Can you add a second disk to Mac Mini Late 2014 with SSD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Dr_Charles_Forbin, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. Dr_Charles_Forbin macrumors regular

    Dr_Charles_Forbin

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    May 11, 2016
    #1
    I've been looking around and I haven't been able to find a definitive answer. Some people say that if it ships with an SSD, there is no second space to add one. I've seen the teardown and it does look true, yet people say that there is a spot for the second SATA connector, I don't see it. I have a 500GB SSD in there and my LaCie thunderbolt is getting a bit flaky - but if i can just another 500GB drive internally rather than swapping out for a 1TB drive, it's cheaper. Has anyone does this or has any info? Thanks... Jim
     
  2. treekram, Mar 3, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017

    treekram macrumors 65832

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    #2
    If you ordered the 2014 Mini with a SSD (which would have been the Apple non-SATA SSD), there is space for a SATA SSD. There is only space for one SATA device. Currently, you can only order the Apple 512GB SSD (which is not SATA) with the 2.8GHz model and I believe that's always been the case. If a SATA SSD was put in after purchase, there is no room for an additional SATA SSD. If an Apple PCIE SSD was put in after purchase, then the SATA slot is free (presuming you don't have a HDD there).

    You can look at the System Information app under Hardware and click on the SATA item to see if there are any SATA devices in your computer.

    EDIT: In looking at my 2014 Mini with the System Information app, the Thunderbolt devices also show up when "SATA/SATA Express" is selected. The SATA device (if any) will be under the "Intel 8 Series Chipset".
     
  3. Celerondon, Mar 3, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017

    Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    #3
    On a 2014 Mac mini wouldn't that "Apple non-SATA SSD" be a PCIe SSD? I agree with the general idea here. 2014 minis only accept one SATA device. If the mini originally came with the PCIe SSD then there will be room for a SATA device. However, if the computer was not originally equipped with a Fusion Drive you might have to obtain mounting hardware and a cable for your second storage device.

    I am fairly certain that the particular 2014 mini SATA bay configuration that this OP owns has been discussed on this forum several times in the past couple of years. If we can't find threads that describe mount and cable requirements for an OEM (PCIe) SSD 2014 mini then the iFixit site or other teardown video sources might help the OP.
     
  4. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    #4
    Here is one suggestion for how to add a SATA drive. It came from iFixit: https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/196915/SSD+and+second+hd+on+2014+Mac+Mini

    Yes if you buy just the pcie ssd you will get the dual disk caddy included but you need to buy your own 2.5" drive (up to 9.5mm) and sata flex cable. Ideally get the ifixit pack as it includes rubber grommets. You'll need a t6h screw driver too.


    Note: This would not use or be the "second SATA connector" because there is only SATA header on a 2014 mini. The other storage option is the PCIe connection.
     
  5. Kaida macrumors regular

    Kaida

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    #5
    Short answer: Yes
    Long answer: buy the upper cable kit and you can add in a 2.5" hdd/ssd.
     
  6. Dr_Charles_Forbin thread starter macrumors regular

    Dr_Charles_Forbin

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    #6
    Strangely enough, it shows up on the SATA tree as a PCI interconnect with a PCI protocol. Disk SM0512F. Go figure.... Apple doesn't make anything easy these days. Thanks....
     
  7. Kaida macrumors regular

    Kaida

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    #7
    I have the "F" model too and I was able to add in a second 2TB HDD using the upper kit.
     
  8. treekram macrumors 65832

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    #8
    Just to be sure - the "standard" install kits sold by OWC and iFixit assume you're going to install in the "upper" bay. This is the one you'll need vs. the OWC kit which is meant for 2012 Mini's where the existing hard drive was in the upper bay and which some people may refer to as the "upper bay kit".
     
  9. Dr_Charles_Forbin thread starter macrumors regular

    Dr_Charles_Forbin

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    #9
    SATA, correct?
     
  10. treekram, Mar 8, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017

    treekram macrumors 65832

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    #10
    Yes, you need the SATA cable but the kits don't have SATA in the name.

    https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Parts/Mac-Mini-Dual-Drive-Kit/IF171-005-2
    (Note: somebody who did what you want to do has left a comment.)

    https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIYIMM11D2/

    In addition, you need the tools described in the iFixit repair guide:
    https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac+Mini+Late+2014+Hard+Drive+Replacement/32815

    The iFixit guide is good because they show a unit which has the PCIE SSD installed and the steps to remove the cables attached to it. I followed the iFixit guide when I replaced my HDD. Just be careful when adding the drive.
     
  11. Dr_Charles_Forbin thread starter macrumors regular

    Dr_Charles_Forbin

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  12. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a

    pacmania1982

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    #12
    This won't work. The 2014 Mac mini doesn't have the connector on the motherboard to support this.
     
  13. tubular macrumors 6502

    tubular

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    #13
    Dr Forbin! A pleasure to finally meet you. How are things with Colossus and Guardian?
     
  14. treekram macrumors 65832

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    #14
    The 2014 Mini has a single SATA connector on the motherboard. The OP indicated that there wasn't a SATA device connected on their Mini (the Apple SSD was the disk) so they would be able to add a SATA device.
     
  15. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    #15
    OP:

    Don't know if you've made the decision yet, but if you have a 2014 Mini with an internal SSD, the fastest, easiest, safest way to "add storage" is to buy a USB3 drive and plug it in. There really isn't much more to it...
     
  16. tajalazy macrumors newbie

    tajalazy

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    Mar 20, 2018
    #16
    Hello all,

    I'm having the same issue here and I'm still not clear on the answer. Here is what I have... Late 2014 Mac Mini 1TB fusion drive (see pictures). It says that it is a SATA interconnect. My question is, can I buy a second SSD, say another 1 or 2 TB and install into this Mac Mini? If so, is the the correct cable I would need to do it with? https://www.amazon.com/Rinbers-Driv...=8-10&keywords=2014+mac+mini+hard+drive+cable

    I do a lot of video editing and would think that adding a second SSD internally would be faster than a large 7200 rpm external drive with a USB3 connection. Am I right?

    Thanks for your time.
     

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  17. Dr_Charles_Forbin thread starter macrumors regular

    Dr_Charles_Forbin

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    #17
    Gotta read the books - which I still haven’t done yet. It’s at the bottom of a long list of to do’s.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 20, 2018 ---
    Let’s get the apples and oranges straight. You can add an external SSD drive. Will the transfer rates be as fast? Thunderbolt 2 gives a 20Gbps transfer rate (from the website I just checked), USB 3 is 5Gbps USB 3.1 is 10Gbps. Theoeretical of course. I have a LaCie external thunderbolt SSD portable and while it is uncomfortable large in size it is fast . It’s the one in the orange case
     
  18. treekram macrumors 65832

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    #18
    You cannot add any disk into your 2014 Mini since you have both the Apple SSD and the Apple HDD in it. You can add either an external USB or Thunderbolt drive. Or you can swap out one of the drives you have now - either get a bigger SSD or replace the internal HDD with a SSD. However, the Apple SSD cannot be replaced by the typical PCIe SSD - there are limitations on what can replace it.

    It's difficult to say whether adding a SSD, external or internal, would result in much difference when doing video editing. It would depend on your video editing program and where the fusion drive is putting files. For me, I use Adobe Premiere Elements for video editing. When adding a new video file to a project (the video file is always on a HDD for me), it will do some initial processing of that file which results in a cache file being written. In my case, that cache file(s) is written to the SSD - which may or may not be the case in any specific fusion setup (I don't know). My guess is that if those cache files weren't on the SSD, response time would suffer. When doing video editing after the initial load, my sense is that when working on individual frames or moving from frame to frame, having the video file on a SSD won't help much. Now, if I move through the timeline, the HDD is accessed, but for me it's not that bad and it seems that it improved in going from version 14 to 15. Now, in doing the final export, which is the only way to get a file that can be used on other computers, the entire video has to be transcoded, but that process is processor-intensive and having a SSD won't help that.

    So, there's different factors involved as to whether a SSD will noticeably help the video editing process - the software being used, the type of video editing being done, the action being taken and where the fusion drive stores the files. You might get a better idea by going to your video editing software vendor's forums (if they have any) and seeing what they say.

    The only way you get significantly faster SSD's via Thunderbolt vs. USB 3 is if you spend a lot more money. Cheaper TB SSD's, which still cost more than USB 3 SSD's, are in the same ballpark as USB 3 SSD's because they use SATA drives internally. I have a couple of cheaper TB external drives and a USB 3 SSD.
     
  19. Dr_Charles_Forbin thread starter macrumors regular

    Dr_Charles_Forbin

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    May 11, 2016
    #19
    That's very true. I thought he was replacing the fusion drive. No, the fusion drive uses both ports - that's why I stayed away from it originally. When I was on windows, I had one of those small SSD drives that acted as a cache and I saw no performance difference with or without it. Fusion only moves frequently used files to it (If I remember correctly), so a video file may not automatically get moved to it. Just out of curiosity (and I really dont know this), is there an external video co-processor much like the external video cards that the mac can use? That might be a better option if it also had the ability to offload processing cycles as well.
     
  20. treekram macrumors 65832

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    #20
    External GPU's using the Thunderbolt port are available, but they are expensive. And I don't know that it would really help response time - it would depend on the user needs and the video editing software used. For a lot of functions for more casual video editors (like me), I don't think an eGPU would be worth it - the money would be better spent towards a different computer with overall faster components. Going to quad-core or higher will help when rendering for export is done.
     
  21. Boyd01, Mar 20, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018

    Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #21
    I use a 2012 quad core mini for video editing with Final Cut Pro X and have it setup to boot from an external 1TB Samsung T3 SSD. This is what I get with the BlackMagic Disk Test

    [​IMG]

    Compare that to your external hard drive. The USB 3 external hard drives that I use all clock at around 180MB/sec max, so that is considerably slower. As another data point, my 2012 quad mini has the original Apple 256gb internal SSD and this is what I get. In theory, I believe your 2014 mini can do better than this because it has a faster interface.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Dr_Charles_Forbin thread starter macrumors regular

    Dr_Charles_Forbin

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    #22
    This is true - I was looking at them earlier. I don’t do much video editing - but on the occasions I have it’s been dog piss jones slow. I’ve wasted a lot of money on Avid upgrades that I never used. Primere is much better. But I digress. I was curious. The problem with throwing that money at upgrades is that in the Apple world, there really isn’t any - unless they come out with an updated Mac mini - which you can bet will have soldered memory and storage. :-(
     
  23. lie2me macrumors member

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    Apr 23, 2010
    #23
    "unless they come out with an updated Mac mini - which you can bet will have soldered memory and storage"

    They just came out with the updated Mac mini - it has replaceable memory but soldered storage. It does not look like there is any room to add any SATA drives. Hold onto your pocketbooks because I think with the options I would want 16gb ram/1tb SDD, the new mac mini is just too much money ($1800). I need storage for office work. Give me a cheaper 1tb SATA SDD option. They should have just made a cheap MacPro in a plastic box with a few PCIe slots to buy-in first and then upgrade later.
     
  24. Dr_Charles_Forbin thread starter macrumors regular

    Dr_Charles_Forbin

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    #24
    Agreed.. but Apple wants their pound of flesh up front. It’s funny I was going to look into them just out of curiosity. I use my MacBook every day but don’t get to the desktop very often so I don’t see a need to upgrade.
     
  25. mikehalloran macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Yea, right! Counting the number of times Apple has paid attention to that. Ever?
     

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