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docprego

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 12, 2007
1,243
106
Henderson, NV
I replaced the hard drive in my 2012 i7 Mac Mini server with an SSD when I first got the machine about 5 years ago. It runs really good, still does to this day but I was wondering what current improvements could be made to it if any? Are SSDs appreciably faster now then they were in 2013 and therefore by replacing the original SSD performance might improve? Or is an SSD about as quick as the next one. Here's the SSD I have in it now:

Mushkin Chronos 120 GB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive (MKNSSDCR120GB)

These are its specs:

  • xTRIM support (OS/driver support required)
  • Up to 90,000 IOPS Random 4KB Write
  • Max Sequential Read Up to 550MB/s and Max Sequential Write Up to 515MB/s
  • SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) interface (backwards compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and 1.5Gb/s)
  • Max Sequential Read Up to 550MB/s and Max Sequential Write Up to 515MB/s
  • Up to 90,000 IOPS Random 4KB Write
  • SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) interface (backwards compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and 1.5Gb/s)
  • Built-in BCH ECC (Up to 55 bits correctable per 512 byte sector)
  • Asynchronous MLC NAND
  • Access Time <0.1ms
I have 16GB RAM already and I'm pretty sure that current RAM won't make much if any difference over the 5 year old RAM I put in it back then. But if it will I'd be willing to upgrade that as well.

Are there any other improvements I could make?

Thank you!
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
7,797
4,675
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I have a 2012 quad core i7 2.6 ghz Mini Server with the original internal Apple sm256e SSD. This is how it performs with the BlackMagic Disk Test app. AFAIK, this is as about fast as the internal SSD interface can go. Run the test on your Mini and see how it compares. IMO, the biggest shortcoming of the 2012 mini is the HD4000 graphics chip.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blackmagic-disk-speed-test/id425264550?mt=12

mini_sm256e.jpg
 

RyanXM

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2012
539
560
DFW, TX
The easiest way is to RAID two SSDs. You will see 950-980MB/s reads and writes. The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are good performers and they are inexpensive when compared to their Samsung counterparts. You can also consider the Micron 1100 2TB (2056GB) as they are currently in the $250 range.

EDIT: I should mention that in order to RAID SSDs, you either stay with macOS Sierra, or you will need to use SoftRAID.

On the RAM side of things, the G.Skill CL9 (https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231705) gives you a 100 point increase in Single Core GeekBench and a 300-400 point increase in Multi Core GeekBench scores.

CL11 on 10.13.4 - http://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/8153274
CL9 on 10.13.4 - http://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/8153545
 
Last edited:

jeffreyg

macrumors regular
Apr 19, 2004
102
141
Melbourne
The easiest way is to RAID two SSDs. You will see 950-980MB/s reads and writes. The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are good performers and they are inexpensive when compared to their Samsung counterparts. You can also consider the Micron 1100 2TB (2056GB) as they are currently in the $250 range.

EDIT: I should mention that in order to RAID SSDs, you either stay with macOS Sierra, or you will need to use SoftRAID.

On the RAM side of things, the G.Skill CL9 (https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231705) gives you a 100 point increase in Single Core GeekBench and a 300-400 point increase in Multi Core GeekBench scores.

CL11 on 10.13.4 - http://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/8153274
CL9 on 10.13.4 - http://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/8153545

Hey Ryan, I'm intrigued by what you've said here. I'm about to grab one of these 2012 2.6hmz Mac Minis and spec it up, and had been intending to shove in a spare pair of commodity 8GB sticks of RAM that I have laying around. I hadn't expected that a more pedigreed variety of RAM would make much real world difference to performance. But the numbers on your benchmarks show quite a marked improvement. Do you think it's worth the extra cost for use in a general home/media server/print design workflow?
 

RyanXM

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2012
539
560
DFW, TX
Hey Ryan, I'm intrigued by what you've said here. I'm about to grab one of these 2012 2.6hmz Mac Minis and spec it up, and had been intending to shove in a spare pair of commodity 8GB sticks of RAM that I have laying around. I hadn't expected that a more pedigreed variety of RAM would make much real world difference to performance. But the numbers on your benchmarks show quite a marked improvement. Do you think it's worth the extra cost for use in a general home/media server/print design workflow?

Believe it or not, the CL9 goes on sale quite often on NewEgg and it has become my go to for customer upgrades. At this time, it is actually $2 cheaper ($117.99 to $119.99) than the G.Skill CL11 and is also cheaper than most "name brand" 16GB upgrade kits. The Crucial Kit is currently $138 on NewEgg.

And for anyone wondering, DDR3-1866 DOES NOT POST on the 2012 Mac mini. I've yet to test it on the latest EFI of MM61.010E.B00 which came in 10.13.5. The same goes for DDR3-2133. Does not POST on the 2012 Mac mini, but both of these do POST on the 2011 Mac mini.
 
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