Innie or outie?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Sanction, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. Sanction macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2012
    I'm soon to be in receipt of an i7 mac mini with base RAM/Storage.
    My thinking was to upgrade the RAM and install an SSD myself (I'm cheap like that).

    I'm ok with the RAM instalation but I'm slightly hesitant in taking the machine to bits to install the SSD.
    I want the SSD for boot/load speeds and I wondered if having it hooked up externally via TB or USB would negate the effect of having it in the first place?

    I'm sure putting it inside would get the most out of it, but are there any downsides to putting an SSD in a caddy and cabling it up?

    Many thanks for opinions.
  2. ramram55 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2012
    there are zillions of videos and write up on installing of ssd drive in mini. ssd as internal is the best set up. If you are handy with tools should have no problems. You will be putting in one single drive should be easy enough.
  3. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Even connecting an SSD via USB2 will make your system noticeably faster (unless you spend a lot of your time copying huge files around).

    Connecting an SSD via USB3 should be, for all intents and purposes, just as fast as installing it internally.

    I ordered an external enclosure for my SSD yesterday and plan to do exactly this.
  4. ArnarHauksson macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2009
    I installed an SSD interally this past weekend. It's a bit daunting but not at all hard to do. I was done within an hour. For me it was worth it just because it reduces the clutter on my desk.
  5. 7enderbender macrumors 6502a


    May 11, 2012
    North East US

    I'm contemplating that as well. I don't have the mini yet but I've started to do some reading on these questions. One issue that I came across with respect to the 2012 model is that you have to decide if you want the system to run as a "fusion drive" after your installation or as two separate drives. I want the latter but if you use the latest version of the Disk Utility that comes with the Mac Mini it assumes that you have a Mini with fusion drive and will stop you from installing OS X on the SSD alone. There are ways around this but you might want to take that into account depending of what your preferences are. OWC has more on this on the site where they have the installation videos . They also have an installation service for 90 bucks or so which I'm leaning towards. Buy all the parts there (dual HD installation kit, SSD, more memory, etc) and they send you a box for you to send in your Mini and they do the installation of your new parts for you. Seems like a pretty good deal to me.
  6. mystikjoe macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2010

    1down votefavorite

    "taken from another forum"

    I have a Kingston V200 256GB SSD. When connected to my SATA 6.0gbps port on my motherboard I'm seeing sequential read speeds of 300 megabytes / second.

    When I put the drive into a sata to USB 3.0 enclosure and connect it to my USB 3.0 motherboard port my sequential read speed is maximum of 200 megabytes / second and average of 120 megabytes / second. I tried the enclosure on another machine and got 120 megabytes / second as well.

    seems to be 50 percent boost in speed for sata.
  7. 7enderbender macrumors 6502a


    May 11, 2012
    North East US
    Are you running it as fusion drive or as two separate drives? How did you reinstall the system and version of Disk Utility are you using (if any)? Thanks.
  8. spammerhamster macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2010
    This was my crucial M4 in an USB3 enclosure

    This is my crucial M4 inside my Mac Mini

    You decide.

    Opening the mac mini and installing the drive is indeed one of the toughest, if not the toughest engineering thing I've done. But it's doable IF you follow the guides and REALLY REALLY take your time
  9. MrXiro macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    You also feel damn proud of yourself afterwards too. I feel like I accomplished something that day... but it's something that probably 100,000 people do in China every day. :p

    I bought a 2nd Mac Mini because of the flickering screen to exchange (I had to order the 2nd one online because I couldn't just swap at Best Buy since they hadn't gotten it in stores yet)

    I was able to swap out all my parts (SSD, Old HDD, RAM) into the new one and have them both tested running and good to go (one on my set up and the other back in the box to be returned in 1 hour. I lost a couple of minutes because I forgot to attach the hard drive on my SSD + HDD Mini and had to open it up again to do attach it.

    I was proud like I had won the gold at the Olympics that day.


    Run it off a TB caddy and you'll get pretty damn close. the bottleneck on this set up is in the Seagate Thunderbolt adapter though, I'm sure as newer ones are released it will go faster.
  10. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Of course installing the disk internally will be faster. But for the way most people use their computers, the increase won't be significant or even noticeable. How often do you copy around gigabyte+ files, and when you do copy them around, aren't you usually limited by something besides your SSD's speed, e.g., the speed of your external drive, or network?

    I understand installing the SSD internally if you want to reduce desk clutter or free up a USB3 port or if you move your Mini between locations a lot, but I wouldn't go to the trouble of installing the SSD for the increase in performance.
  11. XR7CAT macrumors member


    Feb 29, 2012
    North Dakota
    I just finished installing an SSD in Mid 2010 Mac Mini. According to this model seemed to have a little more to remove than the current models.

    Overall it took me 30 minutes using the breakdown guides they have on their site.

    I personally would go for an internal mount, this keeps a clean appearance all around and frees up for storage (get an enclosure and use the Mini's existing HDD).
  12. philipma1957, Nov 28, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    to op having done so many internal installs i have lost count. I use thunderbolt cases for my own personal use. All data on long read write is worthless unless you are moving the info from 1 ssd to another.

    Ie a crucial reading and writing at 400/300 internally and 300/200 externally has no close to no real world worth.

    Why ? well if you don't copy the info to a second ssd that is also internal you don't get to use the full speeds. your key numbers are iops

    43mb and 15mb on my external ssd

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