Mac mini (Core Solo) RAM upgrade-help?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Fleetwood Mac, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    As the title suggests, I'm looking into upgrading my Mac mini's RAM. I've contacted one of the local Apple Resellers. Here's what I wrote:
    And this is the response I recieved.
    Alright, it all sounds fine to me. I'm just not sure about the reliablilty of information I might be recieving here. This response would certainly be in favor of the store as it involved me spending more money-which I don't really have (just bought an iMac :p-lol).

    All I'm looking for here is a little speed bump and the ability to run parallels for minor webdesign work (personal). I don't do anything pro on this machine, its bascically what I use for Muisc and Word proccessing. Do I really to go the 2x1GB modules or do you guys think 1x1GB + 1x256MB will be just fine? I know the sales guy said that they memory has to be identical, but I've heard otherwise on these forums. I really couldn't care less about a few milliseconds here or there... :D

    -iDuck

    EDIT: Prices are "Dans la Canadien" (CAD) if that matters.
     
  2. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    #2
    I would go for a 1GB stick and a 256MB stick, or if possible, a 512 stick. :) But 1.25GB would be just fine. :)
     
  3. Fleetwood Mac thread starter macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    So just to confirm, a 256MB + 1GB will work with only mimimal performace loss?

    I'm pretty sure this place, Simply Computing, has the best upgrade price in town. How should I go about telling them to pound-the-sand as far as 2x1GB goes?

    EDIT: I ask because I'd just buy one 1GB module and do it myself, but I've never worked on a notebook/small conputer and have a horrible record with memory installation. I'd like to have them install it for me.
     
  4. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    #4
  5. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

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    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #5
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #6
    The articles referenced both leave out an important fact: The BareFeats benchmarks are for processor/memory-bound applications, and the tests were run on a Mac with dedicated graphics memory.

    The Mini (and MacBook) have a graphics chip that shares main memory. For this reason, the faster the main memory, the better your graphics performance--and it's not necessarily a minor difference. I have no hard facts to back this up, but I don't think it's a coincidence that Apple sells the iMac and MacBook Pro (dedicated graphics memory) with your choice of memory in single sticks or pairs, while the MacBook and Mini (shared memory) are only sold with pairs.

    Now, having only seen synthetic benchmakrs, I don't know what the real world difference is (could be small, could be significant), but I'm willing to bet that when it comes to shared memory for graphics, every little bit makes a difference. If I'd been thinking, I would have done some tests when I had a mini torn apart, but I'm not going to rip it open again after I finally got it working.

    It's up to you whether you think it's worth it for the graphics speed boost (maybe you never do anything even remotely graphics intensive), but frankly given the cost of memory and the relative difficulty cracking open the Mini, I'd go to 2 gigs and be done with it once and for all.
     
  7. Fleetwood Mac thread starter macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    Thanks for all the insight guys.

    The article was somewhat enlightening. I think I pondered over it a little before I bought the mini some months ago. It sort of answer my questions as well.
    I understand where your coming from with the shared graphics. It makes sense, but I don't really do anything *too* graphics intensive. A little iMovie here, maybe a little Expose' there, possibly a dash of Photoshop. If I upgrade to 1.25 for now, I can always get more I suppose. Ick. I'll have to re-sleep on it.

    Again, thanks a million lilstewart, VoodooDaddy, livingfortoday, Makosuke (any tips for opening up the mini Makosuke?)
     
  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #8
    Quite true that if you don't mind cracking it open again and put a gig stick in, you can always add a second gig later. I have heard, though have no hard evidece thereof (and to be honest, I'm a tad skeptical, though I know nothing), that you need two pretty well matched sticks for dual channel to work, so you'd want to be sure to get a very similar stick when you eventually went to 2 gigs.
    Be VERY VERY careful. Getting the case open with a putty knife (or very sharp metal spatula--that would probably work better, in fact) is scary, but doable (watching what it's supposed to "feel" like in that OWC video is useful).

    Once you're inside, rember a few things: There are four screws that you need to remove, to get to one of them you have to remove the Airport Antenna (just squeeze underneath it), you do NOT need to remove the smaller bluetooth antenna on the other side, do not forget to disconnect the temp sensor at the very front (it's very small--use a small flathead screwdriver to pry it up), and be VERY careful with the brown audio board cable, especially if you decide to leave it attached while working.

    When reassembling, make sure the airport antenna is still attached to the card (it pops off easily), be careful when routing its cable (it's easy to yank it out or pinch it with the air guide), don't forget to reconnect the temp sensor up front or the fan will run full blast all the time, remember that the longer screw goes in the deeply recessed front right corner (magnetic screwdriver or a tiny bit of glue on the screwdriver tip is the only way you're going to get two of the screws back in), and double-check that the audio cable is fully attached when you get everything in place. If it's not, the machine will either refuse to boot at all, or you will have no audio--it won't even show up in the control panel (and this can happen even if it looks "close enough").

    Power it up before you put the screws in and put the case back on, too, in case you forgot something--better than having to rip it apart again.

    [Note: I am able to ramble all that off the top of my head, because due to a freak, hard to diagnose problem I had from some bum RAM I installed--it would cause spontaneous reboots, but only when it got good and warm, which required the case to be closed--I ripped appart and reassembled an Intel mini so many times I could seriously do it with my eyes closed, except for the screws.]
     
  9. kyleaa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    #9
    Another thought - for that price of one SODIMM that apple quoted you, you could buy 2x1gb modules from another retailer. I got 2gb of ram for my iMac which I believe takes the same RAM for $170 shipped.
     

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