2014 Mac Mini Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Archivist, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Archivist macrumors newbie

    Archivist

    Joined:
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    Colorado
    #1
    Hello, new to Forum, looking forward to getting suggestions and assistance!

    I know this question has been asked/discussed previously, but would like the latest suggestion for upgrading my New (used) Mac Mini 2014 - i5 1TB 8GB Ram. I have a 2012 Mac Mini i7 1TB + 128 SSD DIY Fusion Drive and the 2014 seems quite a bit slower. I did transfer my data/system directly via Migration Assistant, then re-installed Mac OS 10.13.3 High Sierra. I also run Parallels Desktop fyi.

    I've checked with MacSales OWC re: Aura M2 upgrade but even the 240 GB seems expensive compared to a normal M2 stick. I've also seen your links to the converter, so what is the latest recommendations.

    Thanks in advance for any responses.

    Dave
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

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    #2
  3. treekram macrumors 68000

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    #3
    It would depend on what you need/want. Do you really need/want a Fusion drive? If so, then you should get a PCIe SSD. In looking at the current prices, the OWC Aura (old model) is now $269 for 240GB and OWC has never (to my knowledge) recommended it for the Mini. The newer Aura Pro X is $240 for 240GB and now it is listed as a Mini upgrade (the last time I looked a few weeks ago, it wasn't). Now for $299, you can get the new 1TB Samsung Evo 860 (SATA). To me it seems like this is a better deal - 1TB SSD, 1TB HDD vs. 240GB SSD, 1TB HDD for $60 more (although with 2 SATA drives, one of the drives would have to be external). It's not recommended that you do a fusion with an external drive but it would seem that most people used to a 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD fusion could live with a non-fusion setup with a 1TB SSD + 1TB HDD. Also, the Aura Pro X has gotten mixed reviews.

    The Transcend Jetdrive 820 is $15 cheaper than the Aura Pro X. You can also buy used Apple SSD's - they're not cheap, though.

    You do get better performance with the PCIe SSD vs. a SATA SSD. Keep in mind the Mini PCIe port is a 2x, not a 4x PCIe port. In my opinion, a lot of people won't notice the difference. But if you do need the extra performance, then you would get a PCIe drive.

    I don't recall anybody in this forum using the adapter for a standard PCIe SSD in the 2014 Mini. You have to be careful in choosing a compatible SSD and make sure the adapter fits the 2014 Mini.
     
  4. Archivist thread starter macrumors newbie

    Archivist

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    #4
    Hi Boyd01,

    You nailed it exactly, my 2012 is the i7 with 16GB and the 2014 is the i5 with 8GB both w/1TB original drives but the i7 is a DIY Fusion a w/128 SSD. I changed in order to have dual 2560 x 1440 (2K) monitors. I tried the 2012 with the single DP & HDMI but when I turned on the 2nd (HDMI) monitor I kept losing the DP. After having this go to Apple Engineering for over 6 weeks, I gave up and got the 2014 Mini which works. Seems to be a common problem with the 2012 minis.

    I thought that the Skylake dual core at a faster speed would maybe compensate, but obviously not. My seemingly best option is to add an m2 type SSD. Looking at OWC and/or eBay for Apple sticks seems expensive compared to a 256 GB standard m2 with adapter.

    Dave
    --- Post Merged, Feb 10, 2018 ---
    Thanks Treekram,

    That makes some sense, the only other ? was wether I could get by with an older m2 e.g. Apple 128 GB (cheap on eBay) in conjunction with my 1 TB HD or an EVO replacement?

    Dave
     
  5. treekram macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Now that you mention it, the Apple 128GB SSD was the one people would want to sell as they looked to upgrade. Write endurance on SSD's goes down with lower capacities but on the other hand, people may have traded them early on so they haven't been used much (you won't know for sure, though). If it's cheap and you liked the Fusion drive you had in the 2012, that wouldn't be a bad idea. I'm not sure what you're asking about in regards to a "Evo replacement". If you buy a PCIe SSD with a Mini 2014 that originally didn't have one, you will need to buy a cable assembly.
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

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    #6
    It also depends on exactly how you use your Mini. If you are doing something CPU intensive, the 2014 with a geekbench rating ~6000 is just never going to be as fast as the 2012 with a geekbench ~12000. And the 16gb on your 2012 is also going to be an advantage over the 2014 with only 8gb.
     
  7. bopajuice Suspended

    bopajuice

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    #7
    I have the 2014 with your specs and upgraded the 1TB spinner with a Samsung Evo 850 SSD. Much, much faster. Made the computer usable.

    I also did a DIY upgrade and added the Mac Mini PCI SSD controller so I could add an Apple SSD stick.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/PCI-E-cabl...096227?hash=item41d9fcc763:g:x-IAAOSwhQhY58Oz

    Have not added a second drive yet, but plan on using the stick SSD to host the operating system and programs, and then use the second SSD as storage. You could actually leave the 1TB in there and add the PCI SSD to get the benefits of the faster SSD, but still have 1TB for storage. In other words it would be like splitting a fusion drive in two.
     
  8. Archivist, Feb 11, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018

    Archivist thread starter macrumors newbie

    Archivist

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    #8
    Thank you all for your input. I typically use my Mini for email, some business and surfing, so no intensive CPU use. My change as mentioned was primarily to successfully run 2 2560x1440 monitors. I've had 2 Sony Playstation 3D monitors at 1080P but they are failing and it seemed time to upgrade. I may have made a mistake trying to go to 2K but the 2012 would not keep one working let alone 2.

    When I referred to the EVO per Boyd01 it was to replace the 1TB HD.

    May be I misunderstand the use of an M2 stick. I thought it was a direct connect to the 2014 Mini, but bopajuice says I need a add-on connector. If that is so, where does it plug into the Mini? In my 2012, I just added a 128 SSD as a 2nd drive, formatted it then went through the DIY conversion to a Fusion Drive leaving me with ~ 1.1TB combined. I can pick up an old Apple 128 for < $100 and maybe store all the OS/most Programs on the 128 stick and not combine the two drives (i.e. Fusion).

    Recommendations/suggestions? Also would you keep the 2012 or sell it while it's still a good usable computer?

    Thanks again for responding, looking forward to your thoughts.

    Dave

    Hi, just read my email and got this from NewEgg - $ 50 https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=9SIADF16KY4068

    • High speed PCIe Gen3 x2 interface: ATTO R/W speed up to 730/660 MB/s
    • NVMe 1.2 Certified

    I think it would also take an adapter that I don't quite understand?
     
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

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    #9
  10. treekram macrumors 68000

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #10
    The M.2 connector that Apple uses in the 2014 Mini is not the standard M.2 connector, thus you need an adapter. (The XPG you linked appears to be a standard PCIe SSD.)

    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/upgrading-2013-2014-macbook-pro-ssd-to-m-2-nvme.2034976/

    This thread talks about using a standard PCIe SSD in the MacBook Pro 2013-2015. As I mentioned, earlier, I don't recall anybody on this forum using an adapter so I don't know what the differences are between using an adapter in the MBP vs. the Mini. It's a long thread but unless somebody posts their experiences in using an adapter in the 2014 Mini, if you want to go the adapter route, your best chances at success is going through this post and hoping whatever solution you use applies to the Mini.

    If you buy a used Apple SSD, it appears you need the "821-00010-A SSD PCIe flex Cable Connector". In addition, on my 2014 Mini, the screws to connect the SSD to the chassis was not there. I believe that would be the case with all 2014 Mini's that did not come with a SSD, but my 2014 Mini was open-box so there's a slight chance that it was removed. (The teardowns that I see on the web were of the SSD model.) The screws involved are those in step 10 and step 13 of this ifixit guide.
    https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac+Mini+Late+2014+PCIe+SSD+Cable+Replacement/32652

    You would also need the TR6 Torx Security Screwdriver mentioned in the above link and screwdrivers for the screws you buy. You might find kits which included the screws but in the ads I saw for the cable, they did not have the screws. It looks pretty easy to put the SSD in there once you have the parts - it's easily accessible once you remove the Wi-Fi antenna assembly.
     
  11. Archivist thread starter macrumors newbie

    Archivist

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    #11
    I just posted a separate Thread for all re: attempting to upgrade my 2014 Mini.

    Dave
     

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10 February 10, 2018