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My take on the display and ram issue, plus bonus refresh rate information.

shenfrey

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May 23, 2010
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So my 2020 Mac mini has just arrived, I ordered the i5, 512, 8GB version (which as you know 8GB is recommended as it is upgradable and can save you $150-$180) and so far, much like my 8GB MacBook Air, I have yet to go above 6.17GB ram with all applications open that I use (Photos, Music, Safari, Messages, Pages etc), I understand if you use Chrome then get yourself some ram because it would seem 16GB is that applications minimum requirement lol.

However just on the topic of performance, many of you (including myself) were concerned over the Mac mini performance when using a higher resolution display coupled with 8GB ram, you experienced poor performance, lag, sluggishness and many of you said it was unusable. My take on it is this, I am using a 32" 3440x1440 100hz refresh rate and it runs perfectly. I was using "best for display" option, however when switching the refresh rate to 100hz, it automatically switched to scaled, however I am noticing no lag at all and it runs just like my MacBook Air 2020 and ram usage has remained untouched.

I am running a usb-c to display port connector, you can try others but you can be guaranteed that this will work for at least 3440x1440 100hz.

I hope the above has helped in your purchasing decision, the above information is what I couldn't find (at least not as straight forward) and I spent weeks (literally) researching. In the end I STILL could not find clear answers and decided to take the punt and pick up the Mac mini, and of course always upgrade to more ram later down the line if I need it.

On a final note, I would always advise NOT buying anymore than 8GB from apple, as you really are paying a premium, and whilst I did not believe this until I researched, and it is true you can save yourself nearly $200 for just a 20 minute job. If you can use a screwdriver, you can install the ram.

Thanks guys, hope it helps.

Quick sidetone: Ram will always depend on your usage, me I just do very minimum photo editing, and mainly use this machine as a simple media consumption device with mostly browsing and text editing.
 
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Boyd01

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At everymac.com, it says that the onboard graphics use 1.5gb of system memory so I guess that could be an issue on an 8gb Mini. If I get a new Mini, I will want to max out the RAM at 64gb which apparently costs $1000 at Apple's prices but could be done for around $250 to $300 with third party RAM. That certainly is a substantial difference! However, I'll likely just pay Apple's outrageous price. I will also only buy a Mini if the model I want is available as a refurb, so that will also make it a bit more affordable.

This would be a machine to keep for quite a few years (currently still using a 2012 Mini, 2012 Windows PC and 2013 MacBook Air). At my age, it could even be the last Mac that I buy (there's a happy thought, LOL). Over a 7 or 8 year time frame, it would be around $100 year - which is still a lot, admittedly. However, I'm concerned that if I have some kind of problem in the future, Apple might blame it on the third party RAM (or the fact that I installed it myself).

Many years ago, I had PowerBook G4 that stopped recognizing the additional RAM I installed myself. Now this was a computer that was designed to be user-upgradeable, with a little door you opened to install memory. Apple replaced the motherboard twice under AppleCare, but the problem kept coming back. At that point, I was ready to upgrade to an Intel Mac anyway, so I just gave up. But I always wondered if the problem was the third party RAM....
 
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shenfrey

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May 23, 2010
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At everymac.com, it says that the onboard graphics use 1.5gb of system memory so I guess that could be an issue on an 8gb Mini. If I get a new Mini, I will want to max out the RAM at 64gb which apparently costs $1000 at Apple's prices but could be done for around $250 to $300 with third party RAM. That certainly is a substantial difference! However, I'll likely just pay Apple's outrageous price. I will also only buy a Mini if the model I want is available as a refurb, so that will also make it a bit more affordable.

You're going to pay an extra $1000 for something that could cost you $250 and be done in 20 minutes?
 
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Fozziebear40

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Apr 14, 2008
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You're going to pay an extra $1000 for something that could cost you $250 and be done in 20 minutes?

Okay.

No, he said he is going to buy a refurb, cheaper. I'm waiting for a suitable RAM size Mini on the refurb store. I have installed stuff on older Mini's but I'm seeing a lot of people breaking ribbon connectors and led cables etc adding RAM. I won't bother taking this Mini apart.
 
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shenfrey

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May 23, 2010
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No, he said he is going to buy a refurb, cheaper. I'm waiting for a suitable RAM size Mini on the refurb store. I have installed stuff on older Mini's but I'm seeing a lot of people breaking ribbon connectors and led cables etc adding RAM. I won't bother taking this Mini apart.

I have done the upgrade, and I do not know how people are breaking ribbon connectors.. do you have any evidence of this? Unless you physically grab the ribbon and yank it with such force that you know is too much, I don't otherwise see how it's possible.
 
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Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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When I bought my 2018 Mini (Apple refurb), going from 8gb to 16gb of RAM was an additional $160. Since the cost of 2 8gb DIMMs seems to run about $70, I just coughed up the extra $$$ and ordered it pre-installed. I didn't want to go foolin' with the insides of something still under warranty. Works for me.

If the OP hasn't been reading postings from others who tried do-it-yourself upgrades on the 2018 Mini -- and who broke something in the process -- then he can't have been around here very long... ;)
 
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shenfrey

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May 23, 2010
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When I bought my 2018 Mini (Apple refurb), going from 8gb to 16gb of RAM was an additional $160. Since the cost of 2 8gb DIMMs seems to run about $70, I just coughed up the extra $$$ and ordered it pre-installed. I didn't want to go foolin' with the insides of something still under warranty. Works for me.

If the OP hasn't been reading postings from others who tried do-it-yourself upgrades on the 2018 Mini -- and who broke something in the process -- then he can't have been around here very long... ;)

That's fair enough. I did mine earlier today in 15 minutes and now I have 64GB for under $200 :)
 
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Boyd01

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Feb 21, 2012
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If cost were the most important factor, I wouldn't get a Mac at all. ;) I explained my reasoning above, and it was not just based on cost or the difficulty of the upgrade. Let's say something happens that requires service from Apple (have seen plenty of posts about that). Are you going to remove the third party RAM and put the original 8gb back, then put the upgrade back when Apple is finished? That's three times you will have opened the Mini. And what if the problem comes back? Apple might say that there's something wrong with the memory you bought, or you did some damage.

I don't know, perhaps the probability of this is low. And no doubt that it's far cheaper in the short run to add your own memory - especially for a 64gb Mini. I would prefer not to worry about this, and just pay the extra cost up front (which isn't so bad over a 7 or 8 year period). And yes, I will only buy a Mini if the right refurb comes along. I'll also pay for it on my Apple card, which will give me 3% back.

But I understand many people see this differently, and that's fine. I have not even made the decision to buy a new Mini at all yet.
 
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shenfrey

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May 23, 2010
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If cost were the most important factor, I wouldn't get a Mac at all. ;) I explained my reasoning above, and it was not just based on cost or the difficulty of the upgrade. Let's say something happens that requires service from Apple (have seen plenty of posts about that). Are you going to remove the third party RAM and put the original 8gb back, then put the upgrade back when Apple is finished? That's three times you will have opened the Mini. And what if the problem comes back? Apple might say that there's something wrong with the memory you bought, or you did some damage.

I don't know, perhaps the probability of this is low. And no doubt that it's far cheaper in the short run to add your own memory - especially for a 64gb Mini. I would prefer not to worry about this, and just pay the extra cost up front (which isn't so bad over a 7 or 8 year period). And yes, I will only buy a Mini if the right refurb comes along. I'll also pay for it on my Apple card, which will give me 3% back.

But I understand many people see this differently, and that's fine. I have not even made the decision to buy a new Mini at all yet.

How would apple even know you didn't get the ram installed at a certified store? They won't, so the least of my worries will be what if apple see my 3rd party ram. I see your point, but I just think some of your reasons are invalid, and if you do somehow manage to break your Mac mini, whilst you are installing your ram, then that's on you because it was your fault, not the rams fault.

I get your point on the referb though, I got a little tired of waiting for them to come in stock so just picked up the model I wanted and installed the ram when I got it.
 
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Boyd01

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Well, if Apple decided that the memory was a problem I'm sure they could tell whether it was their own, and if not then perhaps they would ask for proof that it was installed by an authorized service center? I don't know, but there is a certain peace of mind in knowing everything came from Apple and they will stand behind it. And yes, you must pay a high price for that. I got my first Apple ][ in 1978 and have purchased countless Macs for myself, family and business, so I'm not exactly a new kid on the block here. ;)

Just looked it up, and here's what the warranty has to say, FWIW....


"This Warranty does not apply:

[...]

(c) to damage caused by use with a third party component or product that does not meet the Apple Product’s specifications (Apple Product specifications are available at www.apple.com under the technical specifications for each product and also available in stores);

[...]

(f) to damage caused by service (including upgrades and expansions) performed by anyone who is not a representative of Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (“AASP”);"


Anyway... enjoy your new Mini, and you certainly saved a lot by adding your own RAM! :)
 
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ashleykaryl

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2011
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UK
If Apple installed the ram at one of their authorised service centres I am pretty sure it would show up in their computer records tied to the serial number. It's not their first time at the rodeo.

You can definitely install 3rd party ram yourself, but Apple considers this a non user upgradable item on the latest mini and expects you to add more at time of purchase if required. When you install your own you void the warranty. In the UK we also have consumer law that lasts up to 6 years, but again that would be voided if you have messed with parts yourself. https://www.apple.com/uk/legal/statutory-warranty/
 
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icymountain

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Dec 12, 2006
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I am considering a Mini right now, and certainly being able to upgrade the RAM myself is one of the reasons why I am looking at it in the first place...

I am shocked by this warranty issue. Of course, I would not expect the third party RAM module to be covered by Apple, but the rest of the computer, definitely, unless of course I break something in the process. What happens if you upgrade the RAM of your mini, observe a problem related to something else, put back Apple's module and bring it back to Apple ? Would they notice that you opened the machine and deny you coverage ?
 
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ashleykaryl

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Jul 22, 2011
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UK
I think the simple answer to your question is that it would be down to the service centre and what they report back to Apple. If they saw signs that the ram had been replaced or even attempted they could effectively decline warranty coverage, just as they do for laptops at the slightest sign of water entry through the keyboard.

When I bought a mini recently my original plan was to upgrade the ram myself as I have done on every previous Mac, however two things stopped me. The first was this newsflash about the ram voiding the warranty, especially since I typically keep computers for a long time.

Second was the knowledge gained from using the Mac Pro, which has shown that Apple are becoming progressively more fussy about software updates when 3rd party parts are involved. I have a Sumsung SSD and an upgraded video card that have both caused me a number of issues, particularly with security updates. Given that I'll likely keep this computer for at least 5 years I reluctantly paid out the extra £600 for 32 gigs of ram.
 
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Boyd01

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Feb 21, 2012
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It would be nice if Apple continued the policy from the 2012 Mini, which was designed such that users could upgrade RAM and Apple even provided step by step instructions on their website. But in 2014, they killed that by going to soldered RAM with no possibility to upgrade.

So 2018 is a mixed bag.... the RAM can be upgraded, but it wasn't designed for users to do this themselves and *might* void your warranty. While I don't like this, at least it's an improvement over the 2014 Mini. So we each need to decide whether it's worth the risk to do our own upgrades or pay Apple's high prices. At least you have a choice. :)

Personally, I wouldn't send a self-upgraded Mac back to Apple for service. If they follow the "letter of the law" they can refuse to work on it. If you have AppleCare, they could claim your warranty was for an 8gb Mini but you have sent them a 32gb Mini for repair. But if you remove your own RAM before sending it back to Apple then that is three times you need to open up the Mini, with three times the risk of damaging something.
 
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frou

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Mar 14, 2009
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And then...

 
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shenfrey

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Original poster
May 23, 2010
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And then...


What you gonna do?
 
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