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Review: WiebeTech Maxelerate for Mac mini
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 11:55 pm    Post subject: Review: WiebeTech Maxelerate for Mac mini Reply with quote

Review: WiebeTech Maxelerate for Mac mini
Monday October 17, 2005

The WiebeTech Maxelerate is a great addition to any Mac mini enthusiast's setup. Its solid aluminum case, internal die-cast heat sink and snappy performance make this external hard drive with integrated USB and FireWire Hub stand out from the crowd. Our Maxelerate MAX-160 came packaged neatly in an orange and white box. In the box you will find the Maxelerate enclosure, 41" black FireWire cable, 41" black USB cable, AC Adapter with Cord, and Product Information & Manuals CD. The CD provides ample information for the setup of the enclosure.

The Maxelerate enclosure has an all aluminum body and stands 6.5" wide X 6.5" deep X 1.5" tall. The color of the enclosure perfectly matches the Mac mini. Our enclosure didn't have one mark or blemish on it. On the front of the enclosure you will find a clear plastic WiebeTech logo. The logo lights up blue when the enclosure is turned on and flashes when the drive is being accessed. The bottom of the enclosure is made out of aluminum. There are four non-skid rubber pads on each corner of the bottom. To access the inside of the enclosure you will need to remove the screws found in the center of these pads.

On the back of the enclosure you will find a power switch, 3 USB 2.0 ports, and 3 FireWire 400 ports that are daisy chainable. The ports and power switch feel very solid. We really liked the size and feel of the power switch compared to some of the other models we have tested. It was easy to access and manipulate when reaching around from the front of the enclosure.

Maxelerate supports Hi-Speed USB data transfer speeds of up to 480Mbps, and IEEE 1394a data transfer speeds of up to 400Mbps. It uses an Initio 1530 chipset for USB connectivity and a Cypress CY7C65640A chipset for FireWire 400 connections. A nice feature is that the ports will remain functional when the enclosure is turned off as long as a FireWire connection is present. Our only gripe is the front light will turn to purple and stay lit.

The sides of the enclosure are slightly tapered and have rounded top edges. This allows for better air circulation between the top of the enclosure and the bottom vents around the Mac mini. There are vents on each side of the enclosure. The vent on the left is open, while the vent on the right has a small 12VDC T&T 1.125 inch fan behind it. The fan pushes air into the enclosure to help with cooling. It should be noted that there is some noise associated with the fan running and that it keeps running when the drive goes into sleep mode.

We cloned our 1.42GHz Mac mini's hard drive onto the Maxelerate using SuperDuper. The process took around 41 minutes to complete. Our Maxelerate MAX-160 came with a Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 drive. We saw our overall Xbench 1.2 score increase from 41.30 to 44.60. Opening programs and transferring files felt much faster when booting from the Maxelerate. We posted some more scores and tests at the bottom of the page.

Overall, we can recommend the WiebeTech Maxelerate and give it a score of 3.5 out of 4 stars. We are very impressed with the Maxelerate's build quality, design, finish, and snappy performance. It's clear that WiebeTech prides itself on making quality products. WiebeTech offers the Maxelerate in 160GB, 250GB, 400GB, and 500GB models. They also offer a model without a hard drive. Prices range from $119.95 up to $689.95.

Pros:
- Build quality and finish
- Solid aluminum case
- Excellent performance
- Power switch is easy to manipulate
- Perfect color match with Mac mini
- Includes a FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 Hub
- Hub still functions when Maxelerate is turned off
- Includes cables

Cons:
- Fan does not turn off while in sleep mode
- Front light stays on when powered down
- 41" cables are a little too long when stacking



http://www.123macmini.com/accessories/reviews/114.html
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why does their website say it is fanless, if it has a fan? It doesn't even show the side vents for the fan in the website photo, yet if you link to the review from the website the reviewers site shows the case with side vents. It also indicates that the fan RPM can be reduced by using higher resistance resistors than the ones currently installed inline with the fans power.

This review sounds like a knife in LaCie's back.
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g5g5
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
Why does their website say it is fanless, if it has a fan? .


Both reviews say it has a fan. Confused
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Yvan256
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It lacks the clean style of the Mac mini (what's with the rounded top edge and the tapered sides?). I also hate that logo in the front (and the fact that it lights up, even).
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devo
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yvan256 wrote:
It lacks the clean style of the Mac mini (what's with the rounded top edge and the tapered sides?). I also hate that logo in the front (and the fact that it lights up, even).


I think the rounded top edge is a good idea. It gives you a little more room for ventilation. The gap between the top of my miniStack and Mac mini is pretty tight. The big logo, on the other hand, is pretty fugly.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take a careful look at picture #3 which shows the Mini stacked on top of the Maxelerate. Check the details. Now you see why Apple is held in such high regard concerning design and quality control.

That picture is striking to say the least.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RJT wrote:
Take a careful look at picture #3 which shows the Mini stacked on top of the Maxelerate. Check the details. Now you see why Apple is held in such high regard concerning design and quality control.

That picture is striking to say the least.


Picture #4 is pretty good. Apple really did a great job on the Mac mini's exterior.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OGN wrote:
Picture #4 is pretty good. Apple really did a great job on the Mac mini's exterior.


Indeed - it's a perfect example of the attention to detail that Apple exhibits. They took the time to round the edges around the USB and FireWire ports! Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ozwald wrote:

They took the time to round the edges around the USB and FireWire ports! Laughing


That's an illusion! Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

surly they can make these exterior harddrives smaller, the MacMini is a whole computer and it is not much bigger than exteriorHDD+hub.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JediTimmy wrote:
surly they can make these exterior harddrives smaller, the MacMini is a whole computer and it is not much bigger than exteriorHDD+hub.


That's what is so amazing about the Mac mini. I guess they could make them smaller if they ditched the 3.5" drive. I don't think that's a good idea though.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

blazer wrote:
JediTimmy wrote:
surly they can make these exterior harddrives smaller, the MacMini is a whole computer and it is not much bigger than exteriorHDD+hub.


That's what is so amazing about the Mac mini. I guess they could make them smaller if they ditched the 3.5" drive. I don't think that's a good idea though.


Flas memory mac mini....Shocked

FC
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ba747heavy wrote:
blazer wrote:
JediTimmy wrote:
surly they can make these exterior harddrives smaller, the MacMini is a whole computer and it is not much bigger than exteriorHDD+hub.


That's what is so amazing about the Mac mini. I guess they could make them smaller if they ditched the 3.5" drive. I don't think that's a good idea though.


Flas memory mac mini....Shocked

FC


WTF?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think he's referring to the possibility of using solid state storage for the Mini (flash hard drive). This is at least a few years down the road yet, and I think it'll find its way into notebooks first.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

g5g5 wrote:
Bandit Bill wrote:
Why does their website say it is fanless, if it has a fan? .


Both reviews say it has a fan. Confused


That's what I'm talking about. But read the quote below which I cut and paste for their site.

"Thermally Engineered
Continuing WiebeTech's tradition of using intelligent metal design, Maxelerate is thermally engineered with heat issues in mind. It's made entirely from aluminum, so it's an excellent dissipater of heat into the desktop surface on which it is placed. It's fanless, too, for quiet operation."
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