Mac mini and Fusion

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Metalgator, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. Metalgator macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2016
    I just purchased a Mac Mini (2.6Ghz, 1TB drive and 16GB memory). I knew that the hard drive would be the weakest link on this machine. I have a 2015 Macbook Pro 13" with the 256SSD drive and it is really fast. Boots up in 9 seconds.

    This mini mac is fine. Takes longer to boot up and several seconds to open apps compared to my MB Pro but I have been pretty disappointed with running Windows with VMware fusion. Windows 10 is really slow running with fusion. The first 5 minutes or so the hard drive (when looking at task manager) is running at almost 100 percent. My 8 year old dell laptop does the same thing. I purchased this Mac Minii to run a test environment with windows server 2012 and windows 10. That's why I got the extra memory.

    My question is, would purchasing a thunderbolt or USB 3 external drive make much difference if I moved the Fusion VM's to the external drive? This is just a test environment to test AD and group policy changes in 2012 R2 so I'm not looking for killer speed. This environment is working but would be much better with faster drive access. I just don't want to spend money on the external drive if it's not going to make much difference.

  2. danwestbrook macrumors regular


    Oct 11, 2007
    Surrey, UK
    If you can afford it I would just replace the internal drive with an SSD, do you know what year your Mac Mini was manufactured? If its a 2012 you should be able to run dual 2.5" HDD.
  3. Mikael H macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2014
    Just one obvious question: Have you increased the RAM available to the virtual machine? By default I think Fusion assigns like 2 GB to Windows guests. Before throwing money at the problem, try giving the VM 6-8 GB of RAM and see if that improves performance.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its definitely the spinning hard drive. I have a Fusion drive on my iMac and the windows partition is installed on the spinning drive. its slow booting up, even though my iMac is blazingly fast.
  5. Metalgator thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2016
    Thanks for the replies. To answer the questions, the Mini mac is brand new. I just purchased it last Friday. As far as ram, you are correct that fusion only assigns 2GB as the default. I assigned 4GB to the Windows 10 machine. When I look at the windows 10 task manager, I am only using about 30-40% of the memory when it boots up but the hard drive is at 99-100% for the first 5-10 minutes the machine is running. It settles down after that but I was wondering if I purchased an external SSB drive (USB 3 or Thunderbolt 2) and then moved my windows machines to the external drive, if that would help performance. In hindsight, I should have ordered with a SSB drive but the largest I could get was 256GB and I needed more space than that. I wonder why apple puts 5400rpm drives instead of 7200rpm drives in their machines? The price is not that much different between the two.
  6. Mikael H macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2014
    If memory is not the limiting factor, then better disk I/O capacity will most probably help. An USB3 enclosure will probably be enough, but if you get a good deal on a TB enclosure it will, at least theoretically, put less of a strain on the host computer.

    Re 5400 vs 7200 rpm: I'd say it mainly has to do with noise levels from the computer.

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