Mac Mini RAM upgrade?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Cricketman, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Cricketman macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2008

    I'm in the market for a Mac Mini. I'm looking at the base, 2.26 Ghz model, which ships with 2GB Ram and 160GB HDD. I am eligible for the 50$ educational discount plus 5% cashback with Discover, so i'll be looking at something around $525+tax.

    Is the 4GB Ram upgrade worth it? It's $100, and i'm not really willing to do it I'd prefer if apple did it. Will there be a drastic boost in performance in 2 vs 4GB ram??

    Bare in mind that I want to keep the cost to a minimum (my parents are gifting it to me so I can't ask for too much) but if it is an absolute must i'm sure i can pull some strings...

    Things i'm looking to do with it -
    Decently heavy browsing (5-6 Firefox/Safari windows open, lots of Youtube)
    Maybe some very little Photoshop
    Lots of word processing/document creation (Microsoft Office Student Edition - 2008)
    General stuff.

    I need this computer to last me 18 solid months without any hiccups before I head off to college but would really enjoy longevity so that my parents can use it after i'm gone/make it part of my home theater system.

  2. KeriJane macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009

    Many will state that $100 is too much for a 2GB>4GB upgrade.

    I say that it's not.

    The memory comes from Apple, is of good quality is literally guaranteed to work with no hassle and most importantly...

    You won't have to take the Mini apart.

    Taking a Mini apart is a pain. Messing around with aftermarket memory for not much savings isn't worth it. Then you're stuck trying to sell the original memory to recoup some of your investment.

    Yes, 4GB is better for your Mini than 2GB. I went from 1GB to 4GB and it made a huge difference. 2 to 4 won't make as much but it should make a considerable improvement, especially if you have a lot of stuff running or if you get a demanding program or two or for when that next major OS upgrade comes out.

    The Mini is a great little computer. Have fun with it! :)

  3. Jarooda macrumors member


    Mar 13, 2007
  4. Cricketman thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2008
    ...Is it really worth it? For my needs which are stated above.

    I'm currently using a Sony Vaio FW with 4GB and don't usually have any lag. Currently got firefox with 3 tabs open, youtube, itunes, and a few word docs and no problems... But Win7 is probs more of a Ram hog than osx. Will 2GB be sufficient or should I upgrade?

    In other words, how much do you recommend an upgrade?
  5. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    I would say yes. I have 2GB on my mini (1.66 Core Duo) and it does need more. I can feel it swapping RAM to disk sometimes and its annoying, especially when you are trying to watch a movie. All modern OSs are RAM pigs, even OSX. I would say 1GB, the OS is functional. 2GB, its useable. 4GB and its able to breathe.
  6. KeriJane macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009

    I'd say post #5 is exactly right.

    1GB and it runs, 2GB and it runs OK, 4GB and it runs nicely.

    I'd very much recommend it especially as you mentioned that you would be using it for an extended period.

    During that time you are pretty likely to get at least one memory-intensive program like Photoshop and are probably going to eventually upgrade to OSX 10.5.7 or whatever replaces Snow Leopard. Neither is likely to like 2GB much.

    There is also the strong possibility that you will put Windows 7 on it either in BootCamp or Parallels.... it's still the same memory hog either way.

    Another thing to keep in mind when buying a Mac Mini....
    No Keyboard or Mouse is included.
    Macally stuff is pretty good and a lot cheaper than Apple accessories.

    You can use PC stuff, but a Mac-specific keyboard is very helpful with the "Eject" and "Volume" keys and properly labeled command and option keys.

    I'm using a Macally cheapie iKeySlim, an an old-type Apple plastic KB and an Aluminum Apple Keyboard. The Macally is fine, no problems at all and I actually prefer the keypress feel to the aluminum KB.

    I also have a variety of mice. The Apple Mouse (formerly known as the Mighty Mouse) is a tie for my favorite with the Magic Mouse. Both have their strong points.
    Regular PC mice work OK too but I love the 360° scrolling that the Mighty and Magic mice can do.

    Last thing: Obviously, no Monitor is included. The best one is the 24" Apple Cinema Display with built-in speakers, camera, etc.... but I'm sure you're not intending to use that. The Mini does have a rudimentary speaker built in
    but you probably want decent sound, so a set of headphones or speakers is needed too.

    Good Luck,
    Have Fun,
  7. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    $100 for 4gb is definitely worth it if you don't want to do it yourself. I paid around $90 for my upgrade as I did it myself along with the 500gb hard drive, granted that the stock 2x 1gb sticks are only worth pennies..... This way you don't have to open it up and it's all covered under your Apple warranty. 4gb is a major improvement over the stock 2gb and you will notice it day to day. I still get page in/outs too :(.
  8. Cricketman thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2008
    Thanks for all the help everyone!

    I did some number crunching.

    A 2.26Ghz Mini + 4GB RAM = $639.00 with the educational discount. I add the $100 Cannon printer (which is free with rebate) and the subtotal with tax is $783.

    With my Discover card I get 5% of that total back. That turns out to be $40, which pays for tax....

    783-140=643, basically the price of the Mini.

    This kind of sucks because I can get the next step up refurb model for 670! :\

    Keri - thanks alot for the info on KBs. I was looking for some and that Macally slim model looks perfect pricewise, ascetically, and it's made-for-mac. e-Highfive to you :D.

    My monitor - I'm using my Acer 19' widescreen which I currently own. Picked it up a few black friday's ago. I have speakers as well.
  9. Cricketman thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2008
    Decided I would much rather spring for the refurbished 2.53 model...are they upgraded randomly or does it have like a set time??
  10. tsubikiddo macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2008
    Melbourne, AUS
    Bear in mind, it is (almost) always the case that the more ram you have available the merrier.

    From what I see in your list of applications & tasks, the MacMini got what it takes to handle them easily.
    As long as you stick to this list, your MacMini is highly likely to last 18 months and beyond.

    If you have the spare cash lying around, then go for 4GB, otherwise, 2GB is a non-issue
  11. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    Some people have been known around here to get "free" upgrades with their refurbished Macs. It's unlikely but it's always possible to get larger hard drive or more memory in your Mac than what was originally listed.

    Glad you chose the 2.53ghz model. Let us all know how it works out for you and good luck!
  12. bezerk3r86 macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2008
    I just got a 2.53GHz mini w/ 4GB RAM and I'm loving it.

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