SSD for 2012 Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by cgprelude, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. cgprelude macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2013
    Hey guys,

    I'm very unhappy with how slow my 2012 2.5Ghz i5 mac mini is performing. I upgraded to 8GB of ram which didn't help much so I'm thinking it's the HD. I was considering either the Samsung 840 Pro or Evo. I'll probably go with the Evo just to save a few bucks unless I hear otherwise.

    My main question is I watched the video of the data doubler install and it seems very difficult. I'm not that comfortable with all the steps and was wondering if theres a video showing an alternative method. Also I don't see many videos discussing a straight up swap. If I swapped HD's would that be an easier install? I read one comment in a thread where the poster states:

    "please don't follow the OWC guide. It sucks and might damage your machine. It is also depicting a 2011 Mini, which has a different use of the bays.
    Just unscrew the Wifi antenna, and slide the SSD in. Don't care about screws to hold the SSD, removing the mobo etc. If the SSD is too loose, shove the spacer that comes with the SSD underneath or on top (depending on the room the cable leaves). This way you can't break a thing. 5 minute procedure. "

    Does anyone have any more information about this procedure. I really don't need two HD or the extra space since i'm currently using 200GB of my 500GB HD so if theres a much easier method doing a swap vs data doubler install I will go that way instead. Or if theres a data doubler install that does not have 20 steps I would also prefer that. Please point me in the easiest method that will prevent me from breaking my HD.

  2. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    I can vouch for the above suggestions.
    It appears to me that some of the suggested upgrade instructions are either for other models of the mini or just paranoid overkill.
    A quick goggle search also turns up simpler methods for installing HD's or SSD's in the latest minis.
  3. Elho macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2013
    By the way, why is it you can't BTO an i5 mini with fusion drive?
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    [[ My main question is I watched the video of the data doubler install and it seems very difficult. I'm not that comfortable with all the steps and was wondering if theres a video showing an alternative method ]]

    If you're uncomfortable taking the Mini apart right now (especially if it's still under warranty), and you can spend $25, do this:

    - Get a USB3/SATA docking station
    - Put the SSD into the docking station
    - Either clone the contents of the internal drive to it, or install a fresh copy of the OS
    - Boot and run the Mini that way

    The boot and run speeds will be all-but indistinguishable from an interally-mounted drive.

    It could save you a lot of grief if you break something while trying to install the drive internally. There have been numerous postings right in this forum from others who figured they could do the procedure, and then.... broke something.

    To see what a USB3/SATA dock is, go to amazon, and enter "usb3 sata dock" into the search box -- MANY choices available. I happen to like the docks from (no financial interest other than being a paying customer).

    Having the dock around could come in handy for various other tasks, even if at some point you do open the Mini and install the SSD. Very useful for backups, mounting old or spare drives, etc.
  5. scbond macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2010
    Nottingham, UK
    Another fine example of how people automatically upgrade the memory to speed up the computer only to find it did practically nothing.
  6. cgprelude thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2013
    I'm having a difficult time returning good results using google or the forum. Could you provide a link to site or video.


    Not sure what BTO means but my only fear with creating a fusion drive is that if one drive goes bad then my dad is lost. I know it's the same theoretically with the one ssd however I trust samsung ssd over the stock HD from apple.

    If I kept it I would just have it mounted as a separate drive.


    I had this idea as well, I just feel like it's a little ghetto to have my main HD sitting outside my computer.


    It may still be RAM that is an issue "at times" however if I'm using an old HD and memory has to swap to HD then i'm going to have a major issue which wouldnt be as big of a problem if I was running an SSD.
  7. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    For a straight drive swap, the process is very similar to the data doubler instructions, just stop at the step where you pull out the top drive. Like so You may be able to get the drive out without pulling the logic board out slightly.

    BTO means "built to order" (ordering your machine with upgrades from the apple store)

    What kind/how many programs do you run at once? Often people upgrade their RAM thinking it will speed up their computer, but if you don't utilize the additional space, it just sits idle and does practically nothing. Even if you use an SSD paging out can still be an issue, because even though its much faster than an HDD it is nowhere near as fast as RAM.
  8. cgprelude thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2013
    I'll look into that video. I'm thinking of going that route though.

    I cant do a BTO because I purchased the computer about 6 months ago.

    Typically I do browsing and RDP session to work. I also usually have 1 VM running Win7 however 8 GB of ram is a is limiting factor here. Currently I only have firefox running, and a notepad open along with Sophos AV, Dropbox, Yellow (notpads) and F'lux running. My App memory is at 3.5GB, File cache 1.9GB, Wired memory 1GB. Memory used 6.4 of 8 and that's me not doing very much. Once I turn on my VM and open RDP i'm usually right around 8GB.
  9. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    I'm no tech genius, but I have managed an install of a second drive into a mini. All I did was watch the OWC vid, plus a few others that I found on YouTube, (sorry links long since forgotten), but most importantly I just gave myself plenty of time and did it ultra carefully.

    I'd highly recommend having an SSD inside in conjunction with your main drive to give yourself room to grow. I'd go with an 840pro, or M500 for greater capacity at a lower price point.

    Do it once, do it right.
  10. raniel macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2011
    Is there a video on youtube available? adding an ssd without removing the logic board? Thanks
  11. Sean869 macrumors member


    Nov 7, 2012
    Dorset, United Kingdom
    I have seen the same video but I can't find it at the moment. He just removes the fan and wifi grill to expose the top of the drive then wiggles it out. He then just wiggles both drives into place and uses the drive mounting screws it the bottom of the upper most drive (when the mac is upside down) to act as a spacer between the drives. It seems very simple. The only point Im concerned about is that the drives float free inside the case. I keep trying to muster the courage to try.
  12. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Well if you went to the OWC Data Double addendum for 2012 Mac mini you would see an update to that Mac Mini video instead of relying on stupid YouTube posters.

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