We just upgraded a 2011 Apple Mac Mini to have an SSD, a second hard drive, and new RAM.
- OCZ 120 GB Vertex 3 SATA III 6.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive VTX3-25SAT3-120G
- Western Digital 1TB Blue WD10JPVT 5400RPM, 8 MB cache, 2.5 inch, 9.5MM height hard drive
- Corsair 8 GB DDR3 Laptop Memory Kit CMSO8GX3M2A1333C9
- Apple Mac Mini Model MC816LL/A 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, AMD Radeon HD 6630M graphics, 4GB RAM, 500GB hard drive
- Cable: Apple Part 922-9560, also called “Apple Mac Mini Server (Mid 2010) Bottom Hard Drive Server Flex Cable” or “Hard Drive Flex Cable Bottom”. We used part number 1009005 at welovemacs.com. This is sold as a kit from ifixit.com.
Alternate Parts List
The OCZ Vertex 3 is the fastest consumer SSD at the moment. Other SSD’s that you might consider include:
- Highest reliability SSD: Intel 510 Series 120 GB
- Best value high capacity SSD: Lexar Media Crucial 512 GB m4
The Western Digital Blue drive mentioned above is high capacity and quiet. For a faster spinning hard drive consider:
- Western Digital 750TB Black WD7500BPKT 7200RPM, 16 MB cache, 2.5 inch, 9.5MM height hard drive
The dedicated graphics in the mid-tier Mac Mini make it worth it for me. But for the cheapest Mini, consider:
- Apple Mac Mini MC815LL/A 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000, 2GB RAM, 500GB hard drive
UPDATE: My video shows adding two 9.5MM height drives. I just upgraded another Mac Mini with a 9.5MM SSD and a 12.5MM standard hard drive. As with my first upgrade, the hard drive goes in the bottom slot (the side closest to the top of the case when upright). This does fit. But first you need to slide the logic board out slightly. Be sure to remove the IR port adapter before sliding out the logic board. The OWC video shows how to do this. I used a cut up coat hanger to insert into the logic board holes and slide it out.
Starting with a blank hard drive is easy on the 2011 Mac Mini. Hold down Command-R to boot into Lion Recovery which allows you to format the drives and download Lion over the Internet.
TRIM Support in Lion
For optimal SSD performance, enable TRIM support within OS X Lion. Grant Pannell describes the terminal commands to enable TRIM.
Photos of Upgrade