Mac Mini Upgrade


Well-known Member
Our late 2014 (non upgradeable) bottom of the range mac mini is really struggling. It was only ever bought to test the mac water and it’s served it’s purpose with multiple iPhones, iPads, Apple TV’s and MacBook Pro’s in the house now. I’ve used it to rip our 1,500 CDs and it serves them up, eventually. Syncing phones etc takes an age when it finally recognises them. As does starting it up, shutting it down and opening any app. Everything functions still but, due to the slowness it doesn’t get used as much as it could/should.

So, we are planning on an M1 replacement. The form factor sits in the office nicely and we have a decent screen for it to connect to (may go for an official mouse and keyboard). Will definitely go with 16GB of memory. 256GB of ssd is definitely not enough as I tried transferring our music library to one of the 256gb pros and it wouldn’t fit (it’s about 200GB). I’ve also seen my wife struggle to install updates due to lacking free space, so 512GB minimum.
I guess my doubt is, is it worth going for 1TB ssd (+£200) internally, or using something like this Amazon product to use an external 1TB ssd to host the library and hold any other data. Is there a big performance hit? I’m thinking the external adds some flexibility and ease of migration in the future, but I don’t want that to be at the cost of a significant drop in performance.
any advice gratefully received.


Active Member
I believe that the 1TB SSD is a better SSD with a longer lifetime (more writes).
Perhaps more important is that the performance of the internal Apple SSD is really really good and trying to match it with external would be costly.
So, for me it would be best to get the larger Apple internal.

I would consider the external hub/case thing for a backup time-machine drive though.


Active Member
I've got one of those docks and to be honest I've not noticed a massive performance hit when using it. I'm using as storage for my photos/files and a warcraft installation and in regular day to day use it's not been an issue.

Obviously if you're using to host files you're editing then your mileage may vary . . .


Well-known Member
I bought an M1 iMac with 512GB internal SSD and a Samsung external SSD but, once I'd put my media (Photos and iTunes libraries) on the external SSD, a 256GB internal SSD would have been more than enough.

Yes, an external SSD might not be quite as fast as Apple's internal ones but it will be way, way, faster than needed for your requirements (acting as a iTunes library for 1,500 ripped CDs).

My suggestion is to get a Mac with 256GB internal SSD plus an external 1TB SSD, giving plenty of space for the future and saving yourself about £300 in the process.

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