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Released on October 23, 2012. Core i5 or Core i7 Processor. Apple Fusion Drive.

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What drive connectors are used for a Fusion Drive?

I'm about to buy a used Mac Mini Late 2012, and possibly upgrade the built-in disk.

What drive connectors can I expect inside a Mac Mini 2012 equipped with Apple’s Fusion Drive? Are there two standard SATA connectors, one for the SSD and one for the HDD, or something different?

And if there are actually two standard SATA connectors, are these, from a hardware perspective, any different from the dual drive connectors found in the Mac Mini 2012 Server?

(I’m not asking about the single logical volume which makes two drives a fusion drive.)

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Your system offers two SATA interfaces! Running at SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) you can see the two ribbon cable connections mounted on the logic board here just popping off the bottom cover.

Block Image

If you don’t have both connections then you’ll need to add the second SATA cable connection Installing Mac Mini Late 2012 Dual Hard Drive Kit and the second drive.

A Fusion Drive’ed system will have both cables present, Apple didn’t sell to many 2012 models with Fusion Drives as there was little benefit given the slower 6.0 Gb/s I/O speed. The 2014 model changed that introducing the custom Apple blade SSD.

Today the cost of a SSD is so much less than at that time point getting a 512 GB or even a 1TB SATA SSD is not that big a stretch for most people today so the whole idea of a Fusion Drive is mostly dead as a single SSD or even a dual independent SSD & HDD or dual SSD drive’ed system makes better sense.

As an example my own 2012 mini has two 2TB SSD’s and I use it as a media server for my music and videos.

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Thanks very much, @danj for the detailed answer. (And the connectors are exactly the ones I was hoping for!)

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