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NewerTech Lowers Prices on miniStack Line
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Thanks Reply with quote

jthawke wrote:
Thank you for the additional information. I will have to see if the local Apple Store has one and would allow me to test it. I am considering using it as a boot drive as well as Apple still doesn't offer a 7200 rpm drive as an internal option. Does anyone know which of the LaCie models (if any) don't even have a fan? This could make a difference. As well, it IS important that when I sleep my mini, the external drive sleep as well.


Anything 250GB or smaller does not have a fan. That gives you 2 fanless choices in the 250GB model, the model with the hub USB/Firewire or the old model that does not have a hub and is firewire only. These drive went from 80GB-250GB. I bought the 160GB model for $120. You can still get these models for cheap if you shop around.

I also recommend looking at LaCie website they always have awesome prices on refurbish models.
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jthawke
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Thanks Again Reply with quote

Bandit -

I appreciate your suggestions. I wasn't aware that LaCie only added fans to the larger drives. I'm sure a 250GB will be more than enough for a boot drive and I can always stack another if need be. I am holding out hope that someday Apple will treat us with a more powerful Mini so as much as I like the specs of the new iMac, I'm going to go ahead and order the new 1.83 Mini to replace my G4 Mini.

One more question to all . . . if I wish to play with Boot Camp, I understand that Windows must be installed on an internal drive. If I use the LaCie as my boot drive, does that mean I can use the Mini internal drive for Boot Camp?
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might want to post this question in the boot camp category as the discussion could be lengthy.

Myself I want absolutely nothing to do with Windows on my home computer so I have not even entertained the thought of boot camp.


Last edited by Bandit Bill on Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jthawke
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Understandable, Bandit. I don't really WANT to use it either. Fact is, I am migrating my wife's company over to Macs, but some programs will still be in Windows during the migration. I need to test the compatibility with the Mini as we'll be purchasing a half dozen or so this fall. I'd really like to keep it (Windows) off my Mac hard drive if possible. Maybe Parallels is a better solution.
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khurtwilliams
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 6:53 am    Post subject: noisy Reply with quote

Does anyone notice how noisy the miniStack V1. I love how quiet my mac mini is but the miniStack fan is QUITE loud. Any way to replace the fan? Is the miniStack V2 any quiter.
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Fox
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a v1 and I don't find it noisy at all. It can definitely be heard above the near-soundless mini, but most of the time I just hear the quiet whirr of the fan. It may have to do with your drive. I have a quiet Samsung Spinpoint in mine. (I bought the miniStack without a drive and installed my own.) It does make more noticable seek noises when information is moving to and from the drive, but they aren't too bad.

I ask about your drive because some drives are much louder than the Samsungs and Seagates. I originally bought a Western Digital drive for my miniStack and found the seek noises to be frequent and very annoying. I than replaced it with the Samsung and sold the WD to someone who didn't care about the noise. I'm not panning WD in general; in fact I've heard that their newer drives are considerably quieter than the 200 gb model I had. What I am suggesting is that you try to separate the miniStack noise (the fan) from the drive noises (background, seek and write) and if your problem is with the drive, make yourself happier and replace it with a quieter model.
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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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khurtwilliams
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:40 am    Post subject: Re: LaCie Reply with quote

[quote="Bandit Bill"]
jthawke wrote:
If you go with a Ministack plan on using spacers of some sort.


I have a Belkin 4 port USB/FireWire hub between the mac mini and the ministack. The noise from the ministack fan has started to annoy me. I am very sensitive to white noise and was very impressed with how quiet the mac mini is. If I turn of the miniStack ( with 1 160 GB Maxtor drive ) my home office is completely silent.
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khurtwilliams
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:46 am    Post subject: Re: Thanks Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:

Anything 250GB or smaller does not have a fan. That gives you 2 fanless choices in the 250GB model, the model with the hub USB/Firewire or the old model that does not have a hub and is firewire only. These drive went from 80GB-250GB. I bought the 160GB model for $120. You can still get these models for cheap if you shop around.

I also recommend looking at LaCie website they always have awesome prices on refurbish models.


Bandit,
My normal policy is to use the internal drive for applications and external drives for content (documents, media) and backup. That was the reason I purchase the miniStack. However, since the fan noise is so annoying to me I may consider the LaCie drive. How are the smaller LaCie drives cooled without a fan?
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Fox
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: LaCie Reply with quote

khurtwilliams wrote:
...The noise from the ministack fan has started to annoy me. I am very sensitive to white noise and was very impressed with how quiet the mac mini is. If I turn of the miniStack ( with 1 160 GB Maxtor drive ) my home office is completely silent.

However, since the fan noise is so annoying to me I may consider the LaCie drive. How are the smaller LaCie drives cooled without a fan?

I don't want to sound like a broken record, but Maxtor drives are not known for their quietness and some drives have a high level of background noise that might be hard to separate from fan noise. I don't know what drive LaCie uses in their enclosure, but if it's not a relatively silent one, you could get a fanless model and still be unhappy with the noise level. What you might try before buying another enclosure is to take the Maxtor out of the miniStack, put it back together and turn it on to the low fan setting. If that doesn't bother you, consider changing the drive instead of the enclosure.

One other thing to consider. I believe the drives carried in the fanless LaCie enclosures have only a 2 meg cache. (Correct me if I'm wrong, Bill.) If so, you will take a performance hit.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Thanks Reply with quote

khurtwilliams wrote:
How are the smaller LaCie drives cooled without a fan?


It's called passive cooling. Similar to a heat sinc. The aluminum enclosure and the 1/4" space between the LaCie mini and the Mac mini provide adequate cooling.

It sound like the LaCie should be a great model for you. Some are concerned with using a dive with passive cooling as a boot drive... I'm not. I've been booting off of mine for quite some time with no issues.

The 2MB cache was standard on the V1 LaCie drives (no hub) the V2 drives (with hub) now come with at least 8 MB of cache. Again no big difference in my life.

I would purchase the LaCie drive again. I'd have to hear the model with the fan before I'd buy it though.

Hope that helps.

The 80 GB LaCie models can be bought for $100 that's pretty cheap for a drive and a quality enclosure you could add your own drive later if needed.

An idea I had for a quite fan design (if needed) was to use a large 3" + fan under the LaCie. This could be contained in its own unit or have a cut out in the desk under the drive.
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khurtwilliams
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:21 pm    Post subject: Re: LaCie Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
...What you might try before buying another enclosure is to take the Maxtor out of the miniStack, put it back together and turn it on to the low fan setting. If that doesn't bother you, consider changing the drive instead of the enclosure.

One other thing to consider. I believe the drives carried in the fanless LaCie enclosures have only a 2 meg cache. (Correct me if I'm wrong, Bill.) If so, you will take a performance hit.


I did the null drive test. I removed the power from the drive and ..... my miniStack is now extremely quiet.

LaCie's web site claims a 8MB or greater cache.

I found a review of noise levels in different drives here.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article82-page2.html
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Fox
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: LaCie Reply with quote

khurtwilliams wrote:
I found a review of noise levels in different drives here.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article82-page2.html

That's an old review; the one I used to decide on my first Samsung Spinpoint drive. But SilentPCreview is a good site for finding this kind of information, and I'm sure they have a more recent review of 3.5" 7200 rpm drives. Probably SATA, as most of the newer reviews are of SATA drives, but it still gives you a good idea of the relative noise levels of their IDE equivalents.

By the way, Seagate 7200.9 IDE drives have been going on sale all over the place for very low prices. I was down in the States three weeks ago and I came home with a 160 gb model for $40 (after rebates). CompUSA, Circuit City and Best Buy were putting various Seagate models on sale every week.
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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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jthawke
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Final Update Reply with quote

I finally pulled the trigger and bought the LaCie 250GB Mini. Color match is very close, but not exact. This one has no fan, and is remarkably quiet . . . it's got a Hitachi Deskstar drive. The Mac Mini fan did come on some during a clone of about 30 GB of data, but after booting from the LaCie as a boot disk I've yet to hear the Mini's fan come on stacked right above it. Performance seems quite a bit better booted from the external drive and while the read/write noise a bit more noticeable, it's nothing compared to most computers. Very nice job, LaCie and thank you to all who commented to help me with this decision.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Final Update Reply with quote

jthawke wrote:
I finally pulled the trigger and bought the LaCie 250GB Mini. Color match is very close, but not exact. This one has no fan, and is remarkably quiet . . . it's got a Hitachi Deskstar drive. The Mac Mini fan did come on some during a clone of about 30 GB of data, but after booting from the LaCie as a boot disk I've yet to hear the Mini's fan come on stacked right above it. Performance seems quite a bit better booted from the external drive and while the read/write noise a bit more noticeable, it's nothing compared to most computers. Very nice job, LaCie and thank you to all who commented to help me with this decision.


Good choice and great drive inside. I'm surprised that your color does not match. My LaCie mini matches exactly.

Did you get the model with the hub?
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macinabox
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Thanks Reply with quote

jthawke wrote:
well, it IS important that when I sleep my mini, the external drive sleep as well.


Be sure to use fire wire, if USB alone is used the drive will not sleep when the mini is sleeping or idle.
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