Why did base 2011 Mac Mini ship with only 2Gb Ram?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by YsoSerious, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. YsoSerious macrumors 6502

    YsoSerious

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    #1
    Seriously, how many of you out there running this thing with only 2GB of Ram, with Lion to boot? Running more then 3 programs at once on this thing is slow.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    That's why it's called a "base model". 2GB of RAM is fine for a great number of users. If you need more, buy more.
     
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #3
    buy 8gb put it in and forget about it. 8gb ram is about 50 bucks in the usa.


    2gb ram is not fine for lion. I am glad they went this route instead of putting in 4gb and charging 699 for a new base model. this way you shop a bit and grab the good ram upgrade and you can have a mini with 8gb ram for around 640.
     
  4. YsoSerious thread starter macrumors 6502

    YsoSerious

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    #4
    Yeah, I upgraded it to 8GB a few days after I got it but, just surprised how unusable it was with just 2gigs.
     
  5. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #5
    Lion on 2GB doesn't sound fun. It sounds like many many pageouts :rolleyes:.
     
  6. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    #6
    The base Mac Mini is good for Internet use and playing around with built-in applications. It's also a big step up in performance for some people. For instance my mother went from a 2005 Dell desktop and is amazed by the performance, granted I set her up with a 2011 Mac Mini Server with 8GB of RAM in RAID 0. But for her use, the base Mac Mini would have the same impression.
     
  7. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #7
    Raid 0? You realize you've more than doubled her chances of data loss. I sure hope you have some good backups in place.
     
  8. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    #8
    Time Capsule works great :)
     
  9. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #9
    I just got my Mini and so far, 2 GB is sufficient for me being that I am only running Chrome though I am getting an 8 GB memory kit upgrade (2x4) during my next payday. Lion isn't that slow for me though you have to consider that I came from an Intel Atom netbook with Windows 7 Starter so anything would be snappier than that.

    I really wish the base model came with a BTO option of a 128 GB SSD for around $250. $600 is too much for 256 GB.
     
  10. surroundfan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #10
    2GB is a bit crap but it allows a low headline price. I'd rather pay the lowest possible price for the mini and then pay cheap local computer store rates for 8GB (~$50) than Apple upgrade prices (~$200-$300; yes, yes, their costs would be much less than this). At some stage, I would upgrade 4GB so this makes for the least amount of wasteful spending.
     
  11. MarkN, Oct 20, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011

    MarkN macrumors member

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    May 2, 2010
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #11
    I just took a look at the memory prices over at Crucial. A 2GB kit cost $19.99, and a 4GB kit cost $29.99. How much do you think it costs Apple when it buys memory in bulk? I bet they could throw in 4GB for way less than a $10 difference, but then they couldn't charge $100 for the upgrade!
     
  12. The-Pro macrumors 65816

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    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #12
    its cheaper with 2GB, thats why they are able to sell it for the current price
     
  13. MarkN macrumors member

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    May 2, 2010
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #13
    Considering that Apple only uses the 1GB modules in the entry level MacBook Air and the entry level Mac mini, you would think that the $2 (or less) difference between the 1GB and 2GB module could be made up in inventory control by eliminating the 1GB modules. A very small price if any for a happier user experience.
     
  14. scenemissing macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #14
    It's done on purpose to get you to pay for upgrades, either for more ram or the next higher model. Basic consumer psychology....


    Either way I would strongly suggest getting the 8GB upgrade. The price of the 4GB modules has pretty much bottomed out
     
  15. SR45 macrumors 65832

    SR45

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #15
    Simple reason why Apple and Windows gives only the lowest of memory on their entry level systems is to keep the price low enough for those that want it cheap, than finding out they need more and upgrade.

    Its called marketing.....;)
     
  16. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #16

    Sure it does, but if you had left it as two separate drives, then if one died (especially if it was the "data" drive and not the OS), you could have easily migrated her to one drive usage. Now you have to redo everything. And she really wouldn't have noticed the difference. RAID 0 on 2.5" 7200 drives is really not that much better experience in real life usage than non-RAID 0.

    I never recommend RAID 0, but especially would not recommend it for non-performance users.....

    Edit: You would have been wayyyy better off doing RAID 1 and then if a drive died she wouldn't even have noticed and all her data is secure.
     
  17. penguy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #17
    I know more memory improves performance with multiple applications, but, my current mini is a 2.0 C2D which I upgraded to 4 gb and put a 7200 rpm 320gb drive in...and I just picked up a used unibody Macbook for my son with the identical setup (same graphics, same processor/speed) and only 2gb and a 160gb 5400 rpm drive. I then upgraded it to Snow Leopard and then Lion.

    Even with only 2 gb and a processor that is less than 1/2 as capable as the current base mini, it is very snappy. I can't imagine a normal user would EVER complain about the current mini while reading email, browsing the web and playing on word or iphoto. His Macbook doesn't hesitate at all doing this.

    Now, if you are using it to rip dvds or use photoshop on large files...different story...but the average user?
     
  18. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #18
    Because:

    1. It lowers the cost of the base machine
    2. It is, in fact, fine for people with minimal needs
    3. It lessens the waste associated with dumping the 2 GB and installing 8 GB
     
  19. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a

    LeandrodaFL

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    #19
    2GB is not ok for "common users" that was tottally a mistake made by Apple, it should be 4GB as standart.

    Having said that, no matter what Mini you get, put 8GB and forget about it, like some guy above posted.
     
  20. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #20
    It's probably worse to have 2GB in an Air where you can't upgrade it. I actually find it works fine though for normal light consumer use, the SSD helps.

    At least with the Mac Mini, a user can easily install more RAM. Now, considering the Mac Mini entry level machine is extremely competent otherwise, good processor, it does seem Apple could have made the clueless grandparents buying it, happier once they get it running, by throwing 4GB in there.
     
  21. sakau2007 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    #21
    The fact that you have to pay $600 for a 256GB is absolutely ridiculous. Where is the 128GB option?
     
  22. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #22
    yep. This sums it up
    Base has to be cheap, but you can easily upgrade it for 50$ and make it a really good computer.
     
  23. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #23
    this is about as true as possible! I gave you a plus but you should get 10


    8gb under 50 bucks is easy to find at more then one usa store.
     
  24. Lee Adama macrumors regular

    Lee Adama

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    Jul 28, 2011
    Location:
    California
    #24
  25. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #25
    People need to get used to the inflated ram consumption of a fully 64 bit OS. It has to address information in larger chunks. What I have a real issue with is the low end macbook air. It has 2GB of ram that are on a shared memory pool with integrated graphics, and the ram is not upgradeable. This seems completely ridiculous to me, much like OSX with a 64GB hard drive. If I see 64GB I want that to represent the ram rather than the unformatted hard drive capacity:cool:.
     

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