What are my options when adding a SSD?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by d000hg, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. d000hg macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2012
    I just bought a quad-core 2012 Mini after seeing the new spec removed this option. It's the base 4Gb, 1Tb and I plan to upgrade the Ram and move to SSD.
    I actually probably hardly need the 1Tb disk, my old PC is 5 years old and the 500Gb disk is only half full!

    I am considering a DIY Fusion drive or adding the SSD as 2nd disk with a conversion kit but I don't really want to start taking it apart, I can do it but would rather not spend the time.

    So my other option is an external drive. But what interface? I have USB3, thunderbolt and firewire - and no idea which would be best.

    I also saw someone mention you can buy an internal drive and an external caddy - so you can change your mind later and install it internally.

    Any general advice welcome. I'm pretty technical (a software developer) but don't want to spend loads of time on this since I'm just too plain busy!

  2. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    When I tested, USB3 gave the exact same test result as an internal SSD installation in my 2.3. Don't use firewire though...too slow.

    In addition to my internal SSD, I use an external SSD for Lightroom with a Voyager S3 interface that I bought at B&H. Amazon sells something a bit cheaper, but it didn't look to be as sturdy, and it was also a horizontal design.
  3. d000hg thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2012
    Thanks. I should emphasise, the SSD would be my primary drive. No issues booting to USB disks, installing OSX, etc?

    I think I'm going to keep my Mini 'clean' until I decide what to do... test it works but not install everything in case I end up having to wipe and redo.
  4. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    A USB3 external enclosure would be the most cost effective route, try to get a UASP supported USB 3.0 External enclosure.
    Check out this link

    If you later decide to install the SSD internally, you will always find a use for a good external drive, Time Machine backups come to mind.
  5. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    No issues and no need to install OS X. Just clone the internal to the external SSD, hold down the option key when booting, choose the external SSD, and you're good to go. You can then wipe the internal, or use it as backup boot and data (a better idea imo).

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