Can I modify my 2018 Mac mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dkupras, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. dkupras macrumors member

    dkupras

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #1
    Hi All - I just purchased a 2018 Mac mini with the 1TB 5,400 RPM drive which I find slow. I know back in 2014 you were able to upgrade the machine. Can I still perform memory and hard drive upgrades on this year's model or is it not possible?

    Thanks!
     
  2. redheeler, Aug 10, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018

    redheeler macrumors 604

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #2
    You bought a 2014 Mac mini, not a 2018 Mac mini. It has literally gone without a hardware update of any kind for almost four years.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 10, 2018 ---
    The memory is soldered (and 4 GB really isn't enough by today's standards), but an SSD upgrade is possible and will make a big difference in performance, though it's not as easy as it was with the 2012 models.
     
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #3
    So, answering your question...
    You can replace the hard drive with a standard SATA SSD-
    https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac+mini+Late+2014+Hard+Drive+Replacement/32815

    Review those disassembly steps to see if you will be comfortable inside that small space. Lots of potential to accidentally damage some of the tiny connectors - but still doable when you take your time.
    The RAM is soldered to the logic board, so no upgrades are possible there.
    (Replacing the spinning hard drive with an SSD will do wonders for the speed, and that may be all you need to do. You COULD also leave the hard drive in place, and use an external USB 3 SSD for your booting drive, which will give you most of the speed of an internal SSD upgrade
     
  4. AndyMacAndMic, Aug 10, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018

    AndyMacAndMic macrumors 6502

    AndyMacAndMic

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    #4
    There is no 2018 Mac Mini. There is no this years model. The Mac Mini you bought has 4 year old technology and is the 2014 Mac Mini. It has not changed since. In essence you have answered your own question. See post #3 for what you can modify. Basically Apple is selling old outdated stuff here for (still) the premium price when it was new.

    Maybe Apple will release a new upgraded Mac Mini this year, but don't hold your breath. There are lots of threads on MacRumors speculating when the Mac Mini finally will be updated (if ever).

    If I where you I would return it (if you are still in the return window) and wait for the upgraded Mac Mini or buy something else.

    See also the buyer's guide advice here on MacRumors. It says: don't buy.
     
  5. dkupras thread starter macrumors member

    dkupras

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #5
    Ahh....understood.....thanks for the helpful info!!
     
  6. Expobill macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    #6
    if the mac mini is made by Apple, probably not
     
  7. dkupras thread starter macrumors member

    dkupras

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #7

    I noticed the machine is INCREDIBLY slow....not sure if its because of the 5,400RPM drive because when I use my SSD MB Pro I run into literally no speed issues. Thanks everyone for the kind info.
     
  8. AndyMacAndMic macrumors 6502

    AndyMacAndMic

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    #8
    I don't know how much RAM you have, but 4 Gb would be a bit low for todays standards and you can not upgrade that.
    Also the CPU is of an old generation and not the fastest anymore.

    But replacing the (slow) hard drive with a SSD would definitely make the biggest impact.
     
  9. dkupras thread starter macrumors member

    dkupras

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #9
    Agree...have the Core-i5 8GB ram but the 1Tb 5,400 RPM is dragging. Im running Mojave on it too and don't know if there are any such tools, programs that could help boost my performance until I order the kit and new SSD.
     
  10. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #10
    There's several reasons that the 2014 mini will seem slower than virtually any SSD MBPro.
    hamstring CPU (you can't do anything about that)
    slow GPU/video (also nothing you can do)
    low RAM (maybe), and still no fix that you can do when it "needs more RAM"
    Not JUST a spinning hard drive, but a slow one at that.
    All those add up to handicap the mini (for some users, anyway)
    The hard drive is the one choice that you can make, that can help in any significant way, either by completely replacing the internal hard drive with SSD (best choice) or adding an external SSD, and use THAT for the system boot drive.
    (Your MBPro will still likely seem speedier, but the SSD in the mini will help close that gap.)
     
  11. AndyMacAndMic, Aug 10, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018

    AndyMacAndMic macrumors 6502

    AndyMacAndMic

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    #11
    Well the 8 Gb RAM you have is sufficient (also for current standards). The Core-i5 (although not the newest generation and not the fastest) is fine for moderate purposes. The real bottleneck seems to be your 5400 RPM hard drive.

    I exchanged an old 5400 RPM drive with an SSD on an old laptop of mine (admittedly running Windows) and the speed difference was day and night. The old laptop used to take 3 minutes to start up and that changed to around 20 seconds.

    I am not aware of any tools to speed up your performance until your SSD arrives though. The most sites offering tips about speeding up your Mac are saying things like:
    • replace your hard drive with an SSD
    • add more RAM
    • clean up your hard drive etc.
    Clearly those tips are obvious but are not helping much at the moment.

    It seems you will have to be patient until your SSD arrives o_O
     
  12. jonobin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #12
    If you are still in the 14 days window get back to the store and get a refound
     
  13. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #13
    Is it the 1.4 ghz model? (it helps if you are very specific about what you have). I have the base 1.4ghz/4gb/500GB hard drive model. It's an incredibly slow machine, but I only use it as an iTunes server and it's fine for that. I'm sure having 8gb of RAM on yours helps though.

    I have two Mini's setup to boot from external USB Samsung t3 SSD's and they are very fast. This is your easiest upgrade - just plug in the SSD, clone your internal drive to it, select it in the Startup Disk preference and re-boot. It should seem like a new machine, and you don't have to void your warranty by opening it. Do it now, and you can see if it's acceptable while you still have time to return the computer.

    Samsung as replaced the T3 with the T5, which is a bit faster. You will get disk performance 4 to 5 times faster than your internal hard drive with the external SSD.
     
  14. dkupras thread starter macrumors member

    dkupras

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #14
    This is a great idea! I think I will try this; my specs read:
    - Mac mini (Late 2014)
    - 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5
    - 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    - Intel Iris 1536 MB
     
  15. dkupras thread starter macrumors member

    dkupras

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #15
    Just did some researching and was wondering if I went the route of having the Samsung T5 Portable as an external option would that be slower than internally installing....say the Crucial MX300 Model #: CT525MX300SSD1 listed on https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Mac/500-GB-SSD/IF107-142-1

    Thanks again!
     
  16. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #16
    This is what I get with the 1tb Samsung T3 - I also have 500gb T3 and the performance is the same. The T5 is supposed to be slightly faster but I don't know that it would make much difference on the Mini.

    [​IMG]

    I have never installed an internal SSD on a Mini, but I'm sure someone else can comment on that. I think the 2014 Mini could get read speeds of around 700MB/sec (this is what I get on my 512gb 2013 MacBook Air) however that requires the correct kind of SSD and cable. I think these are more expensive than the one in the link you posted.

    But you run the risk of damaging your Mini by opening it up - it was never designed to be user upgradeable. Even if you don't do any damage, you will void your Apple warranty. I wouldn't want to do that with a brand new machine.
     
  17. dkupras thread starter macrumors member

    dkupras

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #17
    Pretty impressive....thanks for the benchmark :)!
    --- Post Merged, Aug 11, 2018 ---
    Does anybody know if the SSD that came with my 2017 13" MB Pro 512GB is faster than these read speeds? I never thought to check since I just gave the machine away (sigh)
     
  18. Snappers macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2016
    #18
    It is just as easy to install an SSD in the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Mac Mini models as it is with the 2014 model. At this point, it might be just as easy in the 2019 model as well.
     
  19. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #19
    The SSD in your Macbook Pro is faster than the Samsung T3.
     
  20. dkupras thread starter macrumors member

    dkupras

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #20
    Dang....is there any portable SSD out there that can match those speeds or not really?
     
  21. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #21
    The newest Mac laptops have crazy fast SSD's. https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/disk-speed-bench-macbook-pro-mid-2017-15-tb-256-ssd.2054482/

    You aren't going to get that with a Mini, and it would be sort of like "whipped cream on a t*rd" to even if you could. :D

    You can get faster external Thunderbolt SSD's, but they will cost a *lot* more and IMO they are not worth it. You can pay as much as $40 just for a thunderbolt cable itself! What are you doing with your Mini? Do you need a super-fast SSD?
     
  22. dkupras thread starter macrumors member

    dkupras

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #22
    Good point just miss my MB Pro......take a look at these ultra-sad speeds lol
     

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  23. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #23
    Where are you getting those speed? Looks like a slow USB 2.0 flash drive. Inexpensive bus-powered USB hard drives get around 30-35MB/sec write speed. Bus powered USB 3.0 hard drives get around 100MB/sec. I get around 180MB/sec with inexpensive externally powered USB 3.0 hard drives. The internal 500gb hard drive on my base 2014 mini clocks around 100MB/sec write speed.
     
  24. dkupras thread starter macrumors member

    dkupras

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    #24
    Maybe it's the HD that came with this. Just picked it up about 4 days ago brand new (knowing its a 2014)
     
  25. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #25
    If that is the internal hard drive on your Mini, then something is seriously wrong with it.
     

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