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Old Nov 4, 2012, 03:09 PM   #1
belltree
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Question Early 2009 Mac Mini - Memory upgrade to 8GB worth it?

I have an early 2009 Mac Mini which currently has 4GB (2x2GB) of system memory which I upgraded myself when I first bought it. Now, 3 years later, the system does tend to get a little sluggish at times and I am thinking to upgrade it to 8GB (2x4GB).

I see OWC offers an 8GB memory kit for it here for $50. I am just curious to know from others with 2009 era Mac Minis if they found great performance improvements (provided you have the necessary EFI updated)? Appreciate any feedback.

*Note: I was planning to purchase the 2012 Mac Mini but need to hold off for a year or two so I am wondering if this will tide me over. Thanks.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 03:29 PM   #2
Treq
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I did it last year and I only paid $40, but it was worth it. I mean, I've spent more on beer in 3 hrs... It does help a bit. For example: My mini has 2 eyetv tuners in it. I can allocate the time-shift buffer to use 2GB of ram instead of disk space, which makes it much smoother. Go for it!
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 03:31 PM   #3
surroundfan
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Go into Activity Monitor and look at Page Outs and Swap Used. If they're substantial, then yes, you'll need more memory. I tend to find that Mountain Lion tends to use about 3.5-4GB, so get quite a few pageouts on my MBA (which has an SSD, reducing sluggishness).

At under $50, it's a cheap way to improve performance.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 06:14 PM   #4
Micky Do
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Probably...... I have an early 2009 Mac Mini, the bottom end model that came with 1 GB of Ram. I asked the shop to upgrade the RAM to 4 GB and download Mountain Lion for me (I don't have a credit card so don't have an App Store a/c). The total cost was about 4,000 Thai baht (about $US 130). To get a new Mini loaded with the same software would have cost six or seven times as much, which represents several weeks pay for me.

They simply put 4 GB in along side the 1 GB, so now I have 5 GB in total. Along with Mountain Lion it has made a huge difference. I reckon my current Mini should be good for a few more years; I don't anticipate replacing it before the next update.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 09:59 AM   #5
Wheaty
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I have a 2GHz 2009 Mini which I upgraded from 2Gb or ram to 8Gb a few months ago.

On the whole, its been a good improvement for me. the last few updates had slowed my mini down a bit, and it was starting to need 1G of ram at start up which it never used to. (I did a Zap-Pram etc to check it wasn't nigly permissions etc slowing it)

Now its a lot better with more free Ram, I have no Page Outs unless I work it really really hard, which isnt that often, and as all the programs I use fit into memory, switching between them is nice and snappy.

If your going from 4-8Gb I dont know how much of an improvement you will see, unless you are regularly maxing out. From my point of view going to 4Gb for me would have been just as good as 8Gb, but then saving 10 for half the memory didn't seem worth it!

Wheaty

PS I still think my 2009 mini is a great little machine, dont need to upgrade yet!
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 12:35 PM   #6
belltree
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Thanks for your replies folks. On my mini I am seeing the following in Activity Monitor:

Page ins: 10.34GB
Page outs: 10.74GB

This seems rather heavy so from that perspective I think my system would likely benefit but it would be great to hear from anyone else who had similar issues and went from 4GB to 8GB. Thanks again.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 03:21 PM   #7
Wheaty
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I'd say go for it then, you should definitely see an improvement.

Wheaty
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