Creating Fusion drive on 2014 Mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by chipfiev, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. chipfiev macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #1
    I've got a Macmini7,1 with the 1TB internal disk. I've really found myself missing the home brew Fusion drive I have in my 2011 mini...but we all know the ports in the 2014 make that approach a non-starter. I'd really like to stay away from an external SSD and I'd like to keep the 1TB drive, hence the hope for a Fusion solution.

    Browsing the forum, I've found references to the ability to add a PCIe SSD. I've managed to find a source for the PCIe cable. Does anyone know where I can find a drive that will work in this application?

    The cable: http://applecomponents.com/items/ca...-storage/0000006001?pn=1&cmp=0231&per_page=30

    Of course, at some point, it could be easier just to buy a big SSD and replace the drive but I'd rather not do that much surgery.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    I don't think you need a PCIe cable.

    All you need is an Apple PCIe SSD (SM0256F, SM0512F or SM1024F, or even the newer SM0256G, SM0512G and SM1024G models).
     
  3. Celerondon, Apr 10, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015

    Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #3
    Oh Yes You Do Need A Cable!

    If the 2014 came without the Fusion Drive or an SSD then you do need a cable. This forum is full of information regarding the required hardware!

    See this post by Fishrrman for instance:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=20901753&postcount=5


    You can find the proper type of PCIe SSD on sources like Amazon or eBay. Do your homework before you purchase. As you mentioned, there is plenty to be learned by "browsing this forum".
     
  4. chipfiev thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #4
    Thanks for the part numbers. So, in short, if I can find a drive for a 13' Retina MacBook Pro, I should be set? I might have to crack the case and see if I have a cable or an open port.

    Is there a preferred vendor for Apple parts?
     
  5. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #5
    If you don't have an SSD, Apple will not have included the cable for it. Just as with the 2012 and earlier models where people added the second drive and had to go buy a cable to do so.
     
  6. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #6
    Doesn't installing the drive carrier represent the same amount of surgery as replacing the OEM HHD?
     
  7. steve217 macrumors regular

    steve217

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Location:
    NC
    #7
    Why the aversion to the external USB enclosure?

    The external SSD enclosures are just as fast as an internal SATA III.

    While I agree the PCIe drive is ideal, they're rather expensive, even for the 120gb drives - about 3x's the price of a 120gb.

    Is the speed, TRIM and saved USB port worth ~$200 in PCIe drive parts on a $700 computer?
     
  8. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #8
    The HDD-only minis don't come with the cable, as mentioned in the iFixit teardown.

    The mount for the PCIe SSD is already present, just the cable is missing.
     
  9. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #9
  10. chipfiev thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #10
    for my wife, yes. She likes a clean desk and I'll have to get a hub to hook up an external USB drive.

    I found a drive on eBay for $120 and the cable for $40. Will install and create a fusion drive and that should be that for less than the cost of a 500Gb SSD.
     
  11. chipfiev thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #11
    Got the parts today. Install took 10 minutes. Booted to recovery mode and OS X offered to fix my fusion drive. Then I booted from my clone, restored and we're done.

    Read and write speeds test up about 5 or 6 times faster than the other drive. Very happy with how this went.
     
  12. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #12
    Fantastic!

    How does this FD compare to you other "home brew" drive? Can you notice or measure a PCIe boost? :eek:
     
  13. chipfiev thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #13
    The PCIe Fusion drive is far faster than my other "home brew" drive and just blows the stock disk out of the water.

    Using Blackmagic Disk Speed Test (and rounding:
    2014 Mac mini w/ 1TB 5400rpm HD:
    Read: 82 MB/s
    Write: 75 MB/s

    2014 Mac mini w/ 128GB PCIe SSD and 1TB 5400rpm HD:
    Read: 650 MB/s
    Write: 315 MB/s

    2011 Mac mini w/ 256GB SATAIII SSD and 320GB 5400rpm HD:
    Read: 350 MB/s
    Write: 133 MB/s

    2009 Mac mini w/ 64GB SATA SSD:
    Read: 108 MB/s
    Write: 55 MB/s

    Well worth the $162 spent.
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    chipfiev wrote above:
    [[ Got the parts today. Install took 10 minutes ]]

    Just wondering -- did you replace the entire "carrier", or did you separate the cable from the carrier, and then install only the cable and the PCI-e drive onto the existing carrier?

    If you detached the cable, what was involved in doing so, and what tools did you use?
     
  15. chipfiev thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #15
    I simply separated the PCIe cable and socket from the new carrier. It was pretty easy to peel off, especially if I bent the new carrier assembly a bit. I didn't actually use any tool to do that job. I did use a spudger I had from a OWC drive kit to pop the bottom off the mini. I also used a small flat screwdriver to remove the little peg from the middle of the torx screws on the mini.
     
  16. applelover4u macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    #16
    link to parts?

    ----------

    how did you get the parts within 2 days from ebay?
     
  17. chipfiev thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #17
  18. Jersey-Mike, Nov 17, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015

    Jersey-Mike macrumors newbie

    Jersey-Mike

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Location:
    Glen Gardner, New Jersey
    #18
    Hi,


    I Just got a Late 2014 Mac Mini (Mid Range) 2.6 w/8 Gigs and a 1TB Drive. I want to do an upgrade on the drive. I have a

    Crucial MX200 500GB SATA 2.5 Inch SSD that I had in my older 2010 Mini Now I have a choice to install this Drive or get

    the "Carrier Hard Drive w/ Flash Storage Flex Cable" kit and get a pcie ssd and make it a fusion drive. The first way is the cheapest since

    I already have the SSD the second give me double the space but will cost alittle more. Any suggestions on which why I should go ?
     
  19. chipfiev thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #19
    Based on what I know, I believe that spec of Mac mini only has one SATA port and the only way to do a fusion drive with a PCIe drive. You could always fuse the SSD and the PCIe drive...but that might be overkill.
     
  20. Jersey-Mike, Nov 17, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015

    Jersey-Mike macrumors newbie

    Jersey-Mike

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Location:
    Glen Gardner, New Jersey
    #20
    THATS WHY i WAS
    Thats why I was going to get Apple Part #: 076-00041 From AppleComponets.com and buy a PCIe drive. But it might be easier to just put my 500GB drive in it and call it a day. But I might not want to sacrifice the storage capacity
     
  21. chipfiev thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #21
    Gotcha. The PCIe install was so easy. It'd be cheaper to use the drive you have but I think the "real" fusion drive approach is easier; less disassembly.
     
  22. Jersey-Mike macrumors newbie

    Jersey-Mike

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Location:
    Glen Gardner, New Jersey
    #22
    Thanks
     

Share This Page