New (to me) Mac Mini 2012, Advice please

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by geoffpalmeruk, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. geoffpalmeruk macrumors regular

    geoffpalmeruk

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    Location:
    Exeter, Devon
    #1
    Hi all,
    So i have recently sold my PC and bought a 2012 Mac Mini i5 with 16gb Ram and stock 500gb HDD.
    I'm looking for some pointers as to which OS would work best on this machine. Also would you recomend getting an SSD and Datadoubler?
     
  2. grcar Suspended

    grcar

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    #2
    Just put in the latest OS. You can take it to the genius bar and ask them to do an in-store hardware check and to install the latest OS out-of-box experience.

    I would not fool around on the inside because there are too many things to go wrong with little plugs. If you want an ssd find a shop to install a 1tb samsung drive. that size might cost about $400
     
  3. geoffpalmeruk thread starter macrumors regular

    geoffpalmeruk

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    Location:
    Exeter, Devon
    #3
    yeah i'm not into taking it into stores for hardware upgrades. It's easy enough to change myself. I sadly can't afford a 1tb drive, i was looking more at a 240 or 480ssd and a 2tb hdd or similar.

    as for the OS I wasn't sure if the 2012 model would run el capitain or if previous versions would be better / faster / lighter.
     
  4. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #4
    Go with El Capitan, works very well on the 2012.

    If you're going to be taking it apart, I suggest putting the SSD into the top bay, and moving the spinner into the lower bay. Replacing the drive in the lower bay is easier later on, should you choose to do that, without having to take the whole thing apart again.

    I have a Samsung 940Pro SSD, works very well. I kept the stock 1TB drive that came with my 2012 Mac Mini, but I swapped the locations as I described above. I intend on changing it to a 1 or 2 TB SSD at some point in the future.

    While you are at it, if you are confident in your ability and skill, I recommend pulling off the heat sink and changing out the thermal paste. First, you will also be 90% of the way there when taking it apart to swap the drives. Second, it's probably at 3 or 4 years old and dried up by now. Third, Apple uses bad thermal paste. Tuniq TX-4 works well for Mac Minis.
     
  5. geoffpalmeruk thread starter macrumors regular

    geoffpalmeruk

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    Location:
    Exeter, Devon
    #5
    I wasnt sure if it was worth cleaning out the thermal paste or not, i think i have some laying about at home somewhere. Thanks for the info on the drive location, will definately bare that in mind when i change them over.

    Glad to hear el cap works ok. I Think the last time i used a mac i was running mountain lion....
     
  6. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    #6
    I am using the Mac mini late 2012 base model and El Capitan runs quite well - I've not seen any problems at all.
     
  7. loby macrumors 6502a

    loby

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #7
    The 2012 mini is a fine Mac and if you put in a SSD you will notice a big difference. You will need to enable trim force if you use El Cap and just look up on this site or the Internet how to do if using third party SSDs.

    Also, make sure to read and look on YouTube about how to upgrade the hard drives in the mac Mini 2012, for it is a bit tricky for even the experienced techie and you want to make sure not to damage the unit. It is harder than the videos make it seem, but not do-able. Take your time and be careful and the reward is great. My Mac mini 2012 fly-s!
     
  8. geoffpalmeruk thread starter macrumors regular

    geoffpalmeruk

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    Location:
    Exeter, Devon
    #8
    Yeah, i'm happy to give the HDD upgrade a bash! :) just stoked to get back on OSX and get my mini up and running, Will make sure i get it backed up before i start messing with anything too!
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    Don't think you need anything called "Datadoubler".

    BUT -- an SSD would be a BIG improvement.

    TIP: Set up your SSD as "an external booter" and leave the internal 500gb HDD in place. Connect via USB3. The SSD will run about 80% as fast as it would if it were mounted internally. Not enough difference to notice.

    Use CarbonCopyCloner to "clone over" the contents of the internal HDD to the SSD. CCC will even dupe the recovery partition for you.

    You can either buy an SSD "ready-to-go", like this:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00ZTRY532?tag=delt-20

    ... or buy a "bare" SSD and put it into an enclosure like this:
    https://www.amazon.com/Inateck-Inch...=1466001227&sr=8-1&keywords=inateck+usb3+uasp
     
  10. geoffpalmeruk, Jun 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016

    geoffpalmeruk thread starter macrumors regular

    geoffpalmeruk

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    Location:
    Exeter, Devon
    #10
    I think it sounds silly to attach SSD as an external drive? purely from a logical side of things wouldn't it be worth going internal?
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    OP asks:
    "purely from a logical side of things it would be worth going internal?"

    Are you certain of your abilities?
    Many folks here have -thought- they could open the Mini and install an internal drive without problems, until they tried it, and......broke something.
     
  12. geoffpalmeruk thread starter macrumors regular

    geoffpalmeruk

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    Nov 8, 2013
    Location:
    Exeter, Devon
    #12
    Systems engineer in IT indusrty for over 12 years, Building PC's for about 7, Stipped and re-built Macbook Pro several times. I would be happy and confident to give it a go.
     
  13. !!! macrumors 6502

    !!!

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    #13
    I recently put in a SSD into my Mac mini 2011. I've never opened a Mac besides putting in RAM. I've never built a PC. The upgrade took about an hour. It's not hard but as long as your careful, you won't break anything.
     
  14. geoffpalmeruk thread starter macrumors regular

    geoffpalmeruk

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    Location:
    Exeter, Devon
    #14
    :) take your time, follow instruction if needed. easy if you know how lol! did you get a specific toolkit for it?
     
  15. danwestbrook macrumors regular

    danwestbrook

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #15
    100% recommend, I have 2012 with 16GB and a 240GB Crucial SSD + Stock 500GB drive. SSD's have dropped in price a lot recently sure you will find a good deal. Use mine as a home server been running 24/7 for around 18 months, Also 10.11 runs much better than 10.10 ever did.
     
  16. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    #16
    Is it best to put in a larger SSD and run it as a pure drive, or does setting up to run as a fusion drive give you just as good results? I purchased the drive kit. I have a 120gb SSD spare. I have had mixed results running it via an external USB3 case. Bought the internal kit from OWC and was planning on giving it a whirl this weekend.
     
  17. geoffpalmeruk thread starter macrumors regular

    geoffpalmeruk

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    Location:
    Exeter, Devon
    #17
    Would love it for you to use this thread to give feedback how it went / performs
     
  18. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    #18
    I was planning to put a spare 120gb SSD that I had, but after spending 2 hours looking for where it went only to remember that it got used an an Intel NUC, I went out and purchased a new Adata 240gb SSD for $75 cad. it was the cheapest one that I could find of that size. Theoretically I could image the contents of my current HD over and it would fit with 10gb of free space.

    I have Maverick loaded on the machine right now, and there are some odd things that it is doing like putting .DS Store files on the home screen, and random beach balls. Chances are now that I have a working SSD inside, I might look to load a clean copy of El Capitan directly onto the SSD and give that a try, leaving the Maverick on the original HD until I can thoroughly test it.

    As for the instructions. with a mix of watching the videos off you-tube and reading the manual, I got it in without too much problems. I ended up doing sort of twice as the first time around i don't think that i quite got the power supply in just right and had a bit of trouble getting the wireless antenna to fit right. But once you have pulled it apart once, the second time is a breeze. The first time back together i forgot to do the bluetooth shield upgrade. So I did put it on with the second go, but managed to mess up the plastic shield bit in the process. I don't know if it's something that you really need. The two sided tape on the plastic covers is supposed to say with the plastic, but when I took mine off, as the description is not all that good and no video by OWC I ended up throwing it out only to realize afterwards that was a mistake. The mac mini books fine and the bluetooth mouse works fine so all must be OK.
     
  19. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #19
    I was able to use an external Thunderbolt SSD drive with my Mac Mini. I would use a disk cloning tool to keep the internal drive to match the SSD drive. The problem would happen with updates and it would update and boot up the internal drive when you click restart. I would have to force it to boot up the external drive and it would then do the update on that one. Maybe wipe the internal drive and then it would work, didn't try it.

    When I am ready, I am going to just replace the internal drives with SSD drives. But for a preview of the performance without the pain, you can use a external SSD drive as your Mac boot drive. I don't like the installation steps with internal drives with the Mini as it seems like it would be easy to break it if you are not careful.
     
  20. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    #20
    I gave in and just did a Carbon Copy Clone of my current Maverick drive over to the SSD. To give a comparison of speed.

    I don't really like the boot time as it's rather subjective and can be limited by other things that I don't have control over. Also, as I never really power down and turn on the mac mini, it's rather a useless number.

    I did some more real time tests, like my daughter plays SIMMs 4 all the time. To load the game on the original hard drive took about 2 minutes to load. On the SSD, it's 3-4 seconds. Logging on a second user, generally took about 1 minute and generated a beech ball. On the SSD it happens in about 5 seconds with no beach ball.

    Clearly the SSD is solving quite a few of my issues that I had with the machine. I am now trying an upgrade on the SSD to El Capitan from the cloned version of Maverick. I will see how this performs. I still think that I will likely wipe the SSD and do a clean install to the blank drive.
     
  21. geoffpalmeruk thread starter macrumors regular

    geoffpalmeruk

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    Location:
    Exeter, Devon
    #21
    Sounds like SSD is the way forward. i have my eyes on a 480gb one at the moment. My mac mini is due to arrive today so i'm super stoked to get playing :)
     
  22. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #22
    The latest OS is fine.

    Go for the double disk setup, it works great in raid or fusion. Also 16Gb ram is quite cheap.

    One word of caution, be careful disconnecting the Fan, it's the connector most break. Pulling one apart and replacing the Hdd is not that hard if you are used to building PCs or like to tinker
     
  23. geoffpalmeruk thread starter macrumors regular

    geoffpalmeruk

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    Location:
    Exeter, Devon
    #23
    Thanks for the reply, I have just got it all up and running and i love it! the 16gb ram is working well and i can really feel the restriction of using a platter HDD at the moment. Looking at either setting up as a fusion or just go balls out and get two SSDs
     

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