– Hey guys this is Austin. Apple has been releasing a lot of major new products lately but something they haven’t touched is the Mac Mini which has not seen an update in three years. Why does this still exist in 2017? I will say the Mac Mini comes in a tiny box. So today small form factor PCs really aren’t anything all that special. But, the Mac Mini was kind of ahead of its time. Oh, all right, I will say one thing, even though, yes, there are a lot of problems with the Mac Mini that I will get into the actual sort of unibody aluminum design still feels pretty nice. You don’t exactly get a lot in the box, though. Pretty much all we get is a little bit of paperwork with Apple stickers and a power cable. It might sound weird to say considering that this design originally came out in 2010 but I’ve actually never held the Mac Mini and I’m kind of impressed. So, like I said it’s an all aluminum unibody design and you actually have a fair few ports in the back. Not only is there an SD card reader but there are also four USB 3.0 ports, as well as even a couple of Thunderbolt 2 ports.Now, this is a far cry from current Apple devices which have some would say fewer ports. Earlier models of the Mac Mini were actually fairly upgradable. So, on the bottom you could actually screw off this sort of plastic piece to get at stuff like the hard drive and RAM. However, this it’s a little bit more difficult and to make things worse the memory’s actually soldered in. That is a far cry from when Marques built the ultimate Mac Mini back in 2012 where he loaded it up with a ton of memory as well as an SSD. At first glance though this actually doesn’t look like a bad way of getting yourself a cheap Mac. So, this is a base Mac Mini which runs $500 and that’s exactly half the price of the next cheapest model the Macbook Air.However, take a closer look and the Mac Mini might not quite be such a great value. Performance might just be the most outdated part of this system as 2014 specs will only take you so far. This is the base model Mac Mini with Core i5-4260U four gigabytes of RAM and a 500 gigabyte mechanical hard drive. To put things in perspective Intel is just launching their eighth generation of Core processors whereas the Mac Mini is using a fourth generation Haswell chip. Even when you spend the extra $500 to go to the higher end model with the Core i7 you’re still limited to a dual core processor, which is bizarre. They
actually used to ship quad core versions of the Mac Mini. Take, for example, the leaked benchmarks for the iPhone X that is showing a score of around 4,000 on single threaded and about 10,000 on multi-threaded.Way, way faster than this Mac Mini is. You’re also stuck with a 500 gigabyte hard drive. Now yes, you can spec up the Mac Mini with not only a Fusion Drive but as well as pure SSD options, but that raises the price significantly. – Hey guys, this is Austin and today I’m back with another tech under video this time talking a look at tech under $60. – So, to be fair the Mac Mini is powerful enough to handle stuff like HD video as well as web browsing, but the issue is with only four gigabytes of RAM and you can’t upgrade it you’re going to run into some serious usability issues on Mac OS. So, take for example the HP Pavilion Wave, this is a much more modern system. You’re getting more memory and almost more importantly it’s gonna cost you about $130 less than the Mac Mini. It just doesn’t make sense. One of the reasons I can see somebody being interested in the cheap Mac are for the Mac exclusive apps such as Final Cut Pro X, which is what we use to edit all of our videos.- Hey guys, this is Austin. – Wow, this actually, wow. So, to give you guys some context on this this is a triple stream 4K video being played back and edited in real time on the Mac Mini. In fact, it’s actually the intro to this video right now. So, yes this is not maybe the most demanding thing ever. We haven’t done stuff like color correction, which would definitely slow things down.But, as far as being able to do a sort of basic cut this is three streams of 4K video playing back in real time on the Mac Mini. The only thing that’s not totally stock here and one of the reasons why it’s not stuttering is we are editing off a USB based SSD, but that’s what we do for all of our edits anyway. Although, I think this says more about how solid Final Cut is optimized and less so about how powerful the Mac Mini is.There are better alternatives if you do want a cheap Mac though starting with building yourself a Hackintosh. Now yes, building a Hackintosh from scratch is going to be more complicated than pulling a Mac Mini out of the box but what you’re going to get is much much better hardware for the same price if not even less. Even used options can make a lot of sense. So, a few minutes of searching on eBay found
multiple Mac Minis that are maybe only a generation or so behind but could be found for as little as $200. Look, most of the time there’s at least someone who I can say that a product will make sense for when it comes to the Mac Mini it just isn’t a good idea to buy one of these in 2017.There are just simply better options out there. Now, before we get outta here I wanna give a shout out to a few really good friends of mine over at Vsauce. So no, this is not a sponsored spot, but they’ve been working on the Curiosity Box for over a year now and I honesty feel like it is getting really, really good. This is a quarterly subscription box that comes with all kinds of cool science stuff including this incredibly attractive Vsauce beanie. This box even comes with a Voyager One t-shirt and a portion of the proceeds go to benefit Alzheimer’s research. So, if you guys like VSauce and you want some cool science stuff to show up every few months check out CuriosityBox.com. And, as always, thanks for watching.(mellow funky music) .