Announced on October 16, 2014, identifiable by the model number A1347 and EMC 2840.

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Is it possible to add a PCIe SSD?

I'm looking to add a PCIe SSD to a Mac mini that shipped with only an HDD. It seems like it should be possible, since there's a port on the logic board for it. Where do I find the cable to connect the SSD to the logic board? Is this even possible?

The internet has been strangely silent on this topic. I haven't been able to find anything definitive from either iFixit or OWC, which are usually all over upgrades like these.

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Tried to place an SSD PCIe from a MacBook Air 2013. Got the basement with the correct socket on the Bay. Not visible, neither form the Terminal. Not a problem, I'm just kidding. but I will further searching for compatible SSD as the problem is surely into the SSD's firmware.

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PCIE SSD connector flex cable can be purchased separately here on ali express https://www.aliexpress.com/item/NEW-SSD-...

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Prathik Gopal - Good find!

Just remember you still need an Apple SSD (or OWC compatible SSD)

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Apple uses a custom SSD blade connector for their SSD's. Both the connector assembly & the SSD's are hard to find (so far only Apple units available as spares or from mini's taken apart for the parts). And both are very expensive!

If you just got it see if you can return the unit and get the SSD model, then you can add in the HD as the SATA connector assembly is the same as the last model and a standard SATA III drive will work.

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Thanks for the answer. Returning it isn't an option, as I've had it for about a year.

Would this SSD be compatible? It appears to be the same PCI-based SSD as the one in the mini.MacBook Air 11" (2013-2015) 13" (2013-2017) MacBook Pro Retina 13" and 15" (2015) SSD

I saw somewhere that OWC was working on making these SSDs available for sale, but it's been a year. Have you heard anything about the SSD and connector becoming more widely available?

It's too bad Apple won't just sell the parts to distributors.

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Sadly, no the IFIXIT SSD is for a MacBook Air. As to selling part, Apple does sell the parts to independent service centers. That was my point you could go that route its just at a price premium! As to OWC, or other sources for 3rd party offerings: Nothing new here. I think part of the problem is the licensing of SSD's firmware. Apple is stuck between two groups that want it, the competitors who want to make their systems using SSD's as fast as Apples, and the people who want to improve their systems. If one gets it they can't stop the other.

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Are the PCIe SSD's not all the same from 2013 Mac models onwards? (MBA, Mpro and iMac)

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Sadly No, Apple has quite a few different interfaces in use between the different models. The Airs use a long board while the Retina MBP, iMac & mini use a short board. Then the interface all being a physically M.2 use different interface dialogs mSATA, PCIe 2-lane, and now PCIe 4-lane. Last kicker here is the onboard firmware on the SSD its custom to Apple. Apple did do a few firmware updates across the SSD's and some systems need their system firmware updated as well to work correctly with the newer SSD firmware.

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So far there is no 3rd party SSD's for this system. OWC has hinted they have something coming this spring. So for now you'll need to get an Apple spare or a unit from a striped parts system.

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Hi there

I have the same idea.

I have the Mac mini 2014 8gb 2.6ghz with the 1tb HDD.

It is possible to add the PCIe . Do you want to run it as FUSION or duel drives?

Fusion will require basic terminal knowledge which really is easy if that's what you want. Video link here http://youtu.be/w4NqbGEJpN4

I want to run duel drive tho. So in future I can take out the HDD and add a SSD if needed.

Problem is I can't find a video to show how to migrate from HDD to PCIe.

What you need to buy

1- You might find the flex cable from someone selling Mac mini parts on eBay. Otherwise looks for 076-00040 which is the HDD Carrier which comes with the flex cable and hole to fix the PCIe down.

2 - look for an apple Samsung PCIe for 2013 onwards MacBooks. Or part MZ-JPV5120 ( for the 512gb otherwise just replace the 512 with 128 or 256 for smaller SSD or you could hunt for the 1tb version)

3 - http://youtu.be/G3MmzNRIkJM this shows how to do the upgrade. It says fusion but it's duel and incomplete because he still runs the OS on the HDD and not the PCIe.

My guess is to run the PCIe as the startup disk you need to purchase a external enclosure from OWC then use a clone software and move to the PCIe and then do the upgrade. But I would much rather iFix to release a video and enclosure for this.

I hope this help. Once I have figured it out and do it myself I will post a video.

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Thanks for the info. I was thinking something like this would work but wasn't sure which PCIe SSD would be compatible. The problem is, from what I've seen, they're not available on sites like iFixit, so you just have to get lucky on eBay.

I think you'd be able to just install the SSD without any prior configuration. Because your OS is on the HDD you'll be able to format the drive once you install it. Then you should be able to create the fusion drive if you want. I don't see why the process in this case would be any different than when installing a SATA SSD as a second drive, which I've done before in a different computer.

I look forward to seeing your results. I'm in no rush to do the project myself, I was just exploring the possibility. Hopefully I'm guiding you in the right direction with respect to setting up the SSD. Good luck!

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The OS installer has a migration function built-in! It will allow you to migrate between two systems via a network connection or a FireWire/Thunderbolt back to back connection. Or, even between two drives within the system SATA interconnections. Or, even via an external USB, FireWire or Thunderbolt connection. Lastly, you could also create a TimeMachine backup and restore it via the migration services.

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Don't use cloning software! No need, and it can mess you up. Best to use the OS migration tools built in the OS installer or the Migration Assistant app.

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The thing is you don't even need to move any information if you leave the HDD in. If you set up a fusion drive, I believe it will take care of moving over the most used information with that setup process

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Very true Nate! You don't need to migrate anything to create the Fusion Drive set other than running the terminal command. I was speaking about the dual drive setup. In that setup the migration function will allow you to copy over your current user accounts and apps to the SSD.

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hey guys

Thanks for the follow up and inputs.

so i decided to go full SSD. i have the New SSD carrier with flex cable + 512GB PCIe + 2TB SSD i also have the ifix pro kit.

I created a time machine back up yesterday and currently creating a OSX boot drive in case. now all i need to do is find some quite time and space and then i can start the procedure. hopefully i can complete this in the next 2 weeks.

I have used the cloning software in the past on PC which was great but i think i will either just rebuild from a clean install or just restore from the time machine.

ill try share results ASAP.

Update (01/18/2016)

So update!!

I completed the upgrade today. I didn't make the video as promised but I have taken a few photos that I can share if needed.

The normal HDD mini doesn't need the whole carrier replacement as it has the fixing hole for the blade SSD already. You just need to find the flex cable and then secure it to the carrier already in your mini.

The PCIe interface is on the logic board next to the IR connector.

I did run into a little problem with the fresh install of El Capitan. Took a round 9 mins for 1 part then reboot. But then seems to stall on the "about a second remaining" for around 10 mins. But it then does reboot. I did connect it to the Internet during that time so maybe that fixed the stall issue. Not sure if there is a log file I can share to show you.

Also the Samsung PCIe SSD I said above works fine. Load time with the HDD was around 60 seconds and now it's under 20 seconds. .

Update (01/18/2016)

I now have a faster 2.5 TB mini in duel drive setup as they are both SSD so no need to fusion.

Tonight I'll back up from time machine and the. Everything is completed.

Process wasn't to hard so if you find the parts needed at a good rate then go for it Nate.

Good luck and let me know if you would like any other info

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hey could you upload those photos, so we do not need to replace the HDD carrier just buy the blade to put thro the pre made the holes right? and it would have to be a M2 ssd not a regular 2.5 ssd for the blade

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Can I please let me know the SSD model? I placed a 64Gbyte MB Air 2013 and doesn't work.

TNX

Simon

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The Samsung SSD Geoff is speaking about here is the custom part Samsung makes for Apple under contract. It is not sold as a retail product you find on the Samsung web site. You'll need to get the MacBook Retina SSD unit to work in your Mac mini. OWC also now offers the needed PCIe blade drives that will work in your system. Here's the info on them: OWC has released a set of SSD's that work in the PCIe models here's the info: OWC Upgrades for: 2014 – Current Mac Mini

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TNX to eveybody for help and clarifications.

Regarding OWC, I believe they're just selling upgrades to existing PCIe SSDs as a PCIe slot is required:

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1 PCIe solid state drive slot when purchased with a solid state or fusion drive, upgradeable up to 1.0TB.

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I believe I'll move to a faster standard SSD, maybe the Samsung 850 Evo Pro.

Simon

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If you have the newer system that came only with the HD, you can add in the needed cable quite easily! So I wouldn't dismiss the idea.

Its just a bit of timing here ... I would wait for OWC to release the part. They maybe working on getting the cable so they can offer a soup to nuts solution for you.

FYI: It's the same part as the MacBook Pro retina model, I suspect they hadn't finish testing it yet on the mini, or wanted to stager the offerings so they wouldn't get slammed with the pent up need for the part.

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While I love the Samsung 840/850 EVO/Pro drives their just a SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) drive. To gain better performance you'll want to go with the PCIe blade drive here. FYI: I'd go with the EVO series over the Pro series cost less and the lifespan is just as good in the real world.

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Hi Simon

If you post a pic of the PCIe that fail (get the model number in ) and we can see if what's wrong. In an earlier post on the 14 Jan in step 2 I wrote some details on which PCIe to track down. It's not easy to find in Europe but it seems like it's more common in USA.

I installed a 2tb Samsung 850 pro and a 512gb Samsung PCIe.

I'm not sure you can install 2 PCIe in the latest Mac mini. But if you can post a link to a article about it then ill have a read.

When you install the PCIe make sure you connect it properly. I found it took a bit of force to make contact.

Also when I booted up for the first time after the upgrades I did have a few problems. But 2 restarts and an Internet connection and I was fine.

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If I don't misunderstand your request. The SSD from a MacBook Air that doesn't work is a 64 GB Toshiba THNSNC064GMDJ Custom Apple Blade SSD.

Other printed data on the drive is:

* 64GB DKK45 655

* 1633A Apple's part number

Thanks

Simon

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According to the info I have a 2x PCIe interface can deliver up to 500MB/sec: If I'm not wrong, therefore, the PCIe slot in a MacMini is for SSD only but not better than a SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) but surely better than a Fusion Drive system.

Therefore replacing the traditional HD with a SSD like the Samsung EVO is enough and you can't get better performance.

OWC's upgrades: As Apple doesn't go further than 256 GB. OWC does, but, as I already said not meant for speed improvement.

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The numbers I get are: 460 Mbps write speeds and over 750 Mbps read speeds.

You also need to watch the B here ;-} Little b is bit, big B is Byte. Or, 8 bits = 1 Byte.

So 750 Bytes = 6,000 bits (6Mb/s) is the limit of the SSD Apple is using not the slots limit (Apple has not disclosed the limit of the slot), and the SATA III connection limit is 6.0 Mb/s so from the surface its wash.

Now the fine points, the SATA interface needs a heaver translation than the PCI slot so you do get a bit more performance though the blade SSD (granted not much in this series) when you are comparing with an SSD via SATA connection. In the case of a HD you are not even likely to come close to the saturation point of the SATA connection.

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May I know If I could using the ssd I removed from my 2015 early macbook pro?

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Best to create you own question with your system details

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