Mac Mini (Late 2012) External SSD Questions

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Miscellaneous, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. Miscellaneous macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2014
    London, UK

    I am planning on upgrading my Mac Mini and have a few questions regarding SSD options.

    Is it possible to use an external SSD as my Startup Disk to boot OS X Yosemite? Would I be able to install Logic Pro X? How would the performance of OS X and Logic Pro X be compared to an internally installed SSD?

    I am considering the following external SSD as an option;

    Ideally, I would prefer to go the external SSD route as I believe it would not void my warranty and will also allow me to have a backup of Logic Pro X which is a very large App.
  2. jbarley, Nov 5, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015

    jbarley macrumors 68030


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    It certainly is possible, just make sure when you purchase the external enclosure that you get one that supports
    UASP for SATA 6 Gbps.
    USAP being the important feature to get the maximum benefit from the SATA.
    With the proper enclosure the performance difference between internal and external is so little that it would not normally be noticeable.
  3. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Although USB3 is possible and many here do that, TB is faster/better/more reliable connection to a main startup disc. Thats a lot of $$$ for USB 1TB SSD. I'd think more along the lines of a OWC mini 4 bay enclosure where you can add four SSDs of your choice and RAID them, or an Echo 15 to house two SSDs and serve as a dock.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Feb 20, 2009

    You can boot and run your Mini from an externally-connected SSD without any problems at all.

    I've been doing this with my own Mini since I got it in January 2013. Still running fine.

    A USB3 enclosure that supports UASP is all you need.

    I believe the Samsung T1 series would do fine.

    DON'T spend big $$$ for Thunderbolt, the performance increase will be negligible in day-to-day usage.

    You shouldn't have any problems running Logic or anything else (except perhaps Windows?) from an external drive, should behave same as if it were on the internal one.
    (aside: if you need to run Windows, this might be one case where you would need the Thunderbolt connection..?)
  5. Miscellaneous thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2014
    London, UK
    Hey Fishrrman,

    Just got a 250 GB Samsung T1 and set it up as an external boot drive. You're right! It works really well :)

    I followed Apple's guide to creating an external boot drive and installed OS X 10.10.5. I've also installed a handful of Apps including Logic Pro X which I haven't properly tested yet but everything is definitely performing on par with that of an internal SSD.

    The T1 itself is physically tiny and ultra lightweight. The boot time has greatly improved but not as quick as an internal SSD.

    All in all definitely a recommended upgrade! I will post again once I have used it in a few more practical situations.

  6. Tim0 macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2013
    A somewhat related question. After upgrading my SSD+HDD (non-Fusion) mini to a RAID0 SSD I had to continue working from my old SSD drive in an external enclosure for some time due to a couple of software issues (long story). It's been working fine, and I managed to boot up on Mac mini 2012, iMac 2011, and even MacBook 2010. However, when I tried to boot up on rMBP 2013, I couldn't - either because I have Mountain Lion on the SSD or for some other reason (protection?). Could it be that rMBPs are not compatible with older versions of OS X?
  7. CoastalOR macrumors 68000


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    Early 2013 MBPs can run OS 10.8 or earlier. Late 2013 MBPs can only run OS 10.9 or later.
  8. Tim0 macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2013

Share This Page