We’ve already talked about the benefits of using third party RAM to upgrade your shiny new Retina iMac, but those looking to pick up the new Mac mini are in for an unpleasant surprise. Taking a page from its MacBook line, Apple is now soldering RAM to the logic board in the Mac mini. That means that users cannot upgrade RAM after purchase; they’re stuck with what they buy from Apple, and forced to accept Apple’s inflated prices.
Confirmed: RAM in the new Mac mini is not user accessible. Hard drive can be replaced/upgraded, though not keeping warranty.
— Brian Stucki (@brianstucki) October 17, 2014
After letting the system languish for an entire upgrade cycle, Apple finally unveiled the new Mac mini on Thursday. The new model sports the same form factor as its predecessor, but brings the internal hardware up to date, with new Haswell CPUs, Intel Iris graphics, Thunderbolt 2, PCIe-based flash storage, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Ironically, the current Mac mini design was originally lauded for the ease with which users could upgrade the system’s RAM. Now the system is just another example of the disposable future Apple is creating for its Macintosh line. With its departure in the new Mac mini, the only current Macs that still officially support user-upgradeable memory are the Mac Pro and 27-inch iMac.
Users who have already placed orders for the new Mac mini, but who were unaware of the system’s soldered RAM, will want to contact Apple as soon as possible if they feel they’ll need more RAM. At this point, the only way to upgrade is to cancel or return an existing order and place a new custom order with additional memory.