8 gig vs 16 gig in a Mini 2012 2.3 i7?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Vincenzok, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2009
    Hey guys and gals,

    Bought a Mini over the holdiays, and it's running stock 4gigs of RAM.

    I plan on doing some light photo editing and playing a Steam game here and there.

    So far everything is running nice and smooth, with an occasional beachball (spinning disc).

    I'm wondering if I should upgrade to 8 or 16 gigs of RAM. I've looked at some other threads, and was thinking of either grabbing




    Is 16 excessive for my planned uses? Or is more RAM always better?
    Any help would be great!!
  2. philipma1957, Jan 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013

    macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    if you want 8gb ram this is the better choice


    this has the fastest timings and is quicker then any other set of 8gb ram.

    as to if you need 16gb vs 8gb that is a hard call. think of it as a fast car that seats 4 (my kingston pick) if you have 4 passengers or less it is the better choice. think of the 16gb ram you picked as a mini van that seats 8 (your 16gb pick) if you have 5,6,7or 8 passengers the bigger one is better even if it goes slower it needs 1 trip so it is better.

    I built a lot of these minis I use the kingston plug n play 8gb set and I use this set. for 16gb


    but I build machines to order. if you asked me to set up your machine I would say go for the 8gb plug n play. If you had money to burn I would say get this

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104317 this is the biggest and fastest of all. cost is 129
  3. macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009
    I would personally go with 16GB right off the bat and be done with it. I wouldn't get all caught up in the timings of the RAM as you most likely won't notice any difference in real world use. But if you do multiple things at the same time, photo/video editing, safari tabs, streaming music, VM....etc. then 16GB will be nice to have. You could probably get away with 8GB but for only another $30 you can be sure you will be fine.
  4. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I'm usually one to say, get only what you need. With that said, memory prices keep dropping to the point where I just ordered 16GB (2x8GB) for $48 here in the US. An 8GB set (2x4GB) would only have saved me less than $20. For these kinds of prices, it's hard not to recommend just going to 16GB. Faster RAM will give you slightly better frame rates from your GPU since it shares the system RAM, but by slightly you are only looking at a couple of FPS. I'd get whatever is cheapest of 16GB (even if that means going 1333mhz instead of 1600mhz) and just be happy. You'll never need to upgrade the RAM in your Mini again (partly because you can't upgrade past 16GB!).
  5. macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2012
    Is DDR3 1333mhz (PC3 10600) ram compatible with the 2012 mini?
  6. macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2012
  7. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Yes with a very minor performance penalty (3% maybe)
  8. macrumors 68030


    Dec 18, 2007
    NY State of mind
    Memory is so cheap now - just max it out and be done with it as some have said earlier in the thread.
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2009
  10. macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2012
    Chandler, Arizona
    Confirmed, I had to bridge a few days' shipping wait with RAM from a 2011 Mini, and it worked fine in a 2012 Mini. Performance penalty is sure to have happened, but the difference in jumping to an SSD-only unit was so stark, I scarcely noticed.
  12. SoCalReviews, Jan 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2012
    I would spend the extra $20 compared to the cheapest bargain RAM for the 16GB kit ( 8GB x 2 ) and buy direct from Crucial. They guarantee it will work with your Mac Mini late-2012 and it has a lifetime warranty. There should be no hassles, no worrying about the need for future upgrades and you will sleep better at night knowing you are covered with their guarantee.

  13. macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    Look at it this way:

    If you get 16GB you'll be satisfied for the life of your machine and have a :) on your face. Your mini will also thank you.

    If you get 8GB and save some money now, you'll find yourself upgrading to 16GB a year or two from now and wishing you had bought 16gb from the start because now you are spending $$ and also stuck with 8GB ram that you can't use and no one will buy because they can get brand new ram cheap from a store.

    Go for 16GB. No regrets. It's what I did.
  14. macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I put 16gb in my new mini. To me, the tiny price difference between 8 and 16 made it a no brainer. 16gb will be good for the life of the mini.
  15. macrumors newbie


    Dec 25, 2012
    I put 16 gigs in my 2.3ghz quad i7 mini and it runs like a champ. I'm sure my 840 pro has a little to do with that as well but one thing I did notice when going from 4 gig to 16, Mountain Lion used almost 3gigs to run. Now it averages out that I have 13.5gig free when sitting on desktop. Sometimes 14 or 14.25.
  16. SoCalReviews, Jan 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2012
    If I could put 32GB or 64GB RAM in my mid-2011 Mini I would do it. I knew that the 2GB it came with was ridiculously anemic for basic needs. I originally purchased the 8GB kit. I thought that would be enough to run multiple Windows VMs but that same week after I installed it noticed in the system monitor the page outs and indications that I was running out of RAM memory so I ordered 16GB kit ( 8GB x 2 ) and swapped it out and I haven't looked back. The almost new 8GB (4GB x 2) Crucial kit is still sitting in it's original box in my desk drawer along with the stock 2GB. Now I also wish I had put a 1TB hard drive in place of the stock 500GB drive before I loaded it up with programs. I know I can convert it but it's more of a hassle now than it would have been before. The rule of thumb is if you can afford it...max out your system hardware...memory, drives, etc.. It's better to help future proof your system for the nine lives of the machine...OS X 10.9 Lynx, 10.10 Ocelot, 10.11 (Cougar?).
  17. macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2008
    bought mini late 2012.. installed everything no problems at all (my old backups will not work because of special osx requirement- but data is all available just cannot boot)

    two days late today upgraded with crucial to 16gb.. no issues.

    memory, memory, memory get what you can afford... slows down disc access, cooler machine, faster response,

    no brainer... get as much as you can afford....

    cheers elo
  18. macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    Go for the 16. It's relatively cheap and you don't want to have to go back later and spend more money to replace the 8. Did you compare prices at Crucial and OWC, BTW?
  19. macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2011
    What are you guys running that takes more than 8GB of RAM?

    I'm all for "more is better", but in the 1.5 years I've had my mini, I don't recall ever using more than 7GB, even with the heaviest loads I can muster.
  20. macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2008
    8gb is probably enough but cost is minimal for the extra memory... the extra memory will mean less page out page in, fewer disc io as a whole, this means less heat, etc...etc. just learned thru the years ,including the dark days in business, that one can never have enough memory.

    cheers elo
  21. macrumors demi-goddess


    May 15, 2008
    Well speaking for myself I often have a Win7 VM open (that has 6GB dedicated) running CorelDraw!, Photoshop and Illustrator in the OSX side with iTunes playing and several browsers and textmate. All this switches nice and fast with 16GB and thats the way I like to work.

    I also have the samba, plex and AirVideo servers running and occasionally I will have handbrake transcoding in the background :)

    my i7 2.3 works for its living :)
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2004
    Standard apps running (mostly at the same time):

    Photoshop (80-200MB, deep layered files)
    iOS Simulator
    On the job
    VM Ware

    Additional menu items running:
    iStat Menus
    Little Ipsum

    It can get pretty busy on my machine at any point in time, why worry?
  23. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I run at least two VM's at all times on my Mac's since I play "helpdesk" for several web apps on the weekends. I set asside usually at least 2GB of RAM for each VM so that's at least 4GB right there. Take out the 768MB (so almost 1GB) that goes to VRAM, that means I'm down 5GB. If I only had 3GB in my computer I would hardly be able to get anything done.
  24. macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2007
    True to a point. If you know your never going to hit the ceiling then what's the point.
  25. macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2001
    Texas, USA
    RAM is cheap

    Go 16G. It will speed it up too.

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