Mac Mini Memory Questions?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by lthompson, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. lthompson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    #1
    I'm not every tech savy and was hoping someone on here could fill me in on a couple things. I have a 2009 Mac Mini with 1GB memory. I would like to install Mountain Lion and need to upgrade the memory. From what I've read I would be better off with 4GB. Since there are only two slots I would need two 2GB.
    When I remove the 1GB, would I lose any information?
    And, is this something a person familiar with the mini could do? Apple says not to do it yourself.
    Also, any suggestions on where to purchase the memory for a decent price?
     
  2. ConCat macrumors 6502a

    ConCat

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    In an ethereal plane of existence.
    #2
    RAM is not a persistent storage. It does not store data, so swapping them out doesn't matter, just do it when it's off :). As for a good place to buy RAM? newegg.com It's pretty easy to install ram in a Mini. You should be fine doing it yourself.
     
  3. mwhities macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Location:
    Mississippi
    #3
    Actually, your MacMini will hold 8GBs of ram.

    OWC MacMini RAM

    As for swapping the ram out, just follow the videos OWC has and take your time.
     
  4. surroundfan, Jul 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012

    surroundfan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #4
    As mwhities suggested, check to ensure you've updated your EFI firmware to 1.2 (http://support.apple.com/downloads/Mac_mini_EFI_Firmware_Update_1_2). Then get
    - 8GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SODIMM RAM
    - a new 240GB-256GB SSD (e.g. a Samsung 830, Crucial M4 or Intel 520) and an empty 2.5" SATA disk case (this is optional, but if you're going to crack the computer open, this is a worthwhile upgrade)
    - a good putty knife
    - a good #0 screwdriver

    First, have you upgraded to Snow Leopard (you'll need to do this to get the App Store, to download and install Mountain Lion)? If not, you have two options. Buy an upgrade DVD. Alternatively, buy and download a copy of Mountain Lion on a computer that has the App Store, use http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/07/how-to-create-a-bootable-backup-mountain-lion-install-disk/ to make a USB stick of it and install it onto the new SSD (use Disk Utility to format the new drive under 'Partition' to GUID Partition Table and Mac OS Extended Journaled). Then pop the old drive into the 2.5" case and use Migration Assistant to migrate everything across.

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac-mini-Model-A1283-Hard-Drive-Replacement/1063/1 and http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installing-Mac-mini-Model-A1283-RAM/1058/1 will guide you through the upgrades. I've done both to my 2009 mini; they're straightforward to do if you're patient. Once both the hard drive and RAM are upgraded, you'll have a computer that will give you another 3-4 good years.
     
  5. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Holocene Epoch
    #5
    Great post, surroundfan, I was going to reply but you covered all the bases.

    I would add to the OP that another option besides the smaller SSDs might be to put a 1TB/5400 rpm HDD in instead, in the off chance you're looking to store lots of data on the mini itself. Note that a memory change won't affect data stored on your mini but a HDD or SSD change will; you would need to have a way copy the data from the old drive to the new one.
     
  6. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #6
    Memory is a misleading name. Think of it like this: RAM is your desk, hard drive is your filing cabinet.

    Getting yourself a bigger desk (more RAM) will allow you to do more things at once; open a magazine and a newspaper and maybe if you feel like it your work as well, but it won't change your filing cabinet, so all your files stay where they are. It makes you computer faster because you don't have to put the magazine back in the filing cabinet when you want to read the paper; you can fit them both on the desk.

    Getting a bigger filing cabinet (hard drive) will allow you to store more files, but unless you transfer the files from your old filing cabinet to the new one, you will lose data.
     

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