Base mac mini vs ram

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Dentifrice, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Dentifrice macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #1
    Hi,

    I'll probably buy a mac mini base and add 8 gb ram.

    I planned to buy corsair memory (good price) but then I saw on google that you can put faster memory in the mac minis like this :

    http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-Modu...ref=sr_1_5?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1317839382&sr=1-5

    http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-Modules-Notebook-KHX1866C11S3P1K2-8G/dp/B004XZ8ZQE/ref=lh_ni_t

    My question is, anyone has tested these RAM in mac mini ? Is it really compatible ? Do you really see increase of speed ?

    Because intel graphics use RAM for it's memory, I suppose it speed up too.
    Any difference here again ?

    There is a big difference in the price between them and some normal RAM....

    so, what do you think ?

    sorry for my english !
     
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #2
    Several people have put faster RAM in their Mac Mini's than the standard 1333mhz. Some have stated they are getting higher frame rates in the Base and Server minis (that use the integrated Intel HD3000) since (as you guessed) they steal their "GPU" memory from the system RAM. I don't have any first hand knowledge of this and the gains are marginal and anecdotal at this point, but there are reports that their are gains in video performance.

    So yes, you can expect in high memory bandwidth situations, that the system will run maybe 5% faster with faster RAM and (anecdotal evidence suggests) in video demanding situations (i.e. games) that you will see an increase in frame rate as well (how much? maybe 5-10%).

    I personally didn't buy my mini for gaming and so the "increase" in performance didn't matter to me.
     
  3. Dentifrice thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #3
    thanks !!

    and what about SSD ?

    Does all SSD works out of box ?

    I read that trim is only supported on apple drive but you can enable it via command line. Is it still de case ?
     
  4. spda242 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #4
    Yeah, a SSD are your mini's best friend :)

    General recommendations seem to be:
    Crucial m4 (I have this one)
    Samsung 830
    Any Intel Drive (I have both the old 80GB G2 and the Intel 320 in an older Mac since both those drives are 3 gbps)

    You can both enable TRIM from command line and I also think that Cindori's Trim Enabler are Lion compatible now.

    There are loads of good threads about SSD and TRIM so the search function will be a really good option here.
     
  5. CoolmaxMini macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    #5
    There was a heated debate between people at OWC (macsales.com) and the rest of the community between having TRIM enabled or not. OWC side said because newer SSD does its own Garbage Collection (GC) with SandForce controllers, there is no need for TRIM. In fact, they claimed TRIM can be detrimental to SSD performance when enabled because it was meant for Apple SSD drives cause they don't do their own GC during idle. I enabled TRIM on SandForce drives (I have 2 installed in the Mini) without any issues and I do a lot of video editing and rendering, something that TRIM benefits a lot being enabled.

    Does all SSD work out of the box? The answer is unfortunately a NO, but there is a remedy for that. The symptom you'll see with some SSD that does not work out of the box is that you can not format it inside the Mini or somehow it stalls installing Lion. You can mitigate this issue by formatting the SSD on a USB external case (I paid $10 for it), install Lion and then place it inside the Mini. Then it somehow works. Some SSDs that do work out of the box behave exactly like a normal HD -- you can format it inside the Mini and install Lion as is. Those with the SandForce controllers or Intel are good. The cheaper Indilinx or equivalent ones work, but it's a little hassle getting them to be acknowledged by the Mini.
     
  6. Supasplice macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #6
    Upgraded my RAM from 4GB to 8GB: xbench results

    Upgraded my mid-2011 Mac Mini fro 4GB to 8GB.

    Xbench before and after comparison here

    Before: 183.48 After: 184.78

    Not overly impressed.

    RAM was bought from Crucial where I selected the kit via their dropdown menus:
    "8GB Kit (4GBx2), 204-pin SODIMM Upgrade for a Apple Mac mini (Intel Core i5 2.5Ghz) DDR3 - Mid 2011 System" - DDR3-1333 (PC3 10600)
     
  7. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #7
    I don't think 8gb will be faster in a benchmark. Its only faster once you run out of 4gb. Thanks for the link though, i just got the 6630m mini a week ago, and ordered my dad the base mini, which ups should be dropping off any minute, and am considering ordering an 8gb kit for me so i can give him my 4gb. Personally i haven't ran out of memory yet, but just lion alone can push the base mini's 2gb to the limit, ESPECIALLY with the shared gfx. $399 pc laptops come with 6gb ram... Oh :apple:
     
  8. Dentifrice, Feb 8, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012

    Dentifrice thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #8

    when you receive the base model, can you do some tests (bench and real world tests) to see the difference ?

    I'm really scared about the intel 3000HD...
     
  9. philipma1957, Feb 8, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #9
    xbench is not a ram tester. run your mini with vm fusion with a virtual machine using 2gb ram of the stock 4gb ram and look at pageouts and swaps on your activity monitor they will be bad. in the example below a 2010 2.4 c2d mac mini


    900 million page in

    1 million page outs pretty good

    swap used 14 million okay. my mini has a slow 320gb 5400 rpm hdd. every time a page out of a swao is used I go from fast ram to really slow hdd.

    xbench does not test for these real world examples.

    besides your machine has 4gb ram 0 goes to the graphics a 2011 base mini has 2gb ram 284mb goes to graphics . I could argue you don't need more then 4gb ram in your machine if you are not running vm fusionware and stand a decent chance of being correct.

    this rule of thumb is true for most all : base 2011 mac mini add ram ram is cheap add 8gb
     

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  10. Dentifrice thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #10
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en_CA) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    to add something.... another thing i'm scared is the 5400 rpm hard drive performance...
     
  11. CoolmaxMini macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    #11
    Then upgrade your slow 5400RPM to SSD as your boot drive. This is the MAIN reason why some people thought Lion runs perfectly fine on a 2Gb RAM Macbook Air with a 64Gb SSD drive slower Core i5, but a 2Gb Mac Mini faster Core i5 would stall with a few beach balls. They did not realize the SSD is helping page in/out at breakneck speeds with the MBAir compared to the slower 5400RPM drive on the Mini which is a faster computer.

    8Gb RAM is only useful for applications that are memory hogs. If you do photo and video editing at lot, it is a must have. I do and notice a significant speed up compared to a stock 2Gb or 4Gb they have in the Apple Store. I would go 16Gb RAM, but I have a FAST and large SSD drive as my main Mini Core i5 boot drive that is HELPING my mini in the event I'm doing extensive layering with RAW files in Photoshop CS 5.5.
     
  12. SR45 macrumors 65832

    SR45

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #12

    I'm using the base MacMini with the 5400 rpm Hdd and it does the job that I use it for just fine, for Web browsing, Word programs, some simple games, email, music/photos enjoyment, etc.
     
  13. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #13
    I wouldn't worry about the 5400rpm drive, its not as slow as I thought. I just transferred a 1.2gb file from my NTFS partition to Macintosh HD partition, same drive, and saw peak data xfer of 63.05 MB/s with the average around 40.

    Startup time is noticeably slower than the gf's 13" MBA with SSD, but nothing bad. The MBA i'd guess is 15 seconds, while my mini I would guess around 30.
     
  14. Dentifrice thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #14
    I think i'm gonna get the base one, upgrade to 8gb ram right now

    then someday I'll put a SSD in it.
     
  15. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #15
    it is your best move dollar wise it is under 40 bucks.

    down the road tag on ssd's are available.

    next week i am getting a seagate STAE121 device for plug in thunderbolt

    it is over priced but in stock at this store.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/840972-REG/Seagate_STAE121_GoFlex_Thunderbolt_Adapter.html


    149 plus 48 for the cable is way too high.

    I was able to get some for 99 and 45 for the cable. these should let you attach any

    2.5 inch ssd or hdd with full speed.

    in the case of an hdd around 105mbs for a scorpio black 750gb


    in the case of an ssd around 400mbs to 500mbs depends on the ssd

    http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=CT256M4SSD 415mbs


    http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=MZ7PC512ZD 520mbs
     
  16. Dentifrice thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #16
    so if I understand, if I want a SSD as my primary hard drive, I can use this.

    It will be outside the case but I'll have thunderbolt speed instand of SATA

    right ?
     
  17. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #17
    yes. You can use the internal hdd as a backup plus storage and run off the external thunderbolt.


    this shows it with a lacie little big disk

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1280118

    works great with the lbd but the lbd is costly and needs a wallwart for power.

    I am hoping to do a thread on the seagate next week.
     
  18. t0mbola macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    #18
    Base Mac Mini 2011

    This is what I recommend to do with base mac mini 2011:

    - get the secondary SATA cable
    - get fast SSD (M4 in my case)
    - get 2x 4GB 1333MHz RAMs
    - reinstall OS to SSD (you can use Lions internet recovery feature)
    - move your music/video/photos to 500 GB HDD to keep fast space for the OS and Apps
    - enjoy

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tcerney/sets/72157627385384709/
     
  19. Dentifrice thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #19
    where can I buy the secondary sata cable, ebay ?
     
  20. t0mbola macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    #20
  21. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #21
    send me a pm
     
  22. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    #22
    Here are my numbers from another post for a 2011 Mac mini server running 8GB 1866MHz Kingston Hyper X
    Since the internal SATA III speed with an SSD is significantly higher (559/514) vs the current crop (LaCie Thunderbolt Little Big Disk 400/214 RAID 0) of external Thunderbolt drives, I'd still recommend swapping out the internal drive. The Seagate GoFlex could be an affordable alternative, but that remains to be seen.
     
  23. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #23
    my quad core has 1333 ram 16gb when I run windows home premium I get

    PROCESSOR: Calculations per second 7.1

    Memory (RAM) Memory operations per second 7.9


    Graphics Desktop performance for windows Aero 5.9

    Gaming Graphics 3D BUSINESS and gaming graphics performance 4.5!

    Primary hard disk Disk data transfer 7.9




    right now my machine is using vmfusion windows 7 home premium and a samsung series 830 512gb ssd in a promise pegasus r6 t-bolt case. I was unable to run in bootcamp not sure why so the graphics are brutal. when I had this in a mac pro my scores were

    7.7 7.9 7.7 7.7 and 7.7 since i do not game my real loss was graphics in switching from a 3k machine to a 1k machine 200 watts per hour is saved or about 5 kilowatts a day 150 kilowatts a month.
     
  24. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    #24
    I started in the Windows forum a thread but sofar has not had a positive reply - is it possible for you to take a measurement for me and post the results there? Thanks.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1321913
     
  25. Dentifrice, Feb 10, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012

    Dentifrice thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #25
    Just bought the base mac mini !

    so far so good. The 5400rpm hard drive is better than I expected but not ultra fast

    now I'm waiting for my 8gb ram.....2 gb is really really not enough...doing some youtube and 2-3 apps opens and activity monitor is showing less than 20Mb left...

    I'm gonna start with this 8gb of ram and see how the performance increase. If it's not enough...then I'm going to put a ssd in that beautiful little body
     

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