How to upgrade the RAM on the new 2018 Mac mini

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  • Reply 41 of 159
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 522member
    vulpine said:
    Pro tip: Buy some white plastic ice cube trays. (like: https://www.amazon.com/Kitch-Tray-Release-White-Trays/dp/B06VTWQTQ9/, two for $6) As you remove the tiny screws for each step in the computer's disassembly process, put the screws into the ice cube tray. That way they won't roll away, you won't lose them or mix them up, and you know exactly which screws correspond to each step in order when you put it back together again.
    Thanks for this....
  • Reply 42 of 159
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,734member
    melgross said:
    Since Apple isn’t advocating doing this, it voids the warrantee if you screw up. Don’t forget that. Is it worth it for cheaper RAM?
    Not if you're doing it to save $50 as some of the people commenting on earlier posts about the new mini seemed to be planning.
    If you're going to 64 GB, then maybe it's worth it? I'm going to go with 16 GB, so not a chance. That said, I do like the idea that I can go to 32 GB or 64 GB down the road... when it's cheaper and out of warranty anyway. That's a huge plus! Just not at order-time.

    rob53 said:
    I use MacSales all the time but regardless of the warranty, the price difference doesn't make sense to me considering the lack of ease in replacing it. Using cheaper RAM is not something I do or recommend so for those who just have to be able to change or upgrade RAM, good luck.
    Their RAM might be as good or better, and they have an exceptional warranty and service. But, IMO, it just isn't worth it at this point. Also, as I noted above, keep in mind that a year or two from now, those 32 GB and 64 GB prices will probably drop. THAT would be the time to do it unless you absolutely need it right now.

    32GB of RAM at OWC is $329: https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/owc/apple-mac-mini/2018
    That’s nearly half off Apple’s markup. Definitely worth it. 
    And OWC will probably install it for you. 
    Maybe, but IMO that's cutting it close in terms of invested time, risk, etc. I guess if OWC did it and had some kind of guarantee (re: what happens if they break it)... but then there is the hassle of shipping and waiting, etc. 16 GB seems a no-brainer just to buy from Apple. 32 GB is more iffy and dependent on circumstances. 64 GB, probably DIY (or have someone competent do it).

    sflocal said:
    Remember when Apple used to be user-friendly? Flip the entire motherboard on a Powermac out into the open with just the flip of a latch. Likewise pull out all the guts in a G4 Cube with the pull of a handle. RAM slots quickly accessible in a Powerbook just by pulling the battery, no tools at all required. Ah, the good, old days. What's wrong with doing that again, Jonny Ive? Are looks the only things that matter now, with no regard for function?
    Those days are long gone.  Time to move on.  The reality is most people will never crack open their PC after purchase.  Never.  There is no point in doing the extra engineering for these machines to accommodate the < 1%.  I'm okay with that.  
    Yep. I'm one of those guys who *never* bought more than stock RAM from Apple and upgraded myself. But, there is a limit to how much I'll do to save a buck these days. :)
    But, more to the point, I think the overall quality of these machines with little to no moving parts has gone up enough to make the trade-off worth it. On the other hand, I see little reason why they couldn't do a better design job to have some of both. It does seem somewhat purposeful to keep people from upgrading in some cases (i.e.: iMac line).

    melgross said:
    Since Apple isn’t advocating doing this, it voids the warrantee if you screw up. Don’t forget that. Is it worth it for cheaper RAM?
    Yes it is. Apple memory is rebranded quality memory that you can get 50% cheaper elsewhere.
    Maybe my sample size isn't big enough, but I consider Apple's stock RAM to be somewhat on-par with the higher end of the RAM market. I've had about as many failures with their RAM as with RAM from OWC, for example. The difference is that it has been easier to get OWC to just swap it. So, if one is having issues or anticipates them, I suppose that might favor high-end 3rd party RAM.

    Actually, that's a good argument for socketed RAM, in that it's insanely hard to troubleshoot an unstable system if you can't swap the RAM out. I haven't had a RAM issue for years (knock on wood... or at least that I know about), but I'd also have a pretty hard time telling if an unstable machine was RAM oriented if it's soldered in.

    maciekskontakt said:
    Because you are looking in expensive place. Go to Crucial or Kingston website and not to OWC and buy from them. Your cost estimation is like comparing one expensive place to another. Both places (Appl and OWC) have them, from manufacturers like Samsung, Crucial or others.
    Hmm, I'd have to check, but I never noticed that much difference historically. Also, what is the policy for exchange at both? I suppose I'd consider Crucial, all things being equal (though I've had great service over the years from OWC, so I'm not sure about equal). I'd run, no sprint, away from any RAM 'deals' from all but a couple top providers, though. RAM is one thing in the tech world I do NOT want to mess around with. I've spent days of lost time trying to troubleshoot flaky behavior that came down to RAM.

    melgross said:
    Usually people will deinstalled the RAM they bought, and reinstall the RAM that came with the machine before bringing the computer to Apple. But if it doesnt work with the original RAM, they will know you screwed up, and charge for the repair.
    Well, not necessarily the unaware. Some of we hardware-friendly old-timers would just do and know this as second-nature. But, new-comers looking at 'socketed RAM' and looking to save a few bucks might well order the stock mini, get themselves into troubles with the upgrade, possibly break the machine, and also likely not remove the 3rd party RAM before returning it for repair.

    Based on some of the forum responses when the mini was announced, I think maybe the warning notices are being underplayed here. And, I think what you wrote was quite appropriate... just maybe more care around the 'void the warranty' term, as it doesn't void the warranty, even if you break it. But, then it's broke and needs repair. :) So, the warranty wasn't technically voided. (Whereas some products, if you open them at all, it voids the warranty. Even if you don't break anything!)

    auxio said:
    Exactly.  I'm sure those who know how to do their own car repairs/upgrades complain about the specialized tools and difficulty these days compared the days where you could store extra luggage under the hood of cars there was so much space.  For the rest of us, it's much nicer to drive smaller cars which are far more efficient, less noisy, etc. Technical minded people just can't seem to fathom that the rest of the population doesn't have the same interests they do.
    I sort of agree... but there is a line where something is purposely made more difficult to repair with no real benefit to either group. Some of the modern car stuff falls into that category (and I think computer stuff too). The question might be better, how far should Apple go in terms of changing their designs to make stuff like RAM easily accessible, vs accessible to repair shops or skilled people, vs not accessible at all (soldered). I think this was a good compromise, especially given the target market.

    vadimyuryev said:
    From Apple's October keynote: "Not only is this memory faster, but it's also in SO-DIMMs, something we know our Mac Mini customers will really appreciate." 

    What part about that says Apple isn't marketing this machine as supporting user-upgradeable RAM?
    Apple obviously gave that feature to customers because they appreciate user-upgradeable RAM.
    Huge difference between DIY and DO-able. :) I think that for the target market, it's more the latter, and greatly appreciated.
    philboogie
  • Reply 43 of 159
    Great video. My word of caution (along with other comments) would be not to compromise with incorrect tools.  Wonder if ifixit sales will pick up.  There will be an engineering reason why the SSD is soldered and the RAM is not ... maybe manufacturing cost?  Pity, because storage consumed always rises to 98% of capacity ;)
    cgWerks
  • Reply 44 of 159
    Since the procedure is a little complicated, and you need to buy the tools to do it, I figured I have Apple do it. But both the people in the store and through their chat said they don’t do it and you need to order a custom configuration online to get more ram. Anybody encounter this?
  • Reply 45 of 159
    taddtadd Posts: 89member
    vulpine said:
    Pro tip: Buy some white plastic ice cube trays.
    I also recommend using your smart-phone to shoot a photo of the screws at the point of removal.  Capture the tool used, and the size of the screw.  This may be overkill but it saved my bacon in one of my upgrade odysseys.  Another thing I've done is tape the screw down to separate pieces of paper in an orientation specific to where the screw came from.  Write notes. 

    The real danger, i think, in taking one of these apart is prying the connectors off.  One has to be pretty sure which direction to pull on so you don't yank the surface mount glue and solder off.  that would constitute wrecking the unit.  The only thing I broke in a prior mac Mini is a temperature sensor connector.  The sensor itself was glued to the hard disk as I recall.  The wire from that went into the PCB via a tiny white connector.  I managed to rip the connector off the board.  However, everything still worked and that mac Mini has been in service for another several years after that.
    cgWerksrandominternetperson
  • Reply 46 of 159
    anomeanome Posts: 1,153member

    Time was I'd be able to do something like this pretty easily, but I no longer have access to a repair lab or workbench, and trying to do it somewhere without sufficient clear space is too daunting.

    Pity, because if I wanted 64GB, I can either pay A$1900 upfront, or ~A$1400 and fit it myself, based on the prices I've found in a quick search. (I could probably find cheaper with a bit more work.)

    It's the fact you have to actually disassemble the whole unit that's putting me off. I've done that kind of thing before, but usually on work equipment, and, as I said, I had access to a workspace set up for that kind of thing. Still, at least it's possible.

  • Reply 47 of 159
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,734member
    kimberly said:
    Great video. My word of caution (along with other comments) would be not to compromise with incorrect tools.  Wonder if ifixit sales will pick up.  There will be an engineering reason why the SSD is soldered and the RAM is not ... maybe manufacturing cost?  Pity, because storage consumed always rises to 98% of capacity ;)
    My hunch would be that for the target market, RAM upgrade would be much more likely than storage upgrade (as they mostly use external storage anyway).
  • Reply 48 of 159
    Remember when Apple used to be user-friendly? Flip the entire motherboard on a Powermac out into the open with just the flip of a latch. Likewise pull out all the guts in a G4 Cube with the pull of a handle. RAM slots quickly accessible in a Powerbook just by pulling the battery, no tools at all required. Ah, the good, old days. What's wrong with doing that again, Jonny Ive? Are looks the only things that matter now, with no regard for function?
    Remember when computers were really slow and had shitty battery life? Yeah, those were the days.

    (how on earth you dont believe speed & usefulness are "function" is beyond me. but thankfully you dont build computers for a living)
    fastasleepmacplusplus
  • Reply 49 of 159

    What you need

    To start, you need a few things including a TR6 Torx security screwdriver, T9 Torx screwdriver, P5 screwdriver, a plastic spudger, a pair of DDR4-2666, 1.2V, PC4-21300, unbuffered, non-ECC RAM sticks, and an anti-static wrist strap that you know how to use properly.
    Apparently owning and knowing how to use the strap is sufficient.  Actually using it is not necessary.  At least that's what I observe in the video.  ;)
    douglas baileyphilboogieSoli
  • Reply 50 of 159
    Wow. This is more involve than I thought. Why can Apple make it easier like those 27" iMac? My goodness. 
  • Reply 51 of 159
    hentaiboy said:
    Mike Wuerthele said:
    Also as the forum software doesn't always catch all of the main site's images, if you're following along, you're best off doing so with the video or from the main page.
    Hi Mike, is that going to be resolved in the future? Cheers. 
    I have no idea. The web team is aware.
    Being aware of problems: nowhere near as value-adding as, you know, fixing problems.

    (Sure do wish the forum software worked properly on an iPad.)
    fastasleepphilboogie
  • Reply 52 of 159

    This is such a dick move from Apple
    Previous version: soldered RAM, people complain.
    New version: slotted RAM, people complain. 

    Look man, if you're not comfortable using screwdrivers, you're not even a real DIY tinkerer, so why even both complaining since this is something only DIY folks do?
    techprod1gymacxpress
  • Reply 53 of 159

    This is such a dick move from Apple
    Previous version: soldered RAM, people complain.
    New version: slotted RAM, people complain. 

    Look man, if you're not comfortable using screwdrivers, you're not even a real DIY tinkerer, so why even both complaining since this is something only DIY folks do?
    I am an avid tinkerer and maker, thank you. But upgrading RAM shouldn't be this risky for the average user. Apple could've made the RAM easier to access, but they decided otherwise. Which is a dick move.
    ElCapitanlarz2112
  • Reply 54 of 159
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,734member
    StrangeDays said:
    Remember when computers were really slow and had shitty battery life? Yeah, those were the days.
    (how on earth you dont believe speed & usefulness are "function" is beyond me. but thankfully you dont build computers for a living)
    I'm not sure what one has to do with the other though. Those don't seem to be mutually exclusive design criteria.

    randominternetperson said:
    Apparently owning and knowing how to use the strap is sufficient.  Actually using it is not necessary.  At least that's what I observe in the video.  ;)
    Pretty much. I've changed hundreds of RAM chips w/o such a strap. The strap is more to help prevent issues by the people who don't know hot to discharge static... and if you do, you probably do it more reliably than the strap does anyway. :)

    StrangeDays said:
    Being aware of problems: nowhere near as value-adding as, you know, fixing problems. 
    (Sure do wish the forum software worked properly on an iPad.)
    Heh, I wish this forum was based on a more forum-like forum... but I'm getting by. I'm glad it exists at all.

    StrangeDays said:
    Previous version: soldered RAM, people complain.
    New version: slotted RAM, people complain. 
    Look man, if you're not comfortable using screwdrivers, you're not even a real DIY tinkerer, so why even both complaining since this is something only DIY folks do?
    Well, to be fair, if it were just a door with slots easily accessible, I'd put my own RAM in, even if it saved little to no money. And, I have years of DIY and repair experience. So, I think it's a valid argument to wish Apple had made it more accessible. That said, given the target market, and that maybe that impacted other design constraints, this seems a reasonable compromise.

    If Apple did it *just* to up-sell RAM, then it would be a big reason to complain. Some of Apple's products seem to be that way, but we'd probably have to try and *guess* on a case-by-case basis.
  • Reply 55 of 159
    auxio said:
    Exactly.  I'm sure those who know how to do their own car repairs/upgrades complain about the specialized tools and difficulty these days compared the days where you could store extra luggage under the hood of cars there was so much space.  For the rest of us, it's much nicer to drive smaller cars which are far more efficient, less noisy, etc.
    Exactly where are these smaller, more efficient cars? Everywhere I look, the roads are filled with massive, gas guzzling SUVs.
  • Reply 56 of 159
    rob53 said:
    rob53 said:
    Just checked MacSales/OWC and their RAM for this model costs $169.99 vs the $200 upgrade price Apple charges ($188 if you qualify for their EPP and (possibly) educational discounts). I use MacSales all the time but regardless of the warranty, the price difference doesn't make sense to me considering the lack of ease in replacing it. Using cheaper RAM is not something I do or recommend so for those who just have to be able to change or upgrade RAM, good luck.

    disclaimer: OWC charges $1079.99 for a full 64GB of RAM vs Apple's $1316 (EPP price) so it might be worth it if you really want to spend that much money on a Mac mini.
    EPP?
    Employee Purchase Plan. I wasn't an Apple employee but Apple provides a special Apple Store for people at certain companies. The discount isn't what it used to be but at least it's a discount. I used to work for a large government contractor and this discount is through our employee store, which works for retirees. 
    I worked for a national bank brand and they had an Apple discount too, dunno how prevalent these programs are. 
    If you are in the US Military or a a valid Veteran, you can get a (slight) discount on some Apple products through the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES).
  • Reply 57 of 159
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,923member
    hentaiboy said:
    Mike Wuerthele said:
    Also as the forum software doesn't always catch all of the main site's images, if you're following along, you're best off doing so with the video or from the main page.
    Hi Mike, is that going to be resolved in the future? Cheers. 
    I have no idea. The web team is aware.
    Being aware of problems: nowhere near as value-adding as, you know, fixing problems.

    (Sure do wish the forum software worked properly on an iPad.)
    Yeah, it’s impossible to edit quoted content without switching to HTML mode on iPad. It’s frustrating. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 58 of 159
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,923member
    For all those complaining, this is WAY easier than cracking open earlier generations. I have a 2009 and it’s a nightmare compared to this and the 2014 era models (Omg while Jobs was still alive!). The latter is actually *more* difficult than this to get into, having just replaced a hard drive with an SSD in one, and that took only like 20 minutes.  This looks like it’s been much simplified at a glance. You should be thankful, honestly. 


    stompyStrangeDays
  • Reply 59 of 159
    Of course the image on Apple's website makes it look as though you only have to remove the bottom plate and whammo:


    cgWerksbloggerblogphilboogie
  • Reply 60 of 159
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,734member
    charlesatlas said:
    Exactly where are these smaller, more efficient cars? Everywhere I look, the roads are filled with massive, gas guzzling SUVs.
    No doubt! And, even the ones that aren't gas-guzzling, are still massive. People park them on corners, making pulling out more dangerous (as they are harder to see around). They take up tons of space (and many of the drivers can't seem to park properly in the first place).

    hentaiboy said:
    Of course the image on Apple's website makes it look as though you only have to remove the bottom plate and whammo:
    Brought to you by the marketing department, no doubt. LOL
    philboogie
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