Mac mini and 16gb ram?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by TuiSong, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. TuiSong, Oct 24, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011

    TuiSong macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Location:
    Petone, New Zealand
    #1
    I've not upgraded the ram on my new dual i7 mac mini yet because I hadn't decided how much I would need and I was waiting to see if the current 4gb would cover our needs. I've seen it mentioned a few places that 16gb ram will probably drop considerably in price by early next year, so I am thinking I can wait until then. But the actual specs for the mini is only for up to 8gb ram.

    Can someone explain to me how doubling the manufacturers top spec ram works? Can I harm the computer by doubling the 8gb to 16? or was it just that at the time of making the 16gb was so outrageously priced they just left it off the list. I've already noticed a bit of price drop in 16gb since I first started looking.

    Oh and another question, hubby has decided he needs to get another display for his work. We have 1 thunderbolt display, I was wondering whether to get a second thunderbolt, or to get the 27" apple led. Getting the standard led would mean we can use the second monitor to run the non thunderbolt mbp on. But it does feel a bit like a backwards slide. and I was wondering if there might be any kind of performance issues with not having two thunderbolt monitors
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    Sandy Bridge CPUs support up to 32GB RAM, but as the Mac mini and Apple notebooks only have two available RAM slots for notebook memory modules, and 8GB modules in that size have only come to existence in this year and are still expensive, Apple doesn't offer them for their Macs yet, though with their RAM margin, that would be a Mac Pro I guess.

    OWC/MacSales were the ones introducing the 8GB RAM sticks in early 2011, but other vendors have followed, thus the price for 16GB RAM has went down to 400 USD from 1,600 USD in early 2011.
     
  3. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    #3
    I've test the 2010 27" iMac, 2011 15" Macbook Pro, and 2011 Mac Mini (all models) to be compatible with Corsair Value Brand 8GB RAM modules found on Newegg.com for $229 USD. Geekbench stress test and Rember tests all passed.

    Thunderbolt carries the display signal on a separate channel. You would have to place the regular mini display port monitor last in the chain. The base Mac Mini and Server model only support two displays. The mid-range Mac Mini with discrete AMD 6630M graphics can drive two display port monitors on Thunderbolt and one HDMI limited to 1080p resolution for a total of three monitors.
     
  4. JDLang macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    #4
    Has anybody tried mixing the ram on the 2011 mini? I currently have 8 GB RAM from OWC, and I'm thinking of ordering an 8 GB stick from newegg so I'll have a total of 12 GB. Good idea, or pony up for the 16 GB to be consistent?
     
  5. DisMyMac macrumors 65816

    DisMyMac

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    #5
    Don't know of any specific problems... just beware of the insidious myth that modules should always be paired. That was true maybe 15 years ago, but not today.
     
  6. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #6
    I wish there were more info. I come across so many conflicting articles about this. I think unmatched pairs will not run in dual-channel mode (slightly slower). Also, faster modules will run at the speed of the slowest module. Won't hurt but you won't be getting the exact numbers you think you are. Will still run fine though and in daily use you will not see the difference because it's so small.

    Unless you're an uber geek running a gazillion node Mini server farm I would not worry about it. Run 1+4, 2+4, 4+8.....whatever you want. Sounds to me like the price/GB for 2x8GB sticks is the hold up anyway. If the price is a bit too steep for you then how about running 2x4GB right now and wait a little while to buy 2x8GB? Of course you'd be wasting some money on temporary 2x4GB but then again the Apple base ram painfully ham strings the entire system.
     
  7. surroundfan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #7
    They SHOULD be paired (if not precisely matched) to take advantage of 128-bit addressing.

    By going to 12GB (8GB+4GB), you lose pairing (and 128-bit addressing) but gain 4GB. From what I've read, this results in a ~5% performance hit.
     
  8. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #8
    I have run 4gb corsair with 8gb corsair sticks on 3 different mac minis also did samsung with samsung also did corsiar with samsung also did samsung with corsair. all combos work... also did elipdia 2 x 8 =16 gb and 8gb = 4gb = 12gb with samsung corsair and gskill all worked. I have done more then 50 combos of 1333 ram in 2011 mac minis and only had one bad setup a pair of 4gb gskill did not work in a refurbished 2011 base model. but those sticks worked in 3 other models and the refurb was able to use corsair and samsung sticks. for what it is worth the 2011 minis seem to like just about any name brand ram.
     
  9. JDLang macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    #9
    Thanks for all the responses. I'm interested in 12 or 16 GB due to the large amounts of applications I keep open on a consistent basis. I usually have safari, mail, multiple terminals, Tecplot, MacTex, lots of preview documents, iTunes, matlab, and Mathematica open at just about all times. My RAM usage is consistently over 6 GB with spikes of ~8 GB when I get Tecplot, matlab, or mathematica really going.
     
  10. TuiSong thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Location:
    Petone, New Zealand
    #10
    Thanks for that, I think I will spend a bit more time shopping around to see what I can find for best price including international shipping. Last time I bought ram was years ago, I thought I found a bargain price for ram, only to get to the shipping part of the checkout and find the postage cost was $80 us!.

    I'm thinking 1 8gb and 1 4 gb for a total of 12gb will probably be a more affordable option at this stage, and replacing the 4 with another 8 eventually. But I'm still not too sure about mixing the ram sizes. I guess the whole must be paired thing is rather ingrained.

    Or does anyone know if there is any reason why I couldn't use the factory installed 2gb with an 8gb for a total of 10?
     
  11. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #11
    I would say go for it. I would also say look for samsung with samsung 8gb plus 2 gb.
     
  12. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #12
    OWC is now selling a pair of 8 GB modules at $599. I too though would like to know where I can get 8 GB Samsung modules retail though.
     
  13. SR45 macrumors 65832

    SR45

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #13
    MacMini came with Samsung memory and I installed another brand, upping it to 6 GB until another stick arrived of the same manufacture. I had absolutely no issues with mixing brands. Hope this helped a little ;)
     
  14. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #14
    You can mix and match pairs, but you will reduce your overall speed if they aren't matched since the memory will run at 64bit rather than 128bit. While I haven't seen the numbers for Sandy Bridge with unpaired memory, in the past it has been a 10-15% penalty.
     
  15. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    #15
    Its more like 5% loss. And to be clear matching in terms of size not brand. The JDEC spec should be the same, but no need to match brand. Some Macs, in particular the 2010 iMac have been really picky when all slots are occupied.
     
  16. deafgoose macrumors regular

    deafgoose

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    #16
    16GB of ram in a mini is nuts. Right now a pair of 8gb sticks is almost the same cost as a base model mini. Not worth it IMO.

    I just installed 8gb of ram in my mini and it only cost me $50.00. That's 10X cheaper than installing 16gb of ram.
     
  17. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #17
    so your point is well taken don't buy 12gb or 16gb unless you get a boat load of pageouts.

    some users need more then 8gb they have large photo add video files. 8gb does not cut it.
     
  18. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    #18
    $400 for the Corsair 16GB is less than the base Mac Mini. There are now several 16GB kits for less than $800.
     
  19. deafgoose macrumors regular

    deafgoose

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    #19
    I said they almost cost the same as a base mini.

    The base mini is $599. The average pair of 8gb sticks seems to be $400-$500
     
  20. deafgoose macrumors regular

    deafgoose

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    #21
  21. sascha h-k macrumors 6502

    sascha h-k

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    vienna / austria
    #22
    yeah, compared to my standard i7 configuration with the 5.400rpm snail-hdd before ... :D


    now it's really fast and makes fun.
     
  22. mrhkh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    #23
    Help

    i was wondering where to buy the 16gb ram in 2x8gb sticks. and if the cheaper companies have any kind of quality as i cant find alot of reveiws.
    or should i just stick to the bigger names.

    running mac mini with 4gb ram - need loads a speed for Photography working with 2gb files atm on ps cs5 and the speed is killing me
     
  23. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #24
    not much choice here is best price:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233216

    1 stick 150

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233217


    2 sticks 300

    usa based seller.

    this is a big drop from last month!
     
  24. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #25
    That is a very nice price and starting to get very attractive. Still expensive, but affordable.
     

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