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Even though I've upgraded countless video cards, RAM, harddrives, motherboards in PCs... this will be my first mac mini RAM upgrade.

I've watched the classic "putty knife" video. (Absurd method... but I guess it's what I'm stuck with.)

I have a 1.83 Intel-based Mac Mini from 2007-2008, with 1 gig of RAM. (Two 512 sticks)

Can I install 1 gig + 512 ? (Or do I have to throw away my existing sticks and buy two 1 gig sticks?)

This old machine is rarely used... so I want to spend the absolute minimum on this RAM upgrade.

We ONLY use it to run xCode... nothing more. But wanted to increase the RAM so we can install Snow Leopard.

I have no idea how many pins the memory has. I printed out over FORTY pages of specs about this machine from "About this Mac"... but didn't find what I needed. Does this sound right:

DDR2 SDRAM (but no mention of SO-DIMM)
667MHZ (but don't know if I can use faster also)
Pin count:  Unknown
Computer model number:  Unknown  (But I "think" it's an MB138/A)
PC2 RAM (unknown... not mentioned)
5300 (unknown... not mentioned)
Mfg date:  (unknown... not mentioned)
Number of slots:  (unknown... not mentioned)
Laptop or desktop RAM:  (unknown... not mentioned)
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Here's the info you need

Mismatched RAM is a performance hit.

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It says "1 gig + 2 gig" are "ok" but "performance hit". But what about "1 gig + 512"? (This machines is VERY rarely used at all.. so decreasing its speed 1%-10% is NOT a big deal. Will it work AT ALL?) Where do I buy "matched RAM"? Or do you just mean "same size sticks"? – Paula Jun 24 '10 at 4:07
Matched RAM generally means same size and also same rating ([Front Side Bus] speed i.e. rated for 667 MHz, and also the CAS latency rating being the same) on each of the sticks. BEST to even buy from same manufacturer – maxwellb Jun 24 '10 at 4:27
@Susan Remember that the Mac Mini is sharing memory with the built in Video Card. If it were me, and I was going through the trouble of using a putty knife, cracking it open, and installing a $30 Snow Leopard upgrade on this Mac Mini, I'd spring for the extra 20 bucks for another 1 GB module. – ghoppe Jun 24 '10 at 6:12
Spring for the extra $20 That's my exact question: Can I buy ONE 1gb stick... and add it to my 512 stick? – Paula Jun 24 '10 at 16:29
I think what ghoppe is saying is that for the effort you're going through, it's worth putting TWO 1 GB SO-DIMMs in there and removing both 512 MB ones. – fideli Sep 30 '10 at 23:19

Here's a page that tracks Mac Mini RAM by lowest price.

As ghoppe mentioned, you can add unmatched (1GB + 512MB) RAM to a Mini, with a small performance hit. That page should have the right pins and speed.

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