Limitations on upgrading current generation Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by QEin, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. QEin macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2012
    BEFORE anyone says anything, yes I know there might be a new Mac Mini announced on September 12th, or even just casually updated in to the product range over the next two weeks but either way, I am buying a Mac Mini. It will either be whatever new model they bring out or the current generation if they do not.

    Few! Hopefully that is the "don't buy one yet!" types made happy.

    Now, I really hope to use all the clever peoples knowledge on here to recommend what products to buy to upgrade the current generation Mac Mini. I was originally looking at an all singing, all dancing model with Apple fitted 8GB of RAM and SSD. Now, looking at guides like this, I can see I can save about £400 by upgrading the HD and RAM myself. <- Makes it look so easy...

    So now I just have some questions. I am a novice at computers I am afraid and I will be using a technical friend of mine to help fit everything:

    1. Is there a limit to the SSD Hard drive the Mac Mini can take? You can get 512GB SSD HDs for quite a low price but it is bigger than the Mac Mini can come factory fitted with, so I just want to make sure it can take it.

    2. Are there any specs on SSD speeds? I assume that better drives can react faster, what am I looking out for?

    3. If you were upgrading yourself to either a 256GB or 512GB drive, but primarily, you were looking for speed, which hard drive would you pick?

    4. RAM - Again questions, whats the best RAM for Mac Mini?

    Thank to everyone in advance for your help. I'm looking to get a future proof Mac that will last me for many years.
  2. philipma1957, Sep 8, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey

    ssd speed specs are misleading/ reliable is more important.

    Samsung or crucial are the most reliable.

    the crucial is the better price.

    try to wait until oct 1st.

    BTW changing ram is very easy.

    changing the hdd is medium.

    more then one thread on this site about breaking the machine.

    I can give long explanation of why speed specs are misleading.

    Here is a short one.

    speed specs on the crucial m4 are ;

    top read 500 MB/s ---- only achieved on a large file lets say a 2 megapixel photo

    top write 260MB/s---- only achieved on a large file let say a 2 megapixel photo

    top 4kb random read 45000 IOPs ---- on small files really important for apps and programs

    top 4kb random write 50,000 iops ----- on small files like apps programs

    you don't need an ssd with 550 MB/s read and 500 MB/s write think of long open high ways empty of traffic. this is rare even in computers also when it comes to writing fast if you have the ssd inside and you are writing/copying to an hdd outside your write speed is set by the hdd on the outside's write speed. lets say 100 MB/s. same for the other way if you are copying 1000 photos of 4 mega pixels from an hdd to the ssd on the inside. your limit is the read speed of the hdd lets say 110 MB/s

    Now here is the fastest 2.5 inch consumer hdd the western digital scorpio black 750 gb

    the read iops are 61 vs 45,000

    the write iops are 122 vs 50,000

    here are the long write and read numbers

    max read is 129 MB/s slows to 75MB/s when drive is close to full max write is 125 MB/s slows to 98MB/s when drive is full .

    so the big files speed of ssd against hdd is meh 4x to 2x better with limits if the job is a copy to an hdd. the hdd top speed is the bottle neck on any ssd to hdd or hdd to ssd copy.

    but on little stuff 50x speed or greater in the favor of ssds.

    to me I own crucial m4 512gb ssd and i own samsung 512gb ssd. the samsung is better but it cost more and for the money i don't buy samsungs I buy crucials
  3. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    I would go for a Samsung 830 SSD. Prices are continually dropping. I've been very happy with mine - boots my MBP (spec in sig) in 11 seconds flat. The mac mini will handle any size, so do be put off by what Apple supply in their build to order models.
    I have reviewed the Samsung, along with speed tests on my YouTube channel if you're interested.

    I plan to also buy the mac mini and will install a Samsung SSD as well as a 1 TB second HDD for storage. Upgrading RAM is also easy. I always try to go for the highest CPU possible with the lowest ram and HDD possible as these are easily upgradable and are much cheaper via third party. Hence for me it's the server model. Roll on the update!
  4. mfacey macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2004
    OCZ SSDs are generally the fastest on the market. The vertex 4 should be blazingly fast although one could wonder whether there is an point in a Mac Mini... I will be puttin a OCZ Agility 4 in my Mini in due course, but only a 64 GB as all the data sits on my NAS.
  5. bAdNitro macrumors member


    Aug 17, 2012
    Swoyersville, PA
    Glad someone else recommended my favorite SSD!

    I absolutely LOVE my OCZ Vertex 4. It's only a 128GB, but it works beautifully in my win7 machine (I will be transferring it to my Mini as soon as I get it. Ordering on friday) and the speed is phenomenal. My Win7 machine boots in about 8-10 seconds with autologin, and roughly 7 seconds to the login screen. I have opened every program in the Adobe Master Collection all at once in less than 4 seconds.

    Don't get me wrong, Samsung and Crucial are good. I'm not saying anything against them at all. But personally, I will only be buying OCZ from now on, until the drives stop working this well lol
  6. takasugi macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2012
    I just installed a OCZ Vertex 4 256GB in my Mac Mini and I'm very happy. Best $159 ($179-$20 mir) I've spent! (Microcenter deal)

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