I’ve had a 2011 Mac Mini now for several years, it had been a daily driver of sorts moving between countries to use for video editing and some graphic design work.
I left in sitting on my shelf now for over a year, it’s always been looking at me and with the recent time I’ve had to stay at home because of the ongoing covid-19 situation, I thought it might be time to breathe some new life into it. I’ve always wanted to take this machine apart and upgrade the drive and ram in it however I just never got around to it.
I ordered a new Crucial 120gb SSD drive and two 4gb sticks of ram for the upgrade, with my intention to use the current mechanical drive in it as an external drive to save bigger files on. I’d say it’s the best time to do upgrades or build a machine as prices seem to be dropping. I picked up both for under $100.
Overall taking the machine apart wasn’t all that difficult and just involved a lot of tiny screws and ribbon cables that had to be carefully taken off the main board. The fan came out easily, removing the exisiting drive was fairy easy. I messed up by not formatting the drive before hand and had to remove the new SSD and hook it upto my iMac so I could format it.
Installing Mac OS was easy, booted up into recovery mode, connected it to the internet via ethernet so I could download the OS quickly, took around 30 minutes to install and be fully bootable. Because this is a 2011 model I can only go up to macOS High Sierra which is still supported until November 2020, then I might have to fiddle around and install something newer on it.
Upgrading the memory to 8gb increases the performance of the machine greatly, it makes it more snappier and along with an SSD in it makes it feel pretty new, hopefully giving me a few more years with it.
I think the portability of the Mac Mini is great and lets me put it in my backpack and use at the office too, all I need is a power cable and a HDMI cable and I’m good to go!