I am contemplating upgrading my Mac to Snow Leopard (10.6) (currently has Tiger - 10.4.11).

Should I upgrade to 2 GB of ram and a bigger HD?

I do a fair amount of development work on this computer.

  Model Name:   Mac mini
  Model Identifier: Macmini2,1
  Processor Name:   Intel Core 2 Duo
  Processor Speed:  1.83 GHz
  Number Of Processors: 1
  Total Number Of Cores:    2
  L2 Cache (per processor): 2 MB
  Memory:   1 GB
  Bus Speed:    667 MHz
  Boot ROM Version: MM21.009A.B00
  SMC Version:  1.19f0

74GB hard drive
20GB free space


  • What kind of development work can you do on a 4 year old OS? Commented Nov 16, 2009 at 18:43
  • 1
    @nsd: If you're not doing os-specific development work, a lot. If it wasn't for the fact that many programs require 10.5 now, I'd be quite capable of going on for the next few years. Current versions of Perl, emacs, g++, mono, all work on 10.4. Any web development work in the LAMP stack is going to work with any system with a good text editor and an internet connection. That said, I don't do OS X specific development at this point in time. Commented Nov 16, 2009 at 18:53

2 Answers 2


Depending on the development work you do, the hard drive may not be required. But definitely go for the memory upgrade.

  • Anyone doing dev work should want more and more and more memory.
    – Jeremy L
    Commented Nov 16, 2009 at 17:00
  • 1
    Rather than taking the mini apart to insert a hard drive you might consider just get an external drive.
    – Jeremy L
    Commented Nov 16, 2009 at 17:01
  • I'm not manually upgrading a mini. The apple store can do it. I'm just seeing if I need the memory to maintain the same performance characteristics on 10.6 as I get on 10.4. Commented Nov 16, 2009 at 17:11

The memory upgrade would be a good idea, but once spotlight is done re-indexing after the 10.5 -> 10.6 upgrade... Your not going to be seeing any major difference in speed.

But my recommendation would be for both the memory upgrade, and the hard drive upgrade. The extra memory and bigger hard drive would be quite beneficial in the long run, and wouldn't hurt (beyond cost).

Between 10.5 & 10.6 generally results in a slight speed increase, or at least "snappy" reaction times...

  • I'm going from 10.4 to 10.6. :-) Commented Nov 16, 2009 at 20:48
  • I would expect you to see a nice performance increase, especially with Spotlight... And of course, then you'd be able to use time machine. Commented Nov 17, 2009 at 20:47

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