2.6Ghz Mac mini w/fusion vs 256GB vs Samsung upgrade

Orange Computer

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 27, 2014
68
75
I'm considering 3 options for buying a mac mini which will act as my main computer (AutoCAD, Office, light video editing) and serve files via Plex.
Option 1: 2.6 GHz + 1TB Fusion Drive + 3TB external drive
Option 2: 2.6 GHz + 256 GB SSD + 4TB external drive
Option 3: 2.6 GHz base model, swap HDD for 1TB Samsung EVO 850 + 3 TB external drive.
Do any of you have suggestions of which approach is better? Are there some other options I am mad not to be considering?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,634
6,841
If you buy the Mini with either a fusion drive or a standalone SSD drive, you are enjoying the "speed advantage" of the PCI-e bus vis-a-vis installing a SATA-based SSD into the SATA bus.

The SATA bus should yield read speeds in the 500mbps range.
But the PCI-e bus can deliver read speeds of 700-720mbps.

That difference is enough to warrant buying the Mini with some kind of SSD already installed by the factory...
 

George Dawes

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2014
899
718
=VH=
The last 4 mini's I've bought all had fusion drives and tbh they're seriously fast. My old 2011 has an ssd and doesn't feel anywhere near as nippy.
 
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Celerondon

macrumors 6502a
Oct 17, 2013
679
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Southern Cal
Option 1: 2.6 GHz + 1TB Fusion Drive + 3TB external drive
Option 2: 2.6 GHz + 256 GB SSD + 4TB external drive
Option 3: 2.6 GHz base model, swap HDD for 1TB Samsung EVO 850 + 3 TB external drive.
Do any of you have suggestions of which approach is better?
Yes Orange Computer, Option 1 and Option 2 are better. One reason this is true is because of what Fishrrman says.

If you buy the Mini with either a fusion drive or a standalone SSD drive, you are enjoying the "speed advantage" of the PCI-e bus vis-a-vis installing a SATA-based SSD into the SATA bus.
Another reason is because of the actual experience of users like George Dawes.

The last 4 mini's I've bought all had fusion drives and tbh they're seriously fast.
Some people say that a Fusion Drive (FD) has moving parts and that an SSD can fail suddenly. Others warn that FD is a "transition technology" which somehow negates the proven performance of the three year old storage system. All of this is nonsense! The truth is that the older SATA based SSD and FD are comparable. Contrary to the speculation, there has been no rash of FD failures! In regular use a SATA SSD is a bit faster while for a given price, the FD is a lot larger. Because they are both founded on the same technology, the speed benefit of the PCIe SSD is likewise transferred to the newer FD. Thus a 2014 mini with FD will also provide the scorching fast read times that Fishrrman described.

Either of your first two options will provide the maximum storage speed available. If you care about simple upgrade paths, the FD mini comes equipped with internal hardware for two drives. :apple:
 
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aajeevlin

macrumors 65816
Mar 25, 2010
1,028
423
Yes Orange Computer, Option 1 and Option 2 are better. One reason this is true is because of what Fishrrman says.



Another reason is because of the actual experience of users like George Dawes.



Some people say that a Fusion Drive (FD) has moving parts and that an SSD can fail suddenly. Others warn that FD is a "transition technology" which somehow negates the proven performance of the three year old storage system. All of this is nonsense! The truth is that the older SATA based SSD and FD are comparable. Contrary to the speculation, there has been no rash of FD failures! In regular use a SATA SSD is a bit faster while for a given price, the FD is a lot larger. Because they are both founded on the same technology, the speed benefit of the PCIe SSD is likewise transferred to the newer FD. Thus a 2014 mini with FD will also provide the scorching fast read times that Fishrrman described.

Either of your first two options will provide the maximum storage speed available. If you care about simple upgrade paths, the FD mini comes equipped with internal hardware for two drives. :apple:
As a side question. I'm always a bit worry about the FD fail. Would I be able to easily service my own Mac Mini in the case of FD failure? I'm assuming beyond getting pass the security screw that Apple had on the 2014 Mini, everything else should be relatively simple.
 

Celerondon

macrumors 6502a
Oct 17, 2013
679
124
Southern Cal
As a side question. I'm always a bit worry about the FD fail. Would I be able to easily service my own Mac Mini in the case of FD failure? I'm assuming beyond getting pass the security screw that Apple had on the 2014 Mini, everything else should be relatively simple.
Yes that is correct. If you follow normal computer hygiene with tools like Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner a FD failure should be the same as regular hard disk failure. The extra step of setting up the core storage volume is handled and even suggested by OS X.

Of course, I have not experienced a FD failure yet. I wonder how George Dawes has done with FD reliability? He has owned 4 minis with this supposedly failure prone feature. ;)

How many times have you had to rebuild a FD equipped Mac George Dawes?
 

Cape Dave

macrumors 68000
Nov 16, 2012
1,962
1,106
Northeast
If you buy the Mini with either a fusion drive or a standalone SSD drive, you are enjoying the "speed advantage" of the PCI-e bus vis-a-vis installing a SATA-based SSD into the SATA bus.

The SATA bus should yield read speeds in the 500mbps range.
But the PCI-e bus can deliver read speeds of 700-720mbps.

That difference is enough to warrant buying the Mini with some kind of SSD already installed by the factory...
This man is 100% correct.
 
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