Added 2TB drive to my Mid 2011 Mac Mini / 480 GB SSD
2 - 4 hours
Wanted to max out my Mid 2011 Mac Mini with the largest storage possible.
I bought a WD Green 2 TB Mobile Hard Drive: 2.5 Inch, SATA II, 8 MB Cache - WD20NPVT which is 15 mm thick and read a post somewhere that it was possible. So I decided to try it out. The trick is that a SSD drive is thinner than a regular drive. The two together works out. Also the WD Green uses very little power and the heat is low 40 C or so.
I already had a 480 GB Sandisk SSD drive installed. I did not have it attached in the bracket so it was easier to remove. I got to step 15 in the ifixit install guide, and I did not want to go to step 16. I removed the SSD drive. I then connected the ribbon cable to the new WD drive, and I simply placed the new drive in the empty space. Then I placed the SSD drive on top of the new drive. Drive to Drive, nothing separating the two. It is ok because the WD consumes very little power and stays relatively cool. The hard part was adding the SSD drive back, the space is quite tight, and following all the steps may have been a better choice. But I jammed it in there, had to push hard, and the SSD was now sitting on top. I connected the other end of the ribbon cable to the logic board.
Whole process took about 15 minutes
I reassemble and booted up. Now I have two TB drive plus my 480 SSD. I also added 16 GB, so now I have really "pimped" my mac mini.
Disk Speed test for read and write for the WD 2TB DRIVE is about 100 mb/s SSD drive is write ~ 240 mb/s and read ~ 500 mb.s
The WD20NPVT is the way to go. You can find it on amazon for about 175. Low power. I just tested using handbrake, and the drive stays cool. The fan increases to 4750 from a quiet 1750 rpm.
But while the fan is blowing the drive temp stays virtually constant (did go from 40 to 42C ). While watching Hulu fan stays low (1900) And WD drive temp was 39C. Just remember that the SSD is the boot drive with all the software, while the WD is the storage drive.