Improving my Mac Mini's performance?
January 3, 2015 9:11 AM   Subscribe

What do I need to do to keep the household Mac Mini performing at its top capacity?

I have a mid 2011 Mac Mini running OSX 10.10.1.

Is there something I should be doing to clean up its hard drive/defrag it/improve performance? We've done nothing in particular in this regard since we brought it home. It works fine, but I'd hate to think there was some de-crufting I could be doing that would snap things up a bit.

Thanx in advance,

PBZM
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
How much memory do you have in it? If it's less than 8GB you will probably see a benefit from upgrading it (which you can do yourself on that vintage mini)
posted by mr vino at 9:27 AM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Changing the hard drive for an ssd will help a bit, too.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:37 AM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've only got 4GB right now. This page says officially it can take up to 8GB, but that in reality it can take 16GB. BOO-YAA!
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:04 AM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Upgrading to an SSD will probably help more than a bit. Upgrading the RAM would be my first priority (4GB is very low for a modern Mac), but if you can afford it I'd definitely throw in an SSD too. These Crucials are really good for price/performance. I have put them in a few family member's computers and they made a massive difference.
posted by primethyme at 10:37 AM on January 3, 2015


I agree, 4GB is low.

Also, clear your desktop.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:51 PM on January 3, 2015


Just a note if you are running Yosemite and want to upgrade to an SSD -- Yosemite no longer supports TRIM for non-Apple SSDs. Not a big deal if the SSD you choose has good garbage collection abilities, and, from what I understand, also not as big a deal if your disk isn't filled up to 80% or 90% capacity. The guy who makes TRIM Enabler is working on a new product as a solution to the lack of TRIM support in Yosemite.

FWIW, I have a 2012 Mac with 8GB of RAM and it runs very well, although I think the 5200 RPM hard drive is holding it back and it does not run as we snappily as my 2011 Macbook Pro with 8GB RAM and a hybrid SSD/hard drive (which is a good option, IMO).
posted by puritycontrol at 12:58 PM on January 3, 2015


While what puritycontrol writes is true re: TRIM and Yosemite, there are methods of turning off signing and patching the appropriate kernel extensions to enable TRIM on third party SSDs.

Here's a GUI method I just used in a current version of Yosemite.
posted by tomierna at 3:03 PM on January 3, 2015


I've got a 2012 mini and I strongly recommend 16Gb RAM. You'll notice a speed improvement the moment you restart your machine with the upgraded RAM. Opening up a mini to install RAM is a simple process, and RAM is a user-upgradeable part according to Apple.

I got my RAM from Crucial.com (owned by RAM maker Micron Technology), where the 8Gb RAM upgrade with lifetime warranty is currently $82. If your model secretly allows for a 16Gb upgrade (I've heard as much for your model) you might have to do a bit more investigating to make sure you get the right RAM.

Adding a new internal drive or SSD is a more involved affair, not recommended by Apple but doable if you're careful. (Indeed, you can replace or even add a 2nd drive to a mini's internals.) There are free instructional guides for that at ifixit.com and macsales.com if you are inclined, but first try getting RAM and see if that's enough for you now.
posted by skywhite at 4:23 PM on January 3, 2015


Trim enabler works fine in Yosemite, you just have to be aware of the trade off of disabling kext signing.
I Would definitely add an ssd if you want to.

If it's running fine why break what isn't fixed I guess is my first thought though.

That being said though my 2012 i7 mini screams with 16gb of ram and an ssd in it. I am running Yosemite and using trim enabler.
posted by WillRun4Fun at 3:09 AM on January 4, 2015


16Gb of RAM is a must you can do it yourself. Upgrading to a SSD is not for the faint of heart. You can get a ssd to,connect via thunderbolt and that will get you most of the advantages of an installed SSD (however that is pricey). I went that route figuring the ssd can be used in my next Mac without any hassles.
posted by prk60091 at 1:09 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


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