4GB, 8GB or 16GB?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by bounou, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. bounou macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2012
    So i picked up a 2012 Mac Mini a few weeks ago at a very good price, was going to wait for the refresh but i felt i needed to take advantage of this price.

    I am not sure if i should spring for more ram or not, right now the computer is connected to a thunderbolt display but that is a short term solution, going to be picking up a Mac Pro if the price is not too crazy and i feel its worth it or wait for the retina display iMac to get released.

    Eventually the computer is just going to be a headless server for my media for the different Apple TV's and other devices that can access it, i also use it to do quite a bit of handbraking, 2-3 times a week sometimes more.

    I don't want to spent more then 200$ more on this thing so it's either 8GB and AppleCare or 16GB

    What would you do?
  2. Macguy76 macrumors regular


    Feb 9, 2011
  3. And macrumors 6502


    Feb 23, 2009
    92 ft above sea level, UK
    As someone who has 4gb in a mini, get 8 or more, 4gb is starting to become a bottleneck.
  4. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    8GB is fine. 16GB is way overkill for a headless media server.

    Handbrake is almost entirely CPU bound.
  5. mdgm, Oct 11, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013

    mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    Mavericks has some improvements when it comes to memory. I would wait and see what difference Mavericks makes before going off and buying more RAM. Mavericks is expected to be released later this month.

    I have 4GB RAM in all three of Minis and plan to wait and see whether my Macs swap much or not on Mavericks before deciding whether to purchase more RAM.
  6. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz.

    16GB will make sure you make out the VRAM dedicated to the GPU (768). Although I may stand corrected on that as 8GB may also max out the VRAM (it did in the 2011s).

    It may be overkill. But hey... Its nice to have to power there when you put the foot to the accelerator.
  7. scotttnz macrumors 6502a

    Dec 16, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    When I got my mini, the difference in price between getting 8 and 16GB of third party RAM through work was only about $20, so it was a no brainer for me.
  8. Miat macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2012
  9. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    8GB is the sweet spot, esp if the mini is not your main workhorse.
  10. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Either leave it like it is, 4Gb is plenty for your needs, or go all the way. Or if you do 8, do it in one slot, that way you have 10 and your money spent on the 8 is not wasted in the future.
    Oh, and AppleCare is wasted on a mini as well. It is a pretty reliable machine.
  11. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    This is a very good advice!

    Comment: APPLE can cover repair expenses for everything (i.e. components). Do you think it is safe enough to proceed without a 3-year warranty plan?
  12. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Don't know your country, but in the EU the warranty is already 2 years. If a Mini makes it 2 years, it will make 5 years too.
  13. P0stalTek macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2011

    I have 8gb in my Mini that handles all my media (streaming and direct viewing on a 55" 3d 1080p plasma). It never approaches max RAM.

    On the other hand, I put 16gb Corsair Vengeance in my MBP that is my main workhorse. On the laptop, I often run a virtual machine of Windows 7 with 4gb of my memory devoted to the VM.
  14. Sean869 macrumors member


    Nov 7, 2012
    Dorset, United Kingdom
    When I got my ram its wasn't that much more money to get 16gb. So if you can afford it go the whole way and get 16gb, then you're sure to have enough no matter what future use you put your machine to. Nobody has ever said "I need a bit less RAM in my computer"
  15. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    Which is your EU country? Most EU countries still have 1 year standard warranty for APPLE products....


    if you compare the suggested APPLE 3-year warranty plan (worldwide) with a local EU 1 or 2-year standard warranty, I think you will decide to go with it and pay a little bit more to feel safer.

    It's the same discussion with the car insurance....which one is better? It's very subjective issue and it depends on the risk you want to take...
  16. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    Applecare isn't really worth it on desktops IMO... especially desktops without displays. If a drive fails it's easy to replace.

    Also if you bought it with an Amex card, you automatically get an additional year on the warranty (this is why I buy all my electronics with Amex).

    *edit* I should clarify that Amex doesn't extend the factory warranty but they give you an additional year of their own coverage... works like any 3rd party warranty.
  17. jhfenton macrumors 6502a


    Dec 11, 2012
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Last December when I bought my mini, 16GB was $59.99, so it was a no-brainer to max it out. I frequently run a Parallels VM which I can devote 8GB to without straining system resources.

    At current prices, which at a quick glance seem to be at least twice what I paid 10 months ago, it would a tougher call. Depending on what Apple does, and on compatibility, if I buy an upgraded mini this fall and demote my current mini to home video server, I'd probably just swap the 16GB and 4GB. 4GB is fine for running a video server.
  18. ad931 macrumors regular


    Sep 1, 2013
    Athens, Greece
    My late 2012 Mini is my main computer. It shipped with 4GB, i used it for about a month, really couldn't fault it performance wise.

    Did the 16GB RAM upgrade... WOW!!!! However many apps i've got open or running in background, I've never seen less than 11GB RAM available.

    The upgrade was so cheap it was a no brainer really plus its nice to have "something in reserve"
  19. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    RAM is cheap these days. 8GB should be fine and you can upgrade it yourself.

    Buy AppleCare later, if you think you still need it.
  20. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    My BMO Master Card works similarly, it doubles the manufacturers warranty, plus it offers theft insurance.
  21. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    Have you ever tried to claim a repair under your extended warranty or request money using that insurance? Personally, I don't trust them ....
  22. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    32GB of RAM would be nice, but as the maximum supported by the Mini is 16GB, this is the best choice :p

    4GB is the new 4MB and 8GB is the new 8MB. Soon we'll see computer equipped with 256GB of RAM...
  23. Negritude macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2011
  24. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    I still think it would be advisable to wait and see if with the better memory management in Mavericks 4 GB is adequate for your needs.

    I'm holding off on making a decision as to whether I need to upgrade the RAM in my existing Minis or not till I see what difference Mavericks makes.
  25. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    Nice. I was looking a while back to try and hack the OS so it gave me 1GB (but chickened out) so that will be good.

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