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Old Nov 26, 2012, 05:43 AM   #1
Neiloid
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SSD in my Mac Mini enlighten me

OK, so I understand that you get faster read and write times with an SSD and faster start up times too but I'm confused as to what "should" go on there and as a result the size of the drive that I'd need.

OS is a given, along with programmes and applications but is there any advantage to having music or photos on there? If not then a 60g or 128g would be more than enough as music and photos seem to take up most of my space.

I guess video should be stored on the SSD, which are large files, but only for editing I'm guessing?

Currently running a 2011 2.5 Mac Mini with 8 gig Crucial RAM and just using it for the normal surfing, photo and video editing and the like. Don't turn it off so fast reboot is not the draw for me that it is for others.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 05:57 AM   #2
philipma1957
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256gb is a sweet spot.

256gb ssds tend to read and write faster then 64 or 128gb ssds. in the usa a 256gb on sale can be 180 bucks or less. a 128gb runs around 100.

since it is a diy install and you run a risk of killing the computer . putting in a 128 and finding it to be too small in 3 or 4 months means a second upgrade. 2 chances to hurt the computer

this is 169;

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Electr...ds=samsung+ssd
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 10:08 AM   #3
SuperRob
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It would be cheaper by far to get an 128GB SSD and pair it with a hard drive (either the stock drive, or a larger one) in a Fusion setup. It's easier to do, and is the most efficient use of an SSD, in my opinion. But I'm all about bang for the buck.

That said, there are some great deals on drives larger than 128GB right now, so if you're going to do it, shop around. I just bought a 128GB Crucial M4 at what I thought was a great price ($79 shipped), and then found a faster drive for $29 less after I'd already completed my install. So my other advice would be after you've made a purchase, stop shopping.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 10:19 AM   #4
mwhities
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Is this a 2012 or earlier Mac Mini?

If it's a 2012, I'd recommend getting a 128G SSD and setup the "fusion" option. Pair it with a 1TB hard drive.

If it's anything else, I'd recommend a 256G (or bigger) drive.

I've had good luck with both Crucial M4s (64G) and Samsung 830s (128G). I will be buying a 256G (not sure which yet) SSD drive for my Macbook and put my current 128G Samsung into my (new to me) 2010 Mac mini and have a 1TB hard drive as secondary. (I know, it conflicts with what I said earlier but, this is my wife and kids system, I'll use the 1TB as a backup and they don't need a lot of space.)

EDIT: Apparently (quick read) 10.8 has the "Fusion" integrated into the OS. So maybe a 256G SSD and a 1TB drive for any system? (I'll keep researching.) Someone clarify for me if I don't find out myself soon.
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Last edited by mwhities; Nov 26, 2012 at 10:29 AM.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 11:44 AM   #5
philipma1957
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwhities View Post
Is this a 2012 or earlier Mac Mini?


EDIT: Apparently (quick read) 10.8 has the "Fusion" integrated into the OS. So maybe a 256G SSD and a 1TB drive for any system? (I'll keep researching.) Someone clarify for me if I don't find out myself soon.
this should work. you also have the option of just using the 256gb and selling off the internal oem drive in a swap only replacement.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 08:37 PM   #6
MJL
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Recently I gave thought to a Fusion drive but opted not to use a second drive in the same machine - it is another heat source and the 2011 - 2012 Mac mini's are already pretty hot enough. Similarly a mechanical drive makes noise and when using Fusion it is always spinning.

I have bought a Samsung 830 128 Gb and that will do for my ~ 20 Gb Windows 7 installation. OS X will be booted off an external drive - have not yet decided on USB2, USB 3 or FW800.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 10:36 PM   #7
SuperRob
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Originally Posted by MJL View Post
Recently I gave thought to a Fusion drive but opted not to use a second drive in the same machine - it is another heat source and the 2011 - 2012 Mac mini's are already pretty hot enough. Similarly a mechanical drive makes noise and when using Fusion it is always spinning.

I have bought a Samsung 830 128 Gb and that will do for my ~ 20 Gb Windows 7 installation. OS X will be booted off an external drive - have not yet decided on USB2, USB 3 or FW800.
My mini has been quieter since installing the SSD. The drive makes more noise when it's actually working, and it works way less now. Feels like it's not as warm, too, but I have no data to back that up. Still, if the hard drive isn't working as hard, makes sense it would be putting out less heat.

Edit: Just checked iStat Pro, and my Hard Drive is now the coolest component in my system (35 degrees, next coolest thing is the Airport card at 47 degrees), so take that for what it's worth.

Last edited by SuperRob; Nov 26, 2012 at 10:43 PM.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 12:10 AM   #8
kobyh15
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Originally Posted by SuperRob View Post
My mini has been quieter since installing the SSD. The drive makes more noise when it's actually working, and it works way less now. Feels like it's not as warm, too, but I have no data to back that up. Still, if the hard drive isn't working as hard, makes sense it would be putting out less heat.

Edit: Just checked iStat Pro, and my Hard Drive is now the coolest component in my system (35 degrees, next coolest thing is the Airport card at 47 degrees), so take that for what it's worth.
SSDs have no moving parts and there are no platters to spin up. No moving parts = less noise and less heat.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:48 AM   #9
SuperRob
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Originally Posted by kobyh15 View Post
SSDs have no moving parts and there are no platters to spin up. No moving parts = less noise and less heat.
Right, but I still have a hard drive installed too, in Fusion configuration. Just surprised to see the heat of the actual hard drive (not the SSD) is lower now. Disk still spins, but it's more of an idle spinning.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:55 AM   #10
kobyh15
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Right, but I still have a hard drive installed too, in Fusion configuration. Just surprised to see the heat of the actual hard drive (not the SSD) is lower now. Disk still spins, but it's more of an idle spinning.
I see! That is pretty cool.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 01:46 PM   #11
motrek
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Originally Posted by Neiloid View Post
OK, so I understand that you get faster read and write times with an SSD and faster start up times too but I'm confused as to what "should" go on there and as a result the size of the drive that I'd need.

OS is a given, along with programmes and applications but is there any advantage to having music or photos on there? If not then a 60g or 128g would be more than enough as music and photos seem to take up most of my space.

I guess video should be stored on the SSD, which are large files, but only for editing I'm guessing?

Currently running a 2011 2.5 Mac Mini with 8 gig Crucial RAM and just using it for the normal surfing, photo and video editing and the like. Don't turn it off so fast reboot is not the draw for me that it is for others.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Basically you should put everything on your SSD except for media files (photos and especially songs and videos) and large files that you won't access much. Everything else (OS, apps, your documents) should fit on a 120+ GB SSD. Consider that many people use SSDs this size in their MacBook Airs as their only storage and they get along fine.

You really don't need media files on your SSD because you can only look and listen to them so fast... you really don't need to listen to a song at 400 MB/s. For video editing, you could copy the video you're editing temporarily to your SSD if editing is slow.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 03:06 PM   #12
xheathen
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I went with the SSD + HDD option. Samsung 830 128gb was $69 on sale and I couldn't resist so I went for it.

I was toying with the idea of making it a DIY fusion setup down the road seeing the heat and graphic issues with the 2012 MM's. The SSD really make this system so snappy I don't feel the need to upgrade one bit.

If I had to do it over again, because the entire Mini is taken apart to put the new drive in, I would have splurged and got a 1tb HDD and did it all at once. An extra $100 for a spinpoint or scorpio would be a worthy investment.

Although, if you really have no intention of storing a lot of files on the mini (for example my wife I think in 5 years has used up 70gb total on hers), the 250gb SSD would work just great and you don't have to pull the whole Mini apart. After doing the complete disassembly, just replacing the initial hard drive sounds like cake
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:13 AM   #13
fig
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That said, there are some great deals on drives larger than 128GB right now, so if you're going to do it, shop around. I just bought a 128GB Crucial M4 at what I thought was a great price ($79 shipped), and then found a faster drive for $29 less after I'd already completed my install. So my other advice would be after you've made a purchase, stop shopping.
One thing to realize is that the speed increase at the point you're talking about is pretty negligible.

There was an article a while back (on I think Tom's Hardware) looking at SSD speeds compared to traditional drives, and there's like a 90%+ increase in speed going from a platter drive to a new SSD. From the really slow SSD to the top of the line SSD was maybe another 3%.

So really, anything coming from a traditional hard drive is going to be an amazing increase in speed. I put a Crucial m4 in my old iMac and it's made it practically a new machine.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:24 AM   #14
philipma1957
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One thing to realize is that the speed increase at the point you're talking about is pretty negligible.

There was an article a while back (on I think Tom's Hardware) looking at SSD speeds compared to traditional drives, and there's like a 90%+ increase in speed going from a platter drive to a new SSD. From the really slow SSD to the top of the line SSD was maybe another 3%.

So really, anything coming from a traditional hard drive is going to be an amazing increase in speed. I put a Crucial m4 in my old iMac and it's made it practically a new machine.
good point. an hdd seeking and writing random 4k to 8k files is;

walking down the block at 3mph.
any ssd is driving in a car on a highway 65 mph.
the fastest ssd is speeding on the highway 95 mph .
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 07:56 PM   #15
Neiloid
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Thanks for all the replies and input. I think I'll go with a 128g Samsung 830. It's plenty big enough for my needs. The bigger drives may be slightly faster but I won't notice the difference with what I'll be doing and the price is great too.
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