8GB Memory - Will it help or not?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by cbnsoul, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. cbnsoul macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    #1
    Ok, so I have big-time memory envy and have been toying with the idea of getting 8GB of memory (have 4GB currently) for my early 2009 Mini for some time now but can't really find whether it will speed up my machine for the tasks I most commonly do. For the most part, I use my Mini for routine things (iPhoto, iTunes, lots of internet usage). I rarely get the spinning beach ball other than when there is video embedded on a web page.

    I just bought a Seagate Momentus XT (old drive died) which has sped things up somewhat. Unfortunately, I can't afford an SSD which would have really helped. So, in your opinion, will I notice much of any speed difference or am I better off just saving my money?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Take a look at your page outs. More RAM won't help much unless you will use it.
     
  3. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #3
    I agree with Hellhammer. Sounds to me like you're barely making a dent in the 4 GB you currently have, so an additional 4 GB would just sit there idle.
     
  4. cbnsoul thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Indiana
    #4
    Thanks for the replies. That's what I was thinking but I didn't really know where to check to see how much was being used at once. Every time I use iStat Pro it shows most is inactive but it didn't seem to matter a lot even if several programs were opened at once. (I couldn't open other programs, though, while looking at iStat Pro since it is in the Dashboard and couldn't tell if they were using much RAM when they initially opened.) It seems like the extra RAM would be most helpful when using Parallels or VMWare from what I read, something I never do. Well, I guess I'll drop the cash on a new Apple TV, then. Thanks again.
     
  5. hwojtek macrumors 65816

    hwojtek

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    A small rural village in western Poland
    #5
    I run 4GB on my 13-inch MBP and 8GB on the Mini (which is in fact a MBP 13" sans the screen). Just for comparison sake I've set up a SL installation on an FW800 external drive and booted both computers using this external drive. There is a difference in speed definitely felt, especially when I go through my usual workflow of having Adobe Indesign CS5 and Photoshop CS5 both open. The Mini seems sometimes even more responsive than my Mac Pro Quad with 6 Gigs of RAM.
    On the other hand I've also noticed that Civilization IV (played in the same resolution and details settings on two of the computers), is significantly faster in late stages of the game when ran on an 8GB machine. I didn't test Civ 5, as I'd have to pay for activating yet another copy of the game, which would set me back another $40.
    The 8GB Mini is also much more responsive after being constantly on for 70+ hrs in contrary to the MBP, which needs to be rebooted after a week of regular work in the field, only being put to sleep when needed. I suspect that's something about the cache and flushing the cache. 8GB allows the computer to keep a lot more in RAM.
    My point is - since this is exactly the time to buy slower memory (1066 DIMMs already are more expensive than 1333 in Europe), go for as much you can afford. I did and I'm really glad, will do the same with the MBP next month.
     
  6. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #6
    Hi guys,
    this is my SSD HD I just tested a few minutes ago.
    I think that's the best upgrade for Mini:
     

    Attached Files:

  7. karsten macrumors 6502a

    karsten

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    #7
    depends what kind of stuff you're doing on there. what model ssd did you put in there?
     
  8. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #8
    Hi karsten,
    please click on my thumbnail, it'll be readable & you can see the type of the SSD I have (+ you will see how fast the hard drive is).
     
  9. hwojtek macrumors 65816

    hwojtek

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    A small rural village in western Poland
    #9
    Ooooh, this is SOOOO fast compared to my stock 320GB disk in Mini...
     

    Attached Files:

  10. heboil macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #10
    Agree completely. Specifically, when I leave my mini running for many days without restarting, I find I only have 1-2 GB of RAM free memory. I am definitely in the "using more than 4 GB" territory.

     
  11. Stan Mikulenka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #11
    Hi everybody,
    one interesting thing about my SSD:
    I had to disable the iFreeMem 3.5 application I was using with my previous HD (which is the Hybrid 320GB by the way) - I use it from the external enclosure now.
    The iFreeMem would Kernel panic the SSD...
     
  12. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    Carolina Beach, NC
    #12
    I just added 8GB to my HTPC Mini a week or so ago and I've been so happy I did. I use EyeTV and now keep the buffer in the RAM. It's saved my ext HDD from running all the time and I can use the computer much more efficiently while I'm watching TV, i.e. using Handbrake, Mail, Safari, iPhoto and the Dashboard all at once without any sort of sluggishness. I've also had to reboot much less to clear the Page Outs than I did with only 2GB.

    2GB did work well for me for almost a year. But RAM prices have dropped so much and I got a Gift Card for Christmas, so upgrading was a no-brainer. While I'd like to get a SSD, I just can't justify it right now. I barely use the internal HDD for storage and since the Mini's almost always on, I get no start up benefit. I can see why others would want an SSD, but for my situation, 8GB RAM is where it's at!
     

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