Useful Tips

Replacing or installing memory modules on Mac mini computers


To buy random access memory (RAM) for your Mac Mini, you first need to determine the maximum memory capacity that your Mac Mini can support, and the type of RAM or memory modules that are compatible with your Mac Mini model. RAM for your Mac Mini can be purchased at several locations, such as retail stores that sell Apple products, at major retail sites, or from online retailers who specialize in selling RAM and computer hardware. Continue reading this article to learn about the methods of purchasing the type of memory that your Mac Mini supports.

What to look for when buying a Mac mini

So, if you stop at Mac mini - what you need to pay attention to: there are 2 options now - old models of 2012 with i5 - 2 Core 2.5 GHz and i7 - 4 Core 2.3 GHz processors (I don’t consider the server version who buys them, those are they don’t read articles, although of course the version with 2.6 percent and SSD is very tempting). You will have to buy them with your hands or in the markets. Or take a new line with a 1.4 or 2.6 processor. All Western test sites say one thing - the four-core version wins on multi-threaded tests (video-audio editing), software development (compilation, etc.), virtualization. But in the new line they are not. The dual-core version is definitely better on any single-threaded tasks - games, single-channel recording (for musicians), etc. Well, option 1 is cheaper. Choose based on your budget and what you’ll do.

For the 2014 lineup, only dual-core Intel Core i5 frequencies of 1.4, 2.6 and 2.8 GHz are available. As options, you can order a version with a dual-core Core i7 3.0 GHz. But only in the official Apple store and on pre-order. Nothing to say about 1.4. Many are attracted by their price, but nevertheless, performance at the level of work in single-task applications in a single copy. Fans of launching several applications and browsers at once will not be called comfortable. For serious work, you need to take the 2.6 or 3.0 version. With a hard disk HDD, the application launch speed will be low, but how to speed up the work of a regular 5400 rpm drive read in the article "How to speed up a Mac."

When choosing a Mac, there is always a legitimate desire to save. For example, having bought a used device, or an apparatus with deliveries from places not so remote.

Firstly, you will come across incomprehensible abbreviations of models and serial numbers. Here you need to consider the following.

Mac mini serial numbers

Each product has a Mac model (for example, the end of 2012), an article number (MD387xx / A onwards), and there is a serial number. When selling from hand indicate either one or the second or third. So, for example, by the article number you can find out the exact configuration (if it has not changed), for example MD389xx / A - this is a 4-core configuration on the i7 model of the end of 2012 with two disks of 1 TB each. In this case, instead of -xx there may be different combinations - RU, LV ..., which indicate the country into which the party was delivered. If there is RU, then most likely it is a certified PCT batch for Russia. There are devices from Lithuania and other countries. Based on this data, you can find out everything about the device - a detailed table for each product is on the Apple website - for example, here is a table of articles for Mac mini. Pay attention to the RAM, in 2012 the devices have a memory frequency of 1600 MHz and you can increase the memory capacity up to 16 GB. The mid-2011 mini poppy has a lower bus frequency and memory can only be increased up to 8 GB and so on. In the new 2014 lineup, the memory does not upgrade and is soldered to the motherboard, so choose the right amount immediately upon purchase.

If the serial number is known, then you can also get detailed information on this particular unit. Checking the serial number of Mac devices. There you can find out about the warranty on the system unit. Using this data, you can easily identify the model, its configuration and country of delivery. All devices sold cheaper than market prices, or used will have some of the restrictions listed. Ask the seller for the article or serial number and check their compliance with the device. The only reliable check of the Mac computer is to turn it on, open the menu with the apple symbol in the upper left corner and select “About This Mac”. There you will find the frequency of the memory and the processor, and the version of the OS, and the serial number, and the number of occupied memory slots and its volume, size and disk occupancy.
A special word is about the video card. In 2012 devices, this is either Intel HD Graphics 4000 (an entry-level card. On PCs, these cards are used in low-cost office systems) or Intel HD Iris in 2014 models. The 4000 Mac is a mid-range high-performance video card. Compared with an AMD Radeon HD 64xxM card on a PC - the poppy won outright. All games (Left4Dead, CS: Source, Civilization 5), which I tried on both the radon and the poppy, went at full resolution with medium or high settings without any problems, unlike the discrete Radeon HD 64xxM. However, the 4000th slowed down at medium settings. Iris - goes without brakes on the average settings of all games. Therefore, do not take Mac mini as a tool for working with Word (or pagers). By the way, only in games does the systemist get warm (although it doesn’t make noise), and it is nice to give heat to the hand on a hot summer evening (and in both hands - on a hot winter night).

By the way, for gamers - poppy ceases to be a black sheep. Porting games is going at a tremendous pace. Especially a lot of them in Steam. At the same time, if you bought a game or application in Steam under PC, by going to your account on the poppy, you will put it in the poppy as well. There is no need to pay extra if the game or application is in the form of a pop-up port. Now, for example, other than the already listed poppy games are available: CoD MW3, CS: GO, Portal 2, HL 2, Might and Magic Legacy, Rocksmith 2014, Insurgency2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, GTA-3, Civilization 5 BNW and many others.

RAM in Mac mini on Mac OS X

The default memory capacity in poppy mini 2012 is 4 GB. The system itself (Maverics) immediately after loading eats up 3.26 GB of RAM, that is, approximately 800 MB remain on applications. One browser with a dozen open tabs and skype eats up the rest easily. From here and proceed - how many 4 gigs are enough for you. If you want to easily buy 2 lines of memory for 4 GB (about 3800 rubles) and thus increase it yourself to 8 GB. You will have to attach the old rulers somewhere; using them in the same machine will not work. By the way, it's easy to upgrade - for this purpose, a removable bottom cover and convenient access to memory modules are specially made. A good article about replacing memory in a poppy mini with illustrations. Unfortunately, only a couple of manufacturers make memory suitable for modern Macs. Memory requirements (for Mac mini end 2012 model) - 2 lines of the same memory size for DDR-III 1600 MHz CL9-10 laptops without ECC. Here is an example - 2 strips of 8 GB each (total 16) Corsair CMSX8GX3M1A1600C10. You should do it right away if you launch a lot of applications at the same time, open many tabs in browsers (and not one), you are going to use Virtual Box with Windows for example, allocating 2-3 GB of memory to it regularly. Apple's top recommendation is to keep an eye on the swap. If it begins to grow regularly and reaches 5-10% of the memory, it is worth increasing the RAM. While the swap is stable = 0, you should not bother. I’ll add from myself - while Compressed is also equal to 0. As soon as one of this starts to grow, take more memory.

For those who are engaged in serious things, you can put 2 levels of 8 GB. And then 16 gigs of operatives will give you the opportunity to run a couple of virtual machines and open all the applications that are without a noticeable change in performance. But this is only for devices manufactured after the end of 2012 (part numbers MD387, 388, 389).

For the 2014 line and later, the situation is more complicated. Memory is not replaceable. Only 8 gigs. In most cases, they are enough.

Three browsers, skype and preview eat up almost 5.5 gigabytes of memory.

The main thing is that Swap and Compressed memory is 0. If they begin to grow, the speed of work with the system decreases.

HDD in Mac mini

The main bottleneck in the cheap Mac mini is the hard drive. There is nothing special to say about the HDD - the size is 500 GB or 1 TB. The standard disks are for laptops at a speed of 5400 rpm, that is, slow. By the way, the difference between versions 2.5 and 2.3 is in addition to the processor: for the version with a 4-core processor, you can choose the option with Fusion Drive or immediately with an SSD drive. This can be called the best way to spend money. Noticeable acceleration of work. You can even replace the 2.3 processor with 2.6 GHz. But the price will also increase significantly (fusion drive option, or solid state plus 2.6 processor plus 8 GB of RAM will cost 51300). The dual-core version 2.5 does not have the ability to connect SSDs.

The only thing that you can recommend to do right away is to split the disk into 2, because by default it has one volume. For what? I was asked by familiar poppy drivers with experience in working with poppies for 8 years each, and who never even climbed into this question because of its lack of demand. The heavy legacy of Windows, who did not swim, won’t understand, I replied, and nevertheless made the 2nd section На (Actually, I answered - what if the system flies, I have to reformat drive C, and there all the data is ... then I stopped because they looked at me so that I didn’t want to continue). Now I have all my important documents and files stored there. Fortunately, you can do this with the standard Disk Utility utility (Partition tab) of the system itself with a few clicks of buttons. Of the 500 gigs, 350 I left the first section, 150 - the second. The file system is Mac Os Extended (Journaled), the main thing is not to choose the version (Case-sensitive, Journaled) - this type of formatting is not supported, for example, by games from Steam.

4 ideas about “Continuation of the article“ How to buy a Mac mini and not run into old stuff ”. Part 2 "

Strong discussion. I used the usual PCs for 14 years, in August I bought a 4-core mini poppy on ai 7 - still helpful, but I’ll put an SSD in this one as well, plus I’ll add the memory operas - it’s almost impossible to come up with a working machine much years ahead

Strong discussion. I used the usual PCs for 14 years, in August I bought a 4-core mini poppy on ai 7 - still helpful, but I’ll put an SSD in this one as well, plus I’ll add the memory operas - it’s almost impossible to come up with a working machine much years ahead

Mini can be taken only in 2011 and 2012. Before 2011, it’s already very old now, after 2012 it makes no sense to take it - the memory is wired up, the processor is weaker than in the 2012 model. Although if they offer 20 thousand, then of course you can take 2014.

Almost any memory is set, but it is better of course the Corsair bars. 8GB is enough for comfortable work with a bunch of applications, everything works fine. But be sure to SSD.

You can assemble Fusion drive yourself, if it is a model with two disks, there are instructions on Habré.

I myself have been using Linux for work and for servers for more than 10 years, but I don’t understand why to put this on a laptop.

Model selection

Mac mini models have different requirements for installing memory modules (RAM). For more information, select your Mac mini. Learn how to identify your Mac mini.

Mac mini (2018) computers do not have user-installed memory modules. The memory configuration for the Mac mini (2018) can be selected at the time of purchase. To increase the storage capacity of your Mac mini (2018), go to the Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Center.

On Mac mini computers (end of 2014), the memory is integrated into the motherboard and it is impossible to increase its capacity.

Removing the bottom cover

  1. Turn off your Mac mini. From the Apple menu (), select "Turn Off."
  2. Unplug the power cord and all other cables from the Mac mini.
  3. Flip the Mac mini upside down on a soft cloth or towel, and then rotate the bottom cover counterclockwise to unlock it.

Press on the cover to lift its opposite edge, and remove it.

Removing the original memory modules

  1. Gently push the latches along the edges of the upper memory module so that the free edge comes out of the slot.

Remove the module from the slot.

  • Repeat these steps to remove the second, lower module.
  • Installing memory modules

    1. Gently push the beveled edge of the new memory module towards the lower slot while keeping the opposite edge in a slightly raised position.
    2. Press on the raised edge so that the module clicks into place.
    3. Repeat the installation operation for the upper memory module.

    Installing the bottom cover

    Do not connect the power cable or turn on the Mac mini until the bottom cover is installed. Never use your Mac mini without a bottom cover.

    1. Replace the bottom cover using the alignment points so that it snaps into the unlocked position.
    2. Turn the cover clockwise to lock it.
    3. Reconnect the power cable and any other disconnected cables.

    Make sure your Mac recognizes new modules

    To verify that your computer recognizes new memory modules, follow these steps:

    1. Start the computer.
    2. When the desktop opens, select "About This Mac" from the Apple () menu.
    3. Make sure that the indicated memory size matches the installed modules.

    If the memory size is displayed incorrectly or the Mac mini emits three beeps that repeat, this may indicate a memory module recognition problem. In this case, turn off the Mac mini, verify that the specifications of the memory modules meet the requirements listed above, and then repeat the previously described procedure to ensure that the modules are installed correctly. If you still continue to experience problems, remove the memory modules and review the help documentation provided with them, or contact the vendor from whom you purchased them.