Mac Mini user upgrades - what order and tips

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by VDhightower, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. VDhightower macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2014

    I'm coming from a late 2008 Mac Book Pro (2.5Ghz Core 2 Duo) with 4GB Ram to a 2012 Mac Mini (i7 2.3Ghz, 4GB Ram and 1TB HDD). I bought the 2012 Mac Mini because they are RAM and SSD upgradeable and for the quad core i7. I want to upgrade the RAM and put in an SSD. I'm hoping to pair it with a Dell Ultrasharp 1440p monitor and share the monitor with my wife's MB Air.

    I use my current laptop for basic internet, web surfing, etc. I do run a download manager (JDOwnloader) quite a bit. I am still in the process of ripping our large CD collection to FLAC (using XLD) as well but right now that will be put on hold (without an external CD drive). Other than that I do some remuxing of mkv files infrequently with mkvtools (not re-encoding with HandBrake). No gaming at all as I have a windows PC for that.

    As for future uses I am interested in learning about RAW photo editing (only at a beginner level with something like Dark Table) and I can see wanting to run some basic video editing with something like iMovie in the future.

    Based on what I would use it for what order should I do the upgrades in? SSD first or RAM or do both. My thinking is SSD just for the file IO and speeding up the OS in general. Thoughts and recommendations? I can afford both the upgrades but I thought I would just space them out and save the credit card some pain :)

    Any recommendations on which SSD drive kit to go with? IFixit or OWC? I'm in Canada BTW. Anything I should pay attention to when buying the kit? I plan on leaving the 1TB drive in there and adding the SSD to make a DIY Fusion drive.

    Any other drawbacks or recommendations based on my setup? I just bought the Mac Mini after seeing the new models but I'm hoping for a Refurb from Apple to save on costs a bit.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Youre not doing much multitasking. I'd go SSD first. Just remember it's the more involved install.
  3. KrisLord macrumors 65816

    Sep 12, 2008
    Northumberland, UK
    SSD first as it's much more of a noticeable improvement. I used the owc kit and had no issues. Adding the memory at a later date will take only 5 minutes.

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