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good price for a lot of memory. test it!
on October 12, 2013
Mac Mini MD388, 16GB crucial memory installed right after purchase of Mini. I dismissed the occasional system crashes as tolerable until they happened twice in one day. Then I ran the Apple hardware test, which appears when you hold the D key down on startup (press it right after the Mac startup boing sound). The hardware test offers quick or detailed testing. Quick test is probably just a sampling test across available memory. The Crucial memory failed. I didn't need to run the detailed test to discover badness.
Consider what happens or could happen if you run for a few weeks with faulty memory. You save images from your camera into your photo library -- Picasa, iPhoto, Aperture, Lightroom -- you buy and download music, applications, etc. And it passes through possibly bad memory onto the hard disk. Was any of what you wrote to disk corrupted as it passed through? Maybe a few bits (ones and zeros) representing, say, the color of your child's eyes change from blue to red as those bits pass through bad memory. iPhoto won't know that red eyes are wrong, and will write that data to disk as your permanent record. You might never know.
(Technically, this scenario is a simplification. Bad memory could instead cause application crashes or any number of other ill effects. If you're lucky, the Mac will detect problems on startup and play a sad sound instead of the Mac startup boing; then you'd have a pretty solid case for immediate return/exchange of bad memory.)
Too much time has passed for me to do a nice and easy Amazon exchange or return, so I've gone to the somewhat clunky Crucial returns web page. Crucial has said that they will issue an RMA and, I suppose, send replacement modules in due time and after the proper hoops have been jumped.
The 16GB seemed to work well. If I'd had many apps running simultaneously, the difference between 16 and the stock 4GB would probably have been tremendous. The next step will be, at some point down the road, a Pro Samsung SSD, which will almost certainly make a far more noticeable improvement in speed. Another family member has a Retina MacBook Pro with an SSD; though the rMBP has a lesser processor than the Mini, it's massively faster.
Learn from my mistake: TEST YOUR NEW MEMORY!