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Just upgrading my new Mac Mini 2012 2.6 i7 with 480 GB SSD and 16 GB RAM

The new Mac Mini 2012 2.6 i7 is a little killer when upgraded with a 6G 480 GB SSD and 16 GB RAM. How do I know this? I just bought a Mac Mini 2012 2.6 Quad Core i7 and replaced the original hard disk (1 TB 5400 RPM) with a OWC Pro 480 GB Solid State Drive and replaced the original 4 GB RAM with 16 GB RAM.
After this upgrade I am the proud owner of a Mac Mini that just flies when it comes to performance. The hardware upgrade took a little bit longer than expected and after this upgrade I had some problems booting the Mac Mini. I will describe the problems later in this post.

Upgrading the Mac Mini

Upgrading the Mac Mini 2012 with a new SSD and more memory is no more different than upgrading the Mac Mini 2011 which I did in the Spring of 2012, so I do have some experience when it comes to upgrading the Mac Mini unibody. The Mac Mini is a small box and the components are placed very tight inside so you will have to be careful in some aspects of the upgrade. But I have found some tutorials on the Internet. Ifixit have some of the best tutorials around when it comes to replacing hardware in a Apple Mac.

The tutorials that I used are listed here:

  • fixit – replacing the hard drive in Mac Mini 2012
  • Matt Saunders on Youtube

Make sure you have a good toolset before you begin otherwise you are stuck before you know it. I do recommend Newertech 11-Piece Portable Toolkit.
The following components in my Mac Mini were replaced:

  • 1 TB 5400 HGST HD was replaced with an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G 480 GB SSD.
  • 2 x 2 GB RAM was replaced with 2 x 8 GB OWC 1600 Mhz RAM.

My problems after the hardware upgrade

I did ran into some problems after the upgrade. First I did not put the hard drive logic board connector. Big mistake. After this fix my Mac Mini would not start as my OWC SSD was corrupted. Then I had to use Apple Internet recovery to clean my OWC SSD, reinstall Mac OS X and finally restore with Apple Time Machine. This was actually the first time I used my Apple Time Machine backup. Works perfect by the way.
These operations took some time. I could not figure out why the SSD would not boot on the Mac Mini. But my Mac Mini is now running well but I have seen some problems with my dual display setup even though the Mac Mini should be able to handle two Cinema Displays.

The Intel HD 4000 graphics should be powerful enough to support two large displays and this setup has been confirmed to work by other users.

Performance testing and improvement

My new Mac Mini 2.6 Ghz Quad Core is fast, very fast. I did some Geekbench tests in order to test the little devil in both 32-bit and in 64-bit and the results were very impressing as you can see from the results below. Some of my installed programs are running very smoothly. I have never seen IntelliJ open so quickly before. Building some of my code projects goes VERY fast. 2 seconds to compile and create a Java war file that is ready for deployment. Perfect!

Geekbench performance test 32 bit

Geekbench performance test 64 bit

Apple MacBook Pro no more

My MacBook Pro early 2011 had a battery replacement but this replacement was fatal. My MacBook Pro will NOT see this new battery. Extremely frustrating and I can see that I am not the only one having this problem when batteries are replaced. A lot of posts on many different Apple related forums show this problem.

I have tried many fixes but nothing seems to solve this issue so I am taking the computer to the nearest Apple repair dude in order to diagnose the problem. I sure hope it is a minor hardware issue and not a logic board replacement. That would be way to expensive. When the MacBook is hopefully fixed I will sell it. I currently do not need a laptop.

Conclusion

Upgrading the Mac Mini 2012 is not that hard as it seems to be and you will love the power that the machine now has. The Mac Mini is fast and silent.


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