Fusion Drive For Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Mac... nificent, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. Mac... nificent macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2012
    I'm looking into buying a new Mac mini. I would like it to have Fusion Drive. Apple charges out the _ss for it, but I was wondering how hard would it be to make a Fusion Drive myself? :confused:
  2. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    There are plenty of website that show you how to install a 2nd drive inside a MacMini; and others which detail the process of how to create a Fusion volume.

    If you are reasonably dexterous and able to follow instructions accurately, it's probably not that difficult.
  3. eyepea macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2012
    It is easy once you have done it once. I would suggest you have a look on you tube first to see a video. Whilst it is shown on photos on say ifixit it can be tricky to understand how the logic board is levered out even with the tool. You need a kit too. Mount screws and sata ribbon are needed. OWC and ifixit both have a kit. I think OWC also has video now that I think about it.

    It is a challenging build for a novice to mac minis but satisfying when you have it all done.

    Just make sure you read up on all the procedures including building the fusion drive and installing osx.

  4. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    In addition to checking that you have the technical skills to do this upgrade make sure you price out the cost of doing the work yourself. It will cost you $175 to add a 120GB SSD from OWC (with Data Doubler kit). Is it worth saving $75 (and taking the risk of screwing up) over ordering the mini with a 128GB/1TB fusion drive preinstalled?
  5. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    It wasn't for me, plus I wanted AppleCare and didn't want to have to undo the DIY install if the Mac ever needs service. I think the factory Fusion option is well worth the price.
  6. Ubele macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    On the other hand, if you get a refurbished mini and buy a reputable SSD on sale, the cost savings are much greater. I just bought a refurbished 2012 2.3 GHz i7 Mac mini with a 1 TB drive for $679, as opposed to the regular price of $799. 128 GB SSDs are regularly on sale for $90 or less. Add $30 for the Data Doubler Kit, and you can create a Fusion-drive Mac mini for $799, as opposed to the $1,049 Apple charges. My plan is to buy a 500 GB Samsung 840 SSD when they next go on sale for $270, and create my own 1.5 TB Fusion drive (an option not offered by Apple) for $979. I've worked on electronic equipment before, so I have the technical skills, but if I didn't, there's an Apple-certified computer store in my area that does this sort of work inexpensively. In 2008, they wanted $40 to replace the hard drive in my MBP with a bigger drive I'd bought, which I thought was reasonable. I opted to do it myself, though. You might check around for similar stores if you're uncomfortable doing the work yourself.
  7. 50voltphantom macrumors regular


    Jun 23, 2011
    As someone who begrudgingly (sp?) switched from an iMac to a mini, I have to totally agree. Are you paying a bit of a premium for factory Fusion Drive? Yes, but the reduction in headache and eliminating the chance of possibly screwing up your mini are worth it in my opinion. I have taken a number of Macs apart before and I am comfortable doing so, but with the mini, the factory Fusion Drive is just a no-brainer option. Consider the savings you gain by being able to upgrade the RAM yourself to 16GB without the Apple-tax of 16GB of RAM in a 21.5" iMac and the factory Fusion Drive seems like a steal. I love my Fusion mini and have no regrets.
  8. jomobco macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2013
    You can send your mini to OWC and they will install the second drive for $99 IIRC. As someone who did this I would say buy the kit and take your time. If you have some mechanical aptitude you should be fine. Plus you can't buy a mini with 2x480 SSD Drives and then have a 1tb external from the original internal.
  9. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    Creating a fusiondrive with a 2012 Mac Mini is easy. As its automatic from the few minis ive worked on.

    I recently bought a refurbished base model Mac Mini 2012, picked up a 1TB 5400RPM HDD and 120GB Samsung ssd for about $69 and $89 a piece. So with the refurb price and all that was a great value.

    Installed both the SSD & HDD into the Mini, booted from the factory 500GB into disk utility and it automatically created the fusion drive from that.

    Didnt have to command line or anything. and the other 2012 mac minis ive set-up similarly for clients all worked the same.
  10. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    And with the DIY option, you can skip making a Fusion volume. IMO separating files and system/apps/temp between HD and SSD is working great, and allows you to make a clone of your system on the HD in case one drive breaks.
    Fusion will make roughly the same split of files, but it is "cleaning the house" on weird times in the background.
    In the EU, self-replacement does not void warranty. Don't now where you reside.

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