What is the best Ram for a mac mini i5?

namelessme

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 9, 2012
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0
Hello,

I am new here, so please forgive any ignorance as far as mac hardware goes. I have the base mac mini model, i5, 2.3 Mhz with 2GB of Ram. Strangely the ram is all in one slot... a single 2GB module.

Anyway, what Ram is recommended for this model? Would 1600 or perhaps 1866 speed Ram be best? Is there a wiki anywhere listing compatible brands/models?

I was considering something like this: CORSAIR Vengeance
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-233-242&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Page=2#scrollFullInfo

Which is 1600 speed. But are there any issues with this particular brand/type of Ram? The price difference isn't much more than 1333 speed, so since I need to upgrade anyway, I figure I might as well go with the faster Ram now.

But will the machine actually run at 1600, or is the EFI tied down to 1333? I primarily use Windows 7 via bootcamp, and although hardly a gamer, once in a while I like to play a game. And I also do a bit of Photoshop and basic 3D rendering -- so extra ram could come in handy, especially if it boosts the somewhat wimpy intel 3000 video a bit.

Any help appreciated, thanks.
 

namelessme

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 9, 2012
50
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I tried that same corsair ram previously, but got bad modules. Several errors running memtest on it, so I had to return it to newegg (and it was a rebate deal, so didn't have time to get a replacement). I consider it just bad luck.

Since the 1600 speed is basically the same price as 1333, wouldn't it make more since to get the faster ram? Assuming it works, that is.

And yeah, I have read it can take 16GB, but I'm not sure that is needed in my case. Besides the extra cost, I think most of that ram would go unused for what I do.
 

Gav2k

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Jul 24, 2009
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Strange u say a single stick Ive got the i5 2.5 with 4gb and I had two different coloured ram sticks. Upgraded to 8gb and never seen any more than 6gb in use! It flys along!!
 

Cmd-the-World

macrumors regular
Apr 7, 2010
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I use Crucial Ram www.crucial.com. I also have 8GB of Ram and same as the poster above me I never use more than 6GB. In rare instances I used more than 8GB but in general I tend to max out at 6GB
 

namelessme

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 9, 2012
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0
Thanks for the suggestions so far. I guess I should have been clearer in my original post though.

I meant, is it better to use faster speed ram, assuming the mac mini supports it?
Or would I be better off just sticking with 1333 ram?

I read several posts about people using Kingston HyperX ram and getting a bit of an increase in graphics speed (3000HD models). But I believe they had i7s, so am unsure if an i5 could handle 1866 speed ram. It may be tricky even getting 1600 ram to work...

Anyway, I noticed the price of the corsair 1600 ram was basically the same, or at most a tiny bit higher than the 1333 ram. Anyone here get it working in the base i5 model?

I could alternatively stick a 4GB stick in, to go with the 2GB in now (6GB total), but it's best to use even pairs, isn't it? And I expect mixing speeds would be a bad idea too.
 

deepakvrao

macrumors 6502
Oct 16, 2011
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India
I just [an hour or so back] put in a 4gb Transcend for my Dads Mini. You cant add the 4gb to the existing 2gb, as the Mini has only 2 slots, but you can replace one and get a total of 5GB.
 

Skoopman

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2011
317
2
^^^ THAT is way overpriced. even new egg has them cheaper. but I do not use crucial or corsair so spend away.
I just showed him the model I bought, of course I didn't buy my RAM directly from Corsair. The RAM cost about 34€ or 45$ over here when I bought it a few months ago.
 

jaeguyoon

macrumors regular
Apr 20, 2010
129
0
the only place I have bought ram for my mac's

OWC

never have any problem, and they work phenomenal

----------



^^^ THAT is way overpriced. even new egg has them cheaper. but I do not use crucial or corsair so spend away.

thanks for the link! just ordered from the link you posted. good price!
 

lilsoccakid74

macrumors 6502
Apr 13, 2010
282
0
Sorry, it seems everyone thought you asked if they have bought ram for their mini before, and never made it to what you needed.

I believe I read a thread about someone who had put the faster clocked ram in, and it actually helped the hd3000 out a bit. Cant confirm, but figured I would throw that out there.
 

MattA

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2006
404
113
Orlando, FL
Getting faster memory for the mini will not make any difference at all. It will work, but it will down clock it to 1333 Mhz.
 

namelessme

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 9, 2012
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0
Getting faster memory for the mini will not make any difference at all. It will work, but it will down clock it to 1333 Mhz.
HyperX will apparently clock up to 1866. I started a different thread than this one about ram speed and it's been confirmed working. Rather pricey ram though, so still considering options on 1600 Ram from other manufacturers first. HyperX (and maybe some other brands) bypass bios (or EFI), so that's why they may work with certain sandy bridge processors.


@lilsoccakid74

And yep, most here seemed to think I was asking what ram they happened to buy, and just rattled out names of their ram. Not exactly what I asked, but no harm... maybe that info helps someone else.
 

Lynn Belvedere

macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2012
237
0
All I know is that 2GB ram on the entry level is a farce. I returned my mini a week after purchase because it was literally unusable. Haven't had a pc run that slow since the mid 90s.
 

MattA

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2006
404
113
Orlando, FL
HyperX will apparently clock up to 1866. I started a different thread than this one about ram speed and it's been confirmed working. Rather pricey ram though, so still considering options on 1600 Ram from other manufacturers first. HyperX (and maybe some other brands) bypass bios (or EFI), so that's why they may work with certain sandy bridge processors.
The memory will operate at the bus speed. Putting in faster memory won't do a thing. The system will report that you have faster memory, but it will still operate at exactly what the system bus speed is operating at, in this case - 1333 mhz.

It won't magically over clock anything.
 

philipma1957

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
6,270
191
Howell, New Jersey
The memory will operate at the bus speed. Putting in faster memory won't do a thing. The system will report that you have faster memory, but it will still operate at exactly what the system bus speed is operating at, in this case - 1333 mhz.

It won't magically over clock anything.
in this particular example you are wrong. the following products are unlocked in mac mini's;


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104257
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104259

I have the 1600 in my mini as I type.

if you run windows you get better wei scores for graphics. and for ram not much but better. I will run the test with 1333 ram in a few minutes.ran the same test on my server with 8gb 1333 ram. even though the server has a better cpu it has intel 3000 just like the base mini. the kingston ram improves graphics. score is still not good. i would say you want 7.2 at least but that is not in any mini.
 

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shortcut3d

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2011
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in this particular example you are wrong. the following products are unlocked in mac mini's;


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104257
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104259
The 2011 Mac mini models are Intel Sandybridge chipsets that accept Plug 'n' Play (PnP) memory. Therefore, the Mac mini can accept the products listed above and they will function at the rated speed. Please my Geekbench results as evidence:

8GB 1866MHz Kingston Hyper X
http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/504241

16GB 1333MHz Corsair
http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/528108
 

namelessme

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 9, 2012
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0
@philipma1957

I noticed you got your scores while running windows 7 under vmware. How accurate are they compared to a native bootcamp?

I know when I've tested scores under virtualization, they've always been god awful, due to the virtual software using their own drivers for their 'virtual' graphics card.

I'm also curious if the ram may be affecting the scores in a weird way, by not improving HD 3000's use of speedier ram, but improving how vmware itself uses ram.
 

philipma1957

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
6,270
191
Howell, New Jersey
@philipma1957

I noticed you got your scores while running windows 7 under vmware. How accurate are they compared to a native bootcamp?

I know when I've tested scores under virtualization, they've always been god awful, due to the virtual software using their own drivers for their 'virtual' graphics card.

I'm also curious if the ram may be affecting the scores in a weird way, by not improving HD 3000's use of speedier ram, but improving how vmware itself uses ram.
I was not able to get bootcamp to do a good install . i had an issue with timeout bug when trying to attach the windows to my internet connection. It worked with my mac pro but all the minis I ried to do it with did not work.



I got a sale for vm 25 bucks instead of 50 and did it that way. (black friday)

It is a good question that you are asking. I am just a bit lazy to try and do bootcamp install again.

what has happened is I built a good pc and I am running it more and more as my main machine.

it kills all my machines on windows. (as I no longer own the mac pro). so I kind of have a 3 osx house.

pc=only windows

2011 mac Mini = windows + lion

2010 mac mini = lion + snow


it works out pretty well . costs less
 

shortcut3d

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2011
1,112
15
Here are native scores for Windows 7 in bootcamp on a highly optimized. Note the perfect memory and primary disk scores ;)

2011 Mac mini server
2.0GHz Quad-Core Intel i7
8GB 1866MHz Kingston Hyper X
Dual (2) 240GB OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (bootcamp with AHCI enabled)
See Windows Experience Index Score in attached image
Geekbench 2 64-bit: 11622
http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/488313
 

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