Mac Mini boot drive: hard drive or SSD on thunderbolt?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by APPLENEWBIE, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. APPLENEWBIE macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Location:
    The high desert, USA
    #1
    I have a current model mac mini (2.6/8 ghz, 8gb ram) with a hard drive. It is kind of slow, especially when I am running multiple apps.

    Would I get better speed if I used an external SSD on thunderbolt as the boot drive?
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    Have a look on ifixit. Putting the drive internally is fairly easy especially if the hdd is in the correct bay to start with.

    But to answer your question yes it would be quicker.
     
  3. APPLENEWBIE thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Location:
    The high desert, USA
    #3

    I did order an SSD (Crucial) and cloned my HHD to it. I connected to the computer via my OWC universal drive adapter (USB3). This completely has transformed the mini. Boot time went from 82 seconds to 32. Apps open much more quickly. Finder is a lot more snappy. Very happy with the experiment. Thought about a Thunderbolt drive enclosure, but I'm too cheap.
     
  4. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #4
    USB will give you approx 200/200MBs approx where thunderbolt will allow the drive to run full speed. But at that speed you won't notice a massive difference.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    Gav wrote above:
    "USB will give you approx 200/200MBs approx where thunderbolt will allow the drive to run full speed."

    Where are you getting this information?

    I've been running my late 2012 i7 Mac Mini from an external "USB3 booter" for two-and-one-half years now. Here's a screenshot of the speeds I'm getting from a Crucial m500 SSD, mounted in a plugable.com "lay-flat" USB3/SATA docking station:

    m500 Speed Test 11.2.14.png
     
  6. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #6
    That's impressive. I was looking at previous usb3 review benchmarks
     

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