How To: Mac Mini RAM Upgrade, Pictures Inside!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by smee, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. smee macrumors member

    smee

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    #1
    I looked around on the forum for something like this but didn't see one, so I thought I'd do it :)

    This tutorial will teach you how to upgrade your Memory (aka, RAM) in your Intel Mac Mini.
    Note: If some of the images do not show up, try refreshing your browser.

    Update:
    I found out that Upgrading your RAM in your Mac Mini will not Void your Warranty unless you break something yourself.



    Items need for upgrade:
    *A putty knife
    *Medium sized philips screw driver
    *And a small flat head screw driver

    This upgrade tutorial is for the Intel Core Solo, Core Duo and Core 2 Duo Mac Mini.
    The Intel Mac Mini uses PC2-5300 200-Pin DDR2 SODIMM memory running at 667Mhz.
    You can buy this type of memory on Newegg.com in the Memory section and other various sites.

    In this case I am upgrading a Core 2 Duo Mac Mini 1.83Ghz which only has 1GB of RAM in it.
    I will be upgrading it to 2GB of RAM from Corsair.

    [​IMG]
    ____________
    First, lay your Mac Mini upside down.
    Get your putty knife and carefully squeeze it in between the aluminum and plastic around the outer rim on the bottom of the Mini. Then bend the putty knife outward (away from the mini) until the Mini pops out a little, do this around all three sides until it looks like this:
    [​IMG]
    ____________
    Carefully take the Mini out:
    [​IMG]
    ____________
    Look! There's the inside of the Mini! All carefully crammed together...
    So take out the screws in each corner using your Medium sized philips screw driver:
    [​IMG]
    ____________
    Here's screw #2:
    [​IMG]
    ____________
    Screw #3:
    [​IMG]
    ____________
    Screw #4 is hidden under the Airport Antenna. To take that off, squeeze the two plastic pieces under it using your thumb and index finger:
    [​IMG]
    ____________
    It should pop off, revealing the screw you can now take out:
    [​IMG]
    ____________
    Next, in the front of the Mini, under the Optical drive and to the right of the Battery, there's a little black wire you need to unplug.
    Do so by prying it up with your Small flat head screw driver:
    [​IMG]
    ____________
    It should be out like this:
    [​IMG]

    Continued in Next Post
     
  2. smee thread starter macrumors member

    smee

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    #2
    Part Two:

    Now, being very careful, slowly pull the top half of the mini Up then over the Back Ports:
    [​IMG]
    __________
    Once the top is off you need to unhook the orange ribbon cable that connects the Optical drive and Hard drive to the Motherboard:
    [​IMG]
    __________
    This can be done by taking out the brown plastic piece which is wedged between the orange ribbon and the white slot.
    You can use your finger nails or the Small flat head screw driver to do this.
    [​IMG]
    __________
    Look! There's RAM! It's really small...
    You can read what kind of memory it is on the label:
    [​IMG]
    __________
    Now of course, let's take them out!
    Using to fingers or your thumbs push down and out on the two silver metal brackets which hold the RAM in. This will make the first memory stick pop up, now carefully pull it "out" not up. Do this to both sticks.
    [​IMG]
    __________
    Next, put in your new Memory, making sure they are secured in each RAM slot:
    [​IMG]
    __________
    Now, reassemble your Mac Mini, simply follow the directions in reverse order.

    Make sure everything is hooked up properly, including that little black wire in front :)
    You may boot up once first before putting the external case back on. So if something does go wrong, you won't have to take off the case again. (suggestion thanks to koobcamuk :D )
    [​IMG]

    If you have any questions please post them! I'll be glad to help :D
    Hope this helped you upgrade!
    Thanks!
    Parker
     
  3. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #3
    Nicely done. I have all the photos to do the same thing - I did this last night with my mini!

    I would like to add - boot up once first before putting the external case back on. It's such a pain to get off, you won't want to do it again.
     
  4. smee thread starter macrumors member

    smee

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    #4
    Thanks for the comment and the tip! :D
    The mini is an awesome machine.
     
  5. Brandonnn macrumors member

    Brandonnn

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    #5
    Nice work...I am not sure if I want to go in there myself. I am going to purchase similar unit soon. My question is, you didn't want to put 3G's? Do you know if an apple dealership would put more than 2Gs of ram ..not sure since their site says max 2Gs? Anyone know or have tried to put in more than 2G's ?

    Thanks...thanks for the post.:)
     
  6. smee thread starter macrumors member

    smee

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    #6
    Since 2Gb's is what people usually upgrade too, thats what I decided to do in this post.
    The mini can hold up to 4GB of memory, you can read this article.

    From what I'm told Apple will not install more than 2Gb's in your mini for you.
    I'm not sure why you would even want to have apple do it, at there crazy prices anyway.

    The whole upgrade I did in this tutorial took about 10 minutes to do, including taking all the pictures along the way :D
    It's really quite simple.

    P.s. Do you think you could make your quote a bit smaller?
    Thanks!
     
  7. Brandonnn macrumors member

    Brandonnn

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    #7
    Thanks. Sorry about that, still learning how to quote properly. I realize the prices from apple are very high. I was going to order from 3rd party and then go to authorize dealer to put it in. I am just not very good with electronic things, just worried I would mess it up. Your thread is very helpful indeed. Thank you!
     
  8. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #8
    I've got 3GB in my mini and it works :D

    I would also remind everyone to follow koobcamuk's advice, boot it up and check the RAM before fitting the case back together. The first time I tried to install some RAM in my old mini, I didn't :eek:
     

    Attached Files:

  9. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #9
    Thanks :)

    It really is such a pain to take off that I only wanted to do that twice. Just as well, because I forgot to plug in the little black multimeter cord thing - the fans went full blast then I remembered!:rolleyes:
     
  10. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #10
    Wow, that looks a lot more difficult than I remember thinking it would be. I don't think I'll be doing any updating on my Mini.
    Well done on this thread!
    Does the Intel Mini and PPC Mini have different internals (different tutorials)?
     
  11. gorby macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #11
    Wow!

    For some reason I thought the mini had the same easy access as iMacs
     
  12. smee thread starter macrumors member

    smee

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    #12
    Yea, the PPC and Intel mini's are a little different. The motherboard layout is mostly the same, it takes is different the memory though.

    Thanks guys for all the support!
    Keep the questions coming :)
     
  13. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #13
    Yeh - ever so slightly. There's not much in it at all. I followed a PPC tutorial until I figured out what to do myself...
     
  14. softweyr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego
    #14
    It probably also halved your RAM bus speed, due to the mismatched memory modules. The memory controller can only interleave the memory accesses if both banks are identical, so you now have a 667MHz memory bus instead of a 1333 MHz memory bus.

    The newest Minis (and MacBooks) support up to 4GB RAM, which allows you to have 3.5GB (have to leave room for the PCI bus address space) running at full speed.
     
  15. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #15
    The figures I've seen quote about a 6-8% hit in performance that is more than offset by the extra gig of RAM.
     
  16. TheNorthWaves macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #16
    good god that's complicated. I think I'll just keep my gig until the warranty is up. Does this officially void it?
     
  17. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    #17
    It is not complicated at all. I did the same to my identical Mini with my old MPB RAM.

    If I was doing it again, I would probably put in 4GB even if it cannot all be addressed since the price of 2x2GB kits is staggeringly low. I have thought about doing this for mine anyway...

    Awesome pics! My single contribution, make SURE you put the fan cable ALL the way back in. I put mine back in about half way, and booted up a very unhappy computer before helpful users provided insight on MR...
     
  18. WannaGoMac macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    #18
    Thank you for correcting the prior poster. So many people forget to check real world performance, and focus on "theoretical" speed.
     
  19. TheNorthWaves macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #19
    will it void my warranty to add more ram if I don't buy it from apple?
     
  20. ParishM macrumors regular

    ParishM

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
    #20

    Absolutely NOT !!!




    P....
     
  21. ndriver182 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    #21
    I just did the install of 2x2gig of OWC memory into my 2.0ghz mini and my system says 4gb under "about this mac". What's up with that? I was expecting it to say 3gb when I checked it out. Maybe it says I have 4, but only utilizes 3?
     
  22. dazed macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #22
    I think this was talked about in another thread. I believe the OS will show 4GB but you wont actually be able to use it all due to the limitations of the chipset.

    Im currently trying to decide between the 3gb upgrade or the 4gb. im leaning towards 4gb since its not that much of a price increase and id like to get all my upgrading done in one go.
     
  23. iPhil macrumors 68040

    iPhil

    #23


    Look @ This post for the warranty answer..


    The warranty doesn't cover any breakage on the inside or the hairline crack or major crack on case if the {owner aka user} upgrades the ram on the unit ..
     
  24. softweyr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego
    #24
    Nothing complicated about it...

    What's so complicated? It's really easy: Install RAM modules in matched pairs.

    Fry's online had 2GB modules from Corsair on rebate for $35 last week, so my MacBook and iMac now both sport 4GB. Well, 3.5GB of usable RAM, but there is 4GB in there...

    As for the 6-8% performance difference, apparently that was done with a benchmark that mostly stays in cache. Benchmarking with large compiles using multiple GCC invocations (i.e. make -j 4) shows a much larger performance penalty, probably due to sloshing the caches. It may not be what YOU do with YOUR mac, but that's what I do with mine. ;)
     
  25. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #25
    Yep..it's an easy upgrade...just take your time and verify everything before you close it back up. I had to open my mini 3 times when I did a hard drive and memory upgrade. First time to upgrade everything, second time to reseat one of the memory chips (only read 1G instead of 2G) and third time to put the foam spacer back on the new hard drive that I forgot until I saw it laying on the table.

    One comment....I didn't unhook the copper colored ribbon cable, just "hinged" the innards over and set them on a phone book to keep it raised and keep any stress off the cable.

    I wish I'd gone ahead and bought 4G of RAM and been done with it...even though it'll only address 3
     

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