Mac mini memory upgrade easy?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by SchneiderMan, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. SchneiderMan macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #1
    I just bought a new Mac miniand it comes with 1gb ram i want to put in 4gb, will it be easy to do? could i bring it to an apple store for them to put my memory in for free? thanks
    and it also doesnt come with snow leopard from amazon, so could i still upgrade for $10? i cant find the upgrade option on apple's site anymore
     
  2. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #2
    Yeah man, up'ing the RAM or hard drive on the minis is really easy and straight forward. Not to mention how fun it is too. Macsales.com and ifixit.com has some good resources on how to do it.
     
  3. SchneiderMan thread starter macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

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    May 25, 2008
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    Apple state
  4. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #4
    just a thin putty knife and small phillips screwdriver.
     
  5. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #5
    I think you should contact Amazon and see if you can get a free copy of Snow Leopard since it now ships with all new Macs on Apple.com. If not, I think you can get it for $10 at Apple.
     
  6. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    I wouldn't really call it "easy" if you've never done something like it before (messing about with computer internals), but if you take it slow and according to instructions it shouldn't be too hard. Nerve-wracking maybe, but certainly doable.
     
  7. SubaruNation555 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 3, 2007
    Location:
    Arlington, VA USA
    #7
  8. Richard8655 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    #8
    Before convincing yourself to do it, search this site for people asking for help with their broken Mini's after self-upgrade.
     
  9. SchneiderMan thread starter macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #9
    yes im afraid to break the plastic clasps when inserting the metal knife..
    but i know how to change ram and all that but this isnt your normal setup lol.
    well ill think about it and see. thanks! and i asked on the forum about SL, i already have a retail copy and ill just use that since i was supposed to get a copy with my mac already.
     
  10. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #10
    :apple: Mac OS X Snow Leopard Up-to-Date Program
     
  11. marclondon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #11
    I upgraded a new 2GHz Mini with 4GB ram and a 320GB 7200rpm drive last Saturday. Here are some tips.

    1. It took a while to work out - and get confidence - how to get the case lid off. I used two thin scraper tools of about 2.5 inches wide - one to open up a crack, the other to push in and flip the first catches - once a few come out then you work round. The catches are quite robust and they don't break easily, I think, as long as you are 'gently firm'. Make sure you work on a soft towel.

    2. You need only take off the main Airport antenna, and gently ease out the orange connector from the top assembly not the other end and make sure you tuck it away when you flip the drive assembly over.

    3. The four black screws that hold the drive assembly are fairly easy to locate but make sure you use a crosshead driver that fits properly. Also it's much easier if the screwdriver is magnetised so you can get the screws out and for when you put them back - I used another driver to do this. Having said that I couldn't wheedle the screw by the Airport out and forgot about it in my excitement - when I flipped the drive assembly the screw fell out, bounced on the desk and fell on the floor and I spent 10 mins looking for it.

    4. Another tool that's very useful is a pair of small thin tweezers (like those that come in Swiss Army knives) to rescue a screw I dropped into the main board after flipping back the assembly. You can also use tweezers to help get screws into line and to gently prise off the orange connector, and hard drive sensor and tape (if replacing the drive).

    5. The memory is fairly easy to put in but less easy to take out - you have to turn the Mini round so the back is facing you to get a good gentle purchase once you've flipped the module up.

    6. If replacing the drive the only awkward bit is slotting in the new one as it's hard to line it up with the connector and you have to flip the assembly vertical to get it in place but it's not a connection that needs much push to engage.

    That's all I found really - of course you must test it before putting the lid on. I used the Snow Leopard upgrade disk to do a new install on the new drive - you don't need a Leopard system there with the upgrade disk.

    And finally - I'm very impressed - it's my first Intel Mac and it knocks the socks off my single processor G5.

    M.
     
  12. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

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    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #12
  13. smoked macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    #13
    I used a pizza cutter to upgrade 2 mini's one night. The second one went a lot faster after getting the confidence I wasn't going to tear it up.

    Getting the tabs to pop is definitely a job. The ones in the back tend to be the hardest. Also there is a little piece of metal on the back near the middle-top of the unit that tends to catch the enclosure.

    It also helps if you have someone that can hold the HD up enough to change the RAM. That way you don't have to remove the screws completely.

    Don't forget to plug the fan wire back in.

    Very easy and made a world of difference.
     
  14. marclondon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #14
    On the latest models you don't touch this - or at least I didn't during my upgrade.

    M.
     
  15. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Location:
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #15
    ...it sounds like your amazon vendor still owes you a copy of SL, I'd be contacting them for it = they owe it to you based on your purchase date...
     
  16. SchneiderMan thread starter macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #16
    Thanks for all the replies, so first of all i did contact amazon and had no problems getting a free retail SL copy sent to me at no charge. but i already used my own copy to install already..

    From what i understand the new mini have a different installation then the older ones, so i think on the newer models its a little easier.. Crucial memory from amazon only costs $68 right now for 4gb dd3 ram :)
    ill soon install

    My mini right now lags a little bit with 1Gb ram, i hope it will be faster with the all the 4Gb installed. on my 4Gb mbp it takes 1 bounce for the system prefs to open and on the mini it takes about 5 bounces!
     
  17. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #17
    u should drop an SSD on it while you're at it and you will see that thing fly.
     
  18. SchneiderMan thread starter macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #18
    Haha i bet but im not going to invest that much in it, i think the ram is the most important thing to upgrade right now

    Oh hey Macmini2009 :) saw you on youtube
     
  19. maghemi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    #19
    I personally followed this video on youtube. It was really easy to do. The hardest part is taking the top case off. I wasn't sure if I was going to break it. But you can be reasonably forceful with it.

    I do think a Hdd upgrade is well worth it. Maybe not to SSD but at least to 7200rpm drive. I think you'll see quite a reasonable performance boost with that as well as the ram.
     
  20. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #20
    There hasn't really been much of a change; really all that's changed is that there is now another antenna for the N-wireless. The optical drive is SATA, but that doesn't affect your installation seeing you're just upgrading the RAM.
     
  21. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #21
    :D
     
  22. jzuena macrumors 6502a

    jzuena

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    Lexington, MA, USA
    #22
    In the end the plastic clips aren't the most delicate piece of the mini. The older ones used a flat ribbon cable to join the motherboard with the hard drive tray. The connector that holds this in place broke easy, so my original mini has this cable held in place solely by the elastic force of the ribbon cable pushing into the contacts. It still works fine.

    This connector cable between the motherboard and the hard drive tray is the biggest change and it is 100% for the better! The contacts are arranged in an oval-like shape and press directly onto a circuit board on the drive tray. No more connectors that can break. The only other changes I saw was to replace the desktop DDR2 memory with laptop DDR3 memory and to solder the CPU in place rather than use a ZIF socket.
     
  23. TommyCo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    #23
    Yeah its not too hard - it seems that they fit a lot into that little box nowadays so be careful with the putty knife! :)
     

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