I need my Mini to be just a little bit faster...

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Robby C, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. Robby C macrumors regular

    Robby C

    Jul 11, 2008
    Hey guys!

    My Mac Mini runs very smooth when doing simple tasks (Email, Web, and the occasional Pages Document). However, I've noticed that when I start trying to do some multitasking it starts to run slower. For example, I've noticed that when running Firefox and Pages it starts to get jumpy. And when I'm using iMovie, in order for it to run smooth as possible, I need to close down any other applications I have going. Now, if I upgrade the RAM will that fix my problem? The specs are as follows; 2 GHz Processor, 2 GB Ram, 120 GB Hard Drive with 47.3 GBs free. Along with that I have WD 500GB External Hard Drive (355 Gigs free). It's the 2009 version of the mini, so before it got the revision and all that stuff.

    Thanks in advance! I'm thinking if I upgrade the RAM that will solve my problem.

    Also, what RAM would you recommend I get? I'll install this myself, I have seen the tutorials and it doesn't look too hard at all.

    Thanks again!
  2. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    As you guessed. You need more RAM. 2GB ain't what it used to be.

    Crucial are my manufacturer of choice. Others recommend OWC.
  3. Robby C thread starter macrumors regular

    Robby C

    Jul 11, 2008
    Ok thanks man! Where do you recommend I buy it? Online, best buy, where?
  4. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2006
    It doesn't really matter. It's the same stuff either way. It just depends whether you want to pay more to get it now or less and be willing to wait for a shipment.
  5. LittleEskimo macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2009
    I have been wondering about what ram to put in my mini as well (2010). Does anyone know if apple puts crucial in their computers still? I am just wanting to put in mine what they are tested and apparently work the best with. With me, I would be willing to spend a little more if it is a sure deal that there won't be any issues of compatibility with the ram.

    I also have a question on if the brand that apple ships out in their machines would make any improvement on speed, as I would think they choose the components that would work the best in both compatibility and performance?
  6. DannySmurf macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2005
    You really can't tell just by the brand. You have to look at the RAM's specs. Most important numbers are the speed (higher is better), and the latency (lower is better). And, of course, make sure you get the right kind (a machine that takes DDR2 will only accept DDR2, not DDR or DDR3).
  7. mangrove macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    FL, USA
    I have used RAMJET since they cater to Apple owners. My Apple store recommended the name to me for an older iMac and it had been a perfect match for me.

    Lately, I bought 8GB of RAM for my late 2009 from OWC. Each came marked as follows:

    SAMSUNG 4GB 2Rx8 PC3-8500S-07-10F2
    M471B5273CHO-CF8 1017

    OWC8566DDR3S4GB 6671471

    I am about to install this week with a OWC 256 SSD.

    I decided to order my 2010 Mini with 8GB of Apple installed RAM from them. Yes I know it's cheaper elsewhere, but that's what I did. Later I will update the 2010's slow HD to an SSD too.
  8. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    Don't forget that you're not truely getting 2GB - as up to 256MB is taken from main memory for the graphics card.

    As a supermarket in the UK says 'Every little helps'

  9. Heilage macrumors 68030


    May 1, 2009
    An SSD would help a lot, 2,5 inch hard drives will always slow modern systems down. :)
  10. LittleEskimo macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2009
    I've been wondering about this... I can definitely see that 4gb would help enormously, but what a bout 8gb in a 2.4 2010 mini? I am just wondering if the machine could dish out enough to actually utilize such an enormous amount of ram. Maybe for video editing, but would it really help for other things like gaming, graphic/web, or other various tasks.

    I myself will be using mine for graphic/web design with a fair amount of multitasking, light gaming, and some light video/motion graphic editing only for recreational purposes. I don't plan to run multiple os's or anything either. For these types of tasks, would I really need 8gb?
  11. Giuly macrumors 68040


    Go to Applications->Utilities. Launch "Activity Control" (Or whatever it's called in English):
    Rightclick the icon in the dock, "Symbol in Dock"->"Memory usage"
    (Just for orientation, your menu would be in your native language)
    Close the Activity Window.

    You end up with this:

    Keep it in your dock and start doing stuff. If you have none or only little Blue (Inactive), Green (Free) and much Yellow (Active) while working, upgrade your RAM.
    If you like, you can rightclick on it and go Options->"Keep in Dock", it starts the Activity Control everytime you login, without the window, only the icon. Nice Feature.
    2GB is way too less, even for daily tasks. It should come with 4GB by default, as memory got cheaper over the years.

    As you can see, I have more than 25% of 8GB used(remember the graphics take more RAM w/ 8GB installed), and the Mini doesn't do anymore than this at the moment:
    Basically, nothing.

    This one in example cries out "Please update my RAM!":

    I have 8GB 1333MHz G.Skill installed (There are two, mine is from the Apple Series, first 2 letters "FA", the normal one is "F3"), I'm happy with it.
    And yes, it works as 1333MHz even if the Mini has 1066MHz FSB. Geekbench doesn't benefit much from that however, but I paid less for it as I would have for the 1066MHz version.
  12. LittleEskimo macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2009
    I hope you don't mind a barrage of questions from me (new mac/macmini owner since a week ago)

    Does having 8gb of memory take the graphics memory above 256mb? Does it affect the system or make for any problems in any way to use a higher speed ram?

    Also, might this faster ram give a significant increase in performance?
  13. mangrove macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    FL, USA
    As was on the OWC site last night and came across a good comparison of different RAM (4, 6 & 8) in a stock Mini drive and an SSD. It shows a slew of different tests and bench marks that were way beyond my level of expertise, but it was interesting to see the differences. Maybe you should check it out. If I can find it again I will edit this with the location on OWC.

    OK found it-- on the OWC site go to Tech Support/Benchmarks. As you can see Tech Support is way more than that button would give you on most sites.
  14. Giuly macrumors 68040


    1. I guess DDR3-1333 is the highest RAM that the chipset can take. According to Geekbench, 1333MHz brings only very, very little advantage over 1066MHz. But 1) It costs the same, and 2) When you buy your next Mac in a couple of years, it probably can take advantage of the 1333MHz and you don't have to buy new RAM again.

    2. Have look here, I'm on a PowerMac G4 with 384MB RAM right now, just to give you an example:
    The system is "kind of snappy" (At least for 466MHz), but as soon as the free RAM (Green) goes down to 5-10MB or so and the system uses the hard drives as virtual memory, it takes 5-10 seconds to open a folder in the Finder. Well, the Mini is overall faster anyways and the effect is not that dramatic, but hard drives are slow, even current 7200RPM ones in comparison to RAM.
    My Mini came with 2x1GB RAM, if you started using it, the system became slow. As soon as I installed 2x4GB, you can do what ever you want, it won't get slow because there is always spare RAM and the system doesn't really has to use the virtual memory at all. It's not the RAM that "is more fast", the virtual memory on the hard drives is just slower by definition.

    3. SSDs are faster than hard drives, no question. But as an average users, you'll be fine with a Seagate Momentus XT 500GB/$110 rather then putting hundreds of dollars into a SSD. As soon as SSDs drop to ⅓ of the current price, I'd go for SSD. Until then, a Momentus XT is just as fine for normal users and even prosumers, SSDs are high-end storage at a high-end price for high-end people at the moment. Have a look at the new iMacs, they have a 3.5" hard drive and a 2.5" SSD onboard, which is essentially the same what the Momentus XT for laptops/MacMini is, with the difference that the Momentus XT has this "Adaptive Storage"-stuff to figure out which data on the hard drive is most used and puts it on an integrated 4GB SSD, and the iMac installs it's whole base system onto a $600 SSD, and uses the hard drive only for storage.
  15. bzollinger macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2005
    +1 for the momentus XT. I put one in my late '09 2.5GHz Mini before it had ever been booted, and it works awesome! While it was being setup and configured there wasn't a lot of speed increase over a regular 7200 RPM drive (still muh faster than the stock drive), but now that I'm done setting it up and am launching the programs that I use daily it is a speedy little guy! You can also choose to speed up whichever program you want by launching it, quiting out of it, and relaunching it three times. After that whatever application it is just screams!

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