Mac mini RAM upgrade/ AppleCare questions

russell_314

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 10, 2019
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I'm getting a new 2018 Mac mini with i7, 512 SSD, and 8 GB of factory ram installed. I plan to upgrade the RAM to 32 GB. I have the correct tools, watched multiple videos on this, and have repaired laptops so I'm fairly confident I can do this with no problems.


I was planning on installing the RAM right out of the box before I even boot the computer for the first time. Is this going to be a problem with setup and registration of the new Mac?

My second question is does AppleCare make sense for this type of computer? I don't plan on taking it with me and any of my laptops never had accidental damage so that's not really a concern. I've seen articles about how hot the new Mac mini runs very hot and some had concerns about long term component failure because of this. It costs $89.00 for AppleCare and $299 for "other damage" repair so I guess this would include heat damage? Since the 2018 Mac mini is only been out for a few months and doesn't have a history would AppleCare be a good idea?

My third question is will upgrading the RAM void AppleCare. I know US law prevents companies from voiding warranties for user service but I'm not sure if AppleCare is considered a warranty. The Apple support website states "Mac mini (2018) does not have user-installable RAM. You can configure the memory in your Mac mini (2018) when you purchase it." Obviously this is meant to discourage you from not buying RAM from Apple at more than double the price. Would this give me problems with Apple honoring AppleCare?

The last time I used a Mac for any serious length of time was over ten years ago so any suggestions, ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

F-Train

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Apr 22, 2015
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AppleCare+ costs US$99, which over the three year period of the warranty works out to 9 cents a day.

I don't believe that there is any serious prospect of Apple denying AppleCare+ coverage in relation to a problem unrelated to you changing out the RAM. In any event, it sounds like most of the people who are changing out RAM are keeping the original 8GB for the purpose of reinstalling it in the event of a visit to Apple. I think that even then, the utility of reinstalling the RAM depends on what the problem is. If I manage to drop the mini from my balcony, RAM has nothing to do with the issue.
 
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russell_314

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 10, 2019
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AppleCare+ costs US$99, which over the three year period of the warranty works out to 9 cents a day.

I don't believe that there is any serious prospect of Apple denying AppleCare+ coverage in relation to a problem unrelated to you changing out the RAM. In any event, it sounds like most of the people who are changing out RAM are keeping the original 8GB for the purpose of reinstalling it in the event of a visit to Apple. I think that even then, the utility of reinstalling the RAM depends on what the problem is. If I manage to drop the mini from my balcony, RAM has nothing to do with the issue.
Well I haven't yet dropped any computer off a balcony and accidental or on purpose damage isn't really a concern of mine that's why I was questioning the cost. I'm more concerned about it dying a premature death due to poor design or something like that. BTW would they really cover repair if you accidentally dropped it off a balcony?
 

ixxx69

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Jul 31, 2009
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I was planning on installing the RAM right out of the box before I even boot the computer for the first time.
I see people say they're doing this quite a bit around here, as though it's conventional wisdom that this is a "good" idea... am I missing something? :confused:

I would advise that before taking apart or modifying a computer (especially a brand new computer!) is to check that it's in working order. That way if something isn't working after installing the RAM upgrade, chances are you messed something up. Otherwise, you have no idea whether it was defective out of the box or not.
 

F-Train

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Apr 22, 2015
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I see people say they're doing this quite a bit around here, as though it's conventional wisdom that this is a "good" idea... am I missing something? :confused:

I would advise that before taking apart or modifying a computer (especially a brand new computer!) is to check that it's in working order. That way if something isn't working after installing the RAM upgrade, chances are you messed something up. Otherwise, you have no idea whether it was defective out of the box or not.
Good that you raised that. I saw it and forgot to mention it. I have no idea what would possess someone to change out RAM without determining first that the computer is working.

I've seen a couple of suggestions that changing out the RAM before turning on the computer defeats some kind of T2 "tracking" or "self-destruct" function. There are a couple of Yiddish words for this idea for which there is no real English equivalent; specifically, facacta and mishiga. But there are indeed participants in this forum who think that T2 is a cousin of Area 51, in which they no doubt also believe.
 
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russell_314

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 10, 2019
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USA
Good that you raised that. I saw it and forgot to mention it. I have no idea what would possess someone to change out RAM without determining first that the computer is working.

I've seen a couple of suggestions that changing out the RAM before turning on the computer defeats some kind of T2 "tracking" or "self-destruct" function. There are a couple of Yiddish words for this idea for which there is no real English equivalent; specifically, facacta and mishiga. But there are indeed participants in this forum who think that T2 is a cousin of Area 51, in which they no doubt also believe.
Maybe I have too much faith in Apple to think a brand new computer out of the box would be in working order. Now if it was a used PC or even a cheap brand I might worry. Of course nothing in life is guaranteed so I understand your point. I wasn't worried about a self destruct feature but rather when the computer first registered with Apple the hardware configuration wouldn't match and that would cause a problem. Either way I guess I'll start it up and do the initial setup before the upgrade.
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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"I was planning on installing the RAM right out of the box before I even boot the computer for the first time. Is this going to be a problem with setup and registration of the new Mac?"

My opinion only, but it should go this way:
1. Unpack new Mini
2. Get it set up -- migrate data if required
3. Make sure everything is running and looks ok BEFORE you open it.
4. Now shut down and add the RAM.
5. WATCH OUT -- folks have been breaking stuff inside with this [so-called] "easy" process!

I don't see where AppleCare is really worth it for the Mini.
They have the best reliability record of ALL Macs.
 
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russell_314

macrumors 6502a
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Feb 10, 2019
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Just to update everyone my mini is up and running with 32 GB of RAM. I unpacked it, set it up, let it do an update, then after seeing it was working shut it down and began the process. I took each step in the assembly and disassembly very carefully and slowly pausing between steps to evaluate everything. I have a feeling that some of the people who broke something got frustrated and in a hurry. The only part that made me a little uncomfortable was the way I had to clip the RAM back in. It felt like the clips held too much pressure but I'm no Apple engineer so I guess they know what they're doing.