newb - SSD upgrade suggestions?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by sou1 so1di3r, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. sou1 so1di3r macrumors 6502a

    sou1 so1di3r

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #1
    Hey guys.

    I've got my Mac Mini-- mid 2011 - see pic for specs.


    I already upgraded it from 4GB RAM to 8GB but haven't really noticed a bump in speed like I thought I might.


    Just wondering what would be my best bet for upgrading the SSD. I think I can handle it, I found a good DIY video on OWC, unless there are better ones?

    Also what size should I go for, 128GB? I don't do a ton of crazy stuff, just some photoshop/lightroom so I figure I can put most my apps on the SSD and could I still use my other 500GB drive as an internal drive or would I have to use it as a USB external?


    Thanks for any advice and tips guys! :D
     

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  2. awer25 macrumors 65816

    awer25

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    #2
    I think the Samsung 830 model is about as good as it gets as far as reliability, and it's also a top performer on speed. As for size, that just depends on how much you need.
     
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
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    Howell, New Jersey
    #3
    here is my take on internal ssd installs. go as big as you can afford.

    if i do one for a client i like 240gb or 256gb. samsung makes a nice 256gb ssd as does crucial. samsung costs a bit more
     
  4. iJustinCabral macrumors member

    iJustinCabral

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    #4
  5. voyagerd macrumors 65816

    voyagerd

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    Location:
    Rancho Cordova, CA
    #5
    I just got an Intel 520 series and am really loving it!
     
  6. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    #6

    Adding a 2nd drive to a Mini that only comes with 1 drive is more of a hassle. Replacing the main drive with an SSD is not nearly as involved.

    Otherwise, use your hard drive in an external USB enclosure, which won't be very fast, but good enough for just storage.
     
  7. jmcgeejr macrumors 6502

    jmcgeejr

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    Seattle, WA
    #7
    I am going to second this, however I would look at a firewire 800 enclosure.
     
  8. sou1 so1di3r thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sou1 so1di3r

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    #8
    Would it be silly to try to store all my music/photos/media on an external if thats what I need for my old HDD?

    I'm not sure I can afford one of these huge SSD's :(
     
  9. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #9
    I plan on adding 2 120+ SSD's to my Mac Mini Server + bumping the RAM to 16GB.
    I've done this recently for a friend and it really is not that difficult.

    If it is your first or second time tearing in to one I would recommend the guides on ifixit.

    You can get 2 Vertex 3's 120GB for under $100/ea. on Newegg.
     
  10. sou1 so1di3r thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sou1 so1di3r

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    #10
    This is my first time.

    Would you recommend ifixit over OWC?


    My only real experience is I've built 2 or 3 PC's before with friends. Other than that, nothing really.
     
  11. voyagerd macrumors 65816

    voyagerd

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    #11
    No, I'm not able to store all my stuff on anything less than 2TB with all the music and RAW photos that I have. You still get a big improvement with just your OS on a boot drive.
     
  12. Lance-AR macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Location:
    Little Rock, AR
    #12
    A 128GB SSD is more than I needed on my mini. I followed the guides on OWC.
     
  13. obrien234 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Brighton, MI
    #13

    I am planning on adding a second drive in a new mac mini (after the update). From the iFixit guide, it seems like if you've already got the thing apart to replace the main hard drive that it is just a few more steps to change the adapter to hold a second one with their kit. Is there something specific about the extra steps that you think would be challenging?
     
  14. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #14
    yeah a 1 drive swap out means moving the logic board less then 1/4 inch. in fact if you put in a 7mm ssd you don't need to move the mobo at all.

    putting in 2 drives correctly means moving the logic board quite a bit. you need to do every disconnection and many threads are on this site about dead minis in 2 drive installs. basically with the availability of this piece of gear:


    http://www.ebay.com/itm/LaCie-90001...isk_Drives&hash=item3cc8e66dac#ht_1392wt_1351



    and these ssds

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-SAMSUNG...Disk_Drives&hash=item4ab90cd85e#ht_816wt_1351


    with this pair of threads to see how

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1403856
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1280118



    I think that putting in 2 drives in your mini is asking for trouble.


    yeah if you do it correctly it will be a bit faster and a bit cheaper.

    if you do it wrong you kill the mini. not worth it .

    I have done it and i would just do the above lacie mod. if i do it wrong I break a 234 case and still have 2 hdds that were in it my loss is 130 or so. much less risk . I use 2 lacie little big disks in a raid0 for a big 768 gb ssd. works great.
     
  15. eyepee macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    #15
    I have an OCZ Agility 3 240GB in my MM Server 2011 i7 Quad Core. OS X picks up the 6Gbit link speed so it burns rubber. Very very happy and have run it permanently for 6 months now.

    If i was getting an SSD now though I would go for the OCZ Vertex 4 in terms of top quality product, although the Agility range is a great value for money product.

    Make sure if you don't buy OCZ that you buy a SSD with the SandForce Controller (OWC for example). SandForce is similar to Trim in looking after your drive, and as OS X doesn't support Trim on non Apple SSDs you need SandForce.

    IP

    ----------

    I need 240 (OCZ sizes) for my MM as I have Server, Parallels, CS5 and Office. OS X and Apps for me is about 120GB so 128GB is tight is you have a lot of larger Apps - especially Parallels (although you can run Parallels on the secondary drive but it is slower).

    IP
     
  16. CalmEnvy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #17
    I plan on getting an SSD for my mini in the future but I was wondering what to do if I have a large music library? Do most of you just have an SSD for the OS + Apps and then have music and movies on an external drive?
     
  17. borostef, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012

    borostef macrumors 6502

    borostef

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    #18
    "Make sure if you don't buy OCZ that you buy a SSD with the SandForce Controller (OWC for example). SandForce is similar to Trim in looking after your drive, and as OS X doesn't support Trim on non Apple SSDs you need SandForce."

    You can enable TRIM on any SSD in Lion.
    I did it with my Corsaire Force 3 series SSD, just do this:

    http://digitaldj.net/2011/07/21/trim-enabler-for-lion/
     

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  18. sou1 so1di3r thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sou1 so1di3r

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    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #19

    I'm confused....

    so are you suggesting to just buy an external thunderbolt bay and put an SSD in there?


    Would that work as a boot disk?

    Whatever is the easiest and cheapest option is what I want... I guess if I don't have to tear apart my mini that would be ideal because I don't want to ruin anything. (not to mention my 3 years applecare I paid for)
     
  19. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #20
    yes it is the easiest method.

    there are two long threads on using the modded lacie little big disk or on using the seagate stae 121 thunderbolt adapter.


    the seagate thread

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1317577


    the lacie thread

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1280118

    lacie on sale thread

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1403856


    easy yes.

    cheapest well the cheapest is open the mini buy the second cable and don't break it when you put the second drive in.

    I have been tearing up minis since 2006 more then 200. I broke 2 minis pretty good stats but not perfect.



    I have done the lacie method, the seagate method and the internal drive method a lot of times as i sell them on the bay and privately .

    In my house I use the lacie lbds for my boot drives. I think it is best for my needs and it is pretty easy.
     
  20. borostef macrumors 6502

    borostef

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    #21
    I have bought my mini in november last year, that was, and is, the only Mac I own to this date (although I work on iMacs and MacBooks)...
    I upgraded my hard drive to an SSD without any trouble, just follow the iFixit guide and you will be alright.
    Putting two drives in there... That's another story, you need a bit more skill there, and I would not recommend it for a first time user, at least I would not do it.
    I put my SSD in, and I am using the original hard drive in an external casing as a storage for my videos and photos, and also as my time machine backup.
     
  21. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Howell, New Jersey
    #22
    yeah doing the one drive is average skill. the 2nd is a lot harder.
     
  22. sou1 so1di3r thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sou1 so1di3r

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #23
    Yeah I feel like going with the 1 SSD inside and turning my old into an external is the most affordable and cost effective way to tackle this.

    What's a good cheap external exclosure to buy if I want to put my old HDD in that?
     
  23. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Howell, New Jersey
    #24
  24. comatory macrumors 6502a

    comatory

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    #25
    Just wondering. Does it matter which disk on which cable? Let's say I have a Mini Server and I decide to replace on of the HDDs with SSD. Does it matter which HDD I replace? I want SSD to be the boot/OS drive.
     

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