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AppleLova

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 21, 2014
21
0
Denmark
Hey guys!

I found an SSD I've had for a while & it's still working, but I'm curious as to whether it'd up the performance of my Mac Mini from Late '12. Currently it's running the default mechanical 500 GB.

The one I've found is a Kingston A400 120 GB. It's a SATA III and is 2.5" large.

Do you think it'd work fine - e.g. have any of you had negative experiences with it or drives like it in the past?

Thanks!
 

iluvmacs99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2019
920
671
Hey guys!

I found an SSD I've had for a while & it's still working, but I'm curious as to whether it'd up the performance of my Mac Mini from Late '12. Currently it's running the default mechanical 500 GB.

The one I've found is a Kingston A400 120 GB. It's a SATA III and is 2.5" large.

Do you think it'd work fine - e.g. have any of you had negative experiences with it or drives like it in the past?

Thanks!

I have a Kingston A400 240Gb version running inside my Mini 2011 and by far it is running well. It won't be as fast as the Samsung Evo SSD or the Crucial because it lacks the DRAM cache, but it is still heck a lot faster than a mechanical hard drive. The only concern is space. 120Gb is getting pretty tight for Mojave or Catalina, and 4Gb of RAM is also a limiting factor. Ideally you want to up the ram to 8 or 16Gb and add a SSD and your 2012 mini will fly.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,425
736
The key improvement of an SSD in this situation is not necessarily speed, per se. It's access latency. All SATA drives are limited to the interface. For example, SATA III is 6 Gbps. Granted, SSDs are more likely to achieve that than HDDs. But SSDs have essentially zero access latency. That's why they feel quicker - and are quicker - because they can get the data and transmit through the interface faster. For most operations, this is where the performance gain is.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,454
12,572
You can go two ways here.

First way:
Open up the Mini and install the SSD inside.
This can be risky -- it's all too easy to BREAK something inside.

Second way:
Easier, faster, safer:
Put the SSD into an USB3 enclosure. Or, a USB3/SATA docking station, or a USB3/SATA adapter/dongle.
Then, set it up to be the boot drive and run it that way.
You'll get about 85% of the speed you would see if it was installed internally.
That's very good, and again -- no chance of breaking anything inside.
 
Last edited:

brdeveloper

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2010
2,629
313
Brasil
I don't like these Kingston low-end SSDs... sometimes they feel slower than hard disks. I've put an old PNY 120GB SSD on my Mini 2012, but it can barely continuous write at 150MB/s and read at 300MB/s. I'm planning doing a RAID-0 once I get an additional SATA flat cable, so my intention is installing 2x Crucial MX500, 500GB drives. But I didn't even research if it works with Catalina APFS containers.
 

bigfatipod

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2011
358
178
You can go two ways here.

First way:
Open up the Mini and install the SSD inside.
This can be risky -- it's all too easy to BREAK something inside.

Second way:
Easier, faster, safer:
Put the SSD into an USB3 enclosure. Or, a USB3/SATA docking station, or a USB3/SATA adapter/dongle.
Then, set it up to be the boot drive and run it that way.
You'll get about 85% of the speed you would see if it was installed internally.
That's very good, and again -- no chance of breaking anything inside.

I think the second, easier way is a good path to go it its only 120gb. Just get a dongle and try things out. I would expect that you'll be pretty happy with the results. You'll probably want to install the OS on that ssd.
 
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