Mac Mini 2010, soon

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by PeterJP, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. PeterJP macrumors regular

    PeterJP

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #1
    Hi,

    a friend offered me a Mac Mini, upgraded to 8GB, in a nearly-never-used condition, for what sounds like a great price (€150). I don't know exactly which type, so I assume it's the base version with the 320GB hard drive. As I've been considering entering the Mac world for quite some time now, I cannot refuse this opportunity. The Mini will serve as my homebase for my freelance activities, so I want it to be fast and reliable. Here is what I am considering:

    - First, get to know it a bit by generally messing around and getting a good feel for the OS etc. I know the intro guides, so I don't need help with this.
    - Then, most likely upgrade the hard drive to an SSD. The ones recommended these days are all SATA 6G. Is this supported by the 2010 Mac Mini ? If the Mini has only 3G, will I notice any difference when using a 6G over a 3G SSD ? Also, is there any speed increase of picking a 256GB one over a 128GB one (I know 256GB goes faster for 6G) ?
    - I most likely will not be using the DVD drive. Does it make sense to go through all the effort to kick it out and turn it into an SSD+HD machine (assuming it's not the server variant) ?
    - For more storage and for Time Machine, I'd like to connect an external drive. I have a USB 2.0 enclosure, will this be sufficient ? How much overhead is TM anyway ? Will I notice an impact when using a slow drive ?


    Thanks,

    Peter.
     
  2. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #2
    Congratulations & Welcome!

    What you might find with the Mac world is a whole lot less fiddling with the hardware & more creating with the software.

    So an SSD is great but obviously not necessary.
    USB 2 will be fine - I notice some overhead when Time Machine is running, but mine's running over a network, rather than locally connected disk.

    For now, explore OS X and some apps, get iLife, Aperture & a few other things - perhaps an Elgato TV tuner USB stick to record some TV & just create some stuff

    Enjoy
     
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #3
    the price is good. the 2010 machine base model is 469 usd without the 8gb ram.

    don't pull the dvd player. It is hard too do and if you ever sell the machine many people would want the dvd player. you can add an ssd by pulling the 320gb hdd inside. Since you are in europe I do not know what ssds you can get. But here are a few that work well with minis any

    samsung series 470 also known as series 810 they are sataII and last years models. if you can find one get it.. they come in 64gb 128gb 256gb. 128gb costs as low as 150usd 256gb as low as 300gb on usa ebay .

    uk amazon link

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb...field-keywords=samsung+series+470+ssd&x=0&y=0


    any samsung series 830 this years model a sata III they come in 64gb 128gb 256gb or 512gb. faster then the mini's connection but they will work fine.

    uk amazon link

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb...field-keywords=samsung+series+830+ssd&x=0&y=0
    crucial m4 models are good sata III

    below is amazon uk link

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb...ias=aps&field-keywords=crucial+m4+ssd&x=0&y=0


    of course intel is good but costs more.
     
  4. PeterJP thread starter macrumors regular

    PeterJP

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #4
    Hi,

    Thanks for the tips. I will most likely go for the SSD anyway, to get a machine that is even more enjoyable to use. TV is not an option because we kicked out that black hole a long time ago. But you're right, my goal is also to be creating with the software... after I get the hardware right !


    Good.

    OK, the DVD stays, external storage via USB.

    About the SSD: thanks for the recommendations. I see that you do recommend SATA-III SSDs, so that must mean they work okay (despite them not running at full speed). It seems hard to get SATA-II specific SSDs nowadays and they look like they're only about 10% cheaper. Might as well get a 6G one in that case.

    I was looking at a Kingston one. Also, I found a benchmark that clearly shows 128GB vs 256GB seems to be hardly any noticeable difference, despite of what I read before (which was more theory). Saves me quite a bit of cash. Cheapest 120GB SSD I can find here is the Corsair Force Series 3 at €145 (Samsung 147 128GB is €159).


    Peter.
     
  5. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #5
    Check out Other World Computing for really good SSD's. Their support and service is excellent, and they are a big international shipper.

    And as far as Time Machine over a USB2 HD...the initial backup might take a couple hours, but the subsequent hourly backups won't be much data at all, so any speed impacts would be very minimal.
     
  6. PeterJP thread starter macrumors regular

    PeterJP

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #6
    not 2010 but 2009

    Hi,

    turns out the mac mini I'll be receiving is, in fact, the 2009 model. I haven't heard back yet on processor/memory/hard disk configurations. Memory was "doubled", I'm getting it for €100 if what's in it now is 4GB, or €150 if it's 8GB. Still sounds like an okay deal. And it makes it all the more likely that I'll want to kick out the optical drive for an SSD (because there's less worry about resale value). It seems like processor performance is similar in the 2009 and 2010 versions, as there's only a slight increase in clock speed (no superpowered new architecture like the introduction of Sandy Bridge recently), is that correct ?


    Peter.
     
  7. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #7
    Yeah I think you're right about the performance. One slight difference that might not even matter to you is that the 2009 Minis cant put out audio over MDP to HDMI...only the 2010s can.
     
  8. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #8
    The 2009 doesn't work with SATA III (6Gbps) SSDs. So buy a SATA II (3Gbps) one.
     
  9. PeterJP, Feb 6, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012

    PeterJP thread starter macrumors regular

    PeterJP

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #9
    Oh,

    thanks for warning me about this. I guess I'll have to revise my choice then. I was thinking of getting a crucial m4 but that's a sata 3 one. The OCZ octane s2 is a cheap one, other options I find are the Intel 320 or samsung 470 that, I think, have better reputations.

    I found a billion reviews of these drives, so I'll read a bit and decide. Thanks for the advice !

    Peter.
     
  10. visual macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    #10
    Really? I was planning to get a crucial M4 for my 2007 MacBook. By "doesn't work" do you mean not recognised at all or just wont run at full speed?

    - I'm off to do some more research
     
  11. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #11

    Some model Macs have been found to have problems with SSDs such as running at SATA I not SATA II speeds.

    I think the 08 MBP and 09 Minis are affected. Not sure about other models.

    I use a SATA III SSD in my 2007 MacBook. That only has a SATA I port anyway.
     
  12. PeterJP thread starter macrumors regular

    PeterJP

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #12
    Hi mdgm,

    Is that right ? I read about SATA-I speeds in certain models as recent as the Mac Mini 2010, but that was due to Apple using crappy hard drives. The motherboard was okay, but the disks forced the connection to SATA-I. Are you talking about something different ?

    Not that there are cheaper SSDs around that I'd trust: I'm eyeing up an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 3G 120GB for €145 right now. Anything cheaper is OCZ or brands I don't even know and I'd like to avoid those for reliability reasons.


    Peter.

    ----------

    Hi,

    another small question. Will Lion run on the 2009 Mac Mini ?

    Thanks,


    Peter.
     
  13. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    #13
    I'm talking about SATA III SSDs being unreliable and running at SATA I when the hardware supports SATA II. It's an issue with the Mini as they work fine in other models.
    Yes. I run it on both my 09 Minis. You need at least 2GB RAM installed. Best to have at least 4GB. 8GB (2x4GB) is limit for 09 Mini. Early 09 Minis need an EFI update to support 8GB (probably already installed but you can check).
     
  14. visual macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    #14
    Thanks 128GB Crucial M4 ordered, will be with me tomorrow.
     
  15. PeterJP thread starter macrumors regular

    PeterJP

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Leuven, Belgium
    #15
    Hi mdgm,

    Okay, but I'm going for a SATA II SSD anyway so it won't be an issue. Thanks for the heads up on Lion.


    Peter.
     

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