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Review: LaCie mini Hard Drive & Hub
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aquaman
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
I'd like to know if anyone has ever put a drive larger than 250GB in the first model (the one with no fan) Is there really that much more heat generated by the bigger drives.

It would likely be used for movies and music which would be reading from the drive quite a bit.


To tell you the truth, I really don't understand the reasoning behind LaCie including a fan on the 300GB-500GB models and not the 250GB model. It's not like the larger capacity drive at the same speed (7200RPM) is going to cause more heat. Most models of 3.5" drives have the same operating temperature. If LaCie's selling point is that the fan will prolong the life of the drive that makes me a little concerned about the lifespan of my LaCie mini going forward. Sad
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James T Kirk
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
I'd like to know if anyone has ever put a drive larger than 250GB in the first model (the one with no fan) Is there really that much more heat generated by the bigger drives.

It would likely be used for movies and music which would be reading from the drive quite a bit.


Actually, I think the LaCie boxes are not very suitable for long lasting use, when placed under the Mini. Especially not when using as boot drive. Even a cool drive as the Hitachi 7K250 (my model is the 160 GB) which formely was used in a much more open case (perforated steel on both sides) kept very cool, though not completely silent. The LaCie is reasonably silent when not used as boot drive but runs still to hot for my taste and even more so used as boot drive. One should have a kind of pedestal as I once saw with a lot of room in between. Still this would do nothing about the noise.
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brt3
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On phone with LaCie now; they are providing a full refund (including return shipping). They seem to be pretty easy to deal with and play lovely music on hold...

I think I'll try the miniStack v2 next, but one thing I liked about the LaCie was the metal case that matches the MacMini perfectly. The miniStack uses a plastic case that doesn't match so well, but if it works and is quiet I'm willing to let this slide...
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strh
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Small update.

Received a polite response from Lacie tech support but it "suggests"
the product is performing within spec. I've now moved onto emailing
sales to see about a return. Based on what brt3 posted above I don't
envision this to be a problem. Fingers crossed.

Aquaman raises a good point. I don't see a heat spec difference between
the 250s and the 500s disks, so I also wonder about the "to fan" or "not to
fan" on the mini hubs.

Cheers.
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Dan Harkless
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aquaman wrote:
To tell you the truth, I really don't understand the reasoning behind LaCie including a fan on the 300GB-500GB models and not the 250GB model. It's not like the larger capacity drive at the same speed (7200RPM) is going to cause more heat.

Actually, a lot of things could influence the amount of heat generation besides rotation speed, including the number of platters, motor design, bearing type, and maybe even some of the mechanism changes for the new perpendicular recording being used for the highest-capacity drives.

Quote:
Most models of 3.5" drives have the same operating temperature.

Operating Temperature as quoted by the manufacturer is just an acceptable environmental temperature range for operation -- it has nothing to do with how much heat the drive itself generates. Are you seeing actual heat generation figures somewhere? As I mentioned, the manufacturers don't generally provide that information, and nor does StorageReview.com anymore. Perhaps some other review sites still do...?
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brt3
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

brt3 wrote:
On phone with LaCie now; they are providing a full refund (including return shipping). They seem to be pretty easy to deal with and play lovely music on hold... I think I'll try the miniStack v2 next...

One quick update; if the LaCie reps give you ANY indication they're wavering, just quote their own website claims about the drive being "ultra-quiet". That worked for me; they're giving me 100% back + return shipping.

I ordered the miniStack V2/500GV and they shipped it out immediately. If there's interest I can post my thoughts on that unit as well. I think the use of heat sinks + ventilation + variable-speed fan in that unit might make the difference I need. I gotta say, that LaCie was leaf-blower loud...
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Dan Harkless
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

brt3 wrote:
I ordered the miniStack V2/500GV and they shipped it out immediately. If there's interest I can post my thoughts on that unit as well.

Yes, there is absolutely interest. Very Happy Yours is one of the most valuable opinions since you will have heard both and can compare.
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brt3
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan Harkless wrote:
brt3 wrote:
I ordered the miniStack V2/500GV and they shipped it out immediately. If there's interest I can post my thoughts on that unit as well.

Yes, there is absolutely interest. Very Happy Yours is one of the most valuable opinions since you will have heard both and can compare.

Will do -- the miniStack should arrive by Wednesday or Thursday at the latest; I'll post a link here to a new thread with my thoughts...
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JazzyMac
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now Lacie's website reads that the 300GB drives are shipping late May versus early May. Confused
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brt3
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 4:17 pm    Post subject: The Eagle Has Landed... Reply with quote

brt3 wrote:
Dan Harkless wrote:
brt3 wrote:
I ordered the miniStack V2/500GV and they shipped it out immediately. If there's interest I can post my thoughts on that unit as well.

Yes, there is absolutely interest. Very Happy Yours is one of the most valuable opinions since you will have heard both and can compare.

Will do -- the miniStack should arrive by Wednesday or Thursday at the latest; I'll post a link here to a new thread with my thoughts...

OK -- UPS just dropped off the new miniStack v2. I must have spaced out during the previous post; I ordered the 750GB model.

I'm using Intego Personal Backup X4 to create a clone of my primary drive. So far this thing is FAR quieter than the LaCie unit; I'm nearly an hour into the clone at this point. It took about 4-5 minutes for the unit's fan to activate, and it seems to be staying on the "low" setting.

One thing that is curious; though the volume of the fan noise is much lower, the pitch is actually more annoying. Even more odd; when I lift the MacMini on and off of the miniStack, the noise gets both louder and the pitch drops. It's as though part of the fan mechanism is either touching the top of the case or, more likely, causing it to resonate...

So -- sorry for the "quick and dirty" mini-review, but at this point the miniStack V2/750GB would appear to be a keeper. After performing the clone I'll be checking to see how long it takes the fan to cycle off, then running a test using HD video.
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tentales
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2006 12:24 pm    Post subject: Re: 500GB version quieter or louder than miniStack v2? Reply with quote

Quote:

Good God! This thing is incredibly loud if the drive is working, and it takes FOREVER for the drive to cool enough that it allows the fan to slow down or shut off. I just cloned my MacMini to the LmHDH 500GB drive


I couldn't agree more. I just received mine last week (May 3rd) here in Switzerland. When the fan is on full, it's louder than my girlfriends hairblower, seriously! Tried encasing it in a ventilated cabinet and running encodings with Handbrake overnight. The bedroom is 2 floors higher and I basically had to shut it down, because the noise reverbrates through the staircase while inside the cabinet!

I didn't buy it directly from LaCie but from Heinigerag.ch
They have pretty good discounts and I've heard good things about their service. Nevertheless this is my first purchase and I've mailed my complaint referencing the discussion in this forum. I'll let you know how they respond. Looks like I'll be looking at the new 7200.10 Seagate's and enclosing them in a 3rd party case.
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Din
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2006 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have the ministack v2 with a 320GB WD drive in it. I started turning the thing off. Than fan was going to its louder speed even though I am not accessing the drive for anything (in fact, it's formatted, but empty).

It's not horribly loud, but it's certainly far louder than the mini, and we have a quiet house, which renders it a bit annoying.

Someone remind me, are all the hub ports fully active and powered with the drive switched off?
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brt3
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PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2006 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Din wrote:
We have the ministack v2 with a 320GB WD drive in it. I started turning the thing off. Than fan was going to its louder speed even though I am not accessing the drive for anything (in fact, it's formatted, but empty). It's not horribly loud, but it's certainly far louder than the mini, and we have a quiet house, which renders it a bit annoying.

That's interesting; my miniStack v2/750GB will, for no apparent reason, activate the internal fan even though there is zero drive activity. When this happens I unmount the drive, but the fan noise continues. Ultimately, you have to switch the drive off to get the fan to stop, or else I wasn't patient enough (though I waited about 10 minutes for it to stop before I switched it off).
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Din
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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly the same as mine.
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James T Kirk
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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which drive and hub enclosure is most silent at the moment anyway? I miss a couple of extra Firewire connections and Difusi seems not to be able to deliver the bay mini after introducing a very promising series hubs/enclosures about half a year ago? read here
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