Mac Mini SSD and other setup questions

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by FireWaterEarthAir, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. FireWaterEarthAir macrumors member

    FireWaterEarthAir

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Location:
    Cali <3
    #1
    I'm thinking about pulling the trigger on a 2014 Mac Mini. I'm most likely going to get the 2.6 ghz model with 8 GB of RAM and the 1 TB HDD.

    My initial thought was to get the model with the 1 TB FusionDrive, but I've since reconsidered. I'm now planning on getting an external SSD (USB 3.0) for the OS and applications and to use the internal HDD to store my data.

    Eventually, maybe 2-3 years from now, I'll upgrade the internal HDD to an SSD. By then, I'm assuming that the cost of a 1 TB SSD will be quite a bit lower than it is now.

    My questions:
    1. Is this good plan? Will this result in a better setup than the FusionDrive?
    2. What size SSD should I get? I'm thinking 256 GB should be more than enough?
    3. Can anyone recommend an external SSD?
    4. Does the Mini support a 1 TB internal SSD?

    Just for background...I'm a casual user. This will be used for Internet, managing photos, videos, and music, Office apps, and kids apps. Maybe some light photoshop and video editing.
     
  2. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    #2
    Last June I bought through the Apple On-line Store a Refurbished MM(Late 2014), 2.8GHz, 8GB Ram, 256 SSD and it is one great "beast" in start-up and opening Apps. I, like you, am a casual user but I would not buy any Mac without at least a 256 SSD.
     
  3. grayskyz macrumors regular

    grayskyz

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    1. The speed difference between an external USB 3.0 SSD and the internal PCI SSD that is from apple is monumental.
    The best I suspect you'll get from an external is around 400MB (depending on the drive you purchase) the internal SSD speed is about 670MB.

    2. The one you can afford, yes 256 is great.

    3. This isn't an easy answer. I would definitely do a quick forum search and get a recommendation. I use 512 samsung SSD's because of their size to speed ratio. The down side is you have to erase all their garbage to use their product but, it's been bullet proof for me so far.

    4. Yes and no. You could add an internal SSD to the SATA if you bought the PCI SSD but you'll need a hard drive ribbon/ upgrade kit with the necessary tools. More info is here https://goo.gl/GNLVvI

    5. Bonus: This is a pretty great solution for you if you go internal SSD and external case http://goo.gl/wXlrWf
    I'm thinking I may want to go this route also.

    Hope that helps!
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    OP wrote above:
    "1. Is this good plan? Will this result in a better setup than the FusionDrive?"

    No.
    It -once was- "a good plan", but not any more.
    The reason is that the 2014 Mini uses a PCIe-based "blade SSD" that is VERY fast and is SUPERIOR to ANY SATA SSD connection, speed-wise.

    I'll reckon that a Mini with a 1tb fusion drive (120gb PCIe SSD + 1tb HDD) will be significantly faster than one powered by an external USB drive.

    "Can anyone recommend an external SSD?"
    If you want to go that route, you might look into one of these:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00ZTRY532?tag=delt-20

    As a casual user, you should consider either:
    - the "midrange" Mini with the 1tb fusion drive option,
    or
    - the "top level" Mini, which comes with the 1tb fusion as standard equipment.
     
  5. FireWaterEarthAir thread starter macrumors member

    FireWaterEarthAir

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Location:
    Cali <3
    #5
    Thanks for your insight, guys.

    I ended up ordering the 2.6 ghz model with 8 GB of RAM and the 256 GB SSD. If I'm going to do it, I should do it right.
     
  6. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #6
    You did it right, all right! Let us know how you like that mini when you get it. :)
     
  7. FireWaterEarthAir thread starter macrumors member

    FireWaterEarthAir

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Location:
    Cali <3
    #7
    Quite happy so far. A nice step up from my 2011 11" MBA.
     

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