Guide to replacing RAM in a 2018 Mac Mini

thoang77

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 6, 2010
62
112
SF Bay Area
I posted this over in the big thread discussing whether or not the RAM in a 2018 Mac Mini is user replaceable, but since it might get lost over time, I thought I'd share it as it's own thread.

Here's a write up I did on how to replace/upgrade the memory inside a 2018 Mac Mini

http://trunghoangphotography.com/for-photographers/how-to-replace-the-ram-in-a-2018-mac-mini

Hope it's of some use, at least until the folks over at ifixit do a nice detailed guide on it.
 

Zackmd1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2010
689
356
Maryland US
I posted this over in the big thread discussing whether or not the RAM in a 2018 Mac Mini is user replaceable, but since it might get lost over time, I thought I'd share it as it's own thread.

Here's a write up I did on how to replace/upgrade the memory inside a 2018 Mac Mini

http://trunghoangphotography.com/for-photographers/how-to-replace-the-ram-in-a-2018-mac-mini

Hope it's of some use, at least until the folks over at ifixit do a nice detailed guide on it.
Nice writeup!

So I am assuming you had the base 8Gb config from the factory? If so that confirms my opinion that Apple would include 2 4Gb sticks instead of one 8Gb stick....
 

zaphoyd

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2002
121
31
Wisconsin/Illinois
Nice writeup!

So I am assuming you had the base 8Gb config from the factory? If so that confirms my opinion that Apple would include 2 4Gb sticks instead of one 8Gb stick....
The intel chips used have two memory channels so two memory chips should be required for optimal memory performance, yes?
 

thoang77

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 6, 2010
62
112
SF Bay Area
I love everyone diving into their brand new Minis, you should send photos to Apple with a "Not user accessible what?" subject line :D
I live too close to Cupertino, they'd probably make every store in California not user-accessible to me, ha.

Nice writeup!

So I am assuming you had the base 8Gb config from the factory? If so that confirms my opinion that Apple would include 2 4Gb sticks instead of one 8Gb stick....
Thanks! Yup, base 8gb config. 2x is the norm for all the Macs with removable ram since you get a little performance boost with dual-channel and it's cheaper to get 2x 4gb vs 1x 8gb
 

Zackmd1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2010
689
356
Maryland US
I live too close to Cupertino, they'd probably make every store in California not user-accessible to me, ha.



Thanks! Yup, base 8gb config. 2x is the norm for all the Macs with removable ram since you get a little performance boost with dual-channel and it's cheaper to get 2x 4gb vs 1x 8gb
Makes sense! It is rare nowadays to have a Mac with upgradable ram!

I would love to purchase a base model i3 (plenty fine for what I will use it for and seems to contain the least amount of "Apple Tax" I can find in the lineup) but that damn 128gb drive is killing it for me.... I was half hoping there would be a mysterious spare port on the logic board that could be used to upgrade the drive...
 

tedson

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
223
160
Makes sense! It is rare nowadays to have a Mac with upgradable ram!

I would love to purchase a base model i3 (plenty fine for what I will use it for and seems to contain the least amount of "Apple Tax" I can find in the lineup) but that damn 128gb drive is killing it for me.... I was half hoping there would be a mysterious spare port on the logic board that could be used to upgrade the drive...
There are four spare ports on the back of the machine. They are called Thunderbolt 3/USB C ports.
 

Zackmd1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2010
689
356
Maryland US
There are four spare ports on the back of the machine. They are called Thunderbolt 3/USB C ports.
External storage boxes/drives kinda defeat the purpose of a mini desktop. :rolleyes:

Add to that the fact that thunderbolt drives are more expensive then apples upgrade pricing and USB C drives are limited in speed and can't "officially" support windows bootcamp, I hope you can start to see my problem with a pathetic 128gb internal drive...
 
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tedson

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
223
160
External storage boxes/drives kinda defeat the purpose of a mini desktop. :rolleyes:

Add to that the fact that thunderbolt drives are more expensive then apples upgrade pricing and USB C drives are limited in speed and can't "officially" support windows bootcamp, I hope you can start to see my problem with a pathetic 128gb internal drive...
yep, unfortunately, it looks like you're going to have to pay the Apple tax if you want more than 128GB.
 

michaelb5000

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2015
106
55
thank you for the pics and write up. I will do this in a couple of years most likely, but nice to know it doesn't really look hard.
 

raab

macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2010
144
59
It's amazing how over engineered and unnecessary some of those internal components are.

Still, good to see it's replaceable without too much difficulty.
 

twennywonn

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2012
219
191
I posted this over in the big thread discussing whether or not the RAM in a 2018 Mac Mini is user replaceable, but since it might get lost over time, I thought I'd share it as it's own thread.

Here's a write up I did on how to replace/upgrade the memory inside a 2018 Mac Mini

http://trunghoangphotography.com/for-photographers/how-to-replace-the-ram-in-a-2018-mac-mini

Hope it's of some use, at least until the folks over at ifixit do a nice detailed guide on it.

How risky would you say the job is? I replaced the ram and hdd in my 2012 and the hdd was kind of a pain but not too bad.
 

kirkbross

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2007
653
17
Los Angeles
I posted this over in the big thread discussing whether or not the RAM in a 2018 Mac Mini is user replaceable, but since it might get lost over time, I thought I'd share it as it's own thread. Hope it's of some use, at least until the folks over at ifixit do a nice detailed guide on it.
He uses some Crucial DDR4 2666... cheaper than the OWC 32GB kits. I've found some for $239 on Newegg.com. My question is: can you use any DDR4 2666 or are there some brands that don't play well with the Mac Mini?
 
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thoang77

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 6, 2010
62
112
SF Bay Area
How risky would you say the job is? I replaced the ram and hdd in my 2012 and the hdd was kind of a pain but not too bad.
It's basically as difficult as the hard drive was in the 2012. Maybe a bit easier since you had to take out the power supply on the 2012s right (it's been ages since I did it). The only "risky" thing is pulling it apart too fast and forgetting to unplug one of the smaller cables (antenna, fan, front LED). I'd say a 4/10.

He uses some Crucial DDR4 2666... cheaper than the OWC 32GB kits. I've found some for $239 on Newegg.com. My question is: can you use any DDR4 2666 or are there some brands that don't play well with the Mac Mini?
I've generally tried sticking to Crucial, but I dont see any reason why another brand wouldn't work. These shipped with Micron modules (manufactures Crucial), but they used to use Hynix. I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of brands didn't work for some odd reason though. I'm sure that info will surface since a lot of people are picking up Patriot Viper, G.Skill Ripjaws, and Corsair Vengence sticks since they're a bit cheaper than these Crucial Ballistix. I figured I'd spring a bit more for the ever so slightly faster CL timings (even though I won't even notice)
 

kwikdeth

macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2003
1,037
1,341
Tempe, AZ
im curious if the spacing of those removal pins is the same as the previous Minis, or if there's going to be two Mac Mini logic board disassembly tools on the market now.
 

thoang77

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 6, 2010
62
112
SF Bay Area
Yeah those should work. The processors used in the Mac Mini don't use ECC RAM. Only the Xeon processors do.

  1. Do you happen to know who makes OWC brand memory, assuming they don't actually make it themselves?
Not sure on that one. Wouldn't even know where to begin to speculate