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Hard drive indecision!

 
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ianbelcher
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 11:28 pm    Post subject: Hard drive indecision! Reply with quote

Hey guys, hope everything is going well with you.

Here is what I plan on doing; perhaps you could help me to make a decision either way.

I plan on doing a big haul-over on my mac mini:

1) I've already upgraded to 1GB RAM
2) Upgrading and doing a clean install of Tiger
3) New HD
4) Overclocking my already 1.25Ghz
5) Partitioning new HD with Yellow Dog Linux

Now, the problem I have (mind you I am limited by money and this needs to be done THIS month) is deciding whether I should go with the 60GB HD that runs at the superfast 7200 speed, OR getting the spacious 100GB HD (which would be good space for partitioning/sharing OS's) which only runs at 5400. I am wondering how much of a difference there will be from 5400 to 7200 (I'm now at 4500) since if it is not THAT much better then I guess it would be more worth it to have the extra space right?

Any pros and cons on either path would be very helpful.

thanks
-Ian
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greg
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theres a nice performance comparison of stock & optional drives at:

http://www.barefeats.com/mini01c.html

You'll notice that there isn't a huge performance difference between the Seagate 5400 and the Hitachi 7k60. Obviously, the one thing the Seagate will really give you is a little extra storage breathing room. If you're patient, both Seagate and Hitachi are due to release 7200rpm 100gb 2.5" drives any time now. The Hitachi 7k100 drives are already shipping in some Dells.
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TheModWiki.org
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm holding out on this one...

Seagate 100GB 2.5" 7.2krpm @ CDW

same, but at pcconnection.com
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fullroast
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went through the same decision and was going to hold out for the Hitachi 7K100, but then I got to thinking about the $250+ price for the 100GB model and decided to get an external drive instead. I ordered a miniStack that should be here today and am going to start out with firewire. Not as fast as an internal 7200 for some things but this review has an interesting comparison of a firewire attached 7200 and an internal one. After I check out the miniStack, I may consider a mod to attached the external drive to the Mac mini with a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter.

If you want to upgrade the internal drive, I would hold out a few weeks and see how the 7K100's are priced. There will be 60, 80, and 100 GB versions, and they are faster than the 7K60. Hitachi link.
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greg
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fullroast wrote:
I ordered a miniStack that should be here today and am going to start out with firewire. Not as fast as an internal 7200 for some things (but this review has an interesting comparison of a firewire attached 7200 and an internal one).


You'll like the miniStack. I've been very happy with mine although I'm using the miniStack primarily for increased storage capacity for video editing. If you should decide to boot off an external FW drive it will definitely boost performance. During testing, my xbench numbers were similar to those in the link you sited. My numbers are posted here:

http://miniplus.blogspot.com

I'm still planning on upgrading the internal when the new 7200rpms become available. Should give me the best of both worlds; fast, sufficiently large internal boot drive and fast, sufficiently large external video scratch drive.
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chillywilly
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ModWiki,

That is a cool drive and overall, I would love to wait for the 120gb 7200rpm drive, but I'd be willing to do the 120gb 5400rpm.

I'm more curious about the heat generation that the higher rpm drives would produce. I know when my 4200rpm drive is going a lot, the fan comes on more often.
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bubba
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greg wrote:
Theres a nice performance comparison of stock & optional drives at:

http://www.barefeats.com/mini01c.html

You'll notice that there isn't a huge performance difference between the Seagate 5400 and the Hitachi 7k60. Obviously, the one thing the Seagate will really give you is a little extra storage breathing room. If you're patient, both Seagate and Hitachi are due to release 7200rpm 100gb 2.5" drives any time now. The Hitachi 7k100 drives are already shipping in some Dells.


Mine came with a ST9808210A (Seagate 4200.2) which isn't mentioned in that comparison. Wonder how that stacks up to the 5400.2.
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kevnin
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bubba wrote:
Mine came with a ST9808210A (Seagate 4200.2) which isn't mentioned in that comparison. Wonder how that stacks up to the 5400.2.


my bet is about the same as any other 4200 drive does.
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ranum
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 7:00 pm    Post subject: Hard Drives Revisited Reply with quote

I have read most of the posts on the forum about the 4200 drives that are included with the 1.42 Mini, and the significant boost in performance that comes from replacing this with either a 5400 or 7200 drive. I am awaiting the delivery of my 1.42 Mini and want to have a drive on hand so that I can replace the memory and drive at the same time. So, in light of everything I've read on this forum about the hard drives, this is my question (which I haven't yet seen a very definitive answer for) preceded by some explanation:

Where I live, there are no Hitachi 7K60s available. Period. An 80GB 7K100 is available for about $225. I can also get an 80GB Seagate Momentus, 5400.2, for about $155. There is a significant increase in performance, according to the graphs and tests I've seen here, with both the 5400 Momentus and the 7200 Hitachi.

Question #1: Why is there such a significant performance boost from the Mini's 4200 to the 5400 Seagate, but not so much of a performance boost from the 5400 Seagate to the 7200 Hitachi?

Questions #2: Am I REALLY going to be sad if I replace the Mini's HD with Seagate's 5400 instead of Hitachi's 7200? (A difference of $70 - possibly more - is all that separates the two drives. Both are 80GB.)

Thanks for your answers and insights on this.
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WC3_Gamer
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put a 15,000 rpm drive in there, that way you could use your mini as a computer, and an oven.

sry, couldn't resist
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ranum
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry. I'm gonna bump this because I'm still hoping for a response about my two questions above. I have a Mini and 1 Gig of RAM, but everything is still sitting in boxes until I get a new drive to replace the current one, so that I can do my upgrades in a single shot.

At the moment, I could go five minutes away and pick up the Seagate 80GB Momentus for about $155. I may have to wait a little over a week if I decide to go with the Hitachi 7K100 80GB Travelstar at a cost of $225. Will I see any significant performance boosts with the Travelstar over the Momentus, or will the difference be negligible?

Thanks for your answers. I've enjoyed reading a lot about your experiences with the Mini and am looking forward to my own.
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Susurrus
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say you would notive a negligible difference in speeds. I would recommend going with the Momentus and then buying a nice USB hub or glowing skirt for your Mini with the extra money.

Just go with the slower one and save the money. It'll be slower, but not be a very noticable amount. If you really feel the need for speed, spend the extra dough, though it's not buying you much.
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greg
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 5:29 am    Post subject: Re: Hard Drives Revisited Reply with quote

ranum wrote:
Question #1: Why is there such a significant performance boost from the Mini's 4200 to the 5400 Seagate, but not so much of a performance boost from the 5400 Seagate to the 7200 Hitachi?

Questions #2: Am I REALLY going to be sad if I replace the Mini's HD with Seagate's 5400 instead of Hitachi's 7200? (A difference of $70 - possibly more - is all that separates the two drives. Both are 80GB.)


1. The small difference you see in comparisons between the 5400rpm 100GB Seagate and the 7200rpm 7k60 Hitachi is likely due in part to the greater areal density of the Seagate. Essentially, even though its a lower RPM, there is more data passing under the head at any one time. Between the 5400rpm 80gb Momentus and 7200rpm 80gb Travelstar I would expect to see a little bit larger performance gap in favor of the Travelstar due to similar areal densities but nothing Earth-shattering.

2. Unless you are really pushing the envelope with a timing-critical, disk-intensive application I don't think you will notice that much difference. Just to put things in perspective I'm still using the 80gb 4200rpm and I'm performing tasks such as editing and burning movies to DVD without issue. In light of that, I would expect that the 5400rpm would perform very well for you. Have you considered the 5400rpm 100gb Seagate? Extra 20 gig could come in handy.
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ranum
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

susurrus and greg:

Thanks for the replies and the recommendations. I really appreciate saving $70 (and not having to wait another week or two!). I picked up the Seagate today on your suggestion. I have long been a fan of their 3.5" drives, so I'm happy to put one in the Mac Mini also.

After I got home, I replaced the drive, upgraded the memory, did a fresh install and am now going through the process of the first round of software updates. So, I haven't really gotten to play with it or get a feel for how it responds yet, but the little that I have interacted with it, I'm pretty comfortable with its performance.

I did consider the 100GB briefly, but it was another $60 for the additional 20GB. My preference is to expand storage with the LaCie drive in a month or two. By then, I should be fairly comfortable with OSX.

I've used Macs a little in the past: schools, friends, etc. This is my first time to own one, though. It feels really good to switch. Thanks again.
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Hello, everyone. I'm a switcher.
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The Mouse BT - LaCie Mini ( ) GB External HDD
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