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Best HD for the mini
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Rosso
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:31 am    Post subject: Best HD for the mini Reply with quote

I currently own a slow 4200 rpm 80 gig on my mac mini. What I want is a speed increase. What HD do you people recommend and why? Also This is a music server so noisy whining HDs need not apply. Ta
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would buy one of the 100.0GB Toshiba MK1032GAX 5400RPM drives with 16MB cache. It'll give you more space and speed. The larger cache should speed things up and might keep the noise down. I'm not a drive expert but it would seem the drive would't have to read/write as much compared to something with a 8MB cache.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right now, 16mb cache doesn't actually make that much of a speed improvement for hard drives. A better option than a 5400rpm with 16Mb cache would be the 7k60 drive by Hitachi. It's 7200rpm, 8mb cache, ATA100, all that good stuff. It's pretty much the standard when it comes to upgrading the internal hard drive for the Mini and it retails for under $150.

If you'd looking for something bigger, the 7k60 has a sister drive: the 7k100. Same everything except that it has 100Gb of storage.

I plan on going with the 7k60 because of the cheaper price and that for my primary hard drive 60Gb seems to be plenty for me. I plan on having lots of external hard drive space to store my media on though.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Best HD for the mini Reply with quote

Rosso wrote:
I currently own a slow 4200 rpm 80 gig on my mac mini. What I want is a speed increase. What HD do you people recommend and why? Also This is a music server so noisy whining HDs need not apply. Ta


Buy the LaCie firewire external, designed for the mini
-It's quiet. It doesn't use a Fan.
-You can go up to 250GB.
(I'm sure bigger if you want to swap this baby out, but be aware that Mike from LaCie said the brand of drives they use have been selected for low noise and low heat.)
-It's a standard 3.5" HD which will be inexpensive to upgrade or replace.
-It's fast
-It looks good
-You're not wasting the money your invested in your 80GB
-You're not effecting your warranty
-You're not going to have heat issues
-You can use it on multiple machines
-It and you're mini, will have a higher resale value
-Simply to install
-It will have power down features similar to the mini

If this unit doesn't strike your fancy look at other external firewire drives
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 2:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Best HD for the mini Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
Rosso wrote:
I currently own a slow 4200 rpm 80 gig on my mac mini. What I want is a speed increase. What HD do you people recommend and why? Also This is a music server so noisy whining HDs need not apply. Ta


Buy the LaCie firewire external, designed for the mini
-It's quiet. It doesn't use a Fan.
-You can go up to 250GB.
(I'm sure bigger if you want to swap this baby out, but be aware that Mike from LaCie said the brand of drives they use have been selected for low noise and low heat.)
-It's a standard 3.5" HD which will be inexpensive to upgrade or replace.
-It's fast
-It looks good
-You're not wasting the money your invested in your 80GB
-You're not effecting your warranty
-You're not going to have heat issues
-You can use it on multiple machines
-It and you're mini, will have a higher resale value
-Simply to install
-It will have power down features similar to the mini

If this unit doesn't strike your fancy look at other external firewire drives


I would agree with most of what you said with perhaps one exception. I'm just not convinced that a faster hard drive = heat issues. I know that your are not implying faster drive = guaranteed issues. However, I want to add my personal experiences, since many people assume there will be heat issues with a faster drive. I have a 7K60 installed in my Mini and it does not seem to be any warmer than before. Yes, when all is said and done, I have probably voided my warranty.

Keep in mind when we are talking about a laptop hard drive, the 7200 RPM drives generally DO NOT spin at 7200 RPMs all the time, they can idle down to an "active idle state", and a "Low Power Idle State" depending on work load. So, for most typical applications, I would suspect that heat should not be a problem. For practical purposes power consumption in Watts = heat dissipated. Most of the faster drives draw an additional .5W, which may run a little warmer, but it is still below critical mass.

For example comparing a 4200 RPM Seagate with A 7K60 Hitachi. We can see that there is not that much difference in power consumption in Watts with the exception of initial spin-up.

4200 Seagate VS 7K60 Hitachi
Idle power= .99 Watts VS Idle Power = .85 - 1.3 Watts
Sleep power = 0.2 Watts VS Sleep Power = 0.1 Watts
Read/Write = 2.05/2.1 Watts VS Read/Write = 2.5/2.5 Watts
Seek = 2.3 Watts VS Seek = 2.6 Watts
Startup = 1.0 Watts VS Startup = 5.0 Watts

That being said, I suppose if you do a ton of continual I/O such as heavy-duty video editing, then you may start to encounter heat problems.

When all is said and done, anyone who tampers with a product may end up with unpredictable results. My disclaimer is this ... Modify your Mac Mini at your own risk and don't blame me or anyone else for any problems or consequences that may arise from any modifications that you choose to make.
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Austin MacTexas
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Best HD for the mini Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
Mike from LaCie said the brand of drives they use have been selected for low noise and low heat.


Anyone know exactly which brand of 3.5" drive they are using inside the LaCie?

I just bought a 3.5" Samsung 2014N (200GB) based on their reputation for quiet operation. If I had more upgrade money to play with, I would have gone for the Hitachi Travelstar 2.5" 60GB 7200RPM drive. So I made the intenal vs external choice based on economics, over risk and aesthetics. But "silent" was my first requirement.

I guess the real exercise is to rank what most important to you? Aesthetics, speed, capacity, cost, quietness, warrantee. Did I miss any categories?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going external instead of upgrading the internal hard drive isn't going to help much. Firewire is not going to be faster than the IDE bus (unless it's Firewire 800, which the mini doesn't have). Go with the 60gb 7200 RPM, or if you're on a budget, 5400 RPM. But whats the point of having a tiny computer if you have to rely on an external drive, that is almost as big as the mini to boot the damn thing.

This is ATA 133, but still, ATA100 should not be far behind:

http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=diskinterfaces&page=6
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The performance difference between ATA100 and ATA133 is nonexistant, so that's a non-issue.

Also, getting an external is nice because it's a) cheaper, b) portable between computers, and c) you don't have to pay to install or install yourself the internal hard drive.

The performance degradation from a FW drive will not be that much slower than an internal drive. Not noticable unless you were doing benchmarks, really, or depended on the highest performance from your drive. In that case, you wouldn't want a Mini anyways, as it doesn't support SATA, SCSI over SATA, 10k, or 15k drives right now, and only has room for 1 drive.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm confused about external performance vs internal performance.

Below are two xBench results from my mini. First one is the internal harddrive. Second one is an external Seagate firewire harddrive. The external firewire seems to benchmark almost 2x faster. I know that doesn't translate into making the mini feel 2x faster, but you'd think that there'd be some advantage to running off the firewire drive, no?

Code:
Results   44.68   
   System Info      
      Xbench Version      1.1.3
      System Version      10.4.2 (8C46)
      Physical RAM      1024 MB
      Model      PowerMac10,1
      Processor      PowerPC G4 @ 1.42 GHz
         L1 Cache      32K (instruction), 32K (data)
         L2 Cache      512K @ 1.42 GHz
         Bus Frequency      167 MHz
      Video Card      ATY,RV280
      Drive Type      ST9808210A
   Disk Test   44.68   
      Sequential   44.38   
         Uncached Write   38.48   16.04 MB/sec [4K blocks]
         Uncached Write   49.31   20.19 MB/sec [256K blocks]
         Uncached Read   38.03   6.02 MB/sec [4K blocks]
         Uncached Read   56.89   22.99 MB/sec [256K blocks]
      Random   44.99   
         Uncached Write   34.12   0.51 MB/sec [4K blocks]
         Uncached Write   40.10   9.04 MB/sec [256K blocks]
         Uncached Read   61.50   0.41 MB/sec [4K blocks]
         Uncached Read   54.37   11.19 MB/sec [256K blocks]


Code:
Results   81.25   
   System Info      
      Xbench Version      1.1.3
      System Version      10.4.2 (8C46)
      Physical RAM      1024 MB
      Model      PowerMac10,1
      Processor      PowerPC G4 @ 1.42 GHz
         L1 Cache      32K (instruction), 32K (data)
         L2 Cache      512K @ 1.42 GHz
         Bus Frequency      167 MHz
      Video Card      ATY,RV280
      Drive Type      ST320082 2A
   Disk Test   81.25   
      Sequential   69.92   
         Uncached Write   58.37   24.33 MB/sec [4K blocks]
         Uncached Write   76.12   31.17 MB/sec [256K blocks]
         Uncached Read   62.81   9.94 MB/sec [4K blocks]
         Uncached Read   90.75   36.67 MB/sec [256K blocks]
      Random   96.96   
         Uncached Write   88.46   1.33 MB/sec [4K blocks]
         Uncached Write   103.02   23.24 MB/sec [256K blocks]
         Uncached Read   97.66   0.64 MB/sec [4K blocks]
         Uncached Read   99.97   20.57 MB/sec [256K blocks]
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curt
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's your overall score? That's just the disk test. You should see a 10-20 point increase in the overall score if you're booting from that drive.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aristobrat wrote:
I'm confused about external performance vs internal performance.

Below are two xBench results from my mini. First one is the internal harddrive. Second one is an external Seagate firewire harddrive. The external firewire seems to benchmark almost 2x faster. I know that doesn't translate into making the mini feel 2x faster, but you'd think that there'd be some advantage to running off the firewire drive, no?


The difference between a 4200rpm internal and 7200 external wasn't the speed differences that we were discussing. We were talking about an internal 7200rpm and an external FW 7200rpm, which will not be very significant compared to the difference between the internal and any 7200rpm FW drive.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An external HD would obviously be slower, even if the FW was 800, but it's 400, so I'm sure there's some difference in speed..right?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Susurrus wrote:
The difference between a 4200rpm internal and 7200 external wasn't the speed differences that we were discussing. We were talking about an internal 7200rpm and an external FW 7200rpm, which will not be very significant compared to the difference between the internal and any 7200rpm FW drive.

Thanks -- didn't catch that part. Wink
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Susurrus wrote:
The performance difference between ATA100 and ATA133 is nonexistant, so that's a non-issue.

Also, getting an external is nice because it's a) cheaper, b) portable between computers, and c) you don't have to pay to install or install yourself the internal hard drive.

The performance degradation from a FW drive will not be that much slower than an internal drive. Not noticable unless you were doing benchmarks, really, or depended on the highest performance from your drive. In that case, you wouldn't want a Mini anyways, as it doesn't support SATA, SCSI over SATA, 10k, or 15k drives right now, and only has room for 1 drive.

But the point is, the internal drive IS faster...AND you don't negate one of the major strengths of the mini by doubling its footprint with an external drive.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 9:53 pm    Post subject: becnhmarks Reply with quote

I wouldn't necessarily agree the internal 7200 2.5 is faster than an external FW 7200 3.5 , benchmarks at barefeats:

http://www.barefeats.com/mini01c.html

suggest otherwise.

Or am I missing something in the previous posts?

Thanks,
Gmas.
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