Mac Mini 2012 base SLLLOOOWWW

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by detroiter :P, Oct 1, 2014.



  1. Get the SSD! Life in the fast laaaane!

    43 vote(s)
  2. RAM - do it all at once (16 GB)

    8 vote(s)
  1. detroiter :P macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2013
    I have the latest model of base Mac Mini (4 Gb, 500Gb) and it really slows down unless I am only running 1-3 apps at a time. Typical case scenario: excel, spotify, and safari - and it is beach-ball time.

    What would be a more noticeable boost: upgrading to SSD or RAM? I will do both eventually but plan to do one of these right now.

    If I do SSD I will probably get either a 250 or 500 samsung and move the internal to an external sled (right lingo?) for photo storage.

    thanks in advance for the input!

    for those that care - I would probably get one of these right now:
  2. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    SSD for sure. Those who vote RAM upgrade should be done first have no idea how much of a difference an SSD alone makes.
  3. Balckoutgr macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2014
    Ι vote for ram , but the ideal solution is BOTH !;)
  4. ABC5S Suspended


    Sep 10, 2013
    Agree 100%

    No matter how much ram you put in over 4 GB, it will not give you anywhere near the experience that you will see from an SSD. I had 2 GB or ram, than 4 GB than up to 16 GB, and later I kicked myself in the rear having wasted money on those 16 GB that was never used. 8 GB was more than enough. It was the SSD that gave me speed for boot-ups, installing/running programs and downloading updates to the OS X.
  5. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
  6. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    I would buy a ssd first but then follow up with another 4GB of ram when you budget allows.

    Too bad Samsung's Magician software doesn't support Apple. (At least the last time I checked it wasn't) It uses some ram for caching files and is super fast.
  7. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    Mine has 16 GB and is the server model with 4 cores and an i7 and painful to use. SSD upgrade will fix it. It is the miracle cure for slow machines.
  8. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    Buy the SSD and later move your ram up to 8gb. More than 8 is wasted with the optimization that comes with Yosemite.
  9. Balckoutgr macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2014
    Why is this configuration painfull to use;
  10. RCAFBrat macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2013
    Montreal, QC
    I voted for SSD but suggest checking memory pressure before doing anything and then maybe a read / write speed test of your HDD. If both are fine then from the description you gave, it seems the slowness is abnormal and you may want to do some troubleshooting. Another thing to look at is how full your HDD is.

    As for RAM, a 4 GB stick would give you a 50% increase for very little $ - something to consider maybe?

  11. now i see it macrumors 68030

    Jan 2, 2002
    My impression was:

    When I upgraded the RAM, the machine ran better.

    When I installed a SSD. It was like getting a brand new machine with the fastest processor. It was so fundamentally better in so many ways. The word that comes to mind is "Wow".

    If I had to cut my mini back down to 2GB of RAM or toss the SSD. I would keep the SSD and chuck the RAM. I could never go back to a spinning HD>
  12. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030


    Jun 12, 2011
    It comes with Mavericks actually, but I agree completely!

    Up the RAM to 8GB along with an SSD. It will give you a huge, huge boost. The only reason I have 16GB of RAM in my rMBP and oMP is because I use FCPX for video editing and Aperture for picture editing (sometimes I need both open plus Safari, Mail and Messages).
  13. Rodster macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2007
    I'm going to throw a monkey wrench in the debate and say to HOLD OFF to see if Apple announces a new Mini this month with flash bashed storage. The money to upgrade the Mini could be used towards the purchase of a new Mini then sell your current Mini.
  14. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
  15. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    Try for both, but I think in real world usage you'll notice the benefits of the SSD more than the RAM. I have a base 2012 mini as well and upgraded it with an SSD and 8GB of RAM and it flies. It's hard to tell the speed difference (for what I do) between this machine and my 2012 15" rMBP.
  16. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    Upgrade both. Max it out and stop whinning :D

    I know you'll find something else to complain, like 4K support or frames per second when gaming. But the bump proportioned by 16GB + SSD will make you pretty satisfied for a couple of months. With me it happened this way :p
  17. Larry-K macrumors 68000

    Jun 28, 2011
    Do the SSD first.

    You probably are stuck with the absolute slowest, cheapest hard drive Apple could buy a slew of, and every time OSX writes to that pathetic piece of junk, you are the victim of Apple's parsimonious ways. I think my last Mini came with a Toshiba 500MB 5400 rpm drive. I wouldn't even give it a way, it's in a recycling bin somewhere, because no one should use a POS like that.

    Put an SSD And a big spinner inside if you like, there's room for both.

    As for RAM you'll notice the difference 8 makes, probably won't notice the difference 16 makes, but it's so cheap, might as well do it anyway.

    Apple scrimps to keep their margins high, but it does the stock Mini a disservice by doing so, and I'm sure many people have purchased Minis in the stock configuration and been very disappointed with the performance.

    Adding a few hundred bucks for an SSD and Memory will literally make it feel like a new (and worthwhile) machine. You can get the 8GB of RAM for a hundred or less, so start digging though the couch cushions if you need to.

    Then you can move on to the Mini's real, and unresolvable bottleneck, the gpu!
  18. G4er? macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2009
    Temple, TX
    Who thinks that Apple should have offered a base mini (i5) with an SSD alongside the option on the i7 instead of making you buy high end to get that option?

    Damn. Everyone raised their hands.
  19. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    I agree that the hard drive needs to be updated, but I'll go against the grain and say that it doesn't have to be a SSD. If yours is like my wife's, then your machine came with a 5400 RPM drive. Simply going from 5400 RPM to 7200 RPM makes a huge difference.

    In my case, I upgraded my Macbook Pro's base 5400 RPM drive to a "SSHD" hybrid, the Seagate Momentus XT (now rebranded as something else; mine was 7200 RPM with a 4 GB "SSD" onboard). It completely altered the computing experience. I later upgraded to a Samsung 840 drive (SSD), and while certain operations became faster, the machine didn't really feel that much faster... and more surprisingly, certain tasks became slightly slower.

    While it's undeniable that SSDs are overall faster performers than HDDs, you can still greatly improve your computing performance by simply upgrading from that atrocious 5400 RPM drive.

    As to RAM vs. hard drives, getting more RAM just helps to prevent things from being paged out (written to the hard drive for being reloaded into the RAM when needed and/or when space opens up). They don't improve load times. But consider this: while page outs are slow because they bring your sluggish hard drive into the mix, a faster hard drive means that program load times and page out activity will be sped up. This makes the hard drive the obvious choice for upgrading, unless your page files grow to ridiculous sizes making it clear that the amount of RAM you have is woefully inadequate for the tasks that you're trying to perform.
  20. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    SSD is the way to go, there is no question about it.

    I put an SSD into my two 6/7 year old PCs (HP desktop and Dell laptop). While the laptop is quite powerless, it boots into Windows/Linux very fast, as well as opening applications, features, websites, etc.

    The desktop feels faster in general than a brand new machine with decent specs that uses a HDD. It even uses 4GB of DDR2 RAM (at 533 MHz).
  21. Noetics macrumors member


    Nov 8, 2013
    I put 16gb in my mini the day i bought it, i've not found the need for an SSD as of yet but will definitely buy one in the future when needed.
  22. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    If you're ok with the speed of applications launching but disappointed with how the machine performs while multitasking, upgrade the RAM. The SSD will help the computer feel faster without the RAM upgrade only because the page file is on a faster disk, if you eliminate the need for the page file by upgrading the RAM, you won't see that performance hit.

    Now that I have an SSD and RAM upgrades in both my Mini and my MBP, I can't STAND going to work and using my Windows laptop or my work-issued MBP that both have spinning drives (plus the MBP only has 4 GB of RAM).

    I can't really say what kind of performance improvement the SSD made on the Mini for multi-tasking as I added the 8 GB of RAM at the same time, but the application launch times were MUCH improved.

    If you can swing both (you REALLY only need a 64 or 120 GB SSD as you can leave the 500 GB inside for mass-storage needs), do both.
  23. detroiter :P thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2013
    Wow - much reply, so discuss

    thanks for all of the advice! I've been swayed to go SSD for now. Now to just figure out if I am brave enough to also keep the old hard drive in the mini given I still have applecare on it and don't want to break anything!

    Also, the plot thickens - turns out I have some 'systemstats' error which appears to have been the root cause of my slow downs. In activity monitor I can see systemstats taking up a large portion of my CPU and RAM for no reason. A shut down of that app/thing makes a noticeable difference.

    Don't have time to take to apple store with applecare - just adopted a newborn and found out my wife was pregnant at the same yeah :eek::cool::) which is also the reason I am holding off on doing both upgrades.

    thanks again!
  24. RCAFBrat macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2013
    Montreal, QC
    Congratulations times two!

  25. yukyuklee macrumors 6502


    Jan 4, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Once I got my 2011 mac mini I put in a SSD right away than recently upgraded my ram to 8gb. What exactly are you going to do with your Mac Mini that you will require to use 16gb?

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