New Mac Mini and Semi-Convert!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by AbSoluTc, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. AbSoluTc macrumors 68040

    AbSoluTc

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #1
    I got my new Mac Mini (2010) this Tuesday. Even though I do IT for a living, it still amazes me how small computers are getting and just how much stuff we can cram in there. This thing is SLEEK! It has a nice heavy weight to it and looks like art. I love it. Quiet, smooth, simple and fun.

    I am a Windows user and decided I wanted to learn something new and needed a change after all these years (I'm 30). I also wanted to expand my knowledge so I can help others as well. The more you know, the better. Anyways, so far - so good. No complaints. I had a hiccup with the HDMI out to HDMI in on my Dell 3008 monitor. For some reason it was overscanning. The top and bottom were cut off about an inch and it would not adjust. So I used an HDMI to DVI cable I had and that solved the problem. Other than that, it's perfect.

    I do have a simple question though. Should I upgrade the ram to 4 gig? Two seems a little sparse to me and it appears the system is using nearly all of it. I think if I upgrade, it will give me a little boost. What do you all think? Any suggestions on the best places or types? I hear Mac's are picky when it comes to ram.

    Thanks guys! :cool:
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2

    I think you've answered your own question. :)

    Yep, the bump from 2Gb to 4 will make a big difference, especially if you're running a bunch of apps at once. Safari and iTunes are hogs in themselves... I always get my RAM from Crucial, using their RAM specifier, as they'll always replace the RAM if they've specced it, rather than you. NewEgg is the other place that a lot of others here seem to like.
     
  3. AbSoluTc thread starter macrumors 68040

    AbSoluTc

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #3
    You think two to four is a good enough upgrade or should I aim higher?
     
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #4
    You can never have too much RAM. Depends on your budget and what you're planning to do with the machine, I guess. Running every app in CS5 + MS Office + Safari + iTunes + whatever = can mean a lot of swap files.
     
  5. mooblie macrumors 6502

    mooblie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    The Highlands, Scotland
    #5
    If you're an IT guy, you should get familiar with Activity Monitor (it's in the Applications:Utilities folder). Bit like Windows Task Manager.
     
  6. speedwaygirl macrumors member

    speedwaygirl

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #6
    Thanks to some suggestions from the helpful folks here at the boards, I just upgraded one stick, so I have a 4GB stick and the factory 1GB in there right now. It's been great (I tend to have a LOT of programs running at the same time)! And I know that if I get around to putting Windows on the machine, I'll just kick in another 4GB stick.

    Ordered my memory from OWC and was very impressed with the speed and service.
     
  7. Baby Mac macrumors regular

    Baby Mac

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #7
    I doubt you'd see a difference in 4+1GB versus 4+4GB. Another vote for OWC RAM. I've used Crucial on PCs without incident, so I think they'd be fine too.
     
  8. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #8
    4GB is the current sweet spot in prices. But as to if you actually need more than 2GB, use your system for a day and then start the Activity Monitorl, go to the System Memory pane and compare the Page ins and Page outs values. Page ins should be much larger than pageouts (factor of 10 or more). If that is not the case, you need more RAM. If it is a healthy amount larger, then your RAM is fine.
     
  9. AbSoluTc thread starter macrumors 68040

    AbSoluTc

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #9
    I was looking at the activity monitor and it's showing I am maxing out at 1.89 gig. I just can't decide if I want 4 or 8 right now.
     
  10. k3roro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    #10
    Purchased my base model Mac Mini 200 last Sunday, saw this post and ordered a 4GB ram from OWC because I notice my Safari scrolling is big sluggish when iTunes is open in the background.

    Hopefully the installation will be a breeze with the 2010 models!
     
  11. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #11
    The OS will try to use as much RAM as possible. If you are using 1.89 ("using" is Wired plus Active) then you are probably swapping. If the 1.89 includes the Inactive, then you are probably fine. Trouble rises when running applications are too big to fit and swapping occurs. Page ins are fine, it's the page outs that hurt you. Both increase over time, that's why the Page In/Out ratio is important.

    In any case you would be unlikely to need more than 4, and 8GB isn't quite cost effective yet.
     
  12. AbSoluTc thread starter macrumors 68040

    AbSoluTc

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #12
    Thanks all for the info. I picked up the Crucial 4GB kit of Amazon. I just couldn't see paying nearly $200 for 8GB right now compared to $85.99 for 4GB. I don't think I will need anymore beyond that for right now.
     
  13. AbSoluTc thread starter macrumors 68040

    AbSoluTc

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #13
    My memory order arrived this morning from Amazon. I installed it and my mini is much snappier. I also have no swap file showing up as before. The machine seems much happier.
     
  14. Baby Mac macrumors regular

    Baby Mac

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Location:
    Kentucky
  15. AbSoluTc thread starter macrumors 68040

    AbSoluTc

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #15
    Not sure what your reply means? Especially with the rolling eyes. :confused:
     
  16. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #16
    I installed 8GB because sometimes there are 2-3 accounts logged in at the same time. My fiance loves to have Mail, Safari and iPhoto (with a formidable library) open at the same time. The kids and *cough* I sometimes play WoW and the graphics perform much better now. Basically the 8GB ram transformed the Mini into what everyone says it can do verses being slower than my old dual 2.7 LC G5 when the Mini had only 2GB of ram. Everything is snappier, especially reopening apps, which was slow before due to swapping to the hdd.

    NOW...for the next upgrade! The Mini is a very cool, small design which it owes to using notebook components; the hdd, ram, graphics, etc-. The standard hdd is very slow. I opted for a 500 GB Momentus XT but many people install a SSD. I need lots of space which would be pricey in a SSD so I bought the Momentus XT; it's cloned and ready to install this weekend.

    I don't have a link for you, sorry, but you may want to search the forums for lists of favorite software. There is a ton of great stuff out there. Being an IT guy, there is a lot of helpful utilities for managing things, like Carbon Copy Cloner or Superduper for dick cloning.

    It's a great platform and I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time using it.
    :)
     

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