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I love the Mac Mini... just not the entry level model.
Reviewed in the United States on November 5, 2014
The entry level Mac Mini isn't a bad computer... the 1.4 Ghz CPU isn't fast, but it's decent for many casual users. The trouble is, although the current lineup has some nice new features, such as 3x faster WiFi and two Thunderbolt 2 ports, you can no longer upgrade the memory on your own.
Let me repeat that. You can't upgrade the memory. So if you buy the entry level model, which comes with only 4GB of memory, that's it. You're stuck with it. In the previous generation, you could upgrade the memory to as much as 16 GB.
To me, the most important thing you can do to speed up a computer is add RAM. Even if you don't plan on running more than one program at a time, you will eventually find that programs will continue to get bigger and bigger, until your system will slows down to a crawl.
Last week, I actually bought one of the entry level 4GB models to use as a secondary computer. I knew it would have limits, but the speed difference was so dramatic, I returned it a few days later... and bought their middle configuration, which costs $200 more, which nearly doubles the CPU speed to 2.6 Ghz... and doubles the hard drive size from 500GB to 1TB (1000 GB)... but more importantly, it doubles the RAM to 8GB. Doubling the RAM had a dramatic effect on the speed. It's not a little faster... it's like an entirely different computer.