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2014 Mac mini: Upgradability and Acoustic Performance
Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 1:25 AM EST
Posted by: Staff

Most people have speculated about the RAM inside new 2014 Mac mini no longer being user accessible. Well, Brian Stucki of Macminicolo and Macworld UK have now confirmed that to be the case. The RAM is indeed soldered on to the board for the first time in the history of the Mac mini. So unfortunately, if you're looking to upgrade the RAM in your 2014 Mac mini, you must upgrade it at the time of purchase from Apple. 8GB and 16GB RAM upgrades in the base-level 2014 Mac mini with 4GB of RAM are priced at $100 and $300, respectively. The mid-level and upper-level models come with 8GB of RAM installed, so their 16GB upgrades are priced at $200.

Okay, so what about upgrading the hard drive? According to Brian Stucki of Macminicolo, it's still possible to replace or upgrade the hard drive inside the 2014 Mac mini. We don't know if it's still possible to add a second hard drive with one of the kits out there though. That has yet to be confirmed.

Now, on to a completely different subject. We have noticed there appears be improved acoustic performance with the 2014 Mac mini. Both sound power and pressure levels are reported to be slightly lower in the tech specs from Apple. The sound power level LWA,m (B) has been improved to 1.9 at idle and 1.95 with hard drive accessing. This is down from 2.6 at idle and 2.7 with hard drive accessing in the 2012 Mac mini. The sound pressure level LpA,m (dB) was also improved to 12 at idle and 12 with hard drive accessing. This is down from 14 at idle and 16 with hard drive accessing in the 2012 Mac mini.

Do these numbers translate to noticeable sound level improvements in the real world? Probably not, but they are measured improvements worth noting.

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