Mac Mini - PCIe Flash or Flash?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by John Doe 57, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. John Doe 57 macrumors 65816

    John Doe 57

    Jan 26, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm planning on buying the new Mac Mini, but I'm not sure which model to get. What is the difference between PCIe Flash and Flash? It's $30 more for the PCIe Flash storage.


    This is going to be my new video editing machine. I know Intel Iris isn't the greatest solution for this particular task but surely it'll be better than my current MacBook Pro which has a NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 256MB. I figure with the 16GB of onboard RAM, the CPU won't be struggling to share RAM.

    For a monitor, I plan to use the LG UltraWide 25" screen.

    So the specs I plan to have:
    3.0Ghz Dual-Core Intel Core i7 (Up to 3.5GHz)
    16GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
    256GB PCIe Flash or Flash

    Tell me what you think. Thanks!
  2. dollystereo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2004
    The mac mini has 2 bays for storage.
    1. Is for a PCIe SSD blade, that is really fast and "can't" * be upgraded in the future.
    2. The second bay, is a standard SATA connector, so it can adapt a classical rotational drive of 2.5", or a SSD in 2.5" form factor.

    So, I would say the best option depends your needs, but having a nice PCIe SSD is really good for running your system and apps from.
    If it where my mini, I would just get the 256GB PCIe flash drive (can't be upgraded*), and none in the SATA bay, so I could just get a cheap SSD from amazon to install myself in the SATA bay.
    A nice 500GB SATA SSD cost's $250 at amazon's.

    *They could potentially being upgraded if an aftermarke solution appeared.

    Anyway, for this price you could get an imac, with a quad core processor.
  3. KenAFSPC, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014

    KenAFSPC macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2012
    The Mac Mini can accommodate two storage devices - (1) a PCIe flash SSD and (2) a standard SATA drive, which could also be a flash-based SATA SSD.

    Since it looks like performance matters to you, be aware that Apple's 500GB and 1TB SSD options both offer better performance than the 256GB SSD. The 256GB is an older/slower Sandisk design whereas the 512GB and 1TB models are newer/faster Samsung designs.

    If it were me, I would opt for the 500GB PCIe flash drive from Apple. If you require additional storage down the road, you could always buy an after-market SATA SSD (for the SATA bay) such as the Samsung 850 Pro.
  4. magbarn, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014

    magbarn macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2008
    If you're really serious about video editing and need to stay on a osx platform, I'd really try to track down either a 2012 mini quad or just go iMac. Video editing/conversion is one of the specific instances where the quad core ivy bridge will be at least 50% faster (usually much more). It's also much more cost effective to buy 2 1tb 3rd party Santa drives which the 2012 can easily house inside before you start blowing money on TB enclosures that start around $400. Yes, the pcie Sata is faster,but no mini CPU ever made can outpace a Sata ssd in number crunching. It will take a bit more time to transfer the video to another device,but since most of us will be transferring to a regular mechanical HDD, the difference is moot.

    The chart below is a bit outdated but notice the wide gap between the dual and quad cores.

    Attached Files:

  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Yeah, that move to dual rather than quad core is something you have to seriously look at. Depends on the software you use, of course, but those extra cores are huge. That's why people buy Mac Pros over even the latest iMac; even though the Xeon's lag in single core over the riMac they smoke it with anything that makes use of those extra cores, like much of Adobe's software as well as fcp.
  6. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    Which model do you get to have the just flash option? Is it me or something I don't see on I can only get the PCIs option.
  7. JoEw macrumors 68000


    Nov 29, 2009
    Same here, I was under the impression there was only 1 storage bay option now anyway.


    Grab yourself a older Mac mini and you can upgrade the ram and storage in the future for much cheaper than Apple's prices. mini&cp=1&lp=4

    Quad-core is must, you will thank yourself later.
  8. John Doe 57 thread starter macrumors 65816

    John Doe 57

    Jan 26, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Well thank you all for your replies!! I really liked the old Mac Mini mainly for the ability to swap RAM and SSD when needed. I may go that route. But I really do need better graphics. Maybe an iMac with a NVIDIA GPU is a better option here. Back to the drawing board for now.
  9. Tom-Create-Pro macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2014
    You'll get much better read and write speeds out of the PCI-E slot. If you're dead set on a Mac Mini go for Flash on the PCI-E slot and large capacity on the SATA connector.


    P.S. Don't get the fusion drive, it sucks.
  10. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    Samsung ssd Magician software for Mac; someday.

    Tangent ramblings...
    I wish Samsung would make a Mac version of their Magician software which has ram caching built in. Read/write performance is much faster than anything Apple offers BTO. On the other hand Apple could easily incorporate caching in OS-X. Hellooooooo Apple...?

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