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OWC offers 4GB memory kits for new Mac mini
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Chris..S
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:55 am    Post subject: Re: OWC offers 4GB memory kits for new Mac mini Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
zen wrote:
JohnnyBoy wrote:
Uhhh, thanks Apple. Rolling Eyes


If you need 8GB of RAM you are a pro level user and should not be using a mini in the first place.

If I put my "computer user" hat on, then I fully agree with you, Zen. But when I put my "geek" hat on (I graduated in engineering in the dim & distant past), I just think that taking the conscious decision to restrict a machine's abilities is a little bit mean-spirited.

Many moons ago ("when I were a lad"), Intel wanted to expand their range of 80486 CPUs. The marketing people wanted a "cut-down" version to sell at a cheaper price. What did Intel do? They took a proportion of their 80486 processors (the full part number had a "DX" suffix) and disabled the onboard maths co-processor. The hobbled DX chips were given a new suffix ("SX") and sold at a discount.

Funny thing is, the extra step of disabling the maths co-pro on a DX made the SX chips more expensive to produce (...well, until the SX eventually got its own production line).

My engineering brain HATES this! Restricting a machine's capabilities for the sake of market segmentation? GRRRR!

Right..... what was the topic of this thread again? Wink Smile


Arrrrh, them were thar days. That was the last time I recommended to anyone to use processor speed as a key factor in computer purchase. Ever since 486DX2/66 there has been little point in paying a premium for the cpu in a standard office pc. You definitely didn't want a 486SX/25.
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zen
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even if you could slip a quad core in there I don't think the 110watt power brick could handle it.
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fhall1
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And even though 8GB definitely won't work, it'd be nice to know if 6GB would work.
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Yvan256
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:31 am    Post subject: Re: OWC offers 4GB memory kits for new Mac mini Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
Many moons ago ("when I were a lad"), Intel wanted to expand their range of 80486 CPUs. [...] Funny thing is, the extra step of disabling the maths co-pro on a DX made the SX chips more expensive to produce (...well, until the SX eventually got its own production line)


I heard the SX line was simply DX chips that didn't pass the math co-processor test? (i.e. broken DX chips)
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magnusdredd
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:03 am    Post subject: Re: OWC offers 4GB memory kits for new Mac mini Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
zen wrote:
JohnnyBoy wrote:
Uhhh, thanks Apple. Rolling Eyes


If you need 8GB of RAM you are a pro level user and should not be using a mini in the first place.

If I put my "computer user" hat on, then I fully agree with you, Zen. But when I put my "geek" hat on (I graduated in engineering in the dim & distant past), I just think that taking the conscious decision to restrict a machine's abilities is a little bit mean-spirited.

<SNIP>

My engineering brain HATES this! Restricting a machine's capabilities for the sake of market segmentation? GRRRR!


The issue is with the Nvidia 9400M chipset used by the machine.

Apple's new laptops which use the 9400M have the same issue. Furthermore if I remember correctly, I read somewhere that this also affects non-Apple 9400M based computers.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:37 pm    Post subject: Re: OWC offers 4GB memory kits for new Mac mini Reply with quote

Chris..S wrote:
You definitely didn't want a 486SX/25.

No Chris, you didn't! Smile

Do you remember the Tandon 486s? They were marketed as "futureproof" because the processor was on a daughter-card and could be theoretically swapped for the next generation of Intel CPU.

How we laughed as we tried to install Vista on a Tandon "futureproof" PC... Wink

Yvan256 wrote:
I heard the SX line was simply DX chips that didn't pass the math co-processor test? (i.e. broken DX chips)

I'm sure that broken DX chips would have been re-labelled, but would that have provided enough SX chips to satisfy demand?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:42 pm    Post subject: Re: OWC offers 4GB memory kits for new Mac mini Reply with quote

magnusdredd wrote:
The issue is with the Nvidia 9400M chipset used by the machine.

Apple's new laptops which use the 9400M have the same issue. Furthermore if I remember correctly, I read somewhere that this also affects non-Apple 9400M based computers.

What's strange Magnus, is that the latest MacBook with the 9400M chipset is supposed to have a memory maximum of 4GB but can actually access 6GB. Now we find out that the new Mini can take 8GB, but mysteriously slows to a crawl if you do install that much.

As Zen points out, the average Mini owner isn't likely to need 8GB of memory. But why impose artificial limits? Once again, I suspect that Apple is trying to protect the models further up the range.
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SOCOMRAIDER
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to save a little cash. You can buy some Crucial RAM from Newegg. Right now it's only $52.99 shipped.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SOCOMRAIDER wrote:
If you want to save a little cash. You can buy some Crucial RAM from Newegg. Right now it's only $52.99 shipped.

Thanks for the link! I'll probably order some here shortly. I'm not saying the OWC memory is bad, but Crucial is tops in my book.
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magnusdredd
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:40 am    Post subject: Re: OWC offers 4GB memory kits for new Mac mini Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
magnusdredd wrote:
The issue is with the Nvidia 9400M chipset used by the machine.

Apple's new laptops which use the 9400M have the same issue. Furthermore if I remember correctly, I read somewhere that this also affects non-Apple 9400M based computers.

What's strange Magnus, is that the latest MacBook with the 9400M chipset is supposed to have a memory maximum of 4GB but can actually access 6GB.

The listed maximum is due to the fact that when Apple originally created the laptop, the largest readily available RAM modules were 2GB sticks. Apple, like most vendors, lists the maximum amount of RAM as the maximum amount that they offer in a configuration. It's actually not the maximum amount of RAM the hardware can support, just what the OEM chooses to certify that will work.

Over the nearly 30 years I've been using computers, I've added more RAM than spec on many machines from many different vendors, although there also been quite a few where the listed maximum was the actual maximum. In many older systems this was due to small address tables in the memory controller from what I understand.

It's worth noting that 8GB of RAM can physically be installed in the 9400M based MacBooks and MacBook Pros. As with the Mac Mini, they also have issues when 8GB is installed.

JohnnyBoy wrote:
Now we find out that the new Mini can take 8GB, but mysteriously slows to a crawl if you do install that much.


So the case is this:
MacBook: 4GB Listed Max, 8GB Installable Max, 6GB Usable Max
MacBook Pro: 4GB Listed Max, 8GB Installable Max, 6GB Usable Max
Mac Mini: 4GB Listed Max, 8GB Installable Max, 6GB Usable Max

After some further reading on this issue, it's apparent that the chipset will support 8GB. Leopard will support at least 32GB.

The "artificial limits" are probably the result of a driver bug. This is probably just a case of poor programming and not Apple sticking it to the common guy. While Apple has a well deserved reputation for arbitrary limits, it does not mean that every limitation in their products is intentional.

If it was intentional, the MacBook Pro line would be able to address 8GB of RAM using the 9400M chipset. This is not the case.

Some links:
http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2008/11/confirmed_new_macbooks_support_6gb_ram-2.html
http://www.techztalk.com/techwebsite/10-30-08-new-macbooks-supports-up-to-6gb-of-ram-but-not-8gb
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