6GB of RAM on the Late 2009 MacMini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Jaben3421, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. Jaben3421 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Location:
    CA
    #1
    Hi Everyone,

    I just upgraded to ML on my Late 2009 MacMini, and was wondering if it is worth it to go from 4GB of RAM to 6GB? I know that on the Late 2009 MacMini it is really hard to get to the memory, so is it worth it? Will I see that much speed improvement? OWC has a 4GB chip for $28, which would get me to 6GB, but their 8GB package of 2 4GB chips is $50, which is kind of expensive.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    It depends on how you use your Mac and if you're maxing out your RAM with your normal workload. To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
     
  3. Poki macrumors 6502a

    Poki

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    #3
    You could get a 2x4 GB kit for 40 if you look around a bit. However, do your Mini feel slow? Does your activity monitor show you constantly use all of your memory? If you can answer both with yes, than yeah, it's worth the hassle. If you can answer one of the questions with no, you probably don't want to do all the work.
     
  4. philipma1957, Jul 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #4
    look at the activity monitor. my scores are good 346mb page in 0 page out. 0 swaps.


    10 percent or more page out.


    in my case that would be 346mb in 34.6 mb out you would see a slow down.

    25 percent or more will be easy to tell. swap outs also mean slow and more ram will help.
     

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  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    There is no meaningful correlation between page outs and page ins. You will always have page ins, but you may not ever have page outs. Also, you can run for weeks or months, accumulating page ins, then go through a period of intense activity for only a few minutes which produces page outs. No ratio between the two is useful. The only thing that indicates a need for more RAM is the presence of significant page outs during normal workload, regardless of the page ins.
     
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
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    Howell, New Jersey
    #6
    well if you are "always" at 0% you don't need more ram.

    if you are always" at 1 % you don't need more ram.

    so really low % means more ram is not going to speed you up.

    now if you think 10% or 25% is not large enough well I can see why you would say that.

    but to say no meaningful ratio is too broad of a statement.

    certainly a very low % of 0 to 1 means something.

    it means you will get no noticeable speed gain by adding ram.
     
  7. Jaben3421 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Location:
    CA
    #7
    I checked, and activity monitor said I had 313MB page outs, but I only had 181.5 MB of free memory. I don't know if that means anything, but it seems like little memory left over.
     

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  8. philipma1957, Jul 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #8
    your screen shot show high swaps and 1 out of 6 page outs.

    300mb out of 1.8gb is 1 out of 6. 1gb swap outs is a lot.

    now if you boot they set back to 0 and you can look at them in a few days to see if that pattern repeats. I think it will.

    If I show 1 photo of one car accident and say my crash rate is 1 in ten miles. While it may be true for that 10 mile drive I am not counting the 3000 other 10 mile drives without a crash.This is most likely what GGLstudios meant by percent not meaning anything. So if you do the activity monitor every day for a week with a new boot each morning. You would get 7 scores if they are all high percent page outs with a lot of swaps that would be a very strong showing that you need ram. Sometimes you may find you are running a bad program and getting rid of it can fix the problem.

    My best guess is you need more ram. Now the 2009 mini is a bit hard to do the work. Money is tight for you . you mention 28 vs 50 as a sticking point. are you in the usa?

    I can find 8gb for under 39 shipped. If you are going to bother to open the machine for 38 you are better off with the 8gb then 28 for 6gb.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231294 this is 38.49 for 8gb

    Off topic What size is your hdd? How full is it?
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    No, it's not too broad. If you have 3GB of page outs under normal use, that indicates you could benefit from more RAM, whether that 3BG represents 5% or 30% of page ins. The percentage doesn't matter. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, which may have been yesterday or 6 months ago.
    There's more to the picture than free memory, as inactive memory is also available to apps. Also, the small amount of page outs could have occurred during a 5-minute window that you weren't watching Activity Monitor, so you didn't see what memory was available at the time of the page outs. Read the link in my first post to understand free and inactive memory, etc.
     
  10. Jaben3421 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Location:
    CA
    #10
    My HDD is 500GB and it's usually about half full, except I just did a clean install of OS X Mountain Lion yesterday, so i'm only using 52GB right now, since I haven't gotten a chance to re-install a lot of my games. Anyways, I think I might just get the 8GB of NewEgg since it's a lot cheaper there. Thanks for all your guys help. Now I just need to find a putty knife. ;)
     
  11. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #11
    yeah the hdd sounds fine .


    just take your time with the ram swap and 2 or 3 putty knives are actually better then one. just make sure they are thin flexible type.
     
  12. mwhities macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Location:
    Mississippi
    #12
    I have one-arm and I swapped my 4GB ram for 8GB ram in under 30 minutes. Just watch the videos at OWC or iFixit.
     

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