Mac Mini 2018 128GB SSD speed

jofarmer

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 18, 2006
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5
Now that the teardown has destroyed all hope of a replaceable SSD I have to start seriously considering which to get. One aspect here is speed:

A lot of benchmarks are coming in, but those all are benchmarking the bigger 512GB and 1TB drives. We all know that SSDs tend to get dramatically faster the bigger they get, but I haven’t found a real benchmark of the smallest one. Tomsguide claims the 128GB to be as fast as the 1TB drive, but their „file copy test“ might just be the duplication feature of APFS...

So could any of you with the 128GB SSD please run some real benchmarks? Thanks a lot!
 
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PianoPro

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Sep 4, 2018
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Yes, please benchmark the 128GB SSD. I've got about 30 TB of internal+external drives on my current 2010 Mac Pro, so I'm thinking of just getting the Mini with 128 GB SSD for a boot drive and moving most of my other drives to external TB/USB 3.1 enclosures to use the Mac mini as a replacement until the new Mac Pro arrives a year or so from now. I can't see any reason to pay more for a bigger internal SSD.
 
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trifid

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May 10, 2011
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Yes, please benchmark the 128GB SSD. I've got about 30 TB of internal+external drives on my current 2010 Mac Pro, so I'm thinking of just getting the Mini with 128 GB SSD for a boot drive and moving most of my other drives to external TB/USB 3.1 enclosures to use the Mac mini as a replacement until the new Mac Pro arrives a year or so from now. I can't see any reason to pay more for a bigger internal SSD.
Yea that's what I'm doing, I really believe this is the way to go for most people or at least those that those that don't mind having an external drive. The 128GB is perfect for OS, and then store user folders and everything else externally on far cheaper SSD.
 

michaelb5000

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Sep 23, 2015
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I am not really the person to be running benchmarks for you. I also don't really understand why the possibly slight variations in speed between the different SSD sizes would really be a factor (I assume they are really fast and any difference wouldn't be noticeable in real use). But anyway, I was curious mostly about all the old backup drives I have that I used to use firewire for and now bought USB-c cables.

Using blackmagic, for the internal 128 I get around 650 MB/s write and 2550 read. does that tell you anything useful?

Not that you care about my old drives, but I pulled the SSD out of my old mini and put in a case that I think should be USB 3 and that got around 120/180. I have a large hybrid drive that was around 36/30. I have another large external drive that was 28/33. So the message for me is that my old drives are not that fast. Not sure I need to spend the money though to get a 1TB SSD to drop into a case or buy a new case (but that would be nice, I might wait for thunderbolt drives to come down in price).
 

PianoPro

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Sep 4, 2018
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Saw this on reddit's Mac mini forum.

From what I’ve seen.
128GB -> ~600MB/s
256GB -> ~1.3GB/s
512GB -> ~1.9GB/s
1TB -> ~2.6GB/s

Reads are all > 2GB/s.

source link: https://twitter.com/tapbot_paul/status/1060611584639361024
That agrees with some other reports and why I asked the question. Less channels/parallelism as the size gets smaller. I'll have to consider whether that should drive me to the 256 GB SSD, but I'm not thinking write performance for a predominantly boot drive matters that much.
 

Miat

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2012
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Saw this on reddit's Mac mini forum.

From what I’ve seen.
128GB -> ~600MB/s
256GB -> ~1.3GB/s
512GB -> ~1.9GB/s
1TB -> ~2.6GB/s

Reads are all > 2GB/s.

source link: https://twitter.com/tapbot_paul/status/1060611584639361024
Thanks for that.

I had already decided that 256GB was my minimum, and those numbers just confirm it, and even pushes me a bit more toward a 512GB.

Not because I need the extra speed (I don't), but for the storage capacity and resale value.

If you are going to get a 128GB factory SSD then you might as well boot externally from a much bigger USB3 SATA SSD. It won't be much slower, and will have far more storage. Keep the internal 128GB drive as a clean system boot for troubleshooting, etc.
 

killawat

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Sep 11, 2014
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If you are going to get a 128GB factory SSD then you might as well boot externally from a much bigger USB3 SATA SSD. It won't be much slower, and will have far more storage. Keep the internal 128GB drive as a clean system boot for troubleshooting, etc.
Don't forget these are write speeds only. Read speed internally are still 2.2 GB/s, which would positively impact your system responsiveness if macOS needs to perform swap operations.
 

kaibob

macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2010
236
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Prescott, Arizona
And, please note that write speeds further decrease as the storage gets more and more filled.
I have no real expertise on SSD's but I have read before that SSD's need free space to perform maintenance. Manufacturer-provided overprovisioning may be adequate, but that's a point occasionally debated. Anyways, this might be something to consider when deciding whether to go with a smaller SSD that has slower write speeds to begin with.
 
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jofarmer

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 18, 2006
43
5
Ok, thank you all. My solution has been to order a refurb iMac 4k 21,5“ with a Fusion drive from the Apple store. I feel like these will be the last Apple Computers (remember, they had it in their name once) where RAM and storage can be upgraded. Since I would have needed a decent 4k panel to go with the mini anyway...
 

Cape Dave

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Nov 16, 2012
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That agrees with some other reports and why I asked the question. Less channels/parallelism as the size gets smaller. I'll have to consider whether that should drive me to the 256 GB SSD, but I'm not thinking write performance for a predominantly boot drive matters that much.
I would never go less than 256. It actually does make a difference. More speed is always good. Also possible future resale value.
 
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PianoPro

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Sep 4, 2018
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That agrees with some other reports and why I asked the question. Less channels/parallelism as the size gets smaller. I'll have to consider whether that should drive me to the 256 GB SSD, but I'm not thinking write performance for a predominantly boot drive matters that much.
I would never go less than 256. It actually does make a difference. More speed is always good. Also possible future resale value.
I'm not sure that difference in write speed (not read speed) for my boot drive makes a hoot of difference, but I've decided on 256 GB anyway just for the additional working-file space (even though I've got about 30 TB in additional slower external storage) and I will also use it to dual boot into Win 10 (which now has it's own separate SSD on my cMP).

Resale value? What's that? :) I got a half dozen Macs around the house for lessor purposes and whenever I upgrade one I seem to find a new use for an older one until it becomes so obsolete no one would want it. I've hauled quite a few to the recycler but never sold one.
 

Cape Dave

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I'm not sure that difference in write speed (not read speed) for my boot drive makes a hoot of difference, but I've decided on 256 GB anyway just for the additional working-file space (even though I've got about 30 TB in additional slower external storage) and I will also use it to dual boot into Win 10 (which now has it's own separate SSD on my cMP).

Resale value? What's that? :) I got a half dozen Macs around the house for lessor purposes and whenever I upgrade one I seem to find a new use for an older one until it becomes so obsolete no one would want it. I've hauled quite a few to the recycler but never sold one.
Excellent. Good choice I believe. I have always gone for the 512GB in any main SSD in my desktop. Looking at those speed differences, maybe I should pony up for the 1TB next :) I like fast. I did onsite tech support for 17 years and would wait 1000 years for a slow pig of a drive to defrag or scan for virus. I will never get that time back, but also I will never stop trying. More speed Scotty! :) Congrats on your new mini!
 

Akseli Paavolainen

macrumors newbie
Nov 14, 2018
4
3
Hi All:)

A long time lurker here, but posting for the first time:)

I still have my mac mini 2011 i5 which failed due to dGPU problems a year ago and I was thinking about buying a new one with i5/8GB/256GB, but I'm a bit puzzled by the performance figures provided in this thread.

I honestly expected something on a level of Samsung 960 EVO (Seq. read 3.2GB/s Seq. write 1.9GB/s) if not on a level of 960 PRO (Seq. read 3.5GB/s Seq. write 2.1GB/s).

Am I expecting too much? How about latest Macbooks PRO?

Thanks a lot in advance!
 
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Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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jofarmer wrote:
"I feel like these will be the last Apple Computers (remember, they had it in their name once) where RAM and storage can be upgraded."

You realize that to "add RAM" to a 21" iMac, you have to disassemble it, right?

The 27" iMac has a "flip open" door on the back to access the RAM, but the 21" model doesn't.
 
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Cashmonee

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May 27, 2006
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From what I am seeing, to get comparable speeds of the 512 option and higher, you have to go to the Samsung X5 which costs the same or more than the Apple options. Am I correct about this? I know that most people don't need anything faster than what the 128 is benchmarking at, and there are drives that are not expensive that can match that, but if you need the speed, the BTO may not be as bad as we think.
 

jofarmer

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 18, 2006
43
5
wrote:
You realize that to "add RAM" to a 21" iMac, you have to disassemble it, right?
Yes, I do, and that’s why this will probably have to wait some time. I hope by then we will also have a blade ssd adapter. For now 8GB is enough for my needs, but I would never buy a system with 8GB soldered on.
 
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