500gb 7200rpm w/SSD or 128gb SSD for 2006 Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by El Burro, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. El Burro macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #1
    Hi all, I have a Mac Mini (1,1) 2006 model that I'm upgrading (with a T7600 Core 2 Duo 2.33 Ghz Processor, 4 GB of RAM (3.3 GB usable), and a faster hard drive than the ****** 5400 rpm 80GB drive that is currently sitting in it.

    Not sure if I should get the 500GB or the 128GB. The 500GB has a 4GB SSD so commonly used applications will us that. Probably will never use the full 500GB - maybe up to 100GB tops with movies.

    The 500GB hybrid will also cost $20 cheaper (I can get it brand new for $40 whereas the Crucial M4 I can get for $60 total). I really like how SSDs make everything load so much more quickly and it makes the computer feel "brand new and minty." I am on a budget, and I am also considering re-sale value as well if I ever want to sell it. I think a 500GB 7200 RPM in a Mac Mini is probably more appealing to people than a small 128GB SSD.

    I'm leaning towards the 500GB w/ 4gb ssd, but I'm not sure if the whole "TRIM" thing will be a problem or if I need to enable it for the 500GB w/4gb ssd one.

    The Contenders:


    Seagate Momentus XT 500GB/4GB SSD/7200 RPM

    versus:


    Crucial M4 128GB SSD SATA 3

    Key Notes: My Mac Mini (2006 Model) can only read SATA I (1.5 Gbps) and not SATA II or III so the speed benefits of SATA II or III won't be utilized.

    Edit: Also, when upgrading the HD, do I need any special tools or just the typical ones?
     
  2. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    #2
    Goto home depot. Buy a skinny putty knife for spackling and ask for small electricians' screwdrivers. #000 #00 #0 and #1 will be somewhere on the label. Those numbers reference size but generally if you say tiny screw drivers for electronics, they'll direct you to 4-5 dollar thing with those sizes.

    If you're going to upgrade to SSD, make sure you have an OS better than leopard. My leopard install didn't react well to a SSD installation in a mac mini 2,1. I found lion worked great.

    Now, the important part. People may forgive a 7200 rpm hd with a lot of hd space but your entire upgrade is geared towards fast. If money matters, a 7200 rpm hd will be cheaper. I shelled out 160 for a 256gb SSD, and it came with software to duplicate my bootcamp windows partition from inside windows as well as a cheap USB 2.0 enclosure to facilitate an easy file transfer. It's a SATA III HD. If I eventually want to transfer that HD, It'll hold its value longer. With the rate that SSDs are increasing in size, and the rate that they're dropping in price, I would say even a smaller SSD is going to be far more appealing.

    128gb is small. 256gb isn't huge but it's a lot more space.
     
  3. bAdNitro, Aug 22, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012

    bAdNitro macrumors member

    bAdNitro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Swoyersville, PA
    #3
    Your 4GB SSD in the Hybrid won't even be able to do the OS, let alone commonly used programs. Speed is more appealing than exorbitant amounts of space in this day and age. Just go for the 128GB SSD. Let the person buying the computer worry about expanding memory later. Considering you have an '06 model, I assume you're going to use it for at least 2 years, otherwise you wouldn't be worrying about upgrading.

    Someone buying a 6+ year old computer from you is going to need all the speed they can get. The SSD is the better choice regardless of the extra $20. That same person buying a 6+ year old computer isn't going to need that much memory anyway lol.

    Just get the SSD and enjoy the speed benefits while you have the computer. ;)
     
  4. El Burro thread starter macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #4
    I thought the 4GB of SSD wouldn't be sucked up by the OS, per se, but rather the most commonly used applications and that the remaining contents of the OS and less used filed would be on the regular drive. I guess that if there are common files being used by OS X that they would reside on the SSD, but certainlt not the entire 4-6 GB OS would be commonly used, or am I wrong in this thinking?

    According to Seagate:

    Seagate calls its SSD “Adaptive Memory Technology”. This technology watches how you use the drive, which files and applications you load most, and then stores these files and apps in the solid state flash storage to be loaded from there when required. This in theory speeds up loading times.

    ----------

    Yes, I thought about the SSD holding its value longer for sure.

    Those #0, #00, #000s are phillips right? I think I may have those if they are the teeny screwdrivers for the cross-shaped screws. And the putty knife is for opening the case or for something else?

    Why do I need a putty knife for spackling?

    Also are SSDs more reliable than traditional hard drives since they have no moving parts or are they prone to more failures?
     
  5. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    #5
    yes inside the 2,1 they were all phillips. I believe it's the same in the 1,1.

    The putty knife is used to open the case. I advise you to watch 2 or 3 videos of how its done online. Also look at some picture walk throughs.

    ----------

    I just did a similar upgrade. I upgraded my 2,1 mini from a 100gb 5400 rpm hd to a 256gb SSD, upgraded the OS to lion because leopard was causing issues with the SSD and the ram to 4gb(3gb addressed).
     
  6. El Burro thread starter macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #6
    Ahh, for opening the Mac Mini. Gotch ya. I actually already opened it up before when I upgraded the RAM. Ironically, the putty knife damaged some of the white plastic clip on the mac mini because it was too thick. I ended up using a regular thin bladed kitchen knife to pop it open and it did it quite elegantly.
     
  7. bAdNitro macrumors member

    bAdNitro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Swoyersville, PA
    #7


    Yes, you're correct in your thinking. I was simply pointing out that the benefits of having a SSD are the OS and system processes (along with application data) have the speed of the SSD. If you don't care about start up, restart times and things like that, having your most used applications on the SSD portion would work. However, it depends on the programs. My MOST used programs are in the Adobe Master collection. It's 14.5GB to install on the HDD. I wouldn't be able to take advantage of the 4GB SSD portion of your Hybrid Drive. On my win7 machine (the computer my SSD is in right now), I have my OS, Adobe Master collection CS5, Cinema 4D, ZBrush, and a few other misc. applications. My computer is blazingly fast. Programs load in under 3 seconds.

    So for my "most used apps" I need like 32-40GB (roughly) which is far more than the 4GB your hybrid drive allows.

    For me, If I bought your mini with the hybrid drive, I would replace it with a good SSD without question. Final decision is up to you, but I still stand behind my "buy the SSD" statement from before :p
     
  8. El Burro thread starter macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #8
    Okay thanks for the info. I was originally leaning towards the 500GB, but I think the SSD is a better choice thanks to what you guys said.

    Now the waiting game begins. If the 128GB Crucial M4 can get down to $90.00 on Amazon, I can price match on Staples, use a 25 off 75 coupon, and a $10 off rewards to get it down to $60 total.
     
  9. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    #9
    I think we may have missed one valuable piece of information. What are you using your mini for?
     
  10. El Burro thread starter macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #10
    Lots of HD adult rated video streaming on a 60 inch plasma j/k

    It's my parents' computer so the only real HD consuming program is iphoto as they like to take way too many pictures than anyone would ever care about.

    Everyday use i.e. browsing, youtube, word documents, some mp3s here and there.
     
  11. bAdNitro macrumors member

    bAdNitro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Swoyersville, PA
    #11

    Lol Good luck, seriously. Not being sarcastic or anything, but $95-96 was the lowest I've personally seen for the M4. Right now it's at 101 on amazon. If that extra 11$ is a deal breaker, grab a kingston SSD 120gb for 92$ on amazon :p

    http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-SSDN...8&qid=1345688234&sr=8-1&keywords=kingston+SSD



    This is a VERY good point. Probably should have asked that instead of giving advice based on what would work better for me and my uses :(
     
  12. El Burro thread starter macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #12
    it was $90 on amazon on August 13.

    and it has to be a hard drive from staples that is also on amazon so I can pricematch and add coupons thru staples & the crucial m4 is one of the few good ones there.
     
  13. bAdNitro macrumors member

    bAdNitro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Swoyersville, PA
    #13
    Makes sense. I wasn't looking at the M4 around that time hahah.


    And that makes perfect sense about the staples thing. I really do hope you get it for the price you need :)
     
  14. El Burro thread starter macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #14
    Yeah, I'm not worried. If you want to know the logistics, it's really quite simple.

    You create a price alert for the item you want, and you can see the price history from camelcamelcamel.com. Once it hits the trigger point, it'll send you an email.

    You then live chat/call Staples and ask them to price match. You can get a 25 off 75 coupon off of ebay (they used to be dirt cheap, but now they've risen in price because they were being illegitimately produced lol, but you can nab one for around $4-5 on fleabay).

    You can also buy Staples rewards on ebay and save about $10 there.

    So it's not a direct price, but through some simple loops, you can get it for a pretty low price.

    Thus $90 - $20 - $10 = $60.00.

    Staples is awesome, but only when a competitor that it price matches to has a much lower price. Staples usually way overprices their items.

    You can also check out the slickdeals forums which you can use to find good deals/setup alerts for what you want/etc.

    Internet has brought stinginess to a whole new level!
     
  15. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #15
    Back when I had several of these older Mini's ... I found a small pizza cutter (approximately 3" diameter disk) to be much easier than the putty knife for opening the case without damaging it.




    -howard
     
  16. bAdNitro macrumors member

    bAdNitro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Swoyersville, PA
    #16

    That's not a bad idea at all. Nice information there. Thank you for that.

    Now if only I knew that when I ordered my SSD a month ago haha. Although, they do carry mine. OCZ Vertex 4. I can get another one for $99 on Amazon, then use that loophole system to get it for $69. WOW. $69 for one of the best SSDs during testing. That's INSANE.

    Guess who might just run a dual SSD RAID0 config in his mini when it gets delivered :D
     
  17. El Burro thread starter macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #17
    My research shows that though OCZ has improved, they're still unreliable. For me, at least, I have important documents that I can't afford to risk losing even with backups, though I guess if it's for low priority things like random movies then it's not so bad but still... Newegg.com and Amazon have a very high percentage of people reporting failures and problems with the OCZ drives. Not worth the risk especially since the Crucial M4/Samsung 830/Intels/Sandisk ones are 100x more reliable. I believe on average, 1/5 customers (20%) had major problems with them.

    OCZ is a relatively new company. Unheard of before SSDs became affordable, but became popular because they sold things at thin margins but with the tradeoff of poor confidence and reliability.

    Kind of like hyundais which were shi tty cars for several years in the 80s and 90s, but have turned things upside down the past couple of years giving the Hondas/Toyotas a run for the money.

    ----------

    Just make sure that the item you want from Amazon or whatever competitor Staples.com price matches (i.e. Fry's) is also sold by Staples. I've seen killer deals on items on Amazon, but Staples didn't have them.

    On the other hand, I've bought $200 items for literally $20-30 on staples.com thanks to these tricks lol. It happens quite often actually. The reason why this works is because Staples doesn't expect/didn't expect people to be so organized about finding optimal deal combinations, but they don't change it because it still helps them in the end, generating interest in the company.
     
  18. fran010180 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    #18
    I don't know if you are still around but your topics is ... "mine".
    Are we talking of mac mini early 2006 (intelcoreduo, 2GB RAM max)?
    If yes could you give some more hint of how you have upgraded the processor?
    Have you used something like T2600 whose cost now is lower than 30USD?
    Upscaling the RAM to 4GB was "automatic" or you have had to "reprogram" somehow the mac before placing the memory on site?

    My plan was to buy a Crucial 128GB SSD but what you did sound much more interesting to me, mainly because I would have access to Lion or SLion
     
  19. El Burro, Mar 13, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015

    El Burro thread starter macrumors regular

    El Burro

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #19
    yes same one. Read my guide that i wrote up here –> http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,874.msg15441.html#msg15441

    I used the T7600 2.3 Ghz Core 2 Duo which is going for about $45 on eBay. If I remember correctly, you'll need some special plastic screws like these that you can get from eBay: four "4-40 X 3/4 of an inch" Nylon screws with nuts, thermal paste, and some torque screwdrivers,

    The processor doesn't need to be flashed for the clockspeed to work faster, but the firmware needs to be flashed in order for it to use 4 GB (3.3 GB is useable). Make sure that Snow Leopard is maxed out on its OS version (software update).

    Just read my post in the thread I posted above and download the firmware that I mentioned. I also posted some benchmarks showing how fast the Mac Mini became –*it's better than a 2009 Mac Mini!
     
  20. fran010180 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    #20
    thanks for your prompt answer
    A double questio, if you will
    1) to your knowledge which is the best OS compatible after this implementation? Lion or mLion?
    2) Is this procedure feasible also for my other mac, a MBP 2006 (almost identical to the mac mini)?
     

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