Mac Mini Media Centre Upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by montymoo, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. montymoo macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2012
    Hi Guys,

    I'm a bit of a novice so please excuse me if this has already been discussed. I have a Mac Mini 2011 as a media centre and i'm looking to install a dual drive set up.

    I'm looking at an SSD for apps and and internal HDD for music / video. What I want to know is:

    Would a 64GB SSD be sufficient to run OSX, and basic Mac apps such as iTunes? Or would I be better going to 128GB?

    Secondly, what's the largest 2.5 drive I can fit into a Mac Mini? Is a 2TB one available? If anyone can point me in the direction of such a drive that would be great.

  2. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    no such thing as a 2tb drive that fits in a mini.
  3. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    64GB should be more than sufficient since the MAC OS X footprint is less than 30GB. I however would go with a higher capacity SSD. And a 2TB drive is available from Western Digital and I highly recommend their products. The drive is a 2TB Caviar Green drive which is designed to conserve energy, so your idea of using it as your storage drive in addition to the SSD as a boot drive i smart and your setup should be great. Here's the link:

    In fact, now I'm wishing I had sen that one because that might have changed the way I upgraded my machine. Oh well. Good luck!
  4. spike8585 macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2009
    SSD's lose on performance as the drive gets full.
    I suggest getting a 120gb Vertex3, as they are very fast, and you can find them on sale for about 100 bucks.

    As for the link supplied for the 2tb hard drive, even though it is 2.5", the height is 15mm. I believe that you need to use a 9mm or 12.5mm.
    I think someone will answer pretty quickly as to what the max height is...but I am 99% sure a 15mm drive will not fit.
  5. montymoo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2012
    Thanks for the reply's guys.

    OK so if there's no 2TB HDD out there that's known working, can anyone tell me what the largest drive that will definitely fit / work is?
  6. spike8585 macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2009
    The WD Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT is 1TB and 9.5mm.
    I think it should fit.
  7. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    My 2011 Mac mini HTPC uses a 512GB Samsung 830 and 1TB Western Digital Scorpio Blue 9.5mm 5400 RPM. This WD Blue is nearly as fast as the 750GB Western Digital Scropio Black 7200RPM, which is one of the fastest 2.5" drives available. There are two versions of the 1TB WD Blue, so make sure you get the 9.5mm version. The other 12.5mm is slow and out dated. My full setup is below:

    Tuner Configuration
    SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime-6CC-3X2
    Signal Strength: 99-100% (-0.1db - 4.8db)
    Signal Quality: 100% (34db - 36db)
    Symbol Quality: 100%

    Apple 3TB TimeCapsule
    Apple Airport Extreme
    Apple Airport Express
    Netgear ProSafe 10/100/1000 Switch
    Motorola Signal Booster 2-Port BDA-S2
    F-Type 75 ohm Terminators (on all open ports, bulkheads, etc. to reduce interference from LTE signals)
    Quad Shielded RG6 coaxial cables (to reduce interference from LTE signals)

    Apple Mac Mini HTPC Configuration
    2011 Mac mini 2.7GHz Dual-Core Intel i7
    8GB 1866MHz Kingston Hyper X
    512GB Samsung 830 SSD
    1TB Western Digital Scorpio Blue 5400RPM

    Logitech diNovo Mini

    Microsoft Windows 7 HTPC Configuration
    Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (on Samsung 830)
    AHCI enabled
    Disable Hibernate
    Disable Sleep
    Control Panel > Power Options > Balanced
    Control Panel > Power Options > Change plan settings > Change advanced power settings
    > Hard disk > Turn off hard disk after - 20 minutes
    > PCI Express > Link State Power Management - Maximum power savings

    Broadcom NetExtreme Gigabit Ethernet:
    All Offload options disabled
    Rx & Tx Flow Control enabled
    802.11az EEE disabled

    Microsoft Security Essentials:
    Excluded D:\\Recorded TV
    Excluded .wtv files
    Excluded ehshell.exe; ehSched.exe; ehRecvr.exe

    Windows Media Center:
    Tuner Salad for up to 12 tuners (currently use 6 tuners)
    Media Browser & Neo Theme
    Channel Logos

    Scheduled Tasks:
    Weekly restart of the HTPC (shutdown /r /f /t 0)
    Weekly restart of SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime ("C:\\Program Files\\Silicondust\\HDHomeRun\\hdhomerun_config.exe" {tuner ID here} set /sys/restart self)

    Two (2) Xbox 360 Slim 4GB extenders
    Logitech Harmony One

    Enabling AHCI for Windows on 2011 Macs:

    Tuner Salad:

    Microsoft Windows 7 How-To Schedule A Tasks:

    Microsoft Windows 7 How-To Disable / Enable Hibernate:
  8. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    Awesome config Shortcut, thanks for posting that! I'm going to build that when the new Mini comes out. Is your Mini the Server version? Did you get that version for the highest rated CPU? I may not get that version because I need a desktop Mac, and will remote to the TV via an AppleTV. Thx---
  9. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    I used both the 2.7GHz Dual-Core Intel i7 with discrete AMD 6630M 256MB GDDR and the server version. The server runs cooler because the fans are spinning faster, but its audible. Whereas the 2.7GHz Dual-Core Intel i7 is very quite, but warm to the touch. Moving to the thinner Samsung 830 and Western Digital Scropio Blue helped reduced temps compared both the dual drive 7200RPM Apple configuration and modified Vertex 3 + 750GB WD Scorpio Black. The AMD 6630M is considerably better for live TV because its handles the 29/59 frame rate issue reasonably well. 24fps issues are not perfect on either the AMD 6630M or Intel HD 3000. Some will tell you that AMD is perfect, don't believe them. For your purposes any 2011 Mac mini will work fine, but the mid-range with AMD 6630M will give you a better desktop experience.

    The SSD really helps with caching images and metadata should you move to XBMC or Media Browser (Windows 7). The menus will feel snappier with those two products and an SSD. The Apple TV will not be affected by the SSD. However, general desktop usage will feel much much better.
  10. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    Shortcut, thanks for your input on the desktop Mini, will go with the mid-range/dGPU model as soon as they are updated. In anticipation, I just ordered the Samsung 830 256GB SSD on Amazon for about $210 on sale. Can't wait to build this, I've been without a Media Center since my VCR broke several years ago!
  11. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012
    You could go for the Samsung 1.0TB Spinpoint M8 also.

    That's the drive I have installed in my Mini, alongside a 256GB SSD.

Share This Page