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njharris97

macrumors member
Original poster
Hi guys,

I have an Mac mini mid 2012 with 4gb of RAM (2x 2gb cards).

I was thinking about purchasing the Crucial 8gb upgrade kit (2x 4gb cards). However I noticed that I could purchase one 8gb card, and only replace one of the 2gb cards in the Mac mini making 10gb in total.

I know you can mix RAM sizes however Apple's website says that you shouldn't mix RAM sizes for optimum performance.

My question is which would be better. just purchasing a 8gb card, and having 10gb in total but them not running at 'optimum performance' or replacing both with the 8gb kit and only having 8gb in total.

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

psound

macrumors member
Nov 5, 2007
33
6
I have 10gb in mine at the moment—runs well. I'm in no rush to max it out until the RAM gouging subsides.

After searching the net, I learned that even after factoring in the slight performance benefit of a matched pair, 10 gb was substantially better than 8gb (2x4gb).

Not to mention it makes more sense if you intend on upgrading to 16gb in the future.
 

jdphoto

macrumors 6502
Jan 13, 2014
323
119
I have 10gb in mine at the moment—runs well. I'm in no rush to max it out until the RAM gouging subsides.

After searching the net, I learned that even after factoring in the slight performance benefit of a matched pair, 10 gb was substantially better than 8gb (2x4gb).

Not to mention it makes more sense if you intend on upgrading to 16gb in the future.

In general I think this is true. If you are never bumping above 8 GB of memory usage it would be good to just have the 8 GB of RAM in there. However, if you find yourself needing more than 8GB it's better to have the 10 GB in there since the slight decrease in performance from the non matched pair is better than paging files to your internal drive especially if the internal drive isn't an SSD.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,588
12,697
I have a late-2012 Mini (originally with 4gb, 2X2 DIMMs) that I upgraded by replacing the "top" (as seen with the cover off) DIMM with and 8gb, for a total of 10gb.

The Mini runs fine, no problems at all.

I realize the published data says that by having two dissimilar DIMMs there is a slight speed slowdown, but if it's there, I can't perceive it.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,545
943
I know you can mix RAM sizes however Apple's website says that you shouldn't mix RAM sizes for optimum performance.
There is a slight performance benefit in using matched pairs of RAM. However, that benefit isn't significant enough to outweigh the advantage of more RAM, even unmatched, in most cases. This is, of course, provided you actually need and would make use of the additional RAM.
 

Jambalaya

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2013
714
151
UK
I did exactly this is my gf's MacBook and it runs fine, 1x8 was cheaper than 2x4 so she now has 10gb. I put 2x4 in my Mini as alternative was 8+1 and at the time I was a bit more uncertain about pairs. As posted above and many times here on the forums in theory matched pairs work better but I don't think most of us would ever notice.
 

Fanner50

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2013
15
0
Florida, USA
I have a late-2012 Mini (originally with 4gb, 2X2 DIMMs) that I upgraded by replacing the "top" (as seen with the cover off) DIMM with and 8gb, for a total of 10gb.

The Mini runs fine, no problems at all.

I realize the published data says that by having two dissimilar DIMMs there is a slight speed slowdown, but if it's there, I can't perceive it.

I did the same thing with my Mid 2010. No problems at all.
 

SlCKB0Y

macrumors 68040
Feb 25, 2012
3,426
555
Sydney, Australia
I have a 2GB and an 8GB stick in my mini.

When I decide to upgrade to 16GB I am not then wasting the 2 x 4GB if I had upgraded that way.
 

gugy

macrumors 68040
Jan 31, 2005
3,902
5,326
La Jolla, CA
I have 10gb in mine at the moment—runs well. I'm in no rush to max it out until the RAM gouging subsides.

After searching the net, I learned that even after factoring in the slight performance benefit of a matched pair, 10 gb was substantially better than 8gb (2x4gb).

Not to mention it makes more sense if you intend on upgrading to 16gb in the future.

Thanks,
I was just about to ask for this.
I just bought a 2012 Mini refurb and I don't want to spend too much getting 2x8gb sticks. So I will buy only 8gb for now and have a total of 10. Down the road if I feel the need, then I'll buy another 8gb.
 

Count Blah

macrumors 68040
Jan 6, 2004
3,192
2,748
US of A
I did this for my mother's Mac mini. Working like a champ. If she ever gets to the point where she needs more than 10 gigs of RAM, I'll hire her as a contractor.
 

msbdude

macrumors newbie
Aug 23, 2012
19
0
baja california norte
so true

I have 10gb in mine at the moment—runs well. I'm in no rush to max it out until the RAM gouging subsides.

After searching the net, I learned that even after factoring in the slight performance benefit of a matched pair, 10 gb was substantially better than 8gb (2x4gb).

Not to mention it makes more sense if you intend on upgrading to 16gb in the future.

totally agree- did the same thing with my refurb 2012 i5 and its perfect for me- just upgrade that slow-@#$ hd and you should be good to go
 

tennisproha

macrumors 68000
Jun 24, 2011
1,605
1,109
Texas
is there any harm in having more RAM than needed?

and if so, how would one check how much RAM one needs?
 
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