Which SSD for Mac Mini late 2009?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mikkelbio, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. mikkelbio macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2014
    I want to upgrade my mac mini late 2009 with a SSD since my HD is beginning having problems booting.

    I know that my mac mini has got a SATA 2 port but still I want a SATA 3 SSD for future upgrades. I have read that SATA 3 SSD's are downward compatible with SATA 2 ports but also experienced that mac mini late 2009 are having problems with some SATA 3 SSD's. For some reason it become the speed like a SATA 1.

    My question is: what SATA 3 SSD should I choose to get the SATA 2 speed in my mac mini late 2009?

    The size of the SSD should be about 250 GB.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
  3. 2trout macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2013
    I recommend OWC, have been using them for a couple of years now, have had no problems with them.
  4. Jaben3421 macrumors regular

    Sep 18, 2011
    I have a Samsung 840 Pro 256GB in my late 2009, and it runs great at regular SATA II speeds. I've never had a problem with it. I do suggest that when doing the upgrade, if you will be using a guide, you use OWC's video guide, because I found it to be much more clear than iFixit's guide.
  5. barkmonster, Jan 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014

    barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    You're wasting your money on the Samsung SSDs when they're only going to run at half their speed on SATA 6Gb/s. There's a range of 6Gb/s SSDs from Toshiba with almost equal MB/s for both read/write (which far exceed the maximum you'll get on SATA 3Gb/s) and 85,000 IOPS read/35,000 IOPS write.

    Also they're £10 cheaper (£60 vs £70) and offer 128Gb, not 120 like the evos. 2 of those in a RAID 0 is what I'm aiming for my own 2009 Mac Mini eventually. I already have a sizable external drive with my media library on and as any future Mac will likely have a 256Gb Flash drive, I'm prepared for a simple switch over when that time comes.



    (The prices on both keep fluctuating, it's £62 vs £70 today, it was £60 vs over £70 this time last week).
  6. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Just put a crucial M500 960 in my 2010. A little more space than I need but the noise and lack of space were really driving me nuts.

    If you can coordinate the OS upgrade at the same time, all the better. 1) Pick up a USB/sata adapter to connect it to the mini, 2) install mavericks on the new drive, 3) migrate over your data, 4) boot up to test things out, 5) swap drives*, 6) install the latest apps, 7) update everything, and 8) repair permisisons

    * during the install, do not pull the little mobo connectors sideways, up only
  7. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2011
    Just pick the cheapest one you can find, as the speed is limited by Sata 2 as you said. Here in Austria this would either be the Crucial M500 or Samsung 840 Evo
  8. bobtennis, Jan 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014

    bobtennis macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2013
    From what I have seen and read when researching SSDs for use in a 2009 MBP, it seems that some, if not all, Sandforce based 6 Gbs (SATA III) SSD controllers have difficulty with the NVidia SATA controllers on the 2009 Macs, and revert to SATA I speeds. Check the Mini's System Information listing, SATA to find out which controller you have in the 2009 Mini (it will be the NVidia, just want you to confirm that). I know SanDisk put out a special firmware for Macs for their Ultra drives that lock it to SATA II speeds to get over the SATA I (1.5 GBs) issue. There may have been others, I don't know.

    If that is the case, I would say to avoid finding out the hard way which Sandforce controlled SATA III SSD's have difficulty with the NVidia controller, avoid SSDs using the Sandforce 2281 controller. There are many alternatives that use the Marvell or other controller that work fine at SATA II speeds. I personally used a Crucial M4 in the MBP I mentioned before, no issue, works fine at SATA II speed. Also, Samsung 840 worked without issue. There are many others that do not use Sandforce controllers also, do the research!

    This difficulty does not appear to affect later Macs that use the Intel controller.
  9. osx11 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2011
    Cool, another Austrian on this forum.... :D
  10. mikkelbio thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2014
    Thanks for your advices!
    I have decided to buy a 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO which hopefully should be delivered tomorrow.

    Bobtennis - you're right that my Mac Mini has got the NVidia controller.
    The SSD I ordered has a Samsung MEX controller. According to the comments in this thread these controllers should work fine together.

    In another thread I found that Crucial m4 would work fine but this appeared to be sold out at shops near me.

    I will post a reply when I got my new SSD installed. And in the meantime I will have a look at OWC's video guide.
  11. voigtstr macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2008
    Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
    From iFixit, I'm going with the following for my mid 2010 Mac Mini Server

    1 IF107-122-1 1 TB SSD Hybrid 2.5" Hard Drive / Drive Only $139.95 $139.95
    1 IF107-122-2 1 TB SSD Hybrid 2.5" Hard Drive / Upgrade Kit $159.95 $159.95

    One of my drives has already failed and the other is in S.M.A.R.T status of "failing" so hopefully I can clone the drive to the new SSD hybrid before it kaks itself.
  12. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    2009 Mini's are better of with a Scorpio Black or Momentus XT. Those are much cheaper, deliver loads of storage for media center use, and pretty well saturate the bandwidth of SATA 3. Booting went to 20sec with a Scorpio for me, but the 750GB is essential.
  13. deviant, Apr 6, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014

    deviant macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2007
    oh, what a happy guy you are. 750gb for media centre is enough for you... i wish i could do the same, it'd saved me a lot of money on storage :) anyway, found this thread randomly. tomorrow my crucial m500 128gb and 4gb ram will be delivered, hope it works out. been a happy camper with a 830 samsung in my 2007 iMac, but crucial is a lot cheaper, and being sata2 crucial will saturate it anyway.
  14. Corax macrumors 6502


    Apr 27, 2009
    Willemstad - Curaçao
    I've just upgraded my Mini early 2009 with a Crucial M500 240GB!
    Works great and fast, so glad I did it and much value for your money.
    At the moment it has 4GB DDR3, I've ordered an 8GB kit, can't wait...
  15. marciuz macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2014
    Problem with Samsung EVO 250

    Unfortunately I have problems with my MacMini Late 2009 (with controller NVidia MCP79 AHCI) + a Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250GB.

    The downgrade to SATA1 seems appears in my mac, because the speed is 3Gb, but the negotiated speed is 1.5Gb.

    My test:

    - Resetting NVRAM / PRAM (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379)
    Nothing changed.

    - Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964
    Nothing changed

    - the TRIM support is enabled.

    In this thread I've read different good experience with the 840 EVO and I've buy it, but now I don't know how to resolve.

    Does anyone have any trick or solution?

    Thanks a lot

    Attached Files:

  16. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    I have a late-2009 MBW (nVidia 9400m graphics, 2.26GHz). I get up to ~260MB/s on Blackmagic's Disk Speed Test. Which speeds do you get? I have a PNY XLR8 which downgrades to SATAI when it find a SATAII bus, but this is not the case on both 840 EVO and the Crucial M500.
  17. marciuz macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2014

    Attached Files:

  18. brdeveloper, Jun 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014

    brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    My MBW has the same NVidia MCP79 controller and it shows 3 Gigabit on the "Negotiated Link Speed" section. The "Revision" line shows: EXT0AB0Q
    Looks like you have a newer firmware. Are you sure you installed your SSD on the HDD port? My Superdrive has 1.5 Gigabit in the negotiated link speed section. Maybe you mistakenly swapped their connectors on the logic board.

    EDIT: both SATA ports should work at 3 Gigabits, but who knows...
  19. marciuz macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2014
    I think no: in the mac mini it's quite impossible to switch the ports.
    When you change the HD, you put the SSD in the HD slot.
  20. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    But what about the connectors? In the 2010 Mini, the HDD and DVD connectors are located side by side, but it's rather difficult to mistakenly swap them, though.
  21. marciuz macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2014
  22. Superman07 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2007
    I assume the earliest we'll see a new Mini is Sep/Oct, so I finally decided to just buy an SSD for my early 2009. Went with Crucial MX100.
  23. noodle654 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2005
    Never Ender
    Crucial ones are definitely safe in the 2009 Minis with MCP97 controller. Had issues with my Samsung EVOs being stuck on SATA I. Threw in a Crucial M500 and it works great running at SATA II. I am waiting on an Optibay to come in the mail so I can test the EVO in the other bay, hopefully it runs at SATA II speeds.
  24. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
  25. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    I would recommend those drives too. I have one in a 2009 min, 60€ for 750GB. It is way faster than the original 160GB, now the Mini boots in 20 seconds. I use it as HTPC, so I need more storage first of all, but I'm amazed by the speed.

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