Shrinking the 2014 Mac Mini

Posted 23 Feb 2014, 08:19

There’s a number of signs suggesting that Apple will be shrinking the Mac Mini in 2014 and this idea has picked up momentum among fans, analysts, and media over the past couple of weeks.

The existing hardware bumped up the specs compared to the previous model with 2x faster processors, graphics delivering up to 65 percent more pixel performance, and the addition of an optional Fusion Drive for a flash and traditional hard drive combo.

Shrinking the 2014 Mac Mini – it is the storage area that can help shrink the size of Mac Mini right away and by offering Flash storage by default, all owners of the 2014 Mac Mini can benefit from storage delivering around five times disk drive performance. Whether Apple would choose this option over a Fusion Drive or traditional hard drive is up for debate.

Most Apple fans are excited to see what the 2014 Mac Mini update might look like and some even create concepts of what they want to see, like in the picture below that obviously takes its design idea from the new Mac Pro, but this alone reveals a desire for smaller form factors and innovation like we saw with Mac Pro.

2014macminiconcept

One Product Reviews reader made their thoughts clear, “Apple is moving towards flash storage and they can shrink the 2014 Mac Mini even more if they take out the hard disk drive”. Another wasn’t sure if smaller is better, “I think the Mac Mini is just the right size, why go smaller? I agree that Flash or Fusion Drives are better, but I’m not bothered about seeing the 2014 Mac Mini shrink”.

Would you like to see a smaller Mac Mini in 2014? The price for SSD has got better and there’s a good chance we will see SSD by default, but it’s good to remember that Flash storage is still more expensive compared to traditional hard drives and this is one reason Apple released the Fusion Drive that received good reviews. In fact, I’m typing on a 2013 iMac right now with a Fusion Drive that has certainly impressed in terms of drive speed.

The Mac Mini set a new benchmark for small computers when it first released back in 2005, but since then we have seen many other options arrive that are much smaller. The optical drive is now a memory and some people believe that the traditional hard drive could soon be the same, thanks to the benefits of today’s SSDs.

ASUS will start selling their new Chromebox next month, just five inches square, and this alone makes the current Mac Mini look slightly overweight. The issue for Apple fans is that they love Mac, and some would much rather purchase a new Mac Mini in 2014 that shrinks in size.

Shrinking-2014-Mac-Mini

Why not to shrink the 2014 Mac Mini – as I stated above, the 2013 iMac I’m writing on right now changed a lot and includes a Fusion Drive along with a much slimmer design. This slimmer display is impressive, but to be honest you never see how thin it is unless you look from the side. There’s no particular good reason to make the iMac much slimmer, but Apple did it anyway and it looks sleek.

There might not be any major reason to shrink the 2014 Mac Mini, the size isn’t outrageously big and when do you take your Mac Mini out of your home. There’s room for the computer to get smaller, but it will not be easy to include the integrated power supply and make the 2014 Mac Mini shrink. If Apple made the power supply external again, then this would be an easy task.

Keeping the power supply inside and making the form factor smaller could lead to heat issues, so Apple will need to account for this in some way. We don’t normally see Apple reverse a design decision, so it is hard to believe they will move the power supply outside of the Mac Mini chassis.

How would you like to see Apple change the Mac Mini with a new design in 2014?

Current-Mac-Mini

  • james

    dont think Tim Cook is innovative enough to change anything. time will tell

  • tanukitony

    I think the reason we are seeing so much time pass between updates to the Mac Mini is that a redesign happening. There has been plenty of opportunity to update the Mini in the last two years, and the hardware has been available/up to date/current for some time, and the opportunity has passed. The question is, if it is a total redesign, how much longer of a delay will there be? Seems Apple is being surpassed on the micro desktop segment. I mean, who in their right mind would go out and buy a Mac Mini right now? It’s way outdated and underpowered, and I’ve been using exclusive Apple computers since 1995!

  • LP Mathieu

    The main reason for the mac mini to be the size it’s currently is isnt only because of the use of a hard drive. The mini is one of the few mini-computer to put the power supply in the computer. I’d rather have a slightly bigger computer and only use a cable vs having an enormous power block at my feet…

  • drone

    Price of SSD that Apple charges has not changed.

    Price of Haswell chip that goes in Mac mini is close to $400
    retail.

    47W TDP requires fans just like MBP 15.

    May be Apple is waiting for Haswell chip price to come down.

    Intel just introduced E3 XEON chip with Iris Pro 5200 with
    47 TDP. Can say Mac mini Server.

  • yoyo

    Mac Mini is overpriced for outdated hardware. Would it kill them to up the amount of existing w/o a price increase to stay competitive with current design….

  • Jack

    The only thing I’d really like to see is a return of a discreet graphics option.

  • corporalflashback

    If it takes any longer for the mac mini to release, I think i’ll just buy a gaming desktop. for $549 at walmart it comes with a quadcore processor 8 gb of ram, medium nvidia videocard and 2TB hard drive… I’ll hold on a bit because I want to stick with OSX but if not i’m leaning towards returning to the power PC

  • Dr Jane

    I don’t care so much about size (as in footprint) but I would much prefer desktop rather than laptop components. There is no stand alone mac desktop between the mini and the pro.

  • MacGaming

    I hope Apple will use the same format as the Mac Pro ’13, but with consumer grade hardware. they could offer an entry-level configuration with basic 2.5″ hdd (where the Mac Pro’s GPU’s are now located) and dual and chad-core Haswell CPU with integrated iris graphics. But the Mac Pro ’13 design can also accommodate dual consumer graphics (think: dual AMD r7 260, r9 280, and r9 290). In the latter, high-end configuration the system can (well, must due to space constraints) boast a PCIe SSD (128gb to 512gb) similar to the Mac Pro ’13 config. This can easily be based on a quad-core Haswell CPU similar to the iMac, and 4gb – 16gb of DDR3 (maybe DDR4?) RAM.

    I really hope Apple makes a system like this. That would make my life so much easier. I think quite a few people (like myself) want to play games (more and more, it’s a huge market by now and it’s only getting bigger; get on board Apple!) but don’t want to buy a Windows machine for it. If one Mac could play games (under bootcamp for now) and be that perfect OSX performer as Macs usually are, I would not mind spending between two and three thousand dollars on it.

    Does anyone else hope for a system like this?

  • ilikepear

    I always like mac mini. It pairs very well with an iPad.

    Running it headless, and with its low power consumption, and with a vga dongle. and it runs almost silent.

    It can serve as a media server (Using Streamtome). iTunes server. And all the heavy lifting for the iPad.

    And if the 2014 version comes with intel iris processor (those in the macbook pro), but i guess its HD 5000. Then you can start remote gaming on it as well.. when coupled with splashtop.

    As for possible design change, i bet it will not look like mac pro at all since it does not have the thermal requirements of a high end system, i think they would rather go a fanless design.. much like the current apple tv.