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View Full Version : Any great deals on Mac Mini Memory Upgrades




speedwaygirl
Sep 9, 2010, 08:07 PM
Hi All:

I am a frequent poster at places like Slick Deals, but seems that they are pretty anti-Apple. If anyone sees any great deals on Mac Mini 8GB Memory upgrades.....could they post them? I want to upgrade my Mac Mini, but as a single working mom on a serious budget, I can't frivolously spend cash on the Mini.....it's bad enough that I bought it. Would love to hear if anyone finds great deals. I'll even replace one stick at a time....thanks!



bearcatrp
Sep 9, 2010, 09:09 PM
Keep an eye on www.dealmac.com . They even have a widget you can watch. Memory for the new machines don't usually go down much but with the economy, you never know. I get my ram exclusively from OWC. Never had an issue. Maybe around Xmas time, deals might start popping up. I just ordered a new mini, (be hear tomorrow), and bought my ram already. The 8 gigs will be nice in the mini. How do you like yours so far? My last mini was 4 years ago with a 1.66. Sold it right away as wasn't impressed. Just wish apple would have put a i5 in it.

mangrove
Sep 9, 2010, 09:42 PM
Somebody just yesterday said that OWC dropped prices on mini RAM. I put their RAM in my 2009 (8GB) and it runs great. They actually shipped me Samsung RAM.

Got RAM from Ramjet years ago for an Imac. It also worked great.

mangrove
Sep 9, 2010, 09:44 PM
Keep an eye on www.dealmac.com . They even have a widget you can watch. Memory for the new machines don't usually go down much but with the economy, you never know. I get my ram exclusively from OWC. Never had an issue. Maybe around Xmas time, deals might start popping up. I just ordered a new mini, (be hear tomorrow), and bought my ram already. The 8 gigs will be nice in the mini. How do you like yours so far? My last mini was 4 years ago with a 1.66. Sold it right away as wasn't impressed. Just wish apple would have put a i5 in it.

Curious. So what convinced you to try the new Mini again?

dolphin842
Sep 9, 2010, 10:26 PM
If anyone sees any great deals on Mac Mini 8GB Memory upgrades.....could they post them?

OWC (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer%20Technology/8566DDR3S8GP/) has pretty much the best price around ($180 shipped), plus you get guaranteed compatibility and a lifetime warranty. I have this exact set currently en route to my place for my new Mini.

Undo Redo
Sep 9, 2010, 11:06 PM
4GB stick shipped, $81 at Newegg. Memory has been dropping steadily for weeks.

Link (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820159027&cm_re=4gb_pc3-8500_ddr3_sodimm-_-20-159-027-_-Product)

Baby Mac
Sep 10, 2010, 01:35 AM
What could "a single working mom on a serious budget who can't frivolously spend cash" possibly need 8GB RAM for? :confused: You may not need or get any use from that much RAM. If I get another mini, I'll cannibalize one 4GB stick for the second mini.

speedwaygirl
Sep 10, 2010, 04:43 AM
What could "a single working mom on a serious budget who can't frivolously spend cash" possibly need 8GB RAM for? :confused: You may not need or get any use from that much RAM. If I get another mini, I'll cannibalize one 4GB stick for the second mini.

I'd actually just like to start with a single 4GB stick for now, but to answer your question.... I'm converting my entire video collection (amassed going all the way back to the Laserdisc days) to digital, and I'm finding that the 2GB is not sufficient.

The reason that I bought the Mac Mini was to reduce the strain on my MacBook (which I need for work). The MacBook (2.0Ghz with 2GB of RAM) was seriously overheating under the Handbrake load.

Thanks for all the tips everyone!

bearcatrp
Sep 10, 2010, 06:43 AM
Curious. So what convinced you to try the new Mini again?

Sold my 2008 mac pro and needed something to get me buy until I decide what I really want. With HDMI, figure I can use the mini to replace my apple TV. Not sure I care for the new one. Almost bought the i7 imac but still to many problems with it. Hopefully, an mac mini 2.66 with 8gb ram will work for me until the next generation mac pro comes out. The new architecture will be worth the wait.

Speedwaygirl, know what you mean on hot mac book. Did that, moved to mac mini, imac, then mac pro.

Dolphin842, OWC shipped mine for 229.99. Where did you see it for 180?

dolphin842
Sep 10, 2010, 08:37 AM
I'm converting my entire video collection (amassed going all the way back to the Laserdisc days) to digital, and I'm finding that the 2GB is not sufficient. [...]The MacBook (2.0Ghz with 2GB of RAM) was seriously overheating under the Handbrake load.

The overheating likely has little to do with RAM, and more to do with the CPU working so hard in such a confined space. Before you spend hard-earned money on a RAM upgrade, check out your Memory usage in Activity Monitor (Applications->Utilities) to see how much RAM Handbrake is taking up and how much the system has free. I've done many Handbrake encodes using systems with 2GB RAM and under. Sometimes Activity Monitor may show that there's not much RAM free, but it gets the job done just the same.

Should you still feel the need to upgrade, OWC offers single 4GB so-dimms (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer%20Technology/8566DDR3S4GB/) for $93.

Dolphin842, OWC shipped mine for 229.99. Where did you see it for 180?

If you click the link in my previous post, or scroll down a bit on the main RAM page for the 2009/2010 Mini, you can see that OWC offers their NuRAM set for $180. Same vendor and standards, just with a 'normal' lifetime warranty instead of an 'advance replacement' warranty. I can afford some downtime (or will just use stock RAM) if it ever needs to get replaced, so I opt to save some money.

speedwaygirl
Sep 10, 2010, 09:02 AM
Thanks for the tip, dolphin842! I ordered the $93 stick. I was fine with the 2GB when I was using just Microsoft Office and Safari, but adding Handbrake to that mix (and it's running 24/7 these days) was what did me in. I tend to be a bad girl and have LOTS of windows open at a time.

I should also mention that I'm going to be adding Windows to it and running some pretty RAM intensive video software, so that's another reason for the upgrade. I think that having 5GB should be just fine!

The MacBook has been a great computer, and I LOVE it, so I'm hoping the Mac Mini experience is just as enjoyable!

mangrove
Sep 10, 2010, 12:46 PM
Sold my 2008 mac pro and needed something to get me buy until I decide what I really want. With HDMI, figure I can use the mini to replace my apple TV. Not sure I care for the new one. Almost bought the i7 imac but still to many problems with it. Hopefully, an mac mini 2.66 with 8gb ram will work for me until the next generation mac pro comes out. The new architecture will be worth the wait.

Speedwaygirl, know what you mean on hot mac book. Did that, moved to mac mini, imac, then mac pro.

Dolphin842, OWC shipped mine for 229.99. Where did you see it for 180?

I put a small 40GB boot SSD ($99 at OWC) into mine with a large 2nd drive for data and it flies. For example, the gear wheel on boot up to seeing the dock takes just 5 seconds and everything else you use comes up fast.

Speedway girl-maybe something to think about is a small boot SSD for video work. Heck, you don't even have to install it-just boot to it in an enclosure. Sure its more than RAM, but heavy loads it handles very fast.

bearcatrp
Sep 10, 2010, 10:55 PM
Just to add to using activity monitor. Check your page ins/outs. If your page outs are more than 10%, then that's an indication you need to upgrade your memory. I just received my mini today. Installed 8gb ram I had waiting for it. Will rip a movie with handbrake to see how it does. This is were I will probably miss my Mac pro with 24gb ram.
Another thing too is if your ripping allot and getting the mini hot, install smcfancontrol to keep it cool. Ran it allot on my pro while video editing and ripping.

Mangrove, how hard was it to replace your hard drive? I remember cracking open my older mini but this one is a different design to deal with. Looks like a royal PITA.

Undo Redo
Sep 11, 2010, 12:59 AM
I just received my mini today. Installed 8gb ram I had waiting for it. Will rip a movie with handbrake to see how it does. This is were I will probably miss my Mac pro with 24gb ram.

You're more likely to miss the four or eight cores than the memory. I downgraded from a Mac Pro to a mini and encoding video is when it's most noticeable.

speedwaygirl
Sep 11, 2010, 06:09 AM
You're more likely to miss the four or eight cores than the memory. I downgraded from a Mac Pro to a mini and encoding video is when it's most noticeable.

I agree wholeheartedly! Only wish I could have afforded to buy a new Pro! Maybe in a few years when I don't have to worry about my son's college tuition...lol!

We also have an HP AMD six core machine and if you have a program that utilizes the additional cores, it's amazing the speed with which it processes. That machine gets used for the huge HD video files.

But I have to admit that I still love using handbrake on my Mac Mini the most.

bearcatrp
Sep 11, 2010, 09:32 AM
I know you love your mini but with that 6 core, I would have spent the money on software to rip on that instead of memory for the mini. Are you watching your movies through the mini or the amd pc?

mangrove
Sep 11, 2010, 10:52 AM
Just to add to using activity monitor. Check your page ins/outs. If your page outs are more than 10%, then that's an indication you need to upgrade your memory. I just received my mini today. Installed 8gb ram I had waiting for it. Will rip a movie with handbrake to see how it does. This is were I will probably miss my Mac pro with 24gb ram.
Another thing too is if your ripping allot and getting the mini hot, install smcfancontrol to keep it cool. Ran it allot on my pro while video editing and ripping.

Mangrove, how hard was it to replace your hard drive? I remember cracking open my older mini but this one is a different design to deal with. Looks like a royal PITA.
With a disciplined approach, it's not bad. There are some threads on it, but also watch the iFixit or was it the OWC instructions. It's the last part where you must pull the whole guts forward about one inch to clear the original HD in order to lift it our front first. There is a case around it which you wrap on the new one and back in it goes. I would run a new boot for many weeks in order to tweek it just right before actual install. I would boot and boot to it for many days before being satisfied that all was OK.

I have input on other threads ("$99 boot drive" and "OWC is fast") most of my initial thoughts and experiences when first using my SSD's.

I now have 2 SSD in my 2009 working real nice and in our 2010's (we have 2 now) we will complete 1 or 2 drives in both this month. I just boot to the external in an enclosure and even though using FW800 they are fast, I mean a REAL noticeable difference from the stock platters.

I got interested in SSD mostly after reading carefully Lloyd Chambers Mac Performance Guide and that's what got me going on a 40GB boot drive to start with.

I use his customize install and then transferred "from another mac" all my home and applications. These only took up about 27GB on the 40GB SSD (and my "downloads" is 3GB). Heck I'm thinking about Boot Camping the 12+GB balance for the VERY few Windows apps I would use.

I only cloned drives in order to make bootable backups of the original drives and then I can take these off site for "true backup". In fact I also cloned the 40GB boot drives (for $99) with SSD's that I also keep off site. I live in hurricane alley so this is important to do here. In 1992 I had a 12 foot tidal wave hit us and we lost everything including our toothbrushes. Talk about a burning memory!

dolphin842
Sep 11, 2010, 11:23 AM
We also have an HP AMD six core machine [...] But I have to admit that I still love using handbrake on my Mac Mini the most.
I know you love your mini but with that 6 core, I would have spent the money on software to rip on that instead of memory for the mini.

I'd give the HP a try for encoding... HandBrake exists on Windows too, so there's no need for expensive encoding software. I'm curious as to how the AMD 6-core stands up to Intel's quad-cores on the Mac.

bearcatrp
Sep 11, 2010, 06:41 PM
Not 100% sure but I don't think handbrake will rip DVDs from the store.

bearcatrp
Sep 11, 2010, 10:29 PM
You're more likely to miss the four or eight cores than the memory. I downgraded from a Mac Pro to a mini and encoding video is when it's most noticeable.

Just tried ripping a movie I ripped previously on the pro. Around 25 minutes from the pro from what I remembered. 1 hr 15 min on the mini. :( . Looks like I will be using my home built 8 core pc for encoding. It's running ubuntu. It's my crunching machine for WCG. Already missing the pro though. Hopefully, next year when sandy bridge is release, I can afford a new one.

Undo Redo
Sep 11, 2010, 10:48 PM
Just tried ripping a movie I ripped previously on the pro. Around 25 minutes from the pro from what I remembered. 1 hr 15 min on the mini. :( . Looks like I will be using my home built 8 core pc for encoding. It's running ubuntu. It's my crunching machine for WCG. Already missing the pro though. Hopefully, next year when sandy bridge is release, I can afford a new one.
Sounds comparable to my experience with downgrading. I just do the encoding at night or when my Mac is not being used otherwise.

I'm hoping sandy bridge (mobile) will mean four cores in a Mac mini next year. I'm not going back to a Mac Pro too expensive, too large and kinda noisy.

bearcatrp
Sep 11, 2010, 10:58 PM
If sandy bridge will allow a 4 core with hyper threading (8 cores total) in a mini, I will buy one in a heart beat.

speedwaygirl
Sep 12, 2010, 05:30 AM
Oh, believe me, the six core is doing a LOT of encoding. It's actually a multi-step process right now. We have a Hauppauge 1212PVR that captures my son's gaming video and our DVR. I use a program on the X6 that is encoding that source. Thanks to the six core, it easily encodes three HD videos at a time. The X6 is also the ripping machine.

I tried Handbrake on the X6 and found the windows version to be meh. It doesn't seem to utilize the 6 cores, so there are better programs to be used on the Windows machine. And it seems the best ripping programs are written for Windows.

That said, I find the new HP Windows 7 X6 machine to be less than stable. It constantly has video errors when playing DVD's through its blu ray drive (Blu Ray AND standard DVD). It keeps losing the order of the boot drives and won't boot Windows Properly, so I have to go in manually reset the boot order (at least once a week). Sometimes I even have to restore AND reset the boot order. :mad: It's probably just this machine, but after having this thing for 7 weeks, it's a living advertisement to just stay with a Mac....lol.

So that's why I gave in and bought a Mac Mini. I still was able to have a Mac Mini AND an the HP X6 for the same price as the iMac I originally bought and then returned. :p

speedwaygirl
Sep 12, 2010, 05:42 AM
I'd give the HP a try for encoding... HandBrake exists on Windows too, so there's no need for expensive encoding software. I'm curious as to how the AMD 6-core stands up to Intel's quad-cores on the Mac.

I can't say how it compares to the quad cores on the Mac, but I do remember reading on the web how it compared on a PC. Wish I still had the web address about the stats....took a long time for me to find it. For video work, the X6 consistently outperformed the i5. That was not the case for gaming. The i5 clearly had the edge there. (We don't game on PC at our house, though, only on consoles.) The i7 on the other hand clearly outperformed the X6 in every test. But it was substantially more expensive.

Now these benchmarks I refer to were for the 1035T, though, and that is the base model X6 AMD processor. I don't remember which i5 processor they compared it to. The research I did was probably a good 10 weeks ago, and I think that the benchmarks were from several months before.

I figured if the X6 machine converted my entire video collection to digital, it would be more than worth its cost. Then we can play a video on any computer/TV in the house and not worry about finding the DVD and if it's scratched....oy vey....kids, cats, and DVD's are bad combination.

speedwaygirl
Sep 13, 2010, 08:07 PM
OWC (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer%20Technology/8566DDR3S8GP/) has pretty much the best price around ($180 shipped), plus you get guaranteed compatibility and a lifetime warranty. I have this exact set currently en route to my place for my new Mini.

Thanks for your help. Ordered a single 4 GB stick of RAM (thank that will be plenty sufficient) on Friday and it was here today. Installed it no problem. Wish every computer was as easy as the mini. :)

Thanks for all of your help Forum folks! :apple:

dolphin842
Sep 14, 2010, 05:25 PM
Thanks for your help. Ordered a single 4 GB stick of RAM (thank that will be plenty sufficient) on Friday and it was here today. Installed it no problem. Wish every computer was as easy as the mini. :)

Thanks for all of your help Forum folks! :apple:

Glad to see it worked out! I just installed my 8GB kit today and it works great as well:cool:.

mangrove
Sep 14, 2010, 07:06 PM
Hey Dolphin, did you do any benching before and after installing that 8GB? Did you have 4GB before?

I ask because mine seems fast, but since I seldom use more than half of it now with light work (so the activity monitor tells me), just wondered how it's working for you. Have you done heavy work with it?

dolphin842
Sep 14, 2010, 09:02 PM
Hey Dolphin, did you do any benching before and after installing that 8GB? Did you have 4GB before?

I ask because mine seems fast, but since I seldom use more than half of it now with light work (so the activity monitor tells me), just wondered how it's working for you. Have you done heavy work with it?

I had 2GB previously (both in the Mini and the 2006 iMac from which I upgraded). Booting seems a tad bit faster (particularly the time it takes for the Desktop and its icons to show up). The main attraction, of course, is the ability to have a bunch of stuff open without worrying about swap-related slowdown. On that front, so far it's doing great. I have all my usual apps open and at the moment they're only using a little over 4GB, so it's good to know I won't have to quit apps to get breathing room when I need heavy hitters like Photoshop.

Keep in mind though that all the above is just based on one day of use. I'm sure that WebKit-based apps like Safari and NetNewsWire will just continue to consume memory, so I'll probably relaunch those from time to time. That said, on the old iMac even the most basic web design workflow (OmniGraffle, ImageWell, and Photoshop) would bring the machine to a crawl, so I foresee being quite pleased with the ability to load whatever I need without swapping.