850 Pro SSD and late 2012 Mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by BelgianGuy, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. BelgianGuy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2018
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I would like to add a SSD to my late 2012 Mac mini and need your wise advices :) I understand that there are multiple threads and web pages on the subject but they are confusing me since some of them are contradicting each other.

    Here is the information about my Mac:
    - Quad-core i7 - 2.3Ghz
    - 16 GB DDR3
    - 1 TB HDD (lower bay - I’ve checked)
    - MacOS 10.13 High Sierra

    Now, what I want is adding a SSD (Samsung 850 Pro - 512 GB) with trim enabled and keep the 1TB HDD for my storage and windows. Furthermore, I am not interested in setting up a fusion drive.

    From what I understand, I only need to get the following kit:

    https://eustore.ifixit.com/en/Upgra...tml?listtype=search&searchparam=mac mini dual

    Now, the questions :p

    1) Will the Samsung SSD (850 pro) work fine with my setup and High Sierra? According to some people, it may or may not work depending on the model I get. I also read that the 860 version is causing issues, which is why I want to go with the 850 Pro (and its 10 year warranty).

    2) In which bay should I put the SSD? Lower or top one? Does it matter?

    3) Once the SSD is in place, how one does exactly install the latest version of MacOS? I get that I will be prompted to format the SSD in order to support the APFS file system. But I am not sure to understand what comes next. Do I need a copy of MacOS on a usb stick and install it from there? In the pc world, it is pretty easy as I basically just have to access the bios and put the usb stick containing windows as the bootable device. But here, I have absolutely no clue :(

    4) When the installation is completed, will I be able to retrieve my documents, photos and iPhone backups from the HDD? Or should I create a partition on the HDD beforehand and already store my photos and files in there? What do you think/recommend?
     
  2. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #2
    1 and 2. I don't know.

    3. Go to the Mac App Store and download the High Sierra installer. Once downloaded, it may start the install, you can cancel that, and you will then find the "Install Mac OS High Sierra" in your applications. Get yourself an 8GB or larger USB stick, and make yourself the a bootable installer.

    4. If you have an external drive, you could make a Time Machine backup of your existing drive. Then you could just boot to your Time Machine drive and restore your Time Machine backup to the SSD, which would skip the need for #3 (though I recommend having the above installer handy at all times).

    You may also be able to use the "transfer your info from another Mac" and select the other hard drive as the source. I'm not sure how well that would work. Another option would be to copy your user folder from the old drive to the new SSD and configure your user account on the SSD to target that folder. All your settings and that will be there, but you may need to reinstall your apps.

    Lastly, you can skip APFS if you want, and be sure to enable TRIM on your SSD with the trimforce command. I recommend doing it right away after the clean install.
     
  3. treekram, Apr 17, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018

    treekram macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #3
    Yes, the Samsung 850 Pro will work with your setup. People have reported issues with the new 860 Evo, I haven't seen people on macrumors report problems on the Pro. The issues with the 860 Evo may just be to newness, it may settle down after a period of time. On the Amazon US site, I don't see an unusual number of bad reviews to indicate that there is a major problem. I personally feel, based on what people have reported on the various macrumor forums, that High Sierra doesn't work as well with the various 2012 Mac models as Sierra. However, it appears you already have High Sierra. If you do and it's working for you, there shouldn't be a problem with it working on the 850 Pro.

    I would put the disk that you most anticipate you will need to change in the lower bay (the most accessible bay). The 850 Pro should last a long time and if you feel 512GB should will meet your needs for awhile, you should put the HDD in the lower bay, especially if it's original HDD. But it doesn't matter which you put in which bay.

    Once both disks are in the Mini, you should be able to boot from the HDD. It should automatically select your HDD as the boot disk, although if you changed the location, it may take longer to boot. After boot, make sure the SSD is visible in Disk Utility. I would download High Sierra onto the HDD and then run the installation program from the HDD and target the SSD as the OS location. The installation program should install APFS on the SSD but you can always format at as APFS before doing the install.

    As an alternative, if you already have High Sierra on the HDD, and if all the files can fit on the SSD (making sure you have at least 10% free space), you should be able to clone the HDD to the SSD using a cloning program that can work with APFS. In this case, you should format the SSD before doing the cloning.

    In any case, once you have High Sierra on the SSD, make sure it's selected as the startup disk in System Preferences.

    After you have High Sierra on the SSD, all the files on your HDD will be accessible, except it will be on a separate volume from the SSD. So, suppose you install High Sierra on the 850 Pro and you boot from it. Your HDD will now appear in the "Devices" list in the finder, under "Macintosh HD" (or whatever the HDD name is).

    I have not installed High Sierra but from I have seen multiple posts saying it will not install using APFS to external disks. So while there are good reasons to install the OS to your SSD using an external enclosure first, that may not be possible in this case.

    Make sure you have a current backup (or two or more) of your HDD before starting the SSD installation.
     
  4. BelgianGuy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2018
    #4
    Thank you Darmok N Jalad and Treekram for your feedback. I will go ahead and order the SSD and the dual drive kit tool. I will also let you know how this mini project went :)
     
  5. grandM macrumors 65816

    grandM

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #5
    Hi
    I'm in the same boat as you. Does the 850 pro yield any problems? Ironically the 860 seems to be sold cheaper...
     
  6. Hede macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Denmark
    #6
    I’ve Got a 850 Pro 512gb in mine 2012 core i7 with out problems. Its together with a 5 TB hdd.
     
  7. ziggy29 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Location:
    Oregon North Coast
    #7
    What kind of throughput do you get on it? Would be curious to see how it compares to an external SSD. I also have a 2012 with quad core i7 and I pull about 425 MB/sec using an external Samsung T5 (500 GB) as my boot volume.
     
  8. grandM, Apr 26, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018

    grandM macrumors 65816

    grandM

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #8
    Does the pro come with power loss protection? This seems to be a feature of crucial drives? I seem more and more inclined to buy the mx500 instead of a samsung ssd? Anyone any insights on this? I also value trim. Not sure if it works on both samsung and crucial ssd's?
     
  9. Hede macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Denmark
    #9
    I´ll test it later, can't remember.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 26, 2018 ---
    Trim works on the Samsung SSD's don't know about Crucial ones.
     
  10. treekram macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #10
    Power loss protection is not a simple issue. My understanding is that the more expensive consumer Crucial SSD's (so not the BX series) had additional capacitors to help maintain data integrity of the SSD. Keep in mind that this would provide only a very short amount of additional time that the SSD would be powered up. Also keep in mind that NAND memory chips retain data when power is off. The new MX500 uses less of these capacitors than was the case in the past for Crucial SSD's but part of that is that Crucial feels that firmware changes and the nature of their NAND mitigate the reduction in capacitors used for unexpected power loss. It used to be that power loss would kill a SSD in some cases but as the technology has matured, you don't hear about this and if it does happen probably power surges account for a good amount of them.

    Other manufacturers also employ methods to maintain data integrity on power loss. I have not had issues with power loss with any of my SSD's in desktop computers (you can have power issues in laptop computers but obviously the most common power issue doesn't happen in laptops with a healthy battery). I have 3 different brands of SSD's in my desktop computers (Samsung, Crucial, OCZ) and just had a power loss yesterday.

    macOS also has features to help mitigate issues related to unexpected power loss (the journaled file system is part of this). The type of application where you should worry most is database-type applications with multiple open files where data integrity and concurrency issues come into play. You mentioned that you want to do coding with Xcode - which doesn't pose anywhere near the same type of challenges in regards to unexpected power loss. It's possible that a power loss during a build can result in a corrupt executable binary but you would simply do a clean build - something that I've had to do multiple times to fix issues not associated with power loss. Obviously, if power issues are common where you live, you should have a UPS.

    The Crucial MX500 has received good initial reviews and it supports TRIM. They're usually a little cheaper (in the US, about $15) than Samsung.
     
  11. vddobrev macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    Location:
    Haskovo, Bulgaria
    #11
    I have the Samsung 850 Pro 512GB in my Mac mini 2014. Here is what I get as performance in the screenshot. TRIM works fine.

    Samsung850Pro512GB.png
     
  12. Hede macrumors member

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    Sep 25, 2011
    Location:
    Denmark
    #12
    I got little less but still good
     

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  13. BelgianGuy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2018
    #13
    Hello, I am the OP. Here is a quick update. I have received my SSD and OWC kit. I am now all set. I will probably do the installation sometime this weekend. In the meantime, here is a snap of the OWC kit:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, they have included a small piece of foil shielding to fix the USB 3.0 / Bluetooth interference issue. That’s a nice gesture in my book :)

    Anyway, I will provide you with another update once the installation is completed.


    Will let you know :)
     
  14. campyguy macrumors 68040

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    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
  15. BelgianGuy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2018
    #15
    I have successfully installed the SSD. Wasn’t that easy, to be honest. I’ve struggled a lot with the motherboard. On video, it seems so easy to remove but for some reason, mine was stuck like crazy.

    Now, I have to install MacOS on the SSD. However, I am not sure which format and scheme I should select here. In a nutshell, this is what I am trying to achieve:

    [​IMG]

    So, for the SSD, I am thinking about APFS for the format and GUID Partition Map for the scheme since it will be dedicated to MacOS.

    Concerning the second drive (HDD), I want a storage partition that can be accessed by both OS. Therefore, I should go with the ExFAT format from what I understand. Is this correct? Also, do you have any idea in regard to the scheme I should pick for that partition?

    Lastly, I am thinking about putting my documents, pictures, movies, downloads, soundtracks and web browser-related files in that storage partition. Therefore, I was wondering what you would do (and why) if you were in my shoes:

    1) Relocate the user folder to that partition
    2) Create symbolic links for the Documents, Pictures, Movies, Downloads and Music folders.
    3) Indicate, on a case-by-case basis, where a given app should access and save its files
    4) Else?


    Thank you for mentioning this. I have updated the SSD firmware with Samsung’s magician software.
     
  16. grandM macrumors 65816

    grandM

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #16
    where did you buy the owc kit
     
  17. BelgianGuy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2018
    #17

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