Mac Mini question

Started Apr 29, 2013 | Questions
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Rmark
Rmark Contributing Member • Posts: 709
Mac Mini question

For the past year I have been using a 2009 mac mini, 2.53 GHz, 320 GB Hard Drive. OS 10.8.3 and Aperture 3. I keep my Aperture library on an external usb drive (500 GB) and use a usb 1TB time machine.

Recently loading pics from CF card, raw conversion, and adjustment seems to be taking much longer. As does uploading to SmugMug or emailing.

I have the kit from OWC  ( and the skill) to place the 500gb drive into the optical bay and to double the RAM from 4 to 8 GB.

Does anyone think this will make a difference in perceived speed?

thanks

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ANSWER:
webfrasse Veteran Member • Posts: 3,858
Re: Mac Mini question

Rmark wrote:

For the past year I have been using a 2009 mac mini, 2.53 GHz, 320 GB Hard Drive. OS 10.8.3 and Aperture 3. I keep my Aperture library on an external usb drive (500 GB) and use a usb 1TB time machine.

Recently loading pics from CF card, raw conversion, and adjustment seems to be taking much longer. As does uploading to SmugMug or emailing.

I have the kit from OWC  ( and the skill) to place the 500gb drive into the optical bay and to double the RAM from 4 to 8 GB.

Does anyone think this will make a difference in perceived speed?

thanks

Doubling the Ram to 8GB is a no brainer. You will notice that immediately. Moving the drive into the Mac Mini is also going to be a lot faster than the USB port. I would do both. You wont think it's the same machine.

The next real speed upgrade would be to replace the system drive with an SSD. They have come down in price now so it's something you might want to consider.

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Mikael

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Rmark
Rmark OP Contributing Member • Posts: 709
Re: Mac Mini question

thanks, will be doing this today

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golf4food Regular Member • Posts: 266
Re: Mac Mini question

Great Idea!  Put the SSD in the Mini with more ram, you you will see a big difference.  The question is do you put your images on the SSD or the software.  My thought is to move everything from your internal drive to the SSD.  Then if you can, use a Firewire 800 external hard drive to faster access to your images.  Let us know how it works out for you!

Kevin

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mihama01 Forum Member • Posts: 92
Re: Mac Mini question

After memory upgrade and SSD install,

Get your photos off the USB drive and move them either internally or onto an external firewire disk; much quicker!

kwa_photo
kwa_photo Veteran Member • Posts: 3,005
Re: Mac Mini question

Do both.  I have a new Mac Mini 2.3 i7 quad core 4G and 1TB HDD.  But, I also have a 2012 MBA 13"(dual core i5) and have 8G RAM and the 256G SSD.  That thing blazes past the newer and "more powerful" mini. I chalk it up to twice the RAM and the SSD drive.  That SSD I really think is the killer feature.  For now, I plan on upgrading my RAM to the max if 16G RAM (8+8) for $176 from macsales.com (OWC).  Later, I'll do the SSD as the OS drive and the drive for intensive apps (ex. Aperture) and keep the 1TB drive as storage for lower intensity apps and storage.

Do the RAM first, it's fast and cheap comparitvely.  If that doesnt do it, the SSD should.

mihama01 wrote:

After memory upgrade and SSD install,

Get your photos off the USB drive and move them either internally or onto an external firewire disk; much quicker!

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Ken
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Andy Hewitt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,037
Re: Mac Mini question

I too have a 2009 Mac Mini (2.26GHz model), with 8GB of RAM in it. I upgraded the internal drive to a 750GB 7200rpm unit, and I keep my Aperture library on an external FW800 drive (Seagate Barracuda 750GB 7200rpm 3.5").

I did some XBench tests on them, and found that the external FW800 drive has just about the same performance as the internal one. Some Macs were known for having a bit of a bottleneck in the drive controllers - USB also has known bottlenecks too.

The cheapest solution would be to upgrade the drive to a FW800 with a 7200rpm 3.5" unit. That would run just as fast as the internal 2.5" unit.

Of course, if budget is not an issue, feel free to add an SSD, and upgrade the optical bay.

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Andy Hewitt
Using Olympus E-420 and Apple Mac Mini '09.

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