Replacement SSD for Mac Mini Late 2012

Wando64

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 11, 2013
543
617
I am looking to upgrade the SSD in my Mini from the stock 128GB bundled in a fusion drive, with a 1TB unit.

The Crucial MX500 1TB SATA 2.5Inch 7mm, seems to be the cheaper option. (Currently £136 on Amazon)
Is there any reason why I should be better off using a different drive/manufacturer?
If so, why and what would you recommend instead?

Thank you
 

bigfatipod

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2011
224
87
I can't really answer your specific questions, but I am curious - which 2012 model do you have?
 

MultiFinder17

macrumors 68020
Jan 8, 2008
2,010
707
Tampa, Florida
I have an old 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 in my 2012 mini. I've had the SSD since 2011 or so, and it's been a solid workhorse through a number of different computers.
 

KrisLord

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2008
1,536
1,024
Northumberland, UK
I am looking to upgrade the SSD in my Mini from the stock 128GB bundled in a fusion drive, with a 1TB unit.

The Crucial MX500 1TB SATA 2.5Inch 7mm, seems to be the cheaper option. (Currently £136 on Amazon)
Is there any reason why I should be better off using a different drive/manufacturer?
If so, why and what would you recommend instead?

Thank you
That’s a decent enough drive for a Mac mini. Drives have progressed above the SATA3 specification these days so pretty much any drive is going to be fine. More modern PCs don’t use SATA3 anymore.

As you’ve a fusion drive your mini already has 2 drives in it (1TB spinning hard drive and 138GB SSD). So you just need a set of screwdrivers to
Open it up and remove theninternals. I think mine was from OWC but ifixit also sell one.

You don’t need the kit with the hard drive cable.
 

Wando64

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 11, 2013
543
617
I can't really answer your specific questions, but I am curious - which 2012 model do you have?
2.6 GHz Intel Core i7 (4 cores) 16GB RAM
[doublepost=1542303840][/doublepost]
That’s a decent enough drive for a Mac mini. Drives have progressed above the SATA3 specification these days so pretty much any drive is going to be fine. More modern PCs don’t use SATA3 anymore.

As you’ve a fusion drive your mini already has 2 drives in it (1TB spinning hard drive and 138GB SSD). So you just need a set of screwdrivers to
Open it up and remove theninternals. I think mine was from OWC but ifixit also sell one.

You don’t need the kit with the hard drive cable.
I am planning to replace the 128GB SSD with 1TB and uncouple the fusion so that I can keep OS, Apps and critical files on the SSD, whilst everything else can stay on the HDD.
I am tempted to create a 2TB Fusion drive, but I am worried that Mojave will not like it much.
 
Last edited:

InquiringMac

macrumors member
Dec 16, 2013
77
5
I am very much interested in your results, @Wando64 , as I am going to follow your steps upgrading my MM (late 2012).

Could you please, dear experts, point me to some step-by-step guide (even a newbie could understand!) describing how to install macOS on this new Crucial MX500 1TB SATA SSD? Not sure what else needs to be done "on software side"...
 

Wando64

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 11, 2013
543
617
@InquiringMac I have completed the upgrade today and as promised I am posting my findings.

First of all, I thought the speed of the various drives are quite interesting. (all speeds are in MB/s)

Fusion Drive
Read: 300 (average)
Write: 190 (average)

Original Apple SSD (after uncoupling the Fusion drive)
Read: 415
Write: 215

Original Apple HD (after uncoupling from the Fusion Drive)
Read: 105
Write: 105

Crucial SSD (USB 3 connected)
Read: 428
Write: 370

Crucial SSD (Internally mounted)
Read: 512
Write: 460

So the Crucial SSD is actually considerably faster than the original Apple SSD. This is quite a pleasant surprise to me.

The process I followed was as such:

- Updated my Time Machine backup as a last resort safety,
- Connected the Crucial SSD using a USB3 adaptor and formatted,
- CCC cloned my fusion drive onto the Crucial SSD (Including the recovery partition),
- Booted from the Crucial SSD (USB3 connected) to test functionality,
- Uncouple the Fusion Drive using Terminal (this also formats the two drives),
- Swap the Apple SSD with the Crucial SSD,
- Boot-up, all done.

One piece of advice. When you open up the Mini to swap the SSD, I found there is no need to unplug the Fan, nor the Wi-FI aerial. All you need to do is unscrew them and move them to one side.
 
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ElectronGuru

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2013
1,492
360
Oregon, USA
If you want to update OS at the same time, another option is installing it onto the new SSD, then migrating account and content over from the old drive during first boot. Get an easy semi clean install in the bargain.