Which SSD for Mac Mini late 2009?

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

  1. mmomega macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    In 2010 the Unibody Mac Mini came out which is the design you're talking about. The 2009 was the old style and completely different inside.

    Those models had a bay the HDD sat in with an interconnect board for the HDD and an interconnect board for the Superdrive that are completely different.
  2. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    I avoided the Samsung 840 EVO because I had read of issues with the Mac Mini. I used a Crucial MX100 256 GB and I get 212W and 267R in a late 2009 2.26 GHz. The drive cost little more than $100.
  3. aajeevlin macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2010
  4. majonex macrumors member


    May 9, 2006
    Be aware - this drive does NOT work well. I tried it. It goes down to 1.5 gb since it does not negotiate well with the Nvidia SATA controller. I changed it for a Crucial BX100 250GB. Now I have 3 gb.
  5. aajeevlin, Sep 1, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016

    aajeevlin macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2010
    A bit late, but I ended up going with the M500, works well.
  6. RoG999 macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2016
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Hi, the new Kingston UV400 SSD's have a Marvell controller and do not conflict with the nVidia SATA controller. I have used these successfully on iMac 9.1, Mac Mini 3.1 and get the full 3Gb/s negotiated link speed. Don't listen to anyone who says it isn't worth using an SSD on a 3Gb/s controller, it makes a huge improvement over a standard hard drive, my mini now boots El Capitan in under 10 seconds!
  7. formerglory macrumors newbie


    May 29, 2010
    Don't want to necro this thread, but this was the recommendation that I needed! I've got a few white unibody MacBooks that need some drive upgrades and the UV400 was one I found on Amazon for a good price (128GB for $40).

    This link is what gave me the heads up on Sandforce controllers: http://blogs.helsinki.fi/tuylaant/2014/01/upgrading-old-macs-to-ssds/

    The UV400 drives above use Marvell controllers, so they should be good to go on older Macs with the NVIDIA SATA chipset (pretty much anything with NVIDIA 9400M graphics).
  8. vlark, Dec 23, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016

    vlark macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2014
    After reading many threads on which SSD is the best for Early 2009 Mac Minis and Late 2009 Mac Minis, I bit the bullet and purchased this one:


    This SSD has the Marvell chipset.

    I installed the SSD, did a fresh install of Mac OS 10.10.5, and found that my SATA-link speed was 3.0GBps but I had the dreaded negotiated SATA-link negotiated to 1.5GBps. I found a firmware update for this SSD on Crucial's site (http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/support-ssd?cm_re=us-support-_-main-_-firmware-update-link) and applied it, but still no joy.

    Any hints what I can do to get the full SATA-link speed of 3.0 GBps?

    EDIT: Forgot to add that I installed this in an Early 2009 Mac Mini.
  9. aajeevlin macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2010

    Can you still return and try to get an M500? It is confirmed to work with the early 2009 at 3.0GBps (running one right now).
  10. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    In doing a search I see other people are having the same issue as you are. So I'm pretty sure it's a MX300-MCP89 (the SATA chipset used in the Mini) problem which can't be solved. About a week ago, I did a check on the crucial site (not that I would buy one) on the MX300 for my late 2009 Mini (mostly retired now). It said the MX300 was compatible. I just checked and it said the same for the early 2009 Mini. If you purchased it directly from Crucial, you should return and ask them to remove the Macs with the MCP89 from the MX300 compatibility list. The M500 has been discontinued for some time now but the 480GB model is available on Amazon from a 3rd party seller (the seller would provide the warranty, not Crucial). The Samsung 850 Evo is known to provide SATA2 speeds. There's somebody on this site: http://blogs.helsinki.fi/tuylaant/2014/01/upgrading-old-macs-to-ssds/ that says the Toshiba OCZ Trion 150 will work (the Trion 100 had problems even working with the MCP89).
  11. RoG999 macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2016
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Buy the Kingston UV400 model , works 100% with nVidia SATA mcp79 controller in Mac mini and iMac solid 3gb/s negotiated link speed. I have upgraded several of these with no issues. DONT buy the earlier UV300 model, different controller , you will only get 1.5gb/s .
  12. Kaida macrumors regular


    May 28, 2016
    2014 thread... but for the record, Toshiba Q300 doesn't work on the mm2009. Detectable at start but always hang during installation of OSX
  13. infinity69 macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2016
    The iMac and mac mini early 2009 are very picky with SSDs.. you can safely choose one from this list.
  14. formerglory macrumors newbie


    May 29, 2010
    At this point, if you're upgrading any 2008-2010 Macs with an NVIDIA chipset, just get a UV400. They're plenty fast and really make a huge difference versus a spinning disk.
  15. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    I just put in a Crucial BX200 240gb in a 2009 mac mini. The 840 EVO downgraded to 1.5gbs link speed.

    We'll see if the Crucial de-evolves or if it is compatible. Opening up that Mac Mini is now route for me, but I always lose the fourth black screw holding the box together. I think it's caught inside the little hollow hole
  16. mmadela macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2017
    I've bought and installed the UV400 in Mac Mini Mid 2010, unfortunately only 1,5Gb/s negotiated speed.
  17. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Wow that's weird. Try the trick that Crucial taught me even though its a Kingston SSD. Unplug everything from the Mini except the power cord, of course, and turn it on and leave it on overnight. See if this doesn't throttle the negotiated link speed up to 3gb/s or whatever it is in the 2010 Mini.

    Years back I had a Samsung SSD in my 2.66 2010 Mac Mini; I never bothered to look at the link speed because it seemed faster to me. I'm about to put a Vertex SSD in a 2010 13" MBP, I had no idea these problems plagued the 2010 logic boards, too. (The 2010 13" MBP has the same video card/logic board set up as the 2010 Mac Minis; and likewise only the 13" 2010 Macbook pros can take 16gbs of ram, same as the Minis.)
  18. Richard8655 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 11, 2009
    I found Infinity99's reports list (below) very helpful as it seems to apply to Mac Mini 3,1. It does look like a good recent SSD that consistently negotiates 3Gbps with 2009 Minis is the Kingston UV400 series (as reported by others here as well). What concerns me in the list, though, is the Marvell 88SS1074 controller used in the Kingston UV400 is also reported used in the Crucial MX300, which shows as 1.5Gbps only.

    SATA II (3gigabit) negotiated speed SSD

    - Crucial --> M500 [Marvell 88SS9187]
    - Crucial --> M550 [Marvell 88SS9189]
    - OCW --> Mercury Electra 3G [JMicron 562]
    - Samsung --> 830 [Samsung MCX]
    - SanDisk --> Ultra II [Marvell 88SS9189 (480 and 960 GB)] (not booting sometimes : link)
    - Kingston --> UV400 [Marvell 88SS1074]
    - Adata --> SP550 [Silicon Motion SM2256]
    - PNY --> Optima [Silicon Motion SM2246EN]

    When in HDD position
    - Samsung --> 850 EVO [MGX (120/250/500GB/1TB)]
    - Samsung --> 750 EVO [MGX (120/250GB)]
    - PNY --> CS1311 [Phison PS3110-S10C-12 (120 and 240 GB)] (Unexpected !)
    - Mushkin --> ECO3 [Silicon Motion SM2256] (1/3 of the time at 3G)
    Crucial --> BX200 [Silicon Motion SM2256]
    SSD reviews : http://www.anandtech.com/

    SATA I speed (1,5gigabit) ONLY
    - Any SSD with SandForce controller
    - Samsung --> 840 EVO [Samsung MEX]
    - Samsung --> 840 PRO [Samsung MDX]
    - Sandisk --> Extreme Pro [Marvell 88SS9187]
    - Sandisk --> Extreme II [Marvell 88SS9187]
    - Sandisk --> SSD Plus (SDSSDA-120G-G25) [Silicon Motion SM2246XT]
    - Crucial --> MX300 [Marvell 88SS1074] (link 1. and 2.)
    - Toshiba/OCZ in general [Phison S10 (or rebranded variants like Toshiba TC58)]. (link 1. and 2.)
    - Intel --> X25-M [Intel controller]
  19. RedTomato macrumors 601


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    If I were choosing an SSD for an old mac now, I'd be looking at random 4K read/write speeds. Even modern SSDs struggle to break a few dozen MB/sec with these types of files, so even at SATA 1 speeds, there's still lots of room for improvement. Getting the right SSD could double or triple speeds over the wrong model. These small files are important because they're the vast majority of files that modern OSes deal with.

    What's the best modern, cheap SSD for small random files?
  20. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Apr 29, 2003
    I want to chime in and say that the Samsung 830 with the MCX controller does NOT work in my 2009 MacMini or MBP. Link speed eventually degrades to 1.5Gbps followed by data corruption and spinning beachball.

    Also, early firmware Crucial M500s required a firmware update to negotiate correct link speed with Macs equipped (cursed) with the Nvidia MCP series of chipsets.

    Both are old SSDs by now, however if you happen to have one, be aware.
  21. Richard8655, Feb 10, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017

    Richard8655 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 11, 2009
    The list then has to be taken with a gain of salt. Good feedback, unfortunately.

    To add to this, I just got a response back from Kingston where I asked if they can confirm the UV400 series will run at SATA II with 2009 Mac Mini and Nvidia MCP79. Certainly discouraging:

    This SSD would have the same problem. It actually may not work at all. The only solution is to use a drive that can only run at SATA II.

    If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to reply to this e-mail with full email history. Thank you for using Kingston on-line technical support.

    Kingston Technology
    Technical Support
    7am to 4pm Monday - Friday PST
  22. ahendarman macrumors member


    Feb 23, 2013
    I have a 256G Samsung 840 Pro on a Mac Mini 2010 and it works at 3Gbps
    It's installed on the top bay
  23. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

    Apr 29, 2003
    That is too bad regarding Kingston's lack of confidence. That is not to say that the proposed UV400 SSD will not work, but rather Kingston does not seem to want to pick up the responsibility for it in the MCP macs.
  24. mmadela macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2017
    I tried these tricks (leaving the Mini powered on boot screen or taking out RAM to reset firmware). No success.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 11, 2017 ---
    Mini 2009 and 2010 differs, also in the SATA controller, the first has MCP79, the other MCP89.
    This is likely the reason, why my 2010 mini does not negotiate 3Gb/s

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