Compatible SSD for Mac Mini Late 2012

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dica266, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. dica266 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 11, 2018
    #1
    Hi, I need to change a hdd to ssd in a Mac Mini for somebody, I never used a mac before so I suppose that I need to create a bootable stick from another macbook with Mac OS and boot from it. My question is that is there any ssd incompatible with Mac Mini at software level ? I mean I can put 7 or 9mm ssd's in it, and another thing do I need to format from a windows pc the ssd to something or if I boot from stick I can directly format it to whatever Mac OS needs from boot menu ? Thanks and sorry if those questions where asked before, I'm a newbie in Apple world computers :)
     
  2. KrisLord macrumors 65816

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    #2
    Is the current Mac mini working ok?

    If so use it to create a bootable USB stick (plenty of guides on the internet, and not too difficult)

    Depending on whether they want data to be preserved you’ll need to do a backup to another drive via time machine.

    You can install the drive into the mini without any formatting, the installer will take take care of that. It’ll then install a fresh copy of MacOS into the drive and then ask if you want to restore from time machine.
     
  3. dica266 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Yea it works but very slow, I run SMART check or something like that on the hdd and it had some bads I think. So if I have one ssd, one bootable usb with MacOS everything will be ok, I don't need anything else like a pc to format ssd or anything else. Thank you very much!
     
  4. KrisLord macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I’m guessing you’ve got the right screwdrivers etc to get into the mini?

    They’re mainly torx screws I think (can’t remember exactly as I just bought a kit aimed at the mini so didnt note specific screwdriver sizes)
     
  5. dica266 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Yea, no problem with that. I will go with 850 or 860 EVO from Sasmung SSD 256GB version. Everything should be fine I guess.
     
  6. Hede, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018

    Hede macrumors member

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    #6
    Or a Pro version of the Samsung SSD`s. But i Will always go fore Samsung drives.
     
  7. ziggy29, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018

    ziggy29 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    That should work fine, assuming you are comfortable with doing the surgery. The Samsung EVO 850/860 drives are some of the best consumer-priced SSDs out there for general use.

    Personally, I decided against the surgery and boot externally from a Samsung T5, but if you're comfortable opening it up and not breaking anything, go for it! It will be like a brand new computer when you are done. The difference between the SSD and the original spinner is incredible.

    If you want to transfer all the data from the existing drive, you can use something like Carbon Copy Cloner to copy the HDD before you remove it, and clone it to the SSD before you install it. (You may need an external USB 3.0 to SATA adapter cable, preferably with UASP support, about US$10-15. I have one of those and I have found it indispensible for HDD to SSD upgrades.)
     
  8. dica266 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 11, 2018
    #8
    Thanks for info ziggy, yea I'm comfortable doing this surgery, I know what a huge difference is between a ssd and original hdd. I have a usb + power interface to sata so I can make a bootable backup using Carbon Copy Cloner. I will do the surgery in 5 days. I will keep you updated :D
     
  9. dica266 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Update: Everything was ok, used Carbon Copy Cloner with an external USB-SATA interface, switched hdd with ssd, booted up and that was it. Thanks everyone for help!
     
  10. macstatic macrumors 65816

    macstatic

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    #10
    Interesting thread as my wife just got a late-2012 Mac Mini (2.5GHz i5) and we're considering adding an SSD in addition to the existing 500GB hard drive.
    I've also understood that they way to go are with Samsung SSDs (for long-term reliability and speed), but it seems they stopped making 120GB (or 128GB) ones and the smallest one now is at 250GB. For OSX and apps that's more than twice what we need, but for everything (OSX, apps and files) it's too small, so that means a lot more $$$ for a bigger (500GB or more) SSD.
    Is there a smart way to set things up with say a 250GB SSD and a 500GB hard drive in terms of software/file sectup?
     
  11. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Well, you could create a Fusion Drive with the two.

    Though, I'd just settle for a 500G SSD.
     
  12. macstatic macrumors 65816

    macstatic

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    #12
    It's interesting you suggest that because I've just read another thread here about the same thing!

    I don't know if I understand it correctly, but with a 250GB SSD together with a 500GB hard drive I would essentialy be getting a single 750GB "mixed" drive (in terms of performance)?
    The initial idea was to put all apps and OSX on the SSD, then have everything else on the hard drive.

    Wouldn't the Fusion drive solution be sort of a compromise to this, but in terms of practicality (i.e. not ending up with wasted/unused space on the "too large for just OSX/apps" SSD, and avoid spreading files outside the user's hard drive area and cause a mess), a single drive (which the Fusion drive will become) could be more beneficial?
    By the way, if Apple were consistent in the type of hard drive mounted in the late-2012 i5 2.5GHz Mac mini computers, and the previous owner didn't replace the internal 500GB drive with another 500GB drive -does anyone know what kind of performance we're talking about?
     
  13. Hede macrumors member

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    #13
    Does High Sierra ( AFPS+ ) support fusion drives now? The new file system ( AFPS+ ) did NOT support fusion drives when it came out.
     
  14. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    #14

    I've no idea, actually.
    I use a 500G Crucial SSD, which I bought in 2014 together with the 2012 i7.

    But: Apple still sells Fusion-Drive iMacs. I assume, they come with APFS.
    I may be wrong but I was under the assumption that the conversion is not supported. Clean install may work.
     
  15. KrisLord macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Fusion drives don’t use APFS yet, but I wouldn’t let that put you off. They’re still compatible with high Sierra.

    The whole point of a fusion drive is the OS will optimise the file locations to hide the fact that some of your storage is a slow mechanical drive.

    So yes you can sell the difference between an SSD and a fusion drive, but it’s not as big as you’d think. The ratio of SSD to mechanical HD is also relevant.

    In the 1TB fusion drives from Apple, they originally launched with 128GB of SSD space and 1TB of mechanical drive space. The SSD space was reduced to about 32GB on later models.

    With only a 256GB SSD I’d use a fusion drive setup. I think 512 is the point at which I’d stick with pure SSD.
     
  16. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    AFAIK, beyond 128GB SSD, there's few performance improvements for most use-cases.
    Still, I'd go all-SSD. Unless space requirements make that uneconomical.
     
  17. jasnw macrumors 6502a

    jasnw

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    #17
    I'm thinking about doing what you've done as well (boot from an external SSD) with my late-2012 Mini. Sounds like you're happy with it - what OS are you running? I'm curious is HS would have a problem booting from an external SSD.
     
  18. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #18
    jasnw wrote:
    "I'm curious is HS would have a problem booting from an external SSD."

    High Sierra will boot and run from an external SSD as well as any other version of the Mac OS.

    I was experimenting with HS that way on my own 2012 Mini.
    The only reason I stopped the testing was because I had an SSD failure elsewhere and I had to repurpose the HS SSD to another Mac.

    I would give you some advice if you try this:
    MOST IMPORTANT:
    Format the SSD to "Mac OS Extended with journaling enabled". DON'T bother with APFS.
    I predict things will run much better that way.

    Also, create a bootable USB flashdrive installer, and do the install that way.
    Use the small, free app "Boot Buddy" from here:
    Boot Buddy – sqwarq
    Again, things go easier.

    Although I don't use High Sierra as my main OS, it seemed to run pretty well from the USB3 SSD I was testing with. It was snappy, no crashes, etc.
     
  19. jasnw macrumors 6502a

    jasnw

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  20. jasnw macrumors 6502a

    jasnw

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    #20
    Are you suggesting that I install HS on the external SSD with APFS disabled? That requires starting the installer from the command line, right? I'm not disagreeing with the idea, but why do you suggest avoiding APFS?
     
  21. Donka macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    Scotland
    #21
    For others looking to do similar - I upgraded my 2012 Mini with a Crucial 480Gb SSD almost 4 years ago and it has run flawlessly. SSD internal alongside the original 1TB hd as two separate drives and the mini running as a home server.
     

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