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External HD - Will it Speed up the mini
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ocotillo
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 11:32 am    Post subject: External HD - Will it Speed up the mini Reply with quote

Will addding a higer RPM external drive improve the operation of the mini? If so, how? I see some posts suggesting booting off the external drive. How is this accomplished? Thanks for any reply.
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MacPredict.com
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, without a doubt. Plus you'll have more storage available. You can either keep some of your data on either drive, or just keep everything on the firewire drive and maybe backup to the local drive.

The easiest way to boot off the external drive is to clone it with Carbon Copy Cloner. Then just select the FW drive as the start up volume in System Prefs.
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jrt1
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you start up hold down the Option key to see startup manager.
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Ken4757
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacPredict.com wrote:


The easiest way to boot off the external drive is to clone it with Carbon Copy Cloner. Then just select the FW drive as the start up volume in System Prefs.


Using CCC to clone the os to the new FW drive works really well. Be careful, Some firewire drives are not bootable, i have one. Make sure that it has the right chipset to accomplish this. The Oxford911/922 bridge is bootable.

I keep checking around for a FW drive/inclosure that is bootable, unfortunately, most manufactures don't tell you on the box or on their website if it is bootable or not.

Ken
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junebug754
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Booting from an external drive (LaCie d2) has increased the speed of my mini. Booting from the mini's internal 4200 rpm HD gave me an xBench rating of 115, booting from the LaCie's 7200 rpm HD gave an xBench rating of 135, granted not a world-shaking increase but a noticeable increase.
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MacPredict.com
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a report from from someone who did the upgrade to a firewire drive. Executive summary: 75% better xBench disk scores, 15% better xBench overall.
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rgsaunders
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 6:39 pm    Post subject: Ext FW 80GB Maxtor test Reply with quote

Note that this test was done with an old 80GB Maxtor with 2MB cache, the newer drives with higher density and 8MB cache yield an even faster experience.
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jase
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope it speeds things up. I've got a 160GB 7200rpm 8mb drive I'd like to boot from.

Just ordered one of these to hold the drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817173003

In a week or so, I'll get a chance to find out how much it speeds things up.
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devo
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey that enclosure looks nice! Post some benchmarks when you get it up and running.
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jase
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope it looks as good as the pic. Kinda G5-ish. I admit that the looks swayed my decision (and cost me a few extra bucks). Most enclosures are kinda ugly. The aluminum should match the Mini pretty well. It's got the Oxford chipset, so hopefully it won't give me any problems.

I'll post the benchies when I get a chance. It'll be at least a week before it gets here.
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idave
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a fine looking enclosure! You made a comment about the Oxford chipset. Is there known issues or problems with it?
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jase
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

idave wrote:
You made a comment about the Oxford chipset. Is there known issues or problems with it?


Just the opposite, I hope. From a quick, unfair, incomplete and unscientific bit of reading, it seems the Oxford chipset it somewhat more reliable and less problematic than the Prolific chipset.

Both are probably perfectly fine for 99% of users, but the Oxford seems to get recommended more often on Mac forums and reviews. It seems to be the safer bet. Then again, maybe I'm just following the herd. Smile
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JahTS
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can it be used horizontally and taken off the stand?
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jase
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok here we go.

My Rosewill external firewire enclosure came today. I installed a Maxtor DiamondMax 9 drive in it. 160 gig, 7200rpm, 8mb cache. The internal drive is the stock 80 gig drive that came with the Mini. The Mini is a 1.42ghz model. It has been upgraded to 1gig of memory. Running OS X 10.4.1.

I just completed some XBench tests, and I'm going to post the scores. I didn't do anything extravagent to obtain them. I booted from the drive to be benched, ran the test 3 times, and took the third score. Then I repeated the process for the other drive.

No third party applications are running, except the Logitech mouse drivers needed for the MX1000. No applications were loaded or run prior to running XBench. Dashboard was not used prior to either set of benchmarks.

I'll edit the scores to indicate only the overall system score and the respective drive scores.

Internal drive

System Score: 116.12

Sequential
Uncached Write 44.40 18.51 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 63.34 25.94 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 37.28 5.90 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 66.34 26.80 MB/sec [256K blocks]

Random
Uncached Write 48.31 0.72 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 46.67 10.53 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 67.93 0.45 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 60.92 12.54 MB/sec [256K blocks]



External drive

System Score: 135.49

Sequential
Uncached Write 96.54 40.24 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 72.17 29.55 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 64.34 10.18 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 93.05 37.60 MB/sec [256K blocks]

Random
Uncached Write 144.27 2.16 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 142.25 32.08 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 96.24 0.64 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 98.51 20.27 MB/sec [256K blocks]


I'm not going to try and analyze those numbers. I'm got
very little experience running objective benchmarks, and I'm sure
there are flaws in my methodology. However, the numbers do
seem to point to a fair performance boost from a fast external drive.

Those are the objective numbers, or at least as objective as I'm motivated to make them this evening. After I've played around a bit using the external drive as the primary drive, I'll post and addendum with the subjective feeling of the external drive.
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blazer
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice boost! Can you comment on the enclosure quality? Was the drive hard to install? The enclosure definitely has a cool G5 thing going on. Cool
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