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HDD speed...how important?

 
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frailer
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:40 pm    Post subject: HDD speed...how important? Reply with quote

I run a prepress setup. Currently 2 G5/PPC towers running CS4 etc. One Intel Mini (pre-2010), running Black Magic proofing, which it does supremely well! We are about to have to upgrade to Intel Macs, as CS5 won't run on PPCs. Mac Pro is overkill for us, and we probably wouldn't be allowed to purchase anyway, as entry is about AU$3300, or thereabouts.
So, Mini it is, as I hate iMac display/setup for serious graphics work. Too shiny/over-saturated. I prefer to choose non-Apple displays, (there are plenty better than ACDs at much cheaper prices).
My question is, how important is HDD spin-speed, as against the more obvious RAM question? Am thinking to beef up base models to 500GB HDDs; 2GB RAM, then swap that out for 2x4Gb RAM from OWC.
Or, Get the server version, Install non-server OSX. We then get 7200-spin HDDs; and can add external optical drives for loading jobs on.
Can someone confirm that even the 500 Gb drive upgrade on the base Mini is 5400 rpm only? And how much real difference will the spin-speed make?
Thanks...I like this place! Have been proselytising Minis on b4print forums, where I'm Aussie Mod, for ages. TBH, I think they get tired of me banging on about how great they are.
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frailer
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the meantime, a prepress colleague found this for me:

http://blog.fosketts.net/2009/03/17/upgrades-give-mac-mini-attitude/
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zedtvl
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After installing the 500Gb Hitachi Travelstar 7200 rpm I did not find a huge difference compared to the 5400rpm WD Caviar Blue but I did not fully upgrade the RAM yet and my Mac Mini has just 2 GB instead of one.
My only reference so far is when I start the computer and the time it takes to run Onyx.
The good news is that it is really silent and the temperature is the same.
I hope it helps.
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frailer
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks zedtvl, any info helps. I get the impression that I won't see a huge difference. We may go for the 500GB drive anyway, just for capacity. Still on the research trail to see if the upgraded drive, as spec'd up at purchase time, is 5400 or 7200.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Technically OS X is a disc based OS and so a faster drive should have a benefit to the general speed of the computer.

Some people here will recommend HDD upgrades before CPU (with older minis that could) upgrades. I'm sure Philip will point you in the right direction for HDD upgrades, if that is something that you want to pursue.

SC
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Fox
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience was the opposite of zedvi's. Replacing the 5400 rpm drive that originally came with my mini (1.83 ghz C2D) with a Seagate 320 gb, 7200 rpm drive produced a very noticeable difference in bootup time, application launch time and window responsiveness. (Unfortunately, I did not quantify this.)

Adding RAM to go from 2 - 4 gb (my mini can only access 3, but best to use paired RAM; thus 4), made very little difference subjectively, unless I am running a virtual OS (Win or Linux). However, I don't keep a lot of applications open at the same time.
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Also a Cube, 13" MacBook Air, 20" 2.66 ghz iMac & 11.6" Acer 1810TZ running Ubuntu & Crunchbang
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

both zedvi and fox are correct. I have put many hdds in many mini's..

the fastest hdd is western digital scorpio black 320gb.

the seagate 320gb is good for speed. both of these are 7200rpm. they will make your gear run better as in faster.

the 500gb hitachi 7200rpm is not as fast. as the two above. it is quieter and cooler and really reliable.

If you want to quicken your gear put in the western digital scorpio black. 320gb 7200 rpm.

this is the one WD3200BEKT

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136280&cm_re=scorpio_black_320gb-_-22-136-280-_-Product



you don't want this one WD3200BJKT this has a free fall sensor if is more for a laptop not a mini.
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2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't be any stronger in saying the 500gb 7200 hdd hitachi is not fast it trades off speed for coolness quietness and reliability .

this is another way of saying I do not think you should get the server version with two of them. Personally you will not get great results with any mini and CS5. I HAVE JUICED A lot of minis for CS4 users. I used the 2009 2.66ghz model with 8gb ram and 160gb intel ssds. my minis get killer scores on xbench. see this link


http://db.xbench.com/search.xhtml?text=zzzzz+new

http://db.xbench.com/search.xhtml?text=zzzzz+2.53ghz


http://db.xbench.com/search.xhtml?text=zzzzz+pete


http://db.xbench.com/search.xhtml?text=zzzzz+x

these are various ones I built for cs4 users. they have some of the best scores of all minis built. pm me for any info.
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2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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frailer
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies; been 'caught up'... Smile TBH, I'm a little nervous. There is a mind-set here that I shouldn't get them and then upgrade HDDs. Nothing beyond increasing RAM. Not sure if I have the energy to fight this one. But I DON'T want to get iMacs, even the latest ones. We have perfectly adequate displays already, and their displays are too shiny/glitzy/not-properly-calibatible for me. But I'll read the stuff here, and see. The battle may be worth fighting.
We are no longer full on CS users a lot of the time. A lot of our stuff is Press-Ready PDFs. We do some PitStop Pro editing of incoming PDFs, but things aren't what they used to be file-processing wise.
It's all a weigh-up. Confused
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frailer
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been looking her:

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/internal_storage/Mercury_Extreme_SSD_Sandforce/Solid_State_Pro

Are there impediments to someone with reasonable 'fiddle ability' swapping one out? Can the Mini 'see' the drive OK, without any tricky firmware updates or similar? Note: I am not heavily skilled in this area, but have tackled drive swaps/RAM upgrades on the PPCs.
Also, Apple's Warranty is out the window too, so they probably would freak at the thought.
Thanks for any input here. What caught my eye was that Apple charge quite a bit for spec'd upgrades anyway.
My thoughts were to get by with a smaller-but-faster HDD; just have a FW800 external to keep data files on. And keep Apps to a minimum for prepress.
240GB would be nice, but $600+ I couldn't sell.
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gigaguy
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put a 7200 WD Scorpio black in my 2009 2.0 Mini that already had 4gb Ram and I noticed a definite speed increase. thanks to Philip's expertise.
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an update wd 500gb scorpio blacks came out and are available. if they are as good as the 320gb scorpio blacks they are a great price link for you.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136692&Tpk=scorpio%20black%20500gb

75 dollars with this code 70 EMCYWZV22
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2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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frailer
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am warming to the idea, if I can sell it internally, no easy thing, of the OWC 120GB SSD. Have watched the video(s).

http://eshop.macsales.com/owcpages/ssd-speed-test-long.html

A technical question, for those who know about this stuff, and who have time to watch it....the biggest time difference seems to be in boot time. Seems to be a lesser time diff once it gets to the launching of CS5 apps.
Can someone reassure me that I will find speed increases across the board; saves in Acrobat Pro, processing of Enfocus Actions in PitStop Pro plugin, opening of files, paging through a multi-page PDF doc...stuff like that?
As they say in the video, it's not so much about capacity, it's about speed. I don't have a problem with having, say, a 1TB. FW800 external to have the bulk of data on.
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a lot of ssd's they will help with speed. I would say get an Intel 160gb but with the 2010 mini I have not tested them.

I know they are faster then hdds and really reliable in 2009 mini's. I have a pair of patriot inferno 200gb hdds in a raid0 setup really fast. they are the same ssd as this


http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/SSDMXRE200/


nothing has been faster then using these two as a raid0
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2010 Mm 2.4 C2D oem 320gb hdd 8gb ram
2012Mm base 2.5 with 16gb ram diy fusion drive
2012Mm quad with 8gb ram oem 1tb hdd

promise pegasus r6 3x 3tb + 3x 4tb =21tb hdds
lacie little big disk 2x 512gb ssds
synology 2tb disk station
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