Installing an SSD to my Mac Mini

A quick computer hardware post to report I have upgraded my Mac mini Hard drive to a Solid State Drive (SSD). With a spinning magnetic drive it would take 148 seconds to boot up and open system preferences.

Opening Photoshop CS5 and creating a 5000×500 image and applying a color gradient would take 115 seconds. I had already upgraded the memory from 4GB to 8GB but I found an adapter to add a second hard drive to a mac mini http://www.ifixit.com/Apple-Parts/Mac-Mini-Dual-Hard-Drive-Kit/IF171-005

A mac Mini (http://www.apple.com/au/macmini/) is the cheapest way to access OSX to do development as your BYO your own monitor/keyboard and mouse. I ended up going for a 256GB Crucial M4 SSD.

Opening the hard drive was a breeze with the iFixit tools and video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NORZR0BbZs). The only problem was the video stopped giving advice right where I needed it (how to place the cables in between the two drives (instead of wrapping around them). After a few hours I figured it out.

Installation Steps:

1. Open the Mac Mini
2. Install the SSD Drive
3. Reassemble
4. Boot OSX from the old HDD
5. Clone the drive with Carbon Copy Cloner

6. Boot off the SSD (hold option during boot up). Set SSD and default boot.

7. Delete the old drive and re-partition.
8. Enable TRIM with this utility http://www.groths.org/?page_id=322
9. Enjoy the benefits of a SSD.

Conclusion:

Boot Time Time:

    Before: 42.4 sec
    After: 24.2 sec

Boot Time + Login + Open System Preferences:

    Before: 148.9 sec
    After: 39.9 sec

Open Photoshop CS5 + Create 5000x500px image + Apply Colour Gradient

    Before: 114.9 sec
    After: 17.5 sec