SSD, Worth the upgrade ?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by vim147, May 3, 2016.

  1. vim147 macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2011
    I have a mid 2011 Mac mini 2.3ghz with 8gb ram and 1tb HDD as my main home computer which I use for Internet, emails, word, Excel etc. (not a heavy user).

    I was thinking of buying a new macbook pro but realised I don't really need the portability as ive got a iPad air 2.

    So I thought getting a SSD added aswell keeping the 1tb in there. SSD for ios, programs and 1tb in there just for the sake of it. 240gb SSD seems to be going for £60.

    Am also looking to get a refurbed HP 8300 with i5, putting in a 4tb hdd and a SSD for Windows, plex and freenas and all my media files. Perhaps even changing the case to something more better looking. This will be my server on 24/7.

    Does this sound like a good idea and will installing /configuring SSD be easy. I've already opened the mini up before when I upgraded to 1tb.
  2. dogslobber macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2014
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    An SSD will considerably speed up any Mini. Well worth the upgrade if you plan to keep the machine. I've got a 240gb in this 2012 Mini here and it flies.
  3. mattjohnson78 macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2014
    Southern California
    I am running dual SSDs in my Mini and it is fast. Will never use a standard hard drive again. All my devices use some sort of flash based memory.
  4. treekram macrumors 65832

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    If the 1TB HDD you currently have was in the "lower" bay (the one closest to the cover at the bottom of the Mini), then perhaps you were able to change it without having to take out the logic board? Putting a drive in the "upper" bay is more difficult (which you will do if you have dual drives). Some people don't find it difficult, others have broken connectors, etc. in doing it. One possible problem is that a connector you encounter may not resemble the one in a video or web instruction manual (a problem I encountered) and you need to either research how it comes apart or guess. Preparation, being sober ;), not being rushed, etc. all help. It's a good idea to prepare the SSD and make sure it works and boots before putting in the computer.
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    Owner of a personal and several business 2012 Mini Servers, SSDs are awesome upgrades IMHO. But, pick the right SSD for your situation. My favorite web page of compared SSDs is one that CNet listed for the 850 EVO last year:

    Note the comparison of drives that were used as OS drives, under data transfer performance - for our OS drives we're using Intel 730 and Samsung 850 Pro SSDs, and our benchmarks are pretty close to what CNet offers. Yes, SSDs are far faster than spinners, but I'm using my personal Mini Server with the two 5400 1Tb drives in RAID 0 and it benchmarks at about the same speeds as a Mini we tested with an 850 EVO - but it was "free" and offered 4 times the storage. I'd offer getting the "right" SSD or use two 1TB 7200 drives in RAID 0, or you're not putting your money in the right place. Yes, RAID 0 is a problem for some - but you're backing up anyway (right?) so this should be a non-issue.

    One of our Mini Servers has two 2TB HGST 7200 RPM drives in RAID 0 and pretty much blows away the results in the CNet results. Another Mini Server has two 1TB 850 Pro SSDs installed in RAID 0 (with another 850 Pro as a DAS scratch disk) and its one of our fastest Macs - we use it to render print and video files, and it makes me lots of profit as a rendering machine...

    IMHO, get a decent OS-targeted SSD or two fast HDs in RAID 0. Cheers!
  6. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    You will never want a spinning HD in any machine ever again.
  7. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    If you have a spinning hard disk and do not do anything massively CPU intensive or GPU intensive on your machine, an SSD is probably the biggest bang for buck upgrade you can buy.

    Yes it is worth it. It is worth it at double the cost of SSDs you can buy today.
  8. cyclingplatypus macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2007
    Completely worth it. I just did this to an '11 mini and the difference was night and day...I'd done it to a MBP a year ago and like the others say, once you do it you won't want to go back.

    My advice is have some double sided tape handy for the temperature sensor - mine had no residual adhesive after removing it. I also ended up using it a couple of places on the black drive cover.
  9. someoldguy macrumors 68000

    Aug 2, 2009
    Just do it . I've got a 2011 server with a 1TB. SSD and a 2 TB. Seagate spinner . Flies …. Max out the memory to 16 Gb if you can , too.
  10. zone23 macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2012
    This has been covered a couple times but SSD drives are a no brainier especially since they are relatively cheap now. If you decide to get a new machine or sell that one you can always take it out and put it in a external enclosure (so save the old hard drive). Just do your homework because not all SSD drives are created equal. Some use compression to achieve larger capacity which slows down performance on things like extracting compressed files (hurts benchmarks). Also different manufactures use different types of controllers (marvell) so it all makes a difference. I personally like Samsung EVO drives.
  11. jonen560ti macrumors member


    Dec 29, 2015
    Why not have both?
  12. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2010
    Dayton, Ohio
    Because you can't.

    The cult of the SSD is strong in this forum. As you continue to read posts here, you will begin to realize that the SSD is the beginning and the end of computer performance. Price per MB of storage will become meaningless. Statistics showing that your computer now runs 100% faster will be believed. It will not matter if your apps even use long-term storage while running; you will become nauseous just touching a device that contains mechanical parts. SSD is Mother. SSD is Father. All Hail The SSD!!!
  13. vim147 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2011
    Which SSD kit should I get ?

    The double kit where I still have my 1tb in there or just a single 240gb SSD kit ?

    I have all media on a 4tb external so not sure what I would do with the 1tb.
  14. someoldguy macrumors 68000

    Aug 2, 2009
    Keep the 1 tb and add the 240 SSD . You can't have too much storage . Use it for a Time Machine , or for documents/media you use often , or as a backup for some stuff on the 4th you really don't want to lose , or partition it into 2 and use one as a Carbon Copy Clone of the 240 and the other for docs.
  15. zone23 macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2012
    Do you have an XBox One you could use it as additional storage for that or maybe a router with a USB you could maybe use it as a Time Machine backup. Like the oldguy said you could always leave it. I have one that I copy photos and documents to that I leave at work.
  16. vim147 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2011
    Think I'll keep it in the mini and have the SSD in there as master. I have a 500gb 2.5" laying around that I'll put in a enclosure.

    Do I need a special kit if am doing dual SSD/HDD ?

    I wanna do a fresh install instead of carbon clone copy. Am assuming a 128gb would be enough for osx, Microsoft Office, lightroom etc.

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