Minimum RAM

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Omnius, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    I own 2 2011 Mac Minis.

    A little over a year ago, I obtained a 5,2 mac mini with the minimum 4gb of RAM. This mini was running lion. With 4gb of RAM, it ran fine for normal tasks and was quite versatile, however, I did upgrade it to 8gb because I had more demanding tasks to throw at it.

    Recently, I obtained a 5,1 mini on craigs list for very cheap. It came with 3gb of ghetto aftermarket ram which I promptly replaced with the 5,2's oem 4gb. I was using the mini for a few days and noticed a lot of beach balling during minimal use. In fact, the 5,1 running mountain lion, vlc, flash, firefox and background anti virus was prone to page outs.

    Has anyone else noticed that the newer model minis effectively need to be running more 8gb of RAM to really function for casual use?
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    4 GB of RAM seems to be the minimum for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion these days, but you probably also ran a highly CPU intensive application for AV protection, which is not needed. ClamXav should suffice AV needs.

    To learn more about malware in Mac OS X and what steps can be taken to protect yourself, read the following F.A.Q.:
  3. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    4 GB = Stock minimum

    8 GB = Recommended in my view

    16 GB = Maximum and while not required might be something to buy if you have the extra cash.
  4. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    I max out the RAM in any computer I own, unless the price is onerous. Maxing the RAM in a 2011/2012 Mini to 16GB costs less than $100, I see no reason to even contemplate whether less would perform adequately.
  5. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    I can tell you from personal experience that 4GB RAM running Mountain Lion is the absolute minimum and it is barely sufficient for running just the basics. So in reality the 4GB RAM is the new inadequate 2GB RAM Apple provided in previous Mini models.

    8GB should be fine but for only around $20 more 16GB is the way to go since it is highly likely that future Mac operating systems will need more RAM. And software programs keep upping their RAM requirements too, so 16GB seems like a no-brainer way to go...
  6. philipma1957, Feb 6, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    8gb may be good enough for you. if you are usa based buy from amazon. if it is not good enoguh return it. you have 30 days to decide.

    the best deal in the world for 8gb 2012 mac mini is kingston plug n play. 38 dollars for 2x 4gb sticks. it is from the warehouse part of amazon so it is used but you have 30 days for return.


    best price and 30 day return policy. if you don't like it you can return it as defective too slow .

    amazon will pay the return
  7. Omnius thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    2gb was the stock minimum for the base 2011. I can't even imagine it being capable of running mountain lion with just that.
  8. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    I have a 2009 MacBook running ML on 4Gb, and it works just fine. Web, email, iWork -- even light Creative Suite.

    Commercial AV software is notorious for slowing down your system and causing beachballs -- much more than RAM shortage.

    First of all, check Activity Monitor, and see what's happening. Note that OS X wants to use memory, and that's a good thing. So on a 4Gb system, it will probably use most of the memory. That's no bad thing. RAM is there to be used.

    There is no need to freak out just because OS X is paging out. It's not an emergency condition. But obviously, you don't want it paging out and in so much that it has a significant impact on your system. However, if you have an SSD, then the slow-down for that bit of memory being paged back in is going to be much less than on a hard drive.

    That having been said: you can never have too much money or too much RAM. It's cheap, and systems will always perform better with more RAM.
  9. Omnius thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    It was paging out. It was the first thing I checked.

    OSX and other standard processes were taking the majority - over 2gb)

    Its not really the point of this post.

    You can have tons more ram than you need.

    The purpose of the thread was to ask if ML using so much ram was a common issue. I can't even fathom how apply could sell the 5,1 mini with ML and 2GB of ram.
    I think phillip and icedragon really hit the nail on the head. It seems that with ML you really do need 8gb of ram to function on the 2011 model minis. Interestingly, 8 seems like plenty on the 5,2 with lion as opposed to the 5,1 with ML.

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