General Mac Mini Questions

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by t2stone, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. t2stone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    #1
    First post here, hi all! :)

    Long story short I have spend the last 2ish months diagnosing my self built gaming PC on my short summer break. Now that class is back in I realized I don't have the time to continue to work on it so I am sending the parts I bought that can be sent back out to Amazon for a refund. I am then going to buy a Mac Mini (hopefully I can hold out for the next generation). This will be my first Mac.... The Mini will be my basic computer for media transcoding, Plex server, the occasional paper I don't feel like writing on my laptop, and light gaming (mostly desktop only stuff - i.e. RTS games. My PS3 will handle the rest of my gaming needs).

    I was planning on getting the stock i7 build and adding my 2 month old Samsung 840 Pro for the boot drive but I have been reading that lots of people are breaking different connections due to their fragility when prying the system open. Assuming nothing changes. where is the open slot? Do I really have to go the whole 9 yards and pull the logic board to gain access to the bay? Or can I just pull the fan and grill off and slide it in?

    I also read that the Mini seems to be pretty picky about memory. What models are known to work well? I think I will just stick with 8GB for right now.

    Any ideas on if the new model will have the same crap soldering job that the rMBP has? I know its speculation but I would appreciate any input.

    And I know this has been asked 1000x but any new ideas with the new iMac systems out on when the new model will be released? The iPad event mid October?

    Thanks Ahead! :D
     
  2. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #2
    Adding the Samsung is easy, and you don't have to break anything if you use the right video (not from iFixit or OWC!)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymGnXdwvabg
    You can follow this, but in the 2012 the HD is in the upper bay, and you can just slide the Samsung on top (no need to insert the screws, just put in the spacer you got with the drive if it has space to move).
    For the 2012 you need a LOWER BAY CABLE!
    I have used Crucial Mac memory, it is tested in Macs and not more expensive than generic Kingston stuff.

    I'm not going to do my math on release date predictions here, cause other MR members like flaky MR rumors above decent math and will pee over me.... ;)
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    [[ I was planning on getting the stock i7 build and adding my 2 month old Samsung 840 Pro for the boot drive but I have been reading that lots of people are breaking different connections due to their fragility when prying the system open. Assuming nothing changes. where is the open slot? Do I really have to go the whole 9 yards and pull the logic board to gain access to the bay? Or can I just pull the fan and grill off and slide it in? ]]

    If you're worried about opening the Mini (at least while it's still under warranty), get a USB3/SATA docking station, drop the SSD into that, and use that as your boot source. I doubt you'll notice any difference from "internally installed".

    For a USB/SATA dock, I recommend plugable.com (NFI, just a paying customer here).

    Use CarbonCopyCloner (free to download and use for 30 days) to "clone" the Mini's internal drive to the SSD in the dock. You might also consider keeping a copy of the OS on the internal drive to serve as a "second bootable volume" -- you ALWAYS want to have a second fully bootable copy of the OS "at hand".

    Buy the minimum configuration of memory and add it yourself.
    Buy RAM from a good source (I recommend datamem.com) and be careful with the mounting tabs when you remove the old RAM boards...
     
  4. t2stone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    #4
    I watched the video and it seems like its a tight fit to slide them back in without the logic board out but I will give it a try that way. I was mostly worried about the IR connector as it was the one people were saying they were breaking removing the Logic Board. I guess I could always buy from Best Buy and then act the ignorant customer if something goes wrong :rolleyes:.

    Where would you get one? Would you grab the iFixit kit?

    Is your estimate soon? ;)

    Would you just image the drive for a backup? I have a bootable disk somewhere that has a imaging software that works perfect. That way if something ever goes wrong I can just restore the image of the stock drive and boot from that. I would also be able to format that drive and use the whole thing (1/2 for Windows and 1/2 for OS X programs that won't fit on my SSD).

    For installing OS X onto the SSD I need to boot into the stock drive, create the recovery stick and then boot from that to install? Are there any BIOS like changes I need to make to ensure it boots from the drive? I would rather just do a fresh install rather than cloning stuff around. Call it my Windows OCD but I always like a fresh install when I can get it and cloning almost never works 100% perfect. I almost always get little hiccups afterwards.
     
  5. kappaknight macrumors 68000

    kappaknight

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #5
    Cloning actually works quite well on OSX. Keep in mind that OSX doesn't come with 3rd party adware like Windows does. If you're getting a brand new system, whatever files on there are probably the most minimal stuff you'll get - so no reason not to clone it.
     
  6. t2stone thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    #6
    I also need help picking out a good external enclosure that supports my WD Green 3TB media drive. I would like to have the enclosure support USB 3.0 but if the price hikes up for 3.0 I think I can manage with 2.0.

    Any suggestions on a DVD burner that works well? Maybe I could spring for a good Blu-ray drive.

    And last but not least, anyone know of a high quality, powered USB 3.0 hub?
     

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