Is it worth putting 16GB in a mid-2011 Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Cam493, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Cam493 macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2010
    I currently have 8, and I'm being bottlenecked by the Intel 3000 HD graphics.
  2. Bunyak macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2011
    Sure, if you plan to keep the machine for a while. My reasoning is that you may as well max out the memory now while the RAM is easy to buy at a decent price.

    I recently bought RAM for a 2006 laptop that I decided to revive with a spare SSD. The cost of obsolete RAM made the idea borderline ridiculous.
  3. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    Depends on what you need it for. My Mac mini in the living room just sits there with Plex on it, or occasionally has VMware running on it when I need a machine outside our network to test stuff.

    I guess it all depends on price.

    Mine has 8GB in and thats more than enough, although I'd like to become an MCSE in Windows Server 2012, so am thinking about upgrading the RAM in it to 16 so I can spin up several VMs at once

  4. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    To see if you need more ram check your page in, page out ratio. Lots of page in io is normal and not a concern. Lot's of page out's mean that you don't have enough memory for your usage. I was getting a high page out ratio when I had 4 GB of memory. With 8 GB my page out's were 0. I would get none.

    When I bought my 2012 mac mini I decided to just buy 16 GB of memory for $80 dollars and be done with it. While I do run some VMs I suspect that 8 GB would have been just fine but at the cost of 16 GB just put it in and be done with it for the life of the machine.
  5. lamerica80 macrumors 6502a


    May 22, 2008
    I put 16 in mine. Why? Becuase i can.

    Hope that helps. :D
  6. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Why, if you have no pageouts it's just wasted money, see poster below

  7. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    If the reason to add more memory is because you are bottlenecked by the Intel HD3000, then the answer is NO. At 8GB, you are already maxing out the amount of allocated system ram to the GPU. 16GB will not allocate anymore memory.

    Now if your system is running overall slow because of a lack of RAM (see page outs above), then yes more memory will help. Again though, it will not help your GPU in any way.
  8. stuffradio macrumors 65816

    Mar 17, 2009
    My mid-2011 came with 4GB of RAM, so on Black Friday, I bought 2x8 sticks on sale. It was worth it.
  9. iWeekend macrumors regular

    Nov 28, 2012

    While "wasted" is subjective, having used a whole 8gig stick (via activity monitor reporting) of my 16gig machine in the recent past, I'd say I made the right decision.

    Pageouts tell a story, just not a complete one.
  10. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    It was Wallis Simpson who famously said: "You can never be too rich or too thin. Or have too much RAM."
  11. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    What do you use it for? Is it just for puttering around in your free time or do you use the machine to earn a living? It might be better to use the ~$100 as the first payment into your new Mini fund. Tough it out until the end of the year and next time around max out the RAM from the start.
  12. Colchiro macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2013
    I had to hard-reset with 16 gb and two VM's running with too much ram allocated to them. I would have upgraded to 24 gb if I could. :D
  13. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    It sounds like a memory upgrade may not help you. Unless adding more memory would let the Intel graphics use more memory than it is currently using.

    What are you using your Mac for that is taxing the graphics? It might be time to consider getting a new Mac even if it's just a new Mini with the Intel HD Graphics 4000. But even that may not be enough depending on what you use the system for.

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