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OWC Data Doubler SSD/2.5″ HDD Kit works in ’12 Mac mini

The most common question we’ve gotten since we announced the memory upgrades for the new 2012 Mac mini models is whether or not our OWC ‘Data Doubler’ 2.5″ Hard Drive / SSD Installation Kit for Mac mini fits and performs in the new model as well.

I’m here to tell you that yes indeed, it works! Installation is the same as the 2011 models and both drives can negotiate SATA Revision 3.0 (6Gb/s) speeds as shown by the benchmarks below:

Single OWC Mercury 6G SSD Benchmarks
Two OWC Mercury 6G SSDs in RAID 0 benchmarks.

As always, bookmark and follow the OWC Blog for all the latest updates on Apple’s new lineup of computers.

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  • what exactly does the doubler do?
    in mac os it will show that you have 2 separate HD in it?

    • Hi, Eden. You can do many things with the data doubler such as: Creating an individual volume with its own desktop icon; combining a new drive with the existing internal drive for one larger volume (SPAN); combining a new matching drive with existing internal for high-performance RAID-0 Stripe volume; configuring a new drive as a Time Machine backup drive; formatting one drive for the Mac OS and the other dedicated for Windows.

  • I have been looking for information regarding setting up two Mercury Pro 6G SSD’s in a RAID 0 setup. My data doubler arrives tomorrow and hope to get setup and going but have no experience with setting up RAID. Any information or links would be very helpful. I’m using the two 6g Pro OWC SSD’s, 2012 mini, and OSX 10.8.1

    • We use Disk Utility to setup our internal RAID setups. As the process of setting up the RAID 0 in your Mac mini will destroy the data on both drives, it is very important that you backup your data before you begin.
      In a nutshell it is a fairly easy process:
      1. Backup your data.
      2. Install two identical drives using the Data Doubler.
      3. Boot to either a recovery partition on an external drive or use internet recovery mode to format the drives, then setup the RAID using the RAID tab in Disk Utility.
      4. Once setup, migrate your data back to the mini.

      • Funny you mention that! I went to bed with the mini using internet recovery to setup an external drive to boot too. I’m running 10.8.1 on the mini luckily and won’t have to worry about the fake fusion fiasco! So I’m pretty sure I’m all set now…just need FedEx to get off their butts and get my datadoubler here!!!

  • I am going to second the dream of having an OWC SSD or two as the SSD portion of the Fusion Drive. If Fusion Drive is a component of the software, it seems as if it should run with any SSD and HDD, despite what Apple is saying. That means an older machine running the latest OS and with an SSD/HDD combo should be able to run Fusion Drive.

    • Has this worked as expected over the last 15 days. After alot of reading and confusion, it seems that fusion is built into the software and has nothing to do with the hardware. If you do not upgrade to the “fusion drive when you buy your mac mini, is the software loaded? And has it worked as you expected?

      • Well, I can say that we’re testing with fusion drive setups currently and should be reporting our findings to the OWC Blog sometime next week.

    • Until someone analyzes the actual process Apple are using to create the Fusion Drive, it appears that it is simply an implementation of a long standing Unix technology of tying multiple layers of storage together as a virtual drive. On the one hand, it is interesting. On the other hand, the risk of losing everything may outweigh its benefits for all but those who simply don’t want to delve into such things. If you move the home folder over to the rotating drive, I don’t foresee a huge difference in practical performance. I’m sure benchmarks would probably find a difference, but how much would the user actually see?

      At the present time, I have my 2012 Mac mini configured with a 240 GB SSD as the boot drive (including home folder) and a 750 GB 7,200 RPM HDD to store voluminous data on. Things such as iTunes, Lightroom & Photoshop files or “stuff” that would just be cluttering up the SSD. It is possible that I might change my mind, but that is what I am doing for the moment.

      If a Thunderbolt miniStack external enclosure were to come out, I might consider pulling the HDD out of the mini and putting another SSD in as a (striped) RAID 0 array with the TB external enclosure for the voluminous data. Maybe even a RAID 5 array. :-)

      For now I have a USB 3 miniStack which will suffice for a variety of uses and some other drives for backups, Time Machine and such. (The enclosure I am setting up is only a USB 2 format, but Time Machine doesn’t have to be all that fast.


  • What I’m scared of is when you buy the Mac Mini with the fusion drive, the SSD part take the place of the second hard drive, so you cant use the OWC Data Doubler, unless there’s a place on the main board to place the SSD, like the MacBook Air…

    • We’ll be able to tell more once we get in the Mac mini with a Fusion Drive setup. We have a number of questions about Fusion as well, and that particular machine seems to be the key. Keep an eye on the OWC Blog for information as it develops.

  • Can you kindly verify if those OWC SSDs are natively TRIM enabled in OSX ?

    My next question, a rather odd one, is if you guys would sell pre-configured “Data Doubled” Mac Mini units?

    Thanks for your benchmark & test results !

    • I’ll answer the second question first; we are not an Apple reseller, so we do not sell new Apple units. From time to time we are able to offer previous-generation units, but those are non-upgraded units.

      Fortunately, installation of these items are generally straightforward, and we offer instructional videos that go through the step-by-step process of upgrading your hardware.

      Regarding TRIM, you should take a look at this article; it should explain more regarding TRIM and OWC SSDs.

  • I got my Core i7 mini yesterday :D

    Good to hear the data doubler will work.

    Please pull NewerTech’s ear on that “coming soon” ministack max! ;)

    • Though we at the Blog really can’t comment on availability of products that have not yet been released, we can say, “Hang tight! It’s coming…”

  • A bit off the subject of the mini, but concerning upgrading hardware.

    Are you going to update your iMac turnkey pricing? Right now its $300 to add a $159 drive, and another $$230 to add the 2nd $159 drive.


    • Hey Whoda, yes off topic but hey…that’s how conversations go. We offer DIY kits for those that can do so.
      Others..they prefer the convenience of our Turnkey Program. That program though, is very time and labor intensive. So that is why the pricing is such.

      And we offer something with our Turnkey programs called the OWC Trust Advantage. Our repair programs ensure customers receive the proper care, attention, and honest assessment of the service their machine or device requires instead customers having to take a chance with a ‘bait and up-charge’ repair service.

  • This is good news. Have you guys tried to see if the new Mini will support more than 16GB of RAM ?

  • Will this new Mac allow you to add a video card through a thunderbolt enclosure such as the Echo express or the Magma Express?

  • Can’t wait for my new mini to arrive ;)

    Speaking of storage, but slightly off topic, many of my peers really want usb3 on their previous gen thunderbolt equipped macs. Is there any chance that there will be a thunderbolt to usb3 adapter/dongle much the same way as Apple’s TB to ethernet/firewire? Probably not as easy as it seems I suppose. The TB docks (eg. Belkin) are pretty pricey.. I’m sure who ever offers this first will make a killing in sales. Any thoughts?

    • We really can’t speak as to specifics on future products here on the OWC Blog. That said, we do have several more Thunderbolt compatible products in the pipeline. :-)

  • really curios to see if you can *fusion* in one of the OWC SSD drives. that would be awesome!

    • We won’t be getting our first Fusion drive equipped model until late next week to begin testing – we’re really curious too!

      • my guess is it may not happen until 10.8.3 when they get back to a single build but a hack to get fusion running on a 2011 MBP… unless it’s supported only by the new processors… might be asking too much but would still be super awesome.

      • I read an article that the Fusion drive is based on “Core Storage”, a feature of Unix, usually used in server arrays that allows less frequently accessed data to be retrieved from slower storage arrays and loaded onto the faster array that is used to actually access the data. It is a multi-tiered data storage system.

        Not being “in the biz”, I have only a general idea of the concept, which seems logical enough, but no idea just how it is implemented.

        Anantech had an article about the Fusion drive itself. It apparently uses a 4 GB buffer read/write cache to the rotating drive and the rest of the SSD does things you would expect with the OS and apps.

        ARS Technica has an article about it as well.

        Here’s another article about Core Storage.

        It appears that the result of the Fusion drive is a single virtual drive, with cache, very much like, but more sophisticated than what has been done for some time with a SSD as the boot drive and the rotating drive as the data drive.

        Apple is indicating that when there are problems with the Fusion drive, it may not be recoverable so keeping current backups may be more important than ever.

  • hello! just one question. I bought the new mac mini 3 days ago and i tought it would have been shipped the very next day, like usual. But now no one at Apple knows anything about the avalaiblity. Do you know when they will send the computer to customers? thank you

    • Unfortunately we don’t have any additional information on shipping times from Apple beyond what they post on their website.

    • Ordered my Mac mini 10-24. The tracking from China reported it in transit 10-25 and arrival at my home in California 11-1.

    • Certainly, but our Fusion drive equipped Mac mini is not due to arrive in until late next week. Once we have the machine to test, we’ll be posting all our findings here on the OWC Blog.