SSD, Worth the upgrade ?

vim147

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
194
1
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.
 

dogslobber

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2014
3,473
4,651
Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
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.
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.
 

treekram

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
1,849
401
Honolulu HI
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.
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.
 

campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,415
932
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: http://www.cnet.com/products/samsung-ssd-850-evo/2/

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!
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
5,284
2,276
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.
 

cyclingplatypus

macrumors 65816
Mar 15, 2007
1,077
210
Earth
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.
 

someoldguy

macrumors 68000
Aug 2, 2009
1,879
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usa
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.
 

zone23

macrumors 68000
May 10, 2012
1,965
739
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.
 

jpietrzak8

macrumors 65816
Feb 16, 2010
1,053
6,082
Dayton, Ohio
Why not have both?
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!!!
 

vim147

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
194
1
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.
 

someoldguy

macrumors 68000
Aug 2, 2009
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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.
 

zone23

macrumors 68000
May 10, 2012
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739
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.
 

vim147

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
194
1
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.