1TB 5400 RPM vs 256GB SSD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by krause734, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. krause734 macrumors 6502a

    krause734

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #1
    So right now I have two current Mid Tier Mac Minis. One has a TB spinner and one has a 256GB SSD. I am thinking of selling one of them. I honestly don't notice that the SSD is that much faster other than startup time. 256GB is plenty of space for me. The SSD one has Applecare until 9/2018.

    Which one should I keep and which one should I sell and for how much? I am leaning towards keeping the SSD model and selling the 1TB model for $500-550. I got a pretty good deal on the SSD one for $600 on eBay.

    I am a basic user: mostly music, browsing, and movies. I've heard that the newer SSD's are much faster than the one in the 2014 Mac Mini. PCI vs SATA.
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
  3. krause734 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    krause734

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #3
    I can probably sell each computer for $200 off so $500 for the 1TB and $700 for the SSD. I'm questioning whether 4x disk space or ?x faster is worth the $200 difference.
     
  4. JamesPDX Suspended

    JamesPDX

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2014
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    When I buy a computer with a spinning drive, the first thing I do is replace it with an SSD. I think a lot of people are doing the same.
     
  5. krause734 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    krause734

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    Jul 30, 2010
    #5
    That's the thing though. I don't notice a big difference other than start up time.
     
  6. Partron22 macrumors 68020

    Partron22

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    #6
    I'd keep the spinner to use for music, movies and time machine. Get a 500gB external SSD, and boot off that.
    You'll have most of the speed of an internal drive, more room, plus a terabyte spinner to store stuff that doesn't require fast access. 256gB is pushing things on the small side for a startup drive.
     
  7. Ace2617 macrumors regular

    Ace2617

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2016
    #7
    Depending on how much space you have available on the 256 GB, I'd say keep the SSD. When I bought my used 2012 Mac Mini, the first thing on my check list was an SSD. Currently, I have an external hard drive (1 TB 5400 spinner) ready to be plugged in through USB 3 as external storage, but so far I haven't needed it.

    If the difference between the spinner and SSD truly isn't all that noticeable OP, then you're probably fine with the spinner - and as you noted, you get 4x the amount of space. The last time I used a spinner was in a unibody non-retina MBP, and the slowness became unusable for me, so I wouldn't use one again as my personal machine. That's just my opinion though.
     
  8. adam9c1 macrumors 68000

    adam9c1

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #8
    If you think 256GB is good for your OS and core files then keep that machine. When you upgrade to 10.13 and new file system you will see improvements (that's just my estimation), and if you need more space you can use external ports for extra storage.

    Keep it simple.
     
  9. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #9
    Here's my thing: external spinner drives, especially 3.5 inch drives, are currently dirt cheap and have unbelievable storage capacity. And if your data is mostly streaming media (music, movies, etc.), even an ancient USB2 connection is plenty fast enough to play any sort of media.

    Which means, if you keep all your files on such a drive, you can easily move it from machine to machine, or connect it directly up to your phone or other portable device (USB-OTG), or directly to your TV (most modern TVs now have USB input). You can gain a degree of independence for your data.

    So yeah, I'd advise keeping the Mini with the SSD, and keep your data on an external drive...
     
  10. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #10
    Well I have a 2014 Mini with a 5400rpm drive and a 2012 quad Mini with the original internal 256gb drive. No brainer for me, I would keep the Mini with the SSD. In my case, that Mini is used for video/audio/CAD/3d work and not a general purpose computer however. 256gb is plenty of room for my software and I left it on Mountain Lion for compatibility with my expensive legacy apps.

    For daily use, I boot into Sierra on a 1tb external USB 3.0 SSD and mostly run Final Cut Pro X. It works really well for this, however my video projects quickly fill a 1TB drive so I have to do frequent housecleaning and move old files to several 5tb external hard drives.

    Anyway, for me the SSD machine would be the one to keep. I am very surprised that you don't see any significant difference except startup time however. But I suppose that's the result of your limited needs. If you really don't care one way or the other then you might as well just sell whichever one will bring in more money. You could always add an external SSD later if you want better performance.
     
  11. Partron22 macrumors 68020

    Partron22

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    #11
    They key question here is whether 256gB is big enough for your startup drive.
     
  12. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #12
    Well that was answered in the first post. :)

     
  13. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #13
    If you can get $200 more for the SSD one (and the rest being identical and both pre-2014), I'd keep the spinner and invest the additional $200 in a decent SSD.

    That way you have still earned as much as the spinner would have given, but you could have a SSD-based system, where the SSD is newer, perhaps bigger and faster, and comes with guarantee. You would then still have the spinner for storage.

    Also chances are that it's easier to sell a SSD-based device.

    Side effect: Buying something new (even if it's "only" an SSD) is a nice, little self-reward ;)
     
  14. krause734 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    krause734

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #14
    Well I decided to keep the SSD and sell the spinner for $500. The SSD has AppleCare for a year and it is noticeably quicker now that I'm using it more. If Apple doesn't have a new Mini in a year, I'll probably switch to an Intel NUC.
     
  15. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #15
    The SSD one still having AppleCare would be an even stronger argument for an easier sell of the SSD model.
     
  16. krause734 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    krause734

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #16
    Also a good reason for keeping it in case anything goes wrong I'm covered. I bought the SSD for 600 and sold the spinner for 500 so not a bad upgrade w/ a year of AppleCare. I don't have as much time to daydream during startup now though!
     
  17. ziggy29 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Location:
    Oregon North Coast
    #17
    And a Mini is no fun to work on. Almost everything is a chore, except for adding RAM. Definitely good that you kept the one with SSD. If it's not enough storage, an external USB 3.0 HDD is cheap and might be good enough for some apps and most data and files. (Keep in mind that SSDs usually work best if you don't load them to 100% of capacity -- above 80-90% of capacity, I'd start offloading less-used apps and ones that don't benefit as much from the speed of the SSD.)
     

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16 September 23, 2017