MacMini; HD vs SSD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by theeicebear, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. theeicebear macrumors newbie

    theeicebear

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
    Location:
    Liverpool
    #1
    Hi,

    The drive on my old trusty 2009 MacMini is failing and I'm about to buy a new internal HD.

    Is it worth me getting an SSD for an old computer (it's now in my kitchen for music and casual browsing), or should I just get a regular old style SATA drive for it? Would there be THAT much of a speed improvement?

    Cheers in advance,
    Simon
     
  2. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    #2
    That use wouldn't really have benefit of SSD.
     
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #3
    Absolutely worth it. Night and day difference even on such a machine.
     
  4. KasperFromDK macrumors newbie

    KasperFromDK

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2014
    Location:
    Denmark
    #4
    Worth it. OS and apps will load a lot faster.
     
  5. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #5
    Your Mac will be a lot faster with SSD but the question is it really worth it?

    Since your needs are very modest and Mini is quite old Hdd will be more than sufficient unless you absolutely have to speed it up as much as possible.
     
  6. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #6
    Not to be raining on the parade of 2009 minis but it is time for a replacement. I had a BTO 2009 2.66 C2D mini with 8GB RAM and a WD 7200 RPM HDD. I loved that mini. Now I have a 2012 2.3 quad with 16GB RAM. For awhile it ran on a Crucial M500 960GB SSD. That SSD is now my PC's C-drive so El Capitan runs off the OEM 1TB 5400 RPM HDD.

    As much as I loved my 2009 I have to be honest and note that compared to the 2012 the older one was dirt stupid slow whether running a program or communicating to the outside world via USB. There is no reason in the world to buy an SSD for that old SATA2 2009. For the same amount of money you can probably find a used 2012 quad that will really make you smile.

    Do Geekbench runs on each and you'll find yourself changing your underwear after seeing the difference. Then when you can get a modern SATA3 SSD for your new mini you'll be a changin' those undies again!
     
  7. multicore macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #7
    Gee, I just put a SATA3 SSD (yeah, I know it only runs at SATA2 speed) into my old 2009 mini for $60. Can you point me to where I can get a used 2012 quad for that price?
     
  8. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #8
    There's an enormous speed improvement! ...but only in terms of accessing long-term storage.

    So, tasks that involve the drive, such as loading the operating system into memory, or loading apps into memory, go much much faster. For people who are constantly turning their computer off and on and off and on again all day, or open and close and reopen and reclose apps over and over again, this is great. On the other hand, for folks (like me) who tend to have their computers running all the time, and keep their apps up and running, the SSD is not such an advantage.

    So, if your computer in the kitchen is only used occasionally, the SSD will let it get up and running much more quickly when you turn it on. If, however, you leave it on all day (to play music in the background or what have you), you won't see a huge difference between magnetic media and solid-state...
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    scottsjack wrote above:
    "Not to be raining on the parade of 2009 minis but it is time for a replacement."

    VERY good point.

    OP:
    If you absolutely have to get another drive for the 2009 Mini, I suggest you get something that can in time be "moved over" to a new Mac.

    What is going on with the original drive, that indicates to you that it's failing?
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Really... for that described usage I would not bother buying an SSD. All an SSD does once the machine is running is speed up app launch times or speed the loading of say a huge video. Once the app is launched (like Safari) it does not speed things up much. Save your money and just grab a cheap hard drive.
     
  11. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Location:
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    #11

    Yeah, yeah…… Time for replacement if you are in the lust for power, speed and the latest gear brigade, and have the means to indulge it. But I, for one, am not inclined to drop a month's pay for bragging rights every couple of years or so.

    My early 2009 Mini still does what I expect of it, and I reckon should continue to do so for a couple of years or so.

    While an SSD does provide improved performance, it is not the be all and end all. As has been suggested by others, for many basic uses, if a computer is on most of the time and apps are not being
    opened and closed frequently, the SSD advantage over HDD is not so great, and may not be cost effective.

    In the end, the SSD v HDD choice is one that users make based on their own needs and means.
     
  12. mlts22 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    #12
    I personally would get the SSD. It may be a C-note or two, but a new one will provide a definite step up in usability. OS X will even use TRIM, if you enable it (sudo trimforce enable.)

    Caveat: If a SSD fails, there is no way to recover data, so make darn sure to have backups. I'd highly consider something like a Time Capsule or an external drive.
     
  13. jbarley, Nov 5, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015

    jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #13
    Would you consider selling me your 2012 mini for the $100 dollar or so an SSD would cost me?
     
  14. dogslobber macrumors 68020

    dogslobber

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #14
    An SSD will give an amazing boost of performance to a 2009 Mini. It'll be like getting a new six years old computer.
     
  15. marclondon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #15
    We've got three 2009 Macs - one Mini and two Macbook Pros. I've put SSDs in all and they greatly improve performance but for serious work they are well past their best and the 2012 quad Mini I also have is my main machine.

    I would buy a small capacity SSD - 128GB - which in the UK are now just £55 from Crucial. You can always take it out and use in a newer model later or mount in an external enclosure.
     
  16. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #16
    Alright, you realize that this begs the question:
    (a) Have your 2009 Macs become less capable machines than they were when you purchased them?
    or,
    (b) Has your work become more "serious" since 2009?
    ;)
     
  17. marclondon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #17
    They are less capable because software and online media etc have become more demanding. That's progress but you can see the difference immediately with say a 2012 quad i7 Mini - mine's got a 500GB SSD and 16GB memory.

    My work is the same but it helps to have a faster machine. I run a lot of apps including design, virtual machines, simultaneously and they are impossible to run now on a 2GHz Mini with a 5400 rpm HD and barely tolerable with an SSD.

    In any case what you tend to do with a better computer is load it with more demanding apps.

    One of the Macbook Pros is a 2.57GHz core 2 duo - it's not bad and in fact El Capitan has made it better.
     
  18. jpietrzak8 macrumors 6502a

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #18
    Well, yeah, that's kinda what I expected. ;) The problem is, I don't define that as "work". Running "more demanding" apps does not necessarily equate to getting more work done... ;)
     
  19. marclondon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #19
    Well, leaving aside more apps I'd say that just running Safari is a far better experience with a newer machine. As for work, I can assure you that the Windows programs I have to use now for a couple of jobs only work properly under Parallels on the quad Mini.
     
  20. dragon2611 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    #20
    SSD is almost always a worthwhile upgrade In my opinion, even on my little N2807 based laptop PC (I.e gutless pile of plop) it made a noticeable improvement.

    Only reason I wouldn't go SSD is if you plan to store a lot of the Media on the machine itself in which case a HDD would be better value.

    Otherwise small SSD and pull the media from the network or an external drive.
     

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