Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Memory upgrade

Today I finally got around to upgrading the memory in my Mac Mini. Since buying it last year it’s had 512 MB of RAM, which is fine for general computerry stuff (reading email, browsing the web, maybe running iTunes in the background) but lately it’s been used more and more for playing World of Warcraft, which is a very memory-intensive program. With it running, doing anything else on the system is, at best, difficult – switching between WoW and, say, Firefox takes a long time.

I ended up buying the memory from Crucial – I’ve bought from before and had no problems, and this time was no exception. I ordered the memory yesterday morning, and despite going for the free delivery and not the more expensive guaranteed next day delivery it still came today, which is excellent. Crucial also happened to be cheaper than buying Corsair memory from either Scan or Dabs, and I’d rather not have generic memory if I can avoid it.

The reason why I have been putting the upgrade off isn’t so much the cost aspect (which ended up at £85 for 1 GB of PC2700 DDR RAM), but the actual upgrade itself, and in particular taking the unit apart. It’s a very small unit and the case isn’t screwed on – you actually have to pry it open with a knife – I used a standard putty knife from Wickes. Because my unit also has Airport and Bluetooth, you have to then detach one of the antennae before then lifting the RAM out and inserting the new module. Thankfully, there are videos which explain this process – I really would not have bothered if I hadn’t seen it being done first. One thing I did do, however, was boot the computer before putting the lid back on and making it sure it worked – after going through all the effort of taking the machine apart I didn’t want to have to do it all over again just because the module wasn’t seated correctly, for example.

Thankfully, the upgrade worked, and now the Mac has double the memory to play with. It’s not a seismic difference in speed but it does feel snappier; still, my MacBook, with its Intel Core Duo processor, beats it when playing WoW. But not by quite so much.


  1. Thanks for that finding that video. I would never have attempted any kind of upgrade on my parents Mac Mini before seeing that video, now I actually think I could do it. 🙂

  2. The Vista is required 1 Gb of RAM minimum. Prices in this case will not fall up to the spring. It is not a better time for upgrades.

  3. True, but this was an upgrade for a PowerPC Mac which can’t run Vista 🙂 .
    And I think you can run Vista on 512 MB – just without a lot of the bells and whistles.

  4. Yes, PowerPC can’t run Vista, but through vista and office prices are rised up for all kinds of RAM.
    I have tested Vista with 1Gb, after it started, system gulps down 500Mb without any additional software, so if you will have 512 only, your system will work very slowly.

  5. Your description is so vivid and detailed! and glad to see that you resolved the problem finnaly:)