Mixing RAM Sizes

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by njharris97, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. njharris97 macrumors member

    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.
  2. psound macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2007
    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.
  3. jdphoto macrumors 6502


    Jan 13, 2014
    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.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    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.
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    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.
  6. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    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.
  7. Fanner50 macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2013
    Florida, USA
    I did the same thing with my Mid 2010. No problems at all.
  8. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2012
    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.
  9. gugy macrumors 68030

    Jan 31, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    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.
  10. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    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.
  11. msbdude macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2012
    baja california norte
    so true

    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
  12. tennisproha macrumors 65816

    Jun 24, 2011
    is there any harm in having more RAM than needed?

    and if so, how would one check how much RAM one needs?
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No harm, just wasted money. This should help: How much RAM do I need in my MacBook?

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