The 2014 Mac Mini might feel a little dated with its slower, standard hard disk drive (HDD). However, by upgrading to a Solid-State Drive (SSD), you will provide transformative performance and significantly extend the lifespan of your machine. SSD upgrades improve stability, speed, efficiency, and overall performance. If you’re looking to revamp your 2014 Mac Mini, an SSD upgrade is an effective answer.
Why Upgrade to an SSD?
SSD vs HDD – the question has been around for years. Yet, the latter simply can’t compare with the former’s performance level. SSDs being about 10 times faster than HDDs, endows your Mac Mini with lightning-quick booting and file-transferring capabilities.
What SSD to choose?
The market is flooded with SSDs, no doubt. Yet, when it comes to Mac Mini, two names often clinch the top spot – Samsung 860 EVO and Crucial BX500. While Samsung 860 EVO is known for superior durability and includes software for drive management, Crucial BX500 is a tempting budget option without compromising on the performance front.
Preparing for Your SSD Upgrade
Before you begin your Mac mini 2014 SSD upgrade, it’s important to back up all files using Time Machine. This Apple proprietary backup tool saves all your files, system files, and apps onto an external storage device. After the SSD upgrade, Time Machine allows you to restore the data to your Mac. It’s also advisable to manufacture a bootable USB drive with macOS.
Step-by-Step Guide to Upgrade Mac Mini 2014 SSD
Step 1: Collecting the necessary tools
The tools you’ll need for your Mac mini 2014 SSD upgrade include:
- TR6 Torx Security Screwdriver
- T5 Torx Screwdriver
- Plastic Spudger
- 2.0 slot-head screwdriver
- Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool (though, a bent coat hanger or paper clip can also work)
Step 2: Removing the Bottom Cover
To remove the bottom cover, turn the Mac mini over and rotate the bottom cover counterclockwise. You should feel it disengage. Lift the cover off to expose the inside.
Step 3: Removing the Fan
Use the T6 security screwdriver to remove the three screws holding the fan in place, and carefully lift the fan out of the Mac mini. Do not pull too hard, as it is connected by a cable. Remove the cable with your plastic spudger.
Step 4: Removing the WiFi Card
Next, disconnect the WiFi card connector with the spudger. Unscrew the T6 screw holding the WiFi card in place, then remove the card along with its antenna.
Step 5: Removing the Logic Board
Begin by disconnecting the power supply control cable. Insert your Mac Mini Logic Board Removal tool into the two holes at the rear of the logic board, then slowly extract it out of the casing.
Step 6: Replacing the Hard Drive
Now you’ve reached the original hard drive, use your T6 security screwdriver to remove its retaining bracket, then pull the SATA connector out of its socket on the logic board.
Insert the SSD into the Mac mini, connecting it to the SATA socket previously occupied by the original hard drive.
Step 7: Reassembly
Reassemble your Mac Mini by retracing your steps. Once done, turn on your computer, install macOS and restore your files from Time Machine.
Worlds apart from the pedestrian HDD, a brand new SSD for Mac Mini 2014 is not only a long-term investment but the right step towards a blazingly fast system. With care, patience, and adherence to instructions, you can successfully pull off this essential upgrade and vastly improve your older Mac’s performance, giving it a new lease of life.
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