Can a Mac Mini use 32GB DDR3 or is it maxed at 16GB?

patent10021

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Apr 23, 2004
3,024
448
Right now I have 16GB 1333 MHz DDR3 but would love to upgrade to 32GB. Can a Mac Mini only take 1333 MHz DDR3?

And if there was a 32GB kit would I be able to install it or is it maxed at 16GB?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,421
770
Right now I have 16GB 1333 MHz DDR3 but would love to upgrade to 32GB. Can a Mac Mini only take 1333 MHz DDR3?

And if there was a 32GB kit would I be able to install it or is it maxed at 16GB?
16GB is the maximum RAM ever supported in any Mac mini model.

You can find specs on all Apple products, including maximum RAM:
 

patent10021

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Apr 23, 2004
3,024
448
I dont understand how it can have a memory limit. 8GBx2 or 16GBx2.

So no hacks or anything? Does 1333 MHz DDR3 exist in a 32GB kit?
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
4,934
54
England
I dont understand how it can have a memory limit. 8GBx2 or 16GBx2.

So no hacks or anything? Does 1333 MHz DDR3 exist in a 32GB kit?
There are no 16GB DDR3 SO-DIMMs, nor will there ever be.

edit: to specify DDR3
 
Last edited:

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,961
120
I dont understand how it can have a memory limit. 8GBx2 or 16GBx2.

So no hacks or anything? Does 1333 MHz DDR3 exist in a 32GB kit?
Nope. The processors used support 32GB of RAM, but that's only if using 4 DIMMS and the Mini only has two. We haven't seen 16GB SoDIMMS (at least I haven't seen any).
 

MacLC

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2013
307
129
Yeah, it supports. In about a year or two, when DDR4 is comming.
Sorry, you are wrong. Intel chipsets are only compatible with specific RAM types. You cannot put DDR2 in Intel macs designed for DDR3 nor can you put DDR3 in my iMac which only supports DDR2. DDR4 will be no different. Even macs coming out in 2014 will likely not be compatible with DDR4. The soonest compatible DDR4 system will likely be an AMD system in early 2015.

As per the opening post, as others have said, EveryMac has it all. My iMac officially supports 4GB, but some people have put in 2x 4GB DIMMs and the computer addressed/recognized 6 of the 8 gigs. However the computer will not recognize a single 8GB DIMM.

I do not know if the Mac Mini will recognize a single 16GB DIMM (thus letting you physically install 32GB will only recognizing 16) or if 8GB is the largest size it will recognize but 16GB is the absolute maximum it will recognize.
According to Intel, the chipset is compatible with up to 32GB but Apple's motherboard must limit that to 16.
 

patent10021

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Apr 23, 2004
3,024
448
Interesting from other thread:

The late 2012 Mac Mini server uses an i7-3615QM (2.3GHz model, confirmed I have this one), or i7-3720QM (2.6GHz model). While the processor design itself is capable of supporting 32GB RAM (as you have seen on ark.intel.com), this would actually require 4 memory slots.

To see this you need to dig a little further into the data sheets from Intel which state: "1Gb, 2Gb, and 4Gb DDR3 DRAM device technologies are supported. Using 4Gb DRAM device technologies, the largest memory capacity possible is 32 GB, assuming Dual Channel Mode with four x8 dual ranked DIMM memory configuration. Note: 2 DIMMs per channel supported only in Quad-Core rPGA package only"

Please consider the above statement carefully if you are not familiar with memory geometry and rank.

Unfortunately the Mac Mini motherboard uses the BGA type processor package (not the rPGA socket) and only has two slots for RAM (one DIMM per channel), so you are limited to 16GB total RAM.
 
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GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,421
770
I'd like to know why some of you think it is a FACT that the Mini can't use 32GB.
Because it can't. Can you provide any proof that it can? Why would you ask the question (indicating that you don't know the answer), then argue with those who provide a factual answer?
 

opeter

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2007
1,691
609
Slovenia, EU
Sorry, you are wrong. Intel chipsets are only compatible with specific RAM types. You cannot put DDR2 in Intel macs designed for DDR3 nor can you put DDR3 in my iMac which only supports DDR2. DDR4 will be no different. Even macs coming out in 2014 will likely not be compatible with DDR4. The soonest compatible DDR4 system will likely be an AMD system in early 2015..
Read my lines once again. And than again and again ...
What did I write? Do you know what functional illiteracy is? Well?

Don't you recognize that it was meant and written in a sarcastic manner?
 

PhatHo

macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2011
10
0
I had a very interesting conversation today with a guy from 'I'm Intelligent Memory'.

According to him, they actually manufacture a 16GB SO-DIMM. Both an ECC-version and a non-ECC version. However, there are a few quirks to this as you can imagine.

This is DDR3 memory. It's known that the CPU in the Mac Mini 2012 (6,2) can address up to 32GB of RAM, although this is depending on the amount of slots available meaning 4 slots would be required. Instead, these DIMM's use a Dual Die that behaves like one monolithic part to be able to reach this amount of RAM on one stick.

BUT - It's not just up to the CPU, the BIOS (or SMC) will have to be able to address the information as well. Problem is an Intel BIOS (f.x.) can only address 4Gbit per chip. Updates are being done apparently but mainly for the embedded and server market. The Avoton C200 server CPU is one example. It's not quite clear to me how and if even a Mac Mini would be able to do this.

So, does it work on a Mac Mini 2012? Well, these sticks are not yet available to the consumer market. On top of that the SMC on the Mac Mini or any other Apple product using SO-DIMM's might (most probably) need updating first. If it even works then remains to be seen.

I was told production has started and we should see something being available in about 3-6 months. Find a direct link to the product here: http://www.intelligentmemory.com/dram-modules/ddr3-so-dimm/

Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape or form associated with this company. I would love to test their product though :)
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
4,934
54
England
I had a very interesting conversation today with a guy from 'I'm Intelligent Memory'.

According to him, they actually manufacture a 16GB SO-DIMM. Both an ECC-version and a non-ECC version. However, there are a few quirks to this as you can imagine.

This is DDR3 memory. It's known that the CPU in the Mac Mini 2012 (6,2) can address up to 32GB of RAM, although this is depending on the amount of slots available meaning 4 slots would be required. Instead, these DIMM's use a Dual Die that behaves like one monolithic part to be able to reach this amount of RAM on one stick.

BUT - It's not just up to the CPU, the BIOS (or SMC) will have to be able to address the information as well. Problem is an Intel BIOS (f.x.) can only address 4Gbit per chip. Updates are being done apparently but mainly for the embedded and server market. The Avoton C200 server CPU is one example. It's not quite clear to me how and if even a Mac Mini would be able to do this.

So, does it work on a Mac Mini 2012? Well, these sticks are not yet available to the consumer market. On top of that the SMC on the Mac Mini or any other Apple product using SO-DIMM's might (most probably) need updating first. If it even works then remains to be seen.

I was told production has started and we should see something being available in about 3-6 months. Find a direct link to the product here: http://www.intelligentmemory.com/dram-modules/ddr3-so-dimm/

Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape or form associated with this company. I would love to test their product though :)
Well I guess I didn't see this coming. Can't really see a huge market for it and it doesn't look like it'll come to Macs anyway as it doesn't benefit Apple in any way to make firmware changes.

There is another post on it here: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1698654/
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,896
405
Inside
It will not work in 2012 era Macs. The firmware simply doesn't support it. It'll physically fit, but the Mac won't see or use it.
 
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