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Best SSD for Mac Mini 2006?

 
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arctictundra
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:19 am    Post subject: Best SSD for Mac Mini 2006? Reply with quote

Hi Folks,

After recently doing plenty of upgrading to my beloved Mac Mini core solo, I'm now looking into adding an SSD to increase its speed a little.

Presently, the mini has a 2.0ghz intel core 2 duo, 4gb ram (3gb available via 2.1 system), and a 320gb hard drive. I use the machine for general surfing, some video processing (mainly creating youtube videos and screencasts), as well as the odd handbrake conversion for blu-rays or dvds.

My initial thoughts were to take out the optical drive, and replace this with a SSD therefore making my 320gb original hard drive my data storage as such and use the SSD for Snow Leopard and any applications (I;ve worked out that I need around 64gb of SSD storage for everything I use, including the OS).

So, therefore, I have three questions:

1) Is a dual-fusion set-up (i.e. using the two drives instead of just one) the best way to go for this mac mini? I appreciate its an older model, but it has never let me down and still does exaclty what I need it to do.


2) If I was to invest in a new SSD, I'm aware that it would be connected by SATA II but probably only gain minimal speeds due to the age of the Mac Mini. Is it worth the change? Would i be better investing in a 1tb Hitachi travelstar or 750gb Western Digital Scorpio Black for example?

and

3) Lastly, which SSD would work best for the system if I was going to go ahead with the SSD purchase? I would only look for 120gb maximum I feel, as I don't need any more than that, plus my budget is limited to around 70. I've been looking at either the Samsung Evo 120gb, or the Crucial M500 120gb. Are any of these any good, or is there a better model for my specific job here?

As always, thanks for any of the kind help, time and support - everytime I ask questions on this forum I get very informative and useful answers and it's really appreciated!
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TimD
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your Mac Mini only has a SATA 1 bus. Seems like SSD prices have fallen a lot in the last month.
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macmanmacman
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it wouldn't matter the reason is most hard drives even ssd drives have a way of adjusting speed for the machines bus so it wouldn't matter what sata he was just it the drive small enough for the tray
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Glaurung
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
1) Is a dual-fusion set-up (i.e. using the two drives instead of just one) the best way to go for this mac mini?


Single drive is best if you can afford a large enough SSD for all your data. In your case, you probably can't, so yes, a dual drive setup.

I forget if 2006 minis can handle Mountain Lion. If you can't do a proper fusion drive, there are instructions for setting things up with a dual drive system to take greatest advantage of the SSD's speed here: http://mattgemmell.com/using-os-x-with-an-ssd-plus-hdd-setup/

Quote:

2) If I was to invest in a new SSD, I'm aware that it would be connected by SATA II but probably only gain minimal speeds due to the age of the Mac Mini. Is it worth the change?


Yes, it's worth it. The biggest benefit of an SSD is not that it raises your computer's speed ceiling (which in your mini is limited) but that it raises the speed *floor*. 90% of the time, a hard drive will be slower, often a LOT slower, than the top speed of a SATA 1 port. 90% of the time, even an antique X25-m SSD from 2009 will be as fast as the SATA port can handle.

The first computer I put an SSD in was an ancient Pentium 4 with a Sata 1 port. The SSD made the thing so much faster I didn't feel the need to upgrade until i started needing to do video encoding a few years later.

Quote:

3) Lastly, which SSD would work best for the system if I was going to go ahead with the SSD purchase? I would only look for 120gb maximum I feel, as I don't need any more than that, plus my budget is limited to around 70.


Just about any modern SSD will do. Go with whatever has the best warranty/reputation for reliability/customer service. If you decide to go used, get a brand name with a spotless reputation for reliability (eg, Intel).

Older smaller SSDs are cheap on ebay right now. A small used x25-m or x25-v plus a new fast 500gb hard drive might even be within your budget limit, especially if you sell your mini's current hard drive.
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