, and it's a year and half old on 28nm. Regardless, I wouldn't pay for that option. I don't need it.

But yeah, I'll wait for reviews. I'm concerned Apple has throttled these like their laptops.
Yeah good call waiting for more detailed Info about it. Still too much unknown right now. I hope it turns out to be good for them.
 
Oct 9, 1999
12,503
7
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#15
Show me a similar small form-factor system with a high-quality aluminum case(streacom/dancase), high quality storage(Samsung 970 pro),Thunderbolt ports, and real Windows OS license and see what it costs.

There is an Apple premium but it isn't as bad as your flame bait title suggests. At least until you start adding upgrades, but at least there are RAM slots to mitigate some of the typical upgrade costs.

Storage upgrade costs are painful though. It really should come with 256 GB minimum.

Example, using Streacom Mini like case and Nano PSU. It's essentially the same price as the Mini. Of course not as slickly built, with only 1 Thunderbolt port.
The storage is what burns me the most.

I've already got a Streacom case and power supply. Here's my planned upgrade:

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/Xd8Zjy

Add another $30 for the BroadCom BT/WiFi and you're at ~700ish.

By comparison, if I got an identically spec'ed Mac Mini, it's $1499. I can save myself $200 by going with the bare-bones memory config, but I still have to order the SODIMMs. Call it $1399 after I order RAM and sell the old. Even adding $200 if I didn't have a case and license to use, it's a bad value, especially, as has been mentioned before, dubious thermals.
 

rchunter

Senior member
Feb 26, 2015
931
23
91
#19

Zaap

Diamond Member
Jun 12, 2008
7,121
38
126
#20
Show me a similar small form-factor system with a high-quality aluminum case(streacom/dancase), high quality storage(Samsung 970 pro),Thunderbolt ports, and real Windows OS license and see what it costs.

There is an Apple premium but it isn't as bad as your flame bait title suggests. At least until you start adding upgrades, but at least there are RAM slots to mitigate some of the typical upgrade costs.

Storage upgrade costs are painful though. It really should come with 256 GB minimum.

Example, using Streacom Mini like case and Nano PSU. It's essentially the same price as the Mini. Of course not as slickly built, with only 1 Thunderbolt port.
I must be missing something- why is a 120GB M2 SSD $128?

I get the comparison, but to me the whole point of building a system vs. buying a boutique box, is to NOT build a boutique box.

I mean, $200 just for case and PSU? So the household leprechauns can have more room?

There's plenty of decent MiniITX cases and PSUs (that DON'T cost a stupid fortune) that'd run that- it might take up enough extra space to make one leprechaun homeless though.
 
Jun 3, 2011
10,049
134
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#21
Why couple a $140 mobo with a 8100 ???

You know what, just stop trying to defend apple pricings - it never works.
 

PeterScott

Platinum Member
Jul 7, 2017
2,605
227
96
#22
I must be missing something- why is a 120GB M2 SSD $128?

I get the comparison, but to me the whole point of building a system vs. buying a boutique box, is to NOT build a boutique box.

I mean, $200 just for case and PSU? So the household leprechauns can have more room?

There's plenty of decent MiniITX cases and PSUs (that DON'T cost a stupid fortune) that'd run that- it might take up enough extra space to make one leprechaun homeless though.
The whole point is doing an Apples to Apples comparison.

Sure you can choose bigger/slower/crappier components for less money, but then you aren't comparing like to like.

Having looked for quality (non plastic) mini-ITX cases, I've been disappointed by price or quality just about every time.

A nice inexpensive Alu SFF case seem more like unicorns than reality to me.
 
Oct 9, 1999
12,503
7
91
#23
The whole point is doing an Apples to Apples comparison.

Sure you can choose bigger/slower/crappier components for less money, but then you aren't comparing like to like.

Having looked for quality (non plastic) mini-ITX cases, I've been disappointed by price or quality just about every time.

A nice inexpensive Alu SFF case seem more like unicorns than reality to me.
Yeah, but the $120 you paid for a 120GB SSD is easily eclipsed by the $89 500Gb WD Black NVME drive I'm going to put in mine ...

Same case as your build. I'm using a more reasonably priced power supply, got a Gigabyte Z370N Wifi board for $130, paid $89 for 16GB of DDR4 ...
 

PeterScott

Platinum Member
Jul 7, 2017
2,605
227
96
#24
Yeah, but the $120 you paid for a 120GB SSD is easily eclipsed by the $89 500Gb WD Black NVME drive I'm going to put in mine ...

Same case as your build. I'm using a more reasonably priced power supply, got a Gigabyte Z370N Wifi board for $130, paid $89 for 16GB of DDR4 ...
WD Black isn't nearly as fast/high quality as what Apple uses.

Gigabyte board has Thunderbolt ports?

Which PSU? Standard PSUs don't work in that case.
 
Oct 9, 1999
12,503
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#25
1) Neither is an 850 EVO, but it's good enough for my use case

2) Don't need them

3) 160W PicoPSU. Been running a Z97/4130T Hackintosh in that StreaCom case for a while now.
 


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