2009 Mac mini upgrade issues (ram)

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by iJny9956, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. iJny9956 macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    I just picked up an used Mac mini 2009 2ghz C2D 1gb ram. This will be used as a headless iTunes server. I've upgraded to a ssd which works fine. I've upgraded the ram. It came with 1gb so I bought a 2gb stick, so total 3gb. The issue is that the computer only sees memory installed in the slot 1 closest to the logic board (bank 0).

    1. I've tried swapping the sticks and they both work but only when installed in slot 1.
    2. I've installed one stick at a time in slot 1 everything worked.
    3. I've tried installing to slot 2 only, both the 1gb and the new 2gb stick computer beeps on start and refuses to start up

    Is slot 2 on the logic board fried? Do the memory sticks need to be installed in pairs? Do the pair of sticks have to match.

    I'm so confused. I don't have the Apple Hardware Test unfortunately. Any tips?
  2. Kaida macrumors regular


    May 28, 2016
    it doesn't have to be in pair, if either stick work alone in slot 1, it probably means slot 2 is dead.

    2009 can be a little bit picky with the rams. For my machine, they work with Kingston 1333 but does not work with OWC 1333.

    In some cases, the original rams have to be used when reinstalling OSX 2008-2010 era
  3. iJny9956 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012

    the firmware update fixed the issue. The owner never updated anything even the OS.
  4. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    You really should upgrade to at least four gigs of 2gbs matched pair. I'm sure I have a set somewhere, PM me. Eight gigs of a matched pair of ram chips is optimum.

    I'm pretty sure the "matched pair" of ram speeds things up as well in the 2009. I'd never keep an unmatched set of ram if I could avoid it.
  5. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    As the above poster mentioned, 8GB is premium in this machine. 3GB will work fine, and you may see some lower scores on synthetic benchmarks, but nothing that's likely to impact daily usage.

    Given that you're looking to use it as a headless iTunes server, you will probably be just fine with 3GB. If you're ever looking to use it for something a little more intense, look into more RAM, as it is cheap for this machine.

    Enjoy your mini! I have my old 2009 hooked up to my TV now, and it works wonderfully for movies, Netflix, and YouTube :)
  6. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2010
    Dayton, Ohio
    Actually, I've gotta disagree on this point. My mother has a 2009 Mini, which worked just fine for her until she upgraded to 10.10. She had only 2 GB of RAM, and with the OS taking up more than half of that, there was no room left to run, well, just about anything. Just opening a Finder window would lead to endless swapping.

    I upgraded her machine to 4 GB, and it is working for her now, but I've been keeping an eye on it. She really doesn't do more than e-mail and web with the machine, so having roughly 2 GB of space available for applications is enough for her needs so far.

    But yeah, I'd be cautious running any recent version of OS X in just 3 GB. Keep an eye on the amount of RAM in use; you may find your machine swapping, even with relatively light daily usage. :(
  7. MultiFinder17, Jul 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016

    MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    My mistake if I was not clear; I was not talking about the lack of RAM, but the thought posted before me about the matched pairs. I still stand by the thought that 3GB is fine for a headless server that just runs iTunes and is not interacted with in any other way, but I did recommend upgrading it if they ever find themselves using it for anything more intensive. My 3GB comment was about the matched pairs, which does slow down some benchmarks but doesn't have much of any impact in the real world usage of the machine. Besides, 3GB is still better than 1GB :)
  8. iJny9956 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    Only reason I've upgraded the RAM is to get to a newer OS. the reason is that some of the iOS devices at home require newer version of iTunes. This is because the iTunes server also syncs all devices in the house via wifi and backs them up to an external volume.

    Granted all this time I've had a headless macbook form 2006 doing the same thing, 2Ghz C2D, 2Gb ram, installed mountain lion using MLPostfactor. OS X 10.8 was the cutoff for the latest iTunes. The machine did fine. so Im hoping ill be ok with Yosemite on the mac mini with min requirements. All storage is handled by synology NAS.

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