PCIE ssd and manual 2.5" hard drive upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by felixnovus, May 2, 2015.

  1. felixnovus macrumors newbie

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    May 2, 2015
    #1
    So for 2014 model, I am thinking if I go for mac mini with 256g pcie ssd upgrade, there should be an empty SATA HDD slot, right?

    Which means I can install an additional 2.5" hard drive manually.

    Has any one tried this? Any idea?
     
  2. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    #2
    It May Be A Space Rather Than A Slot...

    If you purchase that machine with a Fusion Drive instead of an SSD you will have the full kit. That way you could use the mini as is, break the fusion, or upgrade the PCIe SSD and/or HD with ease.

    Fusion Drive equipped 2014 minis come with all of the hardware to support both drives. Others on this forum should be able to tell you what additional hardware you might need to install the spinner HD in a plain SSD equipped mini.:apple:
     
  3. felixnovus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 2, 2015
    #3
    The problem with fusion drive is SSD partition is only used for OSX. The bootcamped windows will not make use of the SSD. That's why I am considering 256g ssd upgrade and split it for OSX and Windows. But then, the space will not be enough, hence the 2.5" internal drive.

    So, going back to my original speculation, for 256g PCIe option, will the mini have an empty slot? (I guess it might be slightly lighter as well?)
     
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #4
    Why not just buy a Fusion Drive option, then save the PCIe SSD for OS X and replace the 2.5" HDD with a 2.5" SSD for Windows?
     
  5. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Is there a way to buy a Fusion-Drive with 256GB SSD?
    I believe every Fusion-Drive, even the 3 TB on the RiMac, uses a 128 GB SSD (and a slow 5400 RPM "rotating-rust" hard disk).
     
  6. felixnovus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 2, 2015
    #6

    Yes, for fusion drive, SSD is not configurable (default 128G).

    So the upgrade is either 256 PCIe or Fusion drive for the same price. (http://prntscr.com/7109ut)

    that's why I am guessing 256 PCIe option will have an empty sata slot.
     
  7. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    #7
    That Fusion Drive Is A Logical Volume

    It will have an empty slot but...

    It won't have a cable. For the same price, your best path may be to initially purchase the Fusion Drive(FD) option. Why? Because the FD equipped mini has all of the cables and fasteners that you need. It may not be a good idea to disregard the FD mini from the start. You need to compare costs, complexity, and component availability first.

    Consider if, instead of researching part numbers and sources you could simply purchase the drive or drives that you want and install them. You would not have to purchase a special cable or fasteners. If you think that the 128Gb SSD is too small you can always swap it for a 256Gb and end up with a PCIe SSD/HD equipped mini. However, since your plan is to devote space to Windows from your internal SSD storage, you could alternatively leave the 128Gb SSD alone and swap the spinner for a fat SATA SSD. This option would not cost you any SSD space for your operating systems since both would live entirely in an SSD. Both of these options would be relatively easy to implement and each would require the purchase and installation of only one component.

    I have not mentioned what you could do with surplus parts. You could sell the original Apple PCIe SSD on Amazon or eBay to offset the cost of your PCIe 256Gb SSD. For yjchua95's option, you could pop that 1Tb HDD into an inexpensive external USB 3.0 housing and have a solid backup or data storage solution.

    Do you see what yjchua95 meant now? An original purchase of a FD does not mean that you are stuck with one. You can break the FD and use the components any way that you want.
     
  8. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    AFAIK said cable is part of the 25-something USD iFixit kit for the 2012.

    OP wants a bigger SSD for his FD than 128GB.
    I would imagine, if you have a lot of "hot" data (VMware Fusion comes to mind), a larger SSD will be of benefit.
    I can't provide a link but ISTR that in normal day-to-day use, larger SSDs in a FD have no practical advantage.

    Personally, I'm all SSD on my 2012. Couldn't be bothered to dismantle the whole thing just to to create a FD so that the risk of disk-failure essentially doubles...
    I wouldn't bother with another hard-disk and buy the cheapest SATA3-SSD (Samsung or Crucial)....
    Though I have to admit that the cheapest 1T SSD is almost seven times as expensive as the cheapest 1TB SATA HD...and then you might need a TM disk with higher capacity, too.
     
  9. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #9
    If you want more SSD space, and also like the Fusion drive, you could replace the 128GB SSD with a 256GB or 512GB SSD and partition it for desired Windows and OS X space. Then, create your Fusion drive with the SSD OS X partition and the existing hard drive. That way you have the best of both, Windows on SSD, and OS X Fusion drive.
     
  10. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    The 256GB SSD from Apple adds 200 USD.
    http://store.apple.com/us/buy-mac/mac-mini?product=MGEN2LL/A&step=config
    It looks like iFixit's 256GB SSD costs 450 USD:
    https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Mac/Ma...3-Inch-Mid-2013-to-Early-2014-SSD/IF188-105-6
    Assuming these are the same SSDs.
     
  11. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #11
    I assume the price difference is that the Apple price is based on the upgrade/exchange from the 128GB part, where the other link is a replacement part, leaving the owner with the original bare 128GB SSD which they removed.
     
  12. felixnovus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 2, 2015
    #12
    Thank you guys for all the info and suggestions.

    I've decided to go for 256G PCIe upgrade. That storage size should be enough for two operating systems and all their softwares. I will just get a normal external usb 3.0 hard drive for other stuff like photos, songs and movies.

    I probably won't open up the mini because, as Celerondon pointed out, sata cable, mount, etc .. might not be included. I will see how it goes with the external drive first.
     
  13. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

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    Apr 25, 2012
    #13
    The cable, grommets and "studs" aren't but it's relatively easy to get them (iFixit has a kit).
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    felix wrote above:
    [[ I've decided to go for 256G PCIe upgrade. That storage size should be enough for two operating systems and all their softwares. I will just get a normal external usb 3.0 hard drive for other stuff like photos, songs and movies. ]]

    I doubt you'll notice any "perceptible difference" between using an external HDD attached via USB3 vis-a-vis having an internal HDD (especially @5400rpm).

    A 7200rpm USB3 HDD may actually yield performance that seems faster.

    In this case, no need to bother with opening up the Mini -- more trouble than it's worth...
     

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