Will these upgrades help a lot for my mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by rip-the-jacker, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. rip-the-jacker macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2011
    Hey guys,

    I have busted received my 2012 Mac Mini yesterday, got it setup with El Capitan until it goes into a local Mac specialist to change a few things..(and yes I know I could do myself but Im a bit clumsy and inpatient so for all it costs, this is worth it imo).

    It is a basic 2012 Mac Mini, I'm upgrading to High Serria, 16gb RAM and a 240gb SSD. Im currently on a standard HD 500gb and 4gb ram, on EL C. ..

    Im noticing a lot of slow downs, beach balling, slow net, youtube etc, and I'm only running, a few things, mail, messages, spotify, safari etc..

    Can this really hog the 4gb in it atm? And can the HD been hammered so much its pretty much goosed?

    thanks guys!
  2. creativet, Sep 28, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017

    creativet macrumors member


    Nov 1, 2012
    Toronto, ON
    Frankly yes it can. Installing an SSD as you're planning on, will make it "scream". It's amazing how much of a slow down there is using an HDD in a mac mini frankly. I upgraded my mac mini 2012 years ago with a Kingston Hyper X 128gb SSD and 16gb RAM. I kept the 500gb HD (Spinner) and used it as a second HD which (bought the dual kit cable from iFixit) I use it to store user account(s) HOME and documents, library, etc. I've used it as an encoding machine for x264, file server, and itunes server without any hiccups or issues.
  3. BigMcGuire Contributor


    Jan 10, 2012
    I have upgraded a 2014 Mac Mini and a 2010 Mac Mini to SSDs and ... that's a HUGE boost. Going from 4-8GB of Ram on the 2010 helped too but the SSD is the biggest gain.

    Like creativet - I put the 500GB drive into a small enclosure and used it as a time machine backup to keep the SSD free.
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Just a couple thoughts. Upgrading the RAM is a no-brainer, it's cheap and certainly helps. And you really don't need a "specialist" for that, anybody can do it. This is the only thing that Apple designed to be user-upgradeable in the 2012 Mini. Takes about 5 minutes.

    As an alternative to an internal SSD, consider a fast USB 3.0 external SSD. I'm using a 1TB Samsung T3 as a startup drive with Sierra on my 2012 quad which is a machine I've dedicated to video editing. It is very fast and responsive with Final Cut Pro X. I did not want to risk messing around inside. My Mini has the original Apple 256gb SSD but I left Mountain Lion on that drive so I can use my expensive legacy software.

    Anyway, what you save by not going to a "specialist" might buy you a bigger external SSD. I also have a 500gb Samsung T3 and Best Buy price matched it with B&H Photo, who had the lowest price at the time. I doubt that you would notice any speed difference for normal stuff, since I think it's fine with demanding software. And the external drive is also nice if you upgrade later and want to move it to a different computer.

    Again, no expertise is needed, just plug it in and use Carbon Copy to clone your internal drive. I also setup my daughter's 2012 mini the same way.

    This is the original internal Apple 256gb SSD


    and this is my 1tb external Samsung T3

  5. Partron22 macrumors 68020


    Apr 13, 2011
    Or at least make it seem to boot almost as fast as my old Mac SE/30 running System 7.5.
    That's pretty fast.
  6. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2013
    Costa Rica
    As I understand it the spinning "Beach ball" may be the first signs of HD failure. Last year I upgraded my MM(Late 2012) from 4GB to 16GB RAM here in Costa Rica at a cost of around $200 with a Apple Authorized Dealer. Since I am a light user I have have only exceeded 4GB of RAM a few times. I still have the original 500GB HD which is still spinning along OK with OS "Sierra", however, if it does fail I will probably go with a External SSD.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    The drive is slowing it down. This is problem #1.

    You really don't need to pay someone to install extra RAM and a drive.

    I'd suggest you put the RAM in yourself (easy!).

    I'd also suggest that instead of doing "drive surgery", that you buy a 2.5" external USB3 enclosure that supports UASP, put the SSD into it, and boot and run that way (use "an external booter").

    You will see read speeds jump up to about 430mbps and writes somewhere between 250-350mbps (this depends on the SSD).

    Again, do it yourself.
  8. rip-the-jacker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2011
    Thanks guys, for the input.

    I know the guy doing the repairs, and he does charge decent prices. Also, to save me the hassle (I know this is easy too) he is going to put HS on a USB for me swell as the SSD, just so I have a backup.

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7 September 28, 2017