What determines the maximum amount of RAM?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by editonmac, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. editonmac macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2008
    Hi, I was thinking of purchasing a used Mac mini off eBay for my entertainment center (1.66 GHz Core Duo, 1GB RAM) with intentions to upgrade it. When I looked it up on everymac, I noticed the maximum amount of RAM was 2GB, which is sufficient for now but I would like 4GB in the future. I was wondering, what determines the maximum amount of RAM for this computer? Is it the logic board or the processor? If I were to upgrade the processor to a t7200 (which I am seriously considering), would the RAM maximum be raised to 4GB or stay? And finally, would it be capable after being upgraded to run Lion? I know this is a lot to ask but any help is appreciated.
    Thanks in advance,
  2. qCzar macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2011
    SFBA, CA
    Would you mind sharing the model year of the mini?

    My 2.4GHz C2D 2007 MacBook has 4GB's of RAM is capable of running Lion. I'm not going to upgrade it, but get a refreshed mini instead.
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010

    you don't want that machine. can't go past 2gb.

    you want a 1.83 core 2 duo machine. must have the correct mother board. and not be and upgrade from a core duo 1.66.

    it can go to 4 gb of which 3.1gb can be used.

    and you can put in a 2.33Ghz cpu.

    or find a 2009 2.26 machine they still show on apples refurb site once in a while.
  4. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    You will need to upgrade to a C2D CPU if you want to run Lion or more than 2GB of memory. Once you upgrade to say a T7600(Max anyways), you be able to install 2x 2GB chips. Just realize you will only be able to utilize 3.3GB of that though.
  5. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    putting a c2d cpu on a motherboard for a core duo will work but not allow more then 2gb ram. the 1.66 core duo oem mother board is not able to use 4gb ram no matter what cpu you put in it. you must use a mac mini that has a mother board that is oem for c2d.

    from wiki:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_mini


    MB138*/A MB139*/A


    1.83 GHz (T5600) or 2.0 GHz (T7200) Intel Core 2 Duo

    these are the oldest machines to buy.

    the 1.66 can not do more then 2gb ram no matter what cpu you put into it.

    you can put a 2.33Ghz cpu into to either the 1.66 core duo it won't go to more then 2gb ram. same for the 1.83 core duo (a rare machine)

    the 1.83 core 2 duo the 2.0 core 2 duo are both good they are newer then your pick.
  6. editonmac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2008

    Thanks everyone for the helpful answers. Looks like I'll be getting at least a C2D model (at least the 1.83GHZ C2D) or later.
  7. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
  8. OldSchoolMacGuy macrumors 68020


    Jul 10, 2008
    A combination between the architecture of your machine, the processor/motherboard, and the firmware of the machine sets the limit for the maximum amount of RAM a computer can have.
  9. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2010
    Colorado, USA
    As well as the chipset for the processor and motherboard.
  10. jamone13 macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2010
    I wouldn't go with such a slow CPU for a media center. I have a 2 ghz mini, with 4GB ram and while its fine for 720p, and some low bitrate 1080p, any quality 1080p doesn't play smoothly at all. This is even with trying video players that use GPU acceleration to some extent.

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