Resolved Making overall improvements in my Mac Mini!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by alexreich, Jun 19, 2011.


What would bring the overall greatest improvement in computing experience?

  1. Bigger HD

    0 vote(s)
  2. SSD

    32 vote(s)
  3. Better computer up-keep (what should I be doing?)

    0 vote(s)
  4. New processor (requires buying new machine)

    5 vote(s)
  1. alexreich, Jun 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011

    alexreich macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2011
    Hey guys, I've had my 2010 Mac Mini for about 6 months now, and I love it. I bought the entry-level 320GB HD, 2GB RAM, 2.4C2D, combination. Things ran rather well on my machine until I starting running 8-10+ apps at once, so I recently purchased an 8GB RAM upgrade and things have been A LOT smoother.

    Is there anything else I can do/add/upgrade to make my machine really great?

    I'm pretty sure it's impossible to upgrade the processor because it's soldered on the board (or at least I've read), and I know an SSD would be nice, but they're pretty freakin' expensive. Plus, I wouldn't want to buy a 40-60GB SSD (to save money) to use as a boot drive then have to mess with having all of my personal files on an external drive... Is there anything I can do with my exsisting HD to make my computing experience feel quicker? Anything I can do in Disk Utility perhaps? or with 3rd Party software?

    Any thoughts, questions, or reccomendations would be thoroughly appreciated!

    -Alex :apple:
  2. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    An SSD would provide the biggest increase in perceived snappiness, by a long shot. Based on casual tests I've done, even if you push most of your user files to an external drive, you still get most of the benefit of an SSD (not 100% though of course).

    If you want to be really cheap though, you can move your user folder to an external drive, and short-stroke your internal boot disk (i.e reducing it to a 30gb partition at the outer edges of the drive). This is what I'm doing at the moment... it doesn't have the same 'ka-pow' as an SSD, but it is noticeably faster than the default setup. You do have to know what you're doing though if you attempt this, as OS X doesn't like user folders residing outside the boot drive without some specific prodding in System Preferences.
  3. alexreich, Jun 20, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011

    alexreich thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2011
    Bought an SSD

    Just bought the 60GB Mercury EXTREME Pro 3G SSD 2.5" Serial-ATA 9.5mm Solid State Drive from OWC. :D Should be here in a day or two (chose 2nd day air "expited shipping"). Should be a nice improvement to my machine's overall performance, no? ;)

    This SSD should be quite a bit faster, in comparison to the default 5400rpm HD in it right now, right?
  4. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    Yes, the difference will be night-and-day :cool:.

    Are you good with taking delicate electronics apart? It's moderately difficult to do the hard drive swap in the 2010 Mini. If you have an independent Mac service shop nearby they will probably do the swap for ~$50.
  5. alexreich thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2011
    I don't have to worry about it :)

    I'm employed by a Apple-centered computer administration for a school district. We have a Apple certified hardware specialist down the hall from my office. ha
  6. SimonBlanckaert macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2011
    I have a 2,66 Ghz, 4GB RAM and a 160 GB SSD. It's still not a fast computer in my opinion but the SSD makes a huge difference. Booting is impressive.
  7. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    I've always wanted a Mini with an SSD. My issue with the 2010 mini is what if the logic board fails. Can a Mac service shop replace that without much cost/issue?
  8. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    The mini is pretty rock solid. Should last you a long time. I wouldn't worry about the board. Keep the dust bunnies out and keep it cool running. Am tempted to put 2 ssd drives in mine. Am waiting to see if apple screws up the next update by putting a lame processor in it. Hope not. If a quad core doesn't make it in the next one, time to shop elsewhere.
  9. alexreich thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2011
    Bought the SSD. LOVE IT!

    I've had an SSD in my machine for about 4 days now, and the performance boost is quite amazing. Complete boots are 15-17 seconds, then all apps are ready to play (10-12 designated apps via startup items in System Preferences) All apps give a snappy performance. Extremely fast launching of applications. Read/Write speeds are amazing. No more waiting for app installations. Download your .dmg, drop the app icon onto your Applications folder, and it's instantly done. No loading bar for me! (Handbrake specifically copied over quickly in comparison to past experiences). Machine shuts down in about 2 seconds.

    (Sorry, got a little excited with the bolding tool) :p

    Thanks for all the help everyone! I joined MacRumors when I got this Mac so I could learn and ask questions, you guys have never let me down! I'm very pleased!

    Here's the SSD I bought:

    -Alex :apple:
  10. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    Excellent! Great to hear it's working out for you. Enjoy the snappiness! :D

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