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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Oct 30, 2010
    Location
    Blackburn, Lancs, North West England
    Posts
    321
    Specs:
    Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz.
    Are RAM modules classed as "Hardware"?
    Hi guys,
    I couldn't find a more logical place for a question about RAM but feel free to move my post if there is somewhere more appropriate.
    OK, I have a Mid 2010 Mac Mini which is the slimmer version. It comes as standard with 2 sticks of RAM at 1gb each. They fit nicely in the 2 available slots.
    I want to upgrade to 4gb total with a plan to further upgrade to 8gb total in about a month or so when my piggy bank fills up a little.
    I have been to the Crucial website and I have 2 options. Either 2 x 2gb sticks of RAM, one for each slot or 1 x 4gb stick of RAM, giving me one slot with 4gb and one slot empty.
    I would like to go with Option 2 because that leaves me with a spare slot for another 4gb stick of RAM at a later date.
    My problem is, will my Mac Mini run happily with one empty RAM slot and a 4gb stick of RAM in the other?

    BTW, the 4gb RAM stick from Crucial is marked as follows ....

    Part Number: CT1272824
    Module Size: 4GB
    Package: 204-pin SODIMM
    Feature: DDR3 PC3-8500
    Specs: DDR3 PC3-8500 CL=7 Unbuffered NON-ECC DDR3-1066 1.5V 512Meg x 64

    Many thanks for any info,
    Steve
    The trouble with letting people like me loose on the interweb with a debit card is that I now have the latest Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz with 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, 320 HDD and OS X 10.6.5 all wired up to a 70" LED screen ...... And not the faintest idea of how to use it.

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    48,033
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Memory needs to be installed in matched pairs for the best speed and efficiency. I suggest leaving things alone until you can afford to purchase both modules.

  3. #3

    BrianLachoreVPI's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 24, 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    3,733
    Specs:
    March 2011 15" MBP 2.3GHz i7 Quad Core 8GB Ram | Mid 2011 27" iMac 3.4 GHz i7 16 GB RAM 2 TB HDD
    And to answer the question in your post title - Yes.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Oct 30, 2010
    Location
    Blackburn, Lancs, North West England
    Posts
    321
    Specs:
    Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz.
    Hi again,
    There's good news and bad news.
    The good news is that I posted the question in the right place.
    The bad news is that there seems to be a conflict of interests here.
    I phoned the Crucial Help and Support type desk and I was told that a single 4gb RAM stick would definitely work in my Mac Mini.
    On the other hand, chscag .... A staff member of the Apple Mac forum says that memory has to be in matched pairs to work properly.
    The bad, bad news is that I took the word of the rep at Crucial and bought a single stick @ 4gb before seeing chscag's post.
    I'll do an update in about 5 days.
    Thanks guys.
    The trouble with letting people like me loose on the interweb with a debit card is that I now have the latest Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz with 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, 320 HDD and OS X 10.6.5 all wired up to a 70" LED screen ...... And not the faintest idea of how to use it.

  5. #5

    EvenStranger's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 09, 2010
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    844
    Specs:
    Currently 13" Late 2010 MBA, 4GB/128GB; Early 2011 13" MBP, dual core i7 2.7ghz, 4gb ram, 500gb hd
    Love the sig! Apart from some of the Mac Pro and PowerMac G5 models, RAM doesn't HAVE to be installed in pairs. You will get slight performance boosts with paired memory, but it's not a requirement. If you find you're running out of RAM with only 2GB installed, a single 4GB chip will be more of an improvement than you would see with two 1GB RAM chips installed. When the system runs out of RAM, it writes some of the open files to the hard drive, freeing up RAM for other tasks - a very inefficient and relatively slow process. If the system has enough RAM, it doesn't have to write files to the hard drive as often to free up working memory, and performance improves. The great thing about this model is installing RAM is a dream compared to the previous models.

  6. #6

    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location
    Lake Mary, Florida
    Posts
    26,872
    Specs:
    15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD
    EvenStranger is right, you don't need to use matched pairs. But chscag is also right in that best performance comes from using matched pairs - with a caveat.... the matched pairs have to be exactly matched, same number of chips on the board - otherwise it won't run in dual channel.

    So, if you decide to get a second 4GB module from Crucial, be sure they are selling you the exact same part number.

    Also, as EvenStranger alluded to, more memory doesn't equate to more speed. Having more memory (if you need it, given the number and type of applications you routinely run) will make your computer more efficient. But contrary to the marketing you'll see out there, it does not "add speed". So, if you find that the computer is meeting your expectations with 4GB, you need not add another 4, thinking that you'll get even more of a performance boost.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  7. #7

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
    Posts
    28,870
    Specs:
    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPad Air, iPhone 3GS
    Like CWA pointed out, one stick will work. I had to do that due to $$$ issues, but two sticks in a matched pair will qgivqe better performance. It will work just fine for now.

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Oct 30, 2010
    Location
    Blackburn, Lancs, North West England
    Posts
    321
    Specs:
    Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz.
    All I can say is "Phew".

    Thanks guys,
    The trouble with letting people like me loose on the interweb with a debit card is that I now have the latest Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz with 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, 320 HDD and OS X 10.6.5 all wired up to a 70" LED screen ...... And not the faintest idea of how to use it.

  9. #9

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    21,721
    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 3.3GHz, 512GB Flash, 16GB memory, OS X.11.4.
    Go with a matched pair as advised. If one module fails you will still be able to use the Mini until it is replaced.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Oct 30, 2010
    Location
    Blackburn, Lancs, North West England
    Posts
    321
    Specs:
    Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz.
    Update .... The single 4GB RAM stick arrived from Crucial and was a piece of cake to install. I left one slot empty rather than trying to use it with 1 x 4GB chip and 1 x 1GB chip. I figured that was pushing it a little. Besides, I can now sell these as a matching pair on eBay to off-set the cost of the second 4GB stick from Crucial.

    The trouble with letting people like me loose on the interweb with a debit card is that I now have the latest Mac Mini Aluminium running at 2.4 GHz with 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, 320 HDD and OS X 10.6.5 all wired up to a 70" LED screen ...... And not the faintest idea of how to use it.

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