Maximum Mini

Following on from my purchase of the Mac Mini, I was spurred on to making the upgrades I had been considering when I saw an amazing deal on a 480GB OCZ Arc 100 SSD on Amazon, so I bought it. Deciding that I only wanted to go through the task of dismantling the Mini once, I then sourced a 1TB 2.5-inch WD Red hard drive, and 16GB of RAM from Crucial. The final part of the puzzle was the Mac Mini Dual Hard Drive kit from iFixit.

Once I had everything, I set about the task of installing it all.

I was helped no end by OWC’s video showing the process of taking the Mini apart. I have to add at this point that it certainly isn’t a simple procedure, and you need to be confident that you’ve got the necessary skills to complete it successfully. I’d recommend watching the video through first before you commit to taking apart your little silver box of joy. It could easily go wrong if you’re not careful.

Anyway, I’m pleased to report that the hardware installation was pleasingly stress-free, and once everything was installed, I decided that I was going to try and create my own Fusion drive, rather than keeping the SSD and hard drive separate. Because I had no recovery partition to rely on (two brand new drives precluded that option) I made myself a Yosemite installer on a USB stick. Not only does this allow you to install OSX, it also includes Disk Utility and Terminal to facilitate the Fusion Drive creation.

I followed the instructions over at Macworld, and after a few lines in Terminal, I had myself a fully-fledged Fusion Drive.

The Mac Mini really is flying along now – it’s a night and day improvement over the standard hardware. All in, the new-and-improved Mini had cost me £625. That’s a considerable cost saving over buying a similar spec direct from Apple.

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