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Old Jun 4, 2013, 10:08 AM   #1
crboone
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Mac Mini Hardware Upgrade Q

Hi,

I just purchased my first Mac (Mini) this weekend and have enjoyed using it so far. I bought the least expensive version, 4G/500G/i5, as my first. (Well, I did own a used Mac+ briefly years ago, but it was beyond its time and didn't work well when I had it).

This is also my first post on a Mac forum!

I read that the Mini has 2 slots for HDDs, but only the memory is user-expandable. I'm thinking that, since I really like the Mac and plan to keep it long-term, I'd like to expand the memory and add a second (SDD) drive. However, I'd really like for the SDD to become the main boot drive to increase the boot and overall app speed. (I'm not a gamer so I don't care that the i5 processor isn't powerful enough for that.) My question is, if I go this route, should I look for a local Mac service shop to purchase & install the SDD and to carbon-copy what's currently on my 500G HDD to the SDD? The rep at the Apple Store seemed to indicate that they couldn't do much w/the hard drive there (which surprised me a little). And it sounds like it's something the typical user does not want to attempt.
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Old Jun 4, 2013, 01:31 PM   #2
old-wiz
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post-purchase Apple will not upgrade systems for you.

apple service providers (AASP) will do upgrades.
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Old Jun 4, 2013, 09:19 PM   #3
crboone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old-wiz View Post
post-purchase Apple will not upgrade systems for you.

apple service providers (AASP) will do upgrades.
Thank you! That's what I thought but wanted to be sure.
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 01:08 PM   #4
drsox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crboone View Post
Thank you! That's what I thought but wanted to be sure.
If you have any skill at modding PCs, then changing the Mini's drive is not difficult. Lots of threads on this in the Mac Mini forum section.
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Old Jun 6, 2013, 09:22 AM   #5
Fishrrman
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One other thing to consider:

If you don't want to open the Mini yourself, you could pick up the SSD of your choice, and then put it into an external enclosure (or, a USB3/SATA docking station) and boot/run from it that way.

You will lose next-to-nothing in boot speeds and once running, the performance will be indistinguishable from an internally-mounted drive.

You can pick up a USB3/SATA dock for less than $30 -- amazon.com is a good place to browse. Just enter "usb sata dock" in amazon's search box.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:02 PM   #6
crboone
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I happened to find a detailed tear-down of the unit online today and it seems fairly straightforward. However, since my Mini is brand new and it requires complete disassembly to add a 2nd drive, I'd probably be better going with an external or a service tech. If I didn't have to remove *everything* to install another drive I would be more likely to give it a go (or if the unit were 2-3 years old). I'm just leery that I'll wreck something on the new machine with all that's involved.

Thanks again.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 10:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crboone View Post
I happened to find a detailed tear-down of the unit online today and it seems fairly straightforward. However, since my Mini is brand new and it requires complete disassembly to add a 2nd drive, I'd probably be better going with an external or a service tech. If I didn't have to remove *everything* to install another drive I would be more likely to give it a go (or if the unit were 2-3 years old). I'm just leery that I'll wreck something on the new machine with all that's involved.

Thanks again.
Then watch some Upgrade videos for the 2012 Mac Mini to see if it something you want to do. At least upgrade the RAM.
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Old Jun 8, 2013, 02:23 PM   #8
Apple fanboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crboone View Post
if the unit were 2-3 years old
Actually the older ones were more difficult to open. A mate of mind did the SSD upgrade on a 2012 model without any issues. He is not very technical, but managed okay.
I know what you mean about not wanting to open your new machine though!
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