Will 8GB RAM Help me?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by teknobrat2003, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. teknobrat2003 macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2011
    I just got a 2011 base 2.3 i5 Mini. When I have several programs open (e.g., Firefox, Safari, Openoffice, and Logic) there is considerable lag when moving from one program to another, especially if I have multiple tabs, and I'm seeing the colorful spinning ball sometimes. Also, loading up and closing programs seems to be slower when multiple programs are open (which is obvious, but it seems too slow). The only really intensive program I can see from the programs I listed would be Logic 9. Would adding 8GB of RAM make things snappier and stop this lag when moving from program to program?
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    Most likely it will help. What are your page outs like in Activity Monitor? Post a screen shot.
  3. teknobrat2003 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Not sure how to check that. I'm just curious if this is normal behavior for my Mac Mini and if the 8gb will eliminate these issues.
  4. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    You can check in Activity Monitor (Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor). There is a System Memory tab.

    If you have a number greater than 0 for page outs and/or a number greater than zero for swap used then you need more RAM.

    2GB RAM is barely enough to run Lion. You should upgrade the RAM to at least 4GB RAM. 8GB (2x4GB) RAM is fairly cheap so you may as well upgrade to that.

    Upgrading to 16GB (2x8GB) RAM is possible, but it's still very expensive.

    If you have lots of applications open at once or memory intensive applications more RAM will help.

    Of course putting a SSD in will help as well.
  5. BlackMangoTree macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2010
    I went from 4 to 8gb ram in my 2011 i5 iMac the improvement wasn't much. Since ram is so cheap these days id do it. I just didn't get that much of an improvement. To be honest using m main apps like Logic, Reason act. i have noticed nothing.
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
  7. namethisfile macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2008
    yeah. that could be a combination of not enough ram and rpm's since the mac mini only come with 5400 rpm hdd's.

    the hdd speed will be noticeable when you are in the midst of work, like say, in logic, as you say and there is a lag scrubbing on the timeline or acessing big files. this will be even more noticeable if you are low on ram and you are paging out as they have also said.

    it's not so easy to upgrade a hdd but the ram is easier on the mac mini.

    for the hdd, i suggest getting an external firewrie hdd for your logic work. as in, save your files on the faster external 7200 rpm drive so you work off of that and leave your os drive free of any media accessing because it is the slower drive to begin with and in general, it is recommended to not do video or audio editing off of your os drive because of the nature of video and audio editing work that strains the drive. so, you don't wanna do that to your os drive.

    hope this helps.
  8. Fastcast macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2008
    Yes, it makes a huge difference.....Have the same 2011 - 2.3 and its performance was terrible with the stock 2gig. Beach balls and delays for everything. :rolleyes:

    After adding 8gig all that non-sense is gone and we now have a Mini that's running great.....Smooth sailing!

    Apple should be ashamed putting these out with 2gigs.....It's just enough to hobble their new OS.....Let alone run apps on top of it.

    4 to 8 may not make a big difference but 2 to 8 sure does......Buy the ram!
  9. ABTsportsline macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2011
    the 8Gb RAM upgrade is so cheap there's no reason not to do it.

    The next step for speed on your machine after RAM upgrades would be to move to a SSD. In my experience, that almost had a bigger effect than the RAM upgrades.
  10. tobarefeet macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2008

    I got the barebones 2011. After bumping up to 8gig RAM the different is night and day with multiple programs running.
  11. 3800cruiser macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2011
    I bought the same computer, is it possible for it to run (and utilize the throughput of) 1600 MHz or 1866 MHz RAM?
  12. blunti macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    upgrade to 8gigs of ram and consider an ssd i would say.
  13. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    8 GB helps, if you do not use Safari for > 1 day. Google:
    "Safari memory leak site:discussions.apple.com" (without the quotes).

    Yes, it helped in my case.
  14. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    The EFI controls this, AFAIK. Memory speed is not the problem, because the internal CPU caches are > 1000x faster than the RAM.

    Here are some real world tests:
    (i can see only a small difference, as expected)
  15. 3800cruiser macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2011
    Thanks a lot for that info! It's interesting seeing how marginal the differences are. Looks like I can start saving for a big SSD, while waiting for the technology to mature more and the price to drop.
  16. AMEXplat macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2008
    This may not be the place to ask, but my brother has Mac mini base Mid 2010 model {2.4 GHz (P8600) Intel Core 2 Duo}. Can I use the above mentioned G.Skill memory type eventhough mid-2010 doesn't clock to 1333 MHz?
  17. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    2 GB makes no sense at all and since you need to upgrade anyway 8GB at todays prices is a no brainer.
  18. SR45 macrumors 65832


    Aug 17, 2011
    Apple installed 2 GB on its low end offering to keep the price down, and hope many would fall for the low cost Mac Mini, finding out later that one needs more ram to keep more apps open. And/OR have some noobie purchase the additional costly ram from Apple instead of doing a couple minutes of research to find ram that is very good and cheaper from Amazon or Newegg.

    Get the additional ram as many here have suggested and you will be happy you did.....
  19. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    No it does not work in 2.4ghz mac minis. As per the 4 sticks I tried in 2010 2.4 mac minis

    2010 2.4 ghz mac minis are picky for ram .

    jr.com may have some pny 4gb sticks 1066 type that work..

    samsung 4gb 1066 sticks work.

    the 2010 is a real p.i.t.a. with ram.
  20. Lokheed macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    +1. While most PCs will downclock the RAM (so 1333 goes down to 1066, and so on), my experience too is that minis (not sure about the rest of the Mac line) have to have RAM that matches their native clock speed.
  21. TheMTtakeover macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2011
    It should help. I have a new 2011 mini and I use very light programs and Im over 2gb of ram all the time.

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