I used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the HDD to a new, cheap SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD hooked up to a simple SATA-to-USB cable from my toolbox.
Thanks to this guide it was perfectly easy and took quite exactly 2 hours, including the clone process that took longest. I know, CCC is basically unneccessary, but it’s a free three-click-solution due to a 30 day free trial period. My trusty old Late 2014 Mini feels like a new machine now, but with exactly the same system as before.
Incredible how easy this was, you don’t even need the system board removal tool as it can be replaced by two tiny hex/Allen keys. Had the TR6 and TR9 bits in my tools already. I don’t know why I haven’t done it much earlier, the performance increase is amazing.
Tip: enable TRIM for SSDs by entering “sudo trimforce enable” in the Terminal. This will keep the SSD performance high for much longer, but needs to be enabled manually for free market SSDs because Mac OS will only enable it automatically for drives with Apple firmware.
No, you can’t - even if you have the PCIe-SSD slot in the box, the standard M.2 SSDs won’t fit or work. You can only replace the 500 GB HDD with a 2.5” SATA SSD, but it really makes a huge difference and is worth the effort. Clone the HDD to the SSD over USB, then follow the guide and you’ll see a massive boost in performance.
I don’t think there’s a size limit for the SSD, all of the available 2.5” SSDs up to 2 TB should work nicely. I haven’t seen any larger ones in the stores yet, but even 4 TB should work. Read about issues with specific models only, e.g. the Toshiba OCZ TR-200 series, but even this is not fully confirmed as other users said they work nicely.
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