Downgrading from Big Sur to Catalina

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
JPAlbert Senior Member • Posts: 1,099
Re: Downgrading from Big Sur to Catalina


Is the internal drive a platter-based hard drive or is it an SSD?

If it's a hard drive, forget about ever getting that thing to run very well. It's just too slow.
You need to add an SSD. (read on)

With 4gb of RAM, VM is going to be "hitting the drive" all the time, and if the drive is a platter-based 5400rpm drive, it's NEVER going to be fast.

You could improve the performance somewhat by upgrading to an SSD inside. The original HDD can "stay in place", and I believe the SSD can be added "on top of it" (actually, underneath, but you do the "adding" while the Mini is upside down with the bottom off).

There are kits out there with all the components (I think OWC sells them).

It will be considerably snappier afterwards, and you can improve it further by limiting the number of apps you have open at once, and the number of tabs in browsers, etc.

But there are limits it will ALWAYS "be pushing against" because of the 4gb of RAM.

If you don't want to add an internal SSD, you can plug in a USB3 EXTERNAL SSD, clone the contents of the internal onto it, and boot and run from the external drive. It won't be quite as fast as an internally-mounted SSD, but it will be much better than trying the run from an internal HDD.

Final thought: DON'T spend too much $$$ on it. 500gb drive will be enough. Any more money... is probably wasted.

There's a reason you were "given" this one...

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