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UPGRADE STANDARD HARD DRIVE or BOOST RAM?

 
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mi5
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:56 am    Post subject: UPGRADE STANDARD HARD DRIVE or BOOST RAM? Reply with quote

I have a 1.25ghz model with 512MB RAM and 40GB HDD (standard)...

...what would give me the most noticeable improvement -

1. upgrade HDD to 60, 80 or 100gb 5400rpm
or
2. upgrade RAM to 1GB

My usage is mainly web design (Macromedia, Adobe, etc) and the usual web researching, etc, etc.

Cheers for the suggestions!
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e3mw
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you're dealing with web design I'd say hard drive space probably isn't the most important aspect for you to upgrade. Since you're building websites, and working with graphics I think you'd be better suited to upgrading your RAM, this will allow your to perform your tasks a bit more efficiently. 1GB should be more than enough make Dreamweaver and Photoshop sing on your mini. As far as the HDD side, you can always get an external drive whenever you start hurting for space. (Which could be a significant amount of time depending on your workload or the size of the graphics you'll be working with.)

Hope that helps you make a decision!
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homerjatmoes
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 8:22 am    Post subject: Re: UPGRADE STANDARD HARD DRIVE or BOOST RAM? Reply with quote

mi5 wrote:
I have a 1.25ghz model with 512MB RAM and 40GB HDD (standard)...

...what would give me the most noticeable improvement -

1. upgrade HDD to 60, 80 or 100gb 5400rpm
or
2. upgrade RAM to 1GB

My usage is mainly web design (Macromedia, Adobe, etc) and the usual web researching, etc, etc.

Cheers for the suggestions!

If your drive is currently a 5400 rpm drive you will see no performance increase getting a larger drive.

OS X will make good use out of any extra RAM you can throw at it.

My biggest increase in performance was booting from an external firewire drive (200GB, 7200rpm). The mini went from feeling like a laptop to feeling more like a desktop. Apps launch faster and run smoother. I use Dreamweaver and Photoshop on the mini and they perform quite well with my improvements. My Xbench results between the two drives went from a of 109 overall average to a 136 overall average.
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aristobrat
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMO, do the memory before you do anything else.
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Susurrus
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know how much work you do with webdesign, though it sounds like that's what you use your Mini for mostly. I would recommend a hard drive upgrade if you look for a performance drive like the 7k60. Since you already have 512Mb, a faster hard drive would make a noticable improvement since you're working with a lot of hard drive access. The upgrade to 1Gb will not be as noticable as a hard drive upgrade, I think, though it will be cheaper.

Either way, if you use OS X, you should be using a gig of RAM, and if you use creativity apps, then you should DEFINITELY be using a gig of RAM. That's pretty much what it boils down to.
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homerjatmoes
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This Site has real test results rather than speculation. The results are very interesting.
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anthonymoody
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can answer this pretty definitively since I did both. I went from 512 to a gig and noticed very little difference. Then I started booting from an external 7200rpm FW drive and the difference is astonishing. My xbench scores went from 113 to 134, an 18% increase. But the *feel* is completely different. No lags, no mini-hangs, almost no more spinning beach balls, etc. Snappier barely begins to describe the functional difference.

Get a fast external drive and boot off it. Use the internal drive for backup.

TM
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homerjatmoes
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anthonymoody wrote:
I can answer this pretty definitively since I did both. I went from 512 to a gig and noticed very little difference. Then I started booting from an external 7200rpm FW drive and the difference is astonishing. My xbench scores went from 113 to 134, an 18% increase. But the *feel* is completely different. No lags, no mini-hangs, almost no more spinning beach balls, etc. Snappier barely begins to describe the functional difference.

Get a fast external drive and boot off it. Use the internal drive for backup.

TM

My external drive made the feel of the mini go from a low end laptop to a midrange desktop. Applications launch and react faster and less crashing of applications. It is now fun to use.

Check my sig for a link to my FireWire Booting Guide.
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1GB RAM
200GB FW HDD (Boot drive)
80GB HDD
External DVD burner
45.23 Xbench 1.2 average
FireWire Boot Guide
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aristobrat
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anthonymoody wrote:
I can answer this pretty definitively since I did both. I went from 512 to a gig and noticed very little difference. Then I started booting from an external 7200rpm FW drive and the difference is astonishing. My xbench scores went from 113 to 134, an 18% increase. But the *feel* is completely different. No lags, no mini-hangs, almost no more spinning beach balls, etc. Snappier barely begins to describe the functional difference.

Get a fast external drive and boot off it. Use the internal drive for backup.

TM

Personally, I didn't feel much of an overall difference booting off of a 7200FW. My xBench with the external drive was also increased about 18%, the mini definately booted and started my programs faster, but (and here's what probably separates me from most, I'm guessing) I always leave the programs that I use the most running, and none of those programs are disk intensive (terminal, Remote Desktop Control, Mail, FireFox, Adium, Chat Client, and a bunch of dashboard widgets).

For me (yeah, I know that I'm a case study of one Smile), the majority of the time I spent waiting for the internal drive was when I ran out of physical memory (even at 512MB) and had to wait for the mini to swap out to the drive. :yawn:

Having said all of that, I can definately see how someone that's hopping all over their mini could definately make good use of an external FW drive for speed.
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