What to do with mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Pandalorian, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. Pandalorian macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2012
    The antarctic

    I have a late 2012 mac mini with a 2.3 quad i7 and 16GB of ram. It *should* be a ridiculously fast machine, but due to the 5400RPM hard drive, it's really suffering in terms of speed. I know i need an SSD for this mini, but i don't know how confident I am in my ability to install it. I could try, but that would void my warranty AND risk wrecking the entire computer. I could also give it to an Apple authorized reseller and have them do the upgrade, but that would cost money i could use on more storage. I would love to just retain my 1TB hdd and place the SSD in bay 1, but as i'm not even comfortable with replacing a single hard drive, there's no way i would try that. Any ideas on who to go to/what SSD to get? Any help would be appreciated.
  2. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004

    I have experience upgrading Macs and PCs

    I upgraded my Mac Mini 2012 and took it slowly, about an hour, watching video at the same time. I did a few software things wrong, had to redo things, but now I can do the job in under 10 minutes.

    But if you aren't comfortable doing it yourself, definitely pay someone to do it.

    Upgrading the Mac Mini required taking every out of the case. Definitely the hardest I have done (never attempted an iMac) besides G4 PowerBooks.

    I'm rocking a Samsung 500gb SSD and 1 TB HD, both internal. Awesome setup.

    Pay some if your aren't a techie.
  3. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    Why not do an external usb 3.0 SSD? Mac mini can boot off it. At least for bootcamp I've tested the feature. Speeds were very near internal speeds.
  4. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Just changing the drive for an SSD is very easy. Here (EU) it does not void warranty either. So stay in the correct pie-slice of the Antarctic.
    If you want 2 drives, it is just a little harder.
    Look here, at the end of the thread for a good video and my experience in following that video:
    Don't be fooled by the total-take-apart video's from OWC and iFixit, it is unnecessary.
  5. flowbie macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2013
    I literally just completed the dual drive mod and am restoring from the net as I write this. It isn't a difficult upgrade if you take your time. If you really are scared, try the usb3.0 dock as suggested (search Plugable with the Asmedia chipset on Amazon) or better yet spring for a thunderbolt drive and boot off that.
  6. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    We can all say its easy etc, but if the OP isnt confident in doing it then so be it! No point telling him whether its easy or not as that wont help!

    Personally I would use an external USB3 or Thunderbolt SSD drive (Buffalo Ministation Thunderbolt?). Leave it connected externally and set it as your startup drive - could always buy the SSD and a cheap USB3.0 caddy. I only paid £12 for my IcyBox USB3.0 caddy and its brilliant. They also draw power via USB so no external power needed.

    That way you have your OS on the fast external SSD, which will be almost just as fast as though it was internal anyway, and have your internal storage space to do what you want.
  7. gtstricky macrumors regular


    Apr 19, 2012
    Do this...

    I have never bought from them but OWC offers a $99 install (with shipping) and say it takes abbout 72 hours to get it back. You can order the drive from them and then send in the mini.

  8. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Location: The antarctic"

    Good luck with that! :D
  9. shalliday macrumors member


    Dec 27, 2011
    Whether you go internal or external, adding an SSD as your startup boot drive will give you a nice performance bump, and well worth doing.

    I just completed adding an SSD as a second internal drive in my 2011 MacMini. The install was very straightforward and easy to do. The following link is to a thread here on the MacRumors forum that gives you a good idea what is involved and how to do it:

    Second drive in a Mini

    If you are uncomfortable installing an internal SSD or paying to have it done, you can always go with either a thunderbolt or USB 3 external SSD. I purchased a Seagate GoFlex Desk 3.5" Thunderbolt Adapter (STAE122) which I used to clone my internal hard drive. Before doing the actual swap, I used it as the primary boot drive (with cloned SSD) for over a week without issue. In combination with the SSD, it was super fast. You can always go this route and install the SSD internally at a later date, if you decide.

    Adding an SSD boot drive to your MacMini will make it an awesome setup. Good luck with whatever you decide!
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "I know i need an SSD for this mini, but i don't know how confident I am in my ability to install it. I could try, but that would void my warranty AND risk wrecking the entire computer."

    There's a solution that easy and cheap.

    That is -- get the SSD you want, and then install it into a USB3 external enclosure and use it as an "external booter".

    You will get speeds that are the near-equal to those you would see from an internally-installed drive. The speed differences between internal and external would be un-noticeable to anyone, in day-to-day usage.

    You could also use a USB3/SATA "docking station" and get the same results.

    Here's a small USB3 enclosure that should do the trick (no financial interest):

    Just put the SSD inside, put the cover on, connect it.
    Then initialize with Drive Setup and use CarbonCopyCloner (free to download and use for 30 days) to "clone the internal" over to it.

    Don't be intimidated by having to "assemble" the drive into the enclosure. Can you hold a screwdriver?

    Use this enlcosure, and you should obtain read speeds from an SSD in the neighborhood of 350-400mbps.
  11. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    Haha I like that.
  12. go-digital macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2013
    +1 on that oyendigital enclosure! I've been running a Samsung 830 in that same enclosure for 6 months or so & can vouch for the performance increase. Night & day compared to booting off the stock 5400rpm drive.
  13. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    if you have bad eye sight you will struggle like me with the 2012 mac mini ssd installation
  14. oneinten macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2013
    How are you sure it does not the void the warranty here in the EU?

    I tried looking for some info to back this up as I was interested before replacing my SSD
  15. blanka, Apr 19, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013

    blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    The official thing is: you as customer must prove your tinkering did not cause the damage of the thing you will claim warranty on. That is doable, but can be hard. If you don't take out the logic board, it is quite asumable that installing a new SSD does not cause your Radeon to blow up.

    The easy thing:
    Because we have social media, and independent resellers are scared **** for neg reviews they will believe you did it very professionally yourself. :cool:
    Also the no1 reason not to buy at Apple directly. They have the Steve Ignorance Wall of Geniusses.

    And my personal confidence: Mini's never fail. It is the Apple product with the best track record. You might even have insurance for letting that screwdriver bump into the logic board by accident. More and more personal insurances cover these things. Don't be a sissy. If you're handy, do it, if you're a wuzz, pay 50€ to a reseller to fix it for you.
  16. tmanto02 macrumors 65816


    Jun 5, 2011
    I say do it your self. I was a noob, just follow ifixit.com's walk through and take it slow. Doesn't void warranty here in Aus if the 3rd party drive is not the cause of the fault. :)

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