Quick question before upgrading 2009 Mini to SL

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by wmmf, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. wmmf macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #1
    Hello, all. This weekend I'll be getting the install DVD for Snow Leopard. I'll be upgrading my April 2009 Mini (2Gig RAM, 2Ghz C2D) and I know I'm good as far as the hardware goes. I just have a couple of quick questions regarding the install itself:

    1. I've got backups made on a WD external drive, made using Time Machine. My understanding is that I shouldn't need to use the backup, but rather that SL will just install itself on top of my Leopard install, correct? In that case, the backups are just in case something goes wrong and I want to revert back?

    2. Bonus question!: I'm not planning on rushing ahead with an upgrade to Lion, but if I did, would it be best to upgrade the RAM to 4Gb or so? I'm thinking mostly of the smoothness of the UI, programs, etc. Or would the processor itself be a slowdown that a RAM upgrade wouldn't really fix?

    Thanks in advance for your help...
     
  2. wmmf thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 16, 2010
    #2
    Wow...an orphan post? Nobody wants to give me a quick answer? :D
     
  3. OTACORB macrumors 6502a

    OTACORB

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Location:
    Central, Louisiana
    #3
    I would absolutely upgrade the RAM to 4GB LION needs a minimum of 4GB to really stretch its legs.
     
  4. wmmf thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #4
    Thanks for the tip; It's what I suspected, I just wanted to hear confirmation before I made the investment. I'll probably stick with SL for a while before thinking about Lion, though.
     
  5. BlackMangoTree macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    #5
    That Mac Mini is a decent machine i own one. Once i upgraded to 4gb ram Snow Leopards performance was greatly improved. I highly suggest adding 4 gb ram. Ram is very cheap these days.
     
  6. OTACORB macrumors 6502a

    OTACORB

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Location:
    Central, Louisiana
    #6
    I agree and while Snow Leopard runs okay with just 2GB of RAM, it too really can stretch its legs with 4GB of RAM.

    I think today all machines should have a minimum of 4GB of RAM. In my new Mini I am running 8GB.
     
  7. philipma1957, Aug 16, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #7
    I disagree with anyone that tells you put in 4gb ram. if you are going to open the machine put in 8gb .

    https://www.superbiiz.com/detail.ph...le=Hynix-DDR3-1066-SODIMM-4GB-Notebook-Memory

    60 bucks for 8gb

    http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-CT2KI...5YWI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1313508822&sr=8-2

    50 bucks for 8gb

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231294


    52 bucks for 8gb


    take advantage of historically low prices of 8gb kits. if you buy this you are done with ram. if you buy the 4gb kit for 30 or 35 and switch to lion you will feel the need for more ram lion uses more. this means cracking the mini open a second time and having the left over sticks twice. the 2gb to 4gb leaves you a pair of ones. the 4gb to 8gb leaves you a pair of twos. most likely when running lion you can get to 4.5 or 5.2 gb ram used. with snow you won't get to over 4gb often.


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226021


    !!! 35 dollars after rebate 8gb ram !!!
     
  8. OTACORB macrumors 6502a

    OTACORB

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Location:
    Central, Louisiana
    #8
    I agree, but that wasn't his question, he wasn't asking our opinion about what is the better buy or what we recommend. Nonetheless I agree with you if you are going to spend the money go all out and get 8GB, which is exactly what I did.
     
  9. krburrell macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #9
    If you are going to open the machine put in 8gb.
     
  10. Vermifuge macrumors 6502a

    Vermifuge

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    #10
    That was his question

    "I'm not planning on rushing ahead with an upgrade to Lion, but if I did, would it be best to upgrade the RAM to 4Gb or so?"

    Read "Or So" as "Another amount" or "more"

    We can argue semantics about options include 4 GB or 8 GB (Even 16 GB if you are rich) You can ague about 6 and 12 GB upgrades too but most people install matched pairs.
     
  11. Wicked1 macrumors 68040

    Wicked1

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #11
    I have the same model as you 2009 C2D 2.0 Ghz with 2GB Ram and 320GB HDD stock. I went to SL from 10.5 and the first thing I did was 4GB ram, what a difference, and when I did it the ram was $80 now it is like $35

    The install will do it all, just back it up just before you migrate just in case, but with the 4 I did , I had not had one issue.

    Good Luck you will like the performance
     
  12. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #12


    Thank you you for covering my back. Some people on this site attack my postings and resent that I give links to good prices. I don't understand why.

    To OTACORB I am not referring to you as attacking my posts but many people do. The op asked a good question. I have opened about 100 2009 minis and put ram in them. They are pretty easy to do but every time you open the machine you can break it. He mentions going to lion down the road. I have tested a 2009 and 5 different 2011 machines with lion. Pulling 4 to 5 gb of ram is easy to do with lion. Same programs seem to pull 3 to 4 gb of ram with snow on a 2009 machine.

    So I just gave him advice from the heart as to what I would do in his position if I owned that machine. BTW I owned and used that exact model for 12 to 14 months it runs well with 4gb of ram with snow. If he never mentioned Lion I would not tell him to go for 8gb of ram.
    To be fully honest Most likely he can get away with 6gb of ram, but this idea makes a lot of people feel wary. I know that 2009 machine running snow with 6gb of ram were good. I have not tested 2009 machines with lion and 6gb of ram. Mostly because the prices for 8gb or really low cost right now.
     
  13. wmmf thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #13
    Hey, everyone, thanks for all the advice, especially for the links to good deals! So from what I gather, upping the Mini to 4 gig should be fine for SL, but if I'm remotely thinking about upgrading to Lion within the next year (which is very possible), then I should perhaps go all the way up to 8 gig now, both because of current low prices of matched RAM sets and because it means just opening the machine once. Is that right? And even though the full 8 gig won't be put to use under regular conditions, having it will help with the "just above 4 gig" use that Lion can demand. If I understand this right, then thanks a lot for helping me see further down the road.

    Also, since it hasn't been brought up, I assume the 2Ghz C2D processor isn't going to bottleneck Lion? Wicked1, since we've got the same machine, I'd be interested to know if you've upgraded to Lion and how that config is working out for you.

    Thanks again for the help, even better than I anticipated!
     
  14. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #14
    Thanks for positive post. You have the correct understanding.

    I no longer own the 2.0 2009, but the 2.66 2009 that I do have runs well in lion. I do have it with 8gb ram and on occasion it gets to 4.6 or 4.8 gb of ram in use. In fact I like my 2009 because I have 2 hdds and one runs lion the other runs snow.



    This is a link to the mods on the 2009

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1178755&highlight=
     
  15. wmmf thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #15
    "You have the correct understanding." Ah, Philip, you sound like a Zen master! Thanks for the confirmation on the whole issue, and it sounds like I'll be ready both processor- and RAM-wise when it comes time for a Lion upgrade.

    Thanks again, all.
     
  16. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #16
    Just a quickie to dispel any fears that you might have about Lion on that machine - I have the exact same mini (2.0GHz early 2009) with 8GB of RAM, and it is smooth sailing with Lion. No bottlenecks at all :)
     
  17. wmmf thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #17
    Thanks, Multi! It's good to hear about this particular machine behaving well with Lion. I just ordered an 8Gig RAM kit from NewEgg for the Mini, plus a 4Gig kit for my late 2008 MacBook, so both machines should be good for a while.
    It's kind of nice to get away from the "must have newest shiny thing" mentality and realize that, with just a small amount of tweaking, "old" machines can stay up-to-date and in service for several years.
     

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