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Review: NewerTech miniStack V2
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Din
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Joined: 26 Apr 2006
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Location: Lost Angeles

PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like your fan is running more than mine. I bought my own WD 320 drive and assembled my self.

One thing is the WD drive (which I think they only use at the 320GB size) has a large paper label where you tape the thermal sensor down to the housing. I contemplated cutting a square out of it to give better thermal contact between metal and sensor, but elected not to.

I wonder, if your fan runs continuously,do they do this when the unit is factory assembled. You up to popping the plastic lid off yours and finding out?

I am now contemplating modifying the case to improve the air flow in the unit a bit.
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Fox
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Din, are you saying that your miniStack fan shuts off sometimes when the Mini is running (i.e., isn't asleep)? I'm pretty sure that mine runs all the time except when the Mini is asleep. It is set on automatic and it's usually running at low speed. It makes a light whirring sound, louder than the Mini but not too loud or unpleasant.
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Mini 1 (2012): 2.3 ghz Core i7; 10 gb RAM, Corsair 240gb SSD, 500 gb Seagate XT
Mini 2 (2009): 2.26 ghz Core 2 duo, 8 gb RAM, 500 gb Seagate used as HTPC
Also a 13" MacBook Air, 21.5" i5 iMac & 11.6" Acer 1810TZ running Ubuntu & Manjaro
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brt3
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 4:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Just got miniStack V2/750GB... Reply with quote

brt3 wrote:
Here's a quick mini-review.... UPS just dropped off the miniStack v2... The fan kicked on after 4-5 minutes, but seems to be far quieter than the one on the LaCie... the ONLY annoying thing seems to be the quality of the fan noise. Though much lower in volume (than the LaCie), it has an annoying "electric razor" kind of pitch.

OK -- quick "mini-review" update...

I contacted OWC about the fan noise on the miniStack V2/750GB drive; they felt this was NOT normal and sent a replacement. This seems to be a very good company to do business with, by the way...

I'm trying to do the EXACT same test I did before using Intego Personal Backup X4 to make a bootable clone of my primary drive. So far the new drive seems quieter and the annoying aspect to the fan noise seems to be absent on this unit. Twenty minutes into the write part of the clone process, the fan is only on low, and the miniStack is hardly any louder than the MacMini itself. If this sticks for the remainder of the process, this is one GREAT little unit. Will update once the clone is complete...
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brt3
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 7:15 pm    Post subject: miniStack Review: The Sequel... Reply with quote

The cloning procedure is complete (insert evil laugh here)...

This particular miniStackV2/750GB is one great drive IMHO. I am wondering what they find with the first drive I received; this one is not only quieter but is faster as well! I wish I'd kept exact statistics, but I'd wager that it's done the Personal Backup X4 clone about 10-15% faster than the previous drive.

Here are the statistics on fan noise; again, I am making a bit-for-bit clone of my internal boot drive:

-00:11 Begin clone
00:00 Data analyzed; writing to miniStack V2 begins.
00:04 Fan turns on "LOW" setting
00:43 Fan turns on "MED" setting
02:09 Fan turns on "HIGH" setting I THINK; it's still very quiet overall!
02:19 Clone complete
03:33 Fan turns "OFF"

According to the statistics on PBX4, the average copy speed is 8.5 MB/second on a copy of 526,642 files/73GB. Slightly worthless statistics, I realize (unless you're using the identical program), but thought I'd throw that in there anyway. As I mentioned before, this new drive seems substantially faster than either the previous miniStack V2 OR the LaCie. I would've charted the speed of the other drives, but I was so bothered with fan noise that I only focused on that aspect of drive performance.

So, to recap: I am very happy with the performance of this drive. It offers huge capacity, is fast yet very close to silent in operation, does a reasonably good job of matching the MacMini case design, and is by FAR the best drive I've found to match with the MacMini.

If I could change anything on the drive -- I'd give it the metal case, the port configuration, and the LED of the LaCie. Otherwise, NewerTech has a winner on their hands!

Hats off to Jason at OWC, who provided swift, polite, and perfect customer service. This is how you're supposed to treat customers, and though I had a problem with the first drive I'm so impressed by the performance of the second -- and with the OWC Customer Service Dept. -- that I will seek out their products in the future.
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Texark
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 8:15 pm    Post subject: Re: miniStack Review: The Sequel... Reply with quote

brt3,

What brand hard drive is in the 750GB model?

"If I could change anything on the drive -- I'd give it the metal case, the port configuration, and the LED of the LaCie. Otherwise, NewerTech has a winner on their hands!"

I've always been put off with the miniStack's plastic body and LED, but I've finally run out of space and need to buy something. The 320GB miniStack v2 and 320GB LaCie mini with hub are on my short list. Although, I'm not sure the LaCie is available yet. Does anyone know what brand hard drive Other World Computing puts in the 320GB model?
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brt3
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 8:25 pm    Post subject: Re: miniStack Review: The Sequel... Reply with quote

Texark wrote:
What brand hard drive is in the 750GB model?

That I do NOT know; I've just been really happy with how it works! Anyone else have this info?
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boatj
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 9:29 pm    Post subject: Re: miniStack Review: The Sequel... Reply with quote

Texark wrote:
What brand hard drive is in the 750GB model?

boatj wrote:

Standard Mechanism (From NewerTech)
80GB model – Hitachi 7K80
160GB model – Hitachi T7K250
250GB model – Hitachi T7K250
320GB model – Western Digital Caviar
400GB model – Hitachi 7K400
500GB model – Hitachi 7K500
750GB model – Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (new)
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brt3
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 10:13 pm    Post subject: Re: miniStack Review: The Sequel... Reply with quote

boatj wrote:
Texark wrote:
What brand hard drive is in the 750GB model?

boatj wrote:

Standard Mechanism (From NewerTech)
750GB model – Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (new)

Here's the link to Seagate's site: http://www.seagate.com/products/personal/barracuda.html
Here's the link to the specsheet for the 7200.10: http://www.seagate.com/docs/pdf/datasheet/disc/ds_barracuda_7200_10.pdf
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brt3
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Question: if you look at item #6 below (offline scan diagnostics), could THIS be what is causing some users to observe that the drive seems to spin up and make a racket when there is NO apparent computer-related drive access?

The Barracuda 7200.10 Boasts Up to 750GB
Key Advantages
•The highest available capacity—up to 750GB—reduces system repairs and storage upgrades.
•Best-in-class environmental specification and reliability features
•New perpendicular recording technology enables higher areal density,fewer moving parts and increased dependability.
•Adaptive Fly Height offers consistent read/write performance from the beginning to the end of your computing workload.
•Clean Sweep automatically calibrates your drive.
•Directed Offline Scan runs diagnostics when storage access is not needed.
•RoHS Directive-compliant design assures you an environmentally conscious product.
•Enhanced G-Force Protection defends against handling damage.
•Seagate SoftSonic motor enables whisper-quiet operation.
•Backed by an unprecedented five-year warranty.
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brt3
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's nice to read stuff like this in PC World:

First Look: Seagate's New Giant Hard Drive Screams to the Top
The Barracuda 7200.10 750GB uses new technology to achieve 50 percent greater capacity--and top-flight performance--in our tests.

http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,125556,00.asp
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Texark
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, I must have missed that on their site. Hopefully the information is up to date because I've had good luck with Western Digital HDs in the past.

Brt3, that Seagate 750GB HD sounds most impressive. Too bad it's out of my price range. Sad What are you going to use all that storage for?

By the way, you can usually find out what kind of HD you have by running a Disk Test in Xbench.
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brt3
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Texark wrote:
Brt3, that Seagate 750GB HD sounds most impressive. What are you going to use all that storage for?

I'm going to set it up as a media server with a MacMini/Intel; I'll have video, music, and photos that are directly accessible that way. I've tried using NAS boxes for this, but sometimes you run into speed problems with video. The miniStack should be both speedy AND quiet in this application...
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Din
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Din, are you saying that your miniStack fan shuts off sometimes when the Mini is running (i.e., isn't asleep)? I'm pretty sure that mine runs all the time except when the Mini is asleep. It is set on automatic and it's usually running at low speed. It makes a light whirring sound, louder than the Mini but not too loud or unpleasant.


Yes. While the mini is in use, the ministack goes through the cycle I outlined.

At this point, the only use the ministack has seen is backing up my wife's (very large) iPhoto library. Nothing is even plugged into the hub ports yet other than the two cables to the mini mac. So the ministack is not being accessed, just going through this cycle of fan on, drive spin down, fan off.

Quote:
could THIS be what is causing some users to observe that the drive seems to spin up and make a racket when there is NO apparent computer-related drive access?


In my case no, since it has a 320GB Western Digital drive in it. And to be fair, I am certainly not knocking OWC for this, as I have not asked them about it in any way.
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macinabox
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ordered a 0GB newertech V2 and a seagate 250GB 7200.8 barracuda to put in it all for $175 Cool figured I don't need the abyss of 750GB and I will have a nice little hub/drive/companion for my mini on a budget.

Thanks for all the info in this thread I was on the fence between the LaCie and the V2, brt3's first hand expierience helped out a great deal to.
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brt3
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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 10:06 pm    Post subject: Re: miniStack Review: The Sequel... Reply with quote

brt3 wrote:
This particular miniStackV2/750GB is one great drive IMHO.

So, to recap: I am very happy with the performance of this drive. It offers huge capacity, is fast yet very close to silent in operation, does a reasonably good job of matching the MacMini case design, and is by FAR the best drive I've found to match with the MacMini.

Three weeks of pretty constant use; this drive continues to be one of the best products I've ever used. Great drive!
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