Tired of waiting new Mac mini, decided to get an old one. Need opinions on mini HDD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by vietdung2910, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. vietdung2910 macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2014
    I'm getting tired of waiting new mac mini release, so decided to buy an old one.
    I received a good offer: i7, 16GB Ram and a 23 inch Dell monitor - for $950. The seller told me all of them was bought on July last year.

    CPU, Ram satisfies my need, but how about the 5400 rpm HDD? How slow is it? My main work is app/web developer.

    Thank you very much!
  2. BJonson macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2010
    Slow, oh soooo slow. Its so slow that I just picked up a 2012 mac mini tonight and when I was trying to clean off the guys mac for him so I could take it home I almost didn't buy it. Got it home, stuck an old crucial M4 500gb in it and upped it to 16gb of ram and its night and day. Flies now. Those 5400rpm hard drives are criminal. Get yourself an M500 they are so cheap.
  3. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    Get an SSD, as recommended by the forum member above. I would get a minimum of a 256GB drive. The Crucial M500 drives are nice, and so are the Samsung 840 EVOs. They will perform about as well as each other, and are so much faster than an HDD. You can pick up a 256GB EVO for about 140$. The 1TB one is only 450$, which is so much cheaper than it was a year or two ago. If you have the money, definitely worth it :)
  4. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    I recently swapped out the stock 1TB HDD for a Samsung 840 1TB SSD.....it's like night and day.....where it used to take about 2 minutes to boot and login (to where I could actually do things), it now takes about 20 seconds. MS Word used to take forever to open, now it's only a few seconds....a SSD is an amazing investment.
  5. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    Download blackmaginc speedtest and run it. I would guess you'll see a read/write speed about 65 ? My 7200rpm HDD gives 100, an SSD should give 250 (Sata2) 500 (Sata 3). I think your machine is Sata 3.

    I put a Western Digital Black 750GB HDD into my 2009 Mini and it runs really well. I needed 500GB plus and at that storage level the SSD was too pricey. You might consider a 256 SSD in the machine and put the current drive into an enclosure for external storage/backup. Depends what you need.
  6. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Also consider adding an SSD and creating a Fusion drive out of it and the existing HDD. Gets you to the middle ground of performance / capacity and can be a good choice if most of your everyday stuff fits within the SSD capacity. Other threads give the details of how to make it happen.
  7. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Here a combination of a 256 GB Samsung 830 (840 pro predecessor) and a 750 GB Scorpio Black.
    I use the SSD for booting, apps, scratch disk (photoshop) etc, and the scorpio for files. Excellent combination and much cheaper than 1TB SSD, although the difference today is way smaller than back in 2012.
  8. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
  9. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    the 5400 is unusable. Yet another reason we need an update with PCIe SSD please!
  10. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    Here is my 2012 Mac Mini with DIY Fusion w/256 Samsung SSD+ the stock Samsung/Seagate 1TB 5400rpm HDD to give you an idea of read/writes.

    Sorry though I didn't Benchmark the stock drive prior to Fusion install.

    Attached Files:

  11. vietdung2910 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2014
    So the answer is I MUST upgrade the HDD, that makes the overall price become $1100 - $1200 :(. With that price I think I should go for the Mac Air / Pro r2013 instead. :(

    Thank you all very much.
  12. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    No hold on a minute. You can definitely "get by" with a 5400 or 7200 RPM drive. An SSD is a very desirable upgrade but not a "must". I had a 2008 Macbook with a 5400 drive which served me well for about 3 years before I opened it up and put in a "hybrid SSD." I then moved on to a MBP and walked around for almost 2 years with a 7200 rpm drive. Only about 2 months ago I opened it up and put in an SSD. Meanwhile, my wife's Mac mini had a 5400 RPM drive until about 2 months ago as well. Sure it's a LOT better with an SSD but it's not necessary.

    One thing you can do that is very easy is pick up a small SSD and put it in an external USB enclosure. Install OSX on it and make it your boot drive. This is what I do whenever I upgrade HDD in any Mac. If you have a small SSD, stop there. If you pick up a large SSD, use Migration Assistant to bring over all your stuff. Lastly, after you've been booting from the thing for "a while" go ahead and open your Mac and put it in. Note: Putting an SSD in a Mac mini is not trivial. Check out the tutorials on iFixit. You wind up having to go through about 50 steps from beginning to end and there are a couple of opportunities to break those tiny thermal sensors glued to your old HDD and that could lead to your fan running full speed forever.

    You mention total price $1100 including SSD. Believe me SSD is worth it but it's no crime to use the machine "as is" for quite a long time and save up and buy the SSD later.
  13. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    I bought a Samy 840 Evo, 250gb, and installed in 3.0USB external enclosure for a boot drive to hold my OS and apps only.

    I use the internal HD as storage and a WD 2TB for Time Machine.

    Total price around $200.

    Speed performance of USB3 is close to SATA.

    The reason I did it this way was I was waiting on the refreshed Mini and wanted to use the SSD in the new one. I have been using it this way for 8 months with out any problems.

    It's a simple solution to get your Mini up to speed without tearing it down. The only drawback is no trim on SSD which is no problem if your are not writing and deleting files.
  14. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    The OEM 1TB drive that came with my 2012 mini was OK on Mavericks but like every Mavericks installation that I've had on a HHD (5) there was lots of beachballing. Even my 2010 MP beachballed when opening big libraries like iPhoto or Aperture.

    960GB Crucial M500s cured that issue in my current three Macs. The mini's OEM drive worked OK as a data drive for EyeTV recordings. It also works very good for Windows 8.1.1. On my systems Windows has never had the delays that lead to beachballing so HDD Windows C drives are OK.
  15. Larry-K macrumors 68000

    Jun 28, 2011
    Yeah, Apple sticks it to you if you're not willing to put up with a truly lousy Hard Drive.

    It lifts the cost of the Mini out of the entry level range for a lot of people.

    Even a fast HDD is only about $60 retail, so Apple is just cutting corners at your expense.
  16. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    One way or another SSD. I cannot even believe people are still saying "You can get by with a 5400 spinner" OUCH! It is not 2003 anymore.
  17. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    You can get by with a 5400 spinner, I have at least a dozen of them in use daily at my clinics, they get used 8am-7pm by staff and patients.

    A mix of 2010-2012 Mini's that do their job and have not been turned off since put in to service other than occasional power outages or software updates.

    In the same breath I will say that the other computers I have have had some HDD failures and I replace those HDD with SSD's and have no doubt they will last another 6yrs.

Share This Page