The 2009 Mac Mini, Cont.

Is it ever worth the loss in RAM specs when running additional, asymmetrical memory? Sure, if you are a Photoshop user or run other such RAM software hogs.

Curiously, the Xbench memory test numbers (176.42) for our stock 2GB RAM Mac Mini with a 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo are significantly better than the numbers posted on the Web by a major Mac RAM supplier, Other World Computing (OWC). For 2GB RAM in a new 2009 Mac Mini, OWC posted Xbench results of 168.33.

In addition, OWC’s 3GB and 4GB RAM Xbench stats (172.34 and 172.86, respectively) are lower than even our 2GB Xbench results.

But what’s really curious is that the 3GB Xbench results posted by OWC (172.34) are much better than the OWC 2GB setup (168.33). This is totally contrary to the dismal results we found with our asymmetric, 3GB configuration.

Check out the OWC page at

If OWC is correct about seeing a 2009 Mac Mini performance gain when adding another 2GB to a 1GB system, then the 2GB Kingston RAM upgrade path should be avoided like the plague, as it would indicate that Kingston either has some quality control problems or memory timing issues. 

The only sure way to find out what is going on would be to redo the whole test using two, 2GB sticks of Kingston RAM in both memory slots.  We contacted Kingston about this issue, but they refused to cooperate with us for this article. And that was that.

So there you have it. Some transplants are brilliant, and others, umm, not so much.

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