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Old May 6, 2010, 06:41 PM   #1
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5400 vs 7200 vs SSD in HTPC

I know what the numbers say: SSD is faster than 7200rpm which is faster than 5400rpm. But I want to know about real world difference in an HTPC.

My Mac Mini is connected to my TV and only runs Plex. It currently has 4gb of ram, 9400m, and a 5400rpm harddrive. All of my media is stored on my NAS and speed has never really been an issue for me, sometimes the menus take a little more than a second to load- not a big deal. I just acquired a brand new 7200rpm drive and was thinking about putting it in the mini. Then I began to wonder if it would even be worth my time and effort to do it. I'm pretty comfortable with the upgrade as I've done it on plenty of mini's but my question is more of: Would I even notice the speed increase? Even if I were to get an SSD (would only need a small 32gb one), would I notice any speed increase on that?

Let me know, those of you who upgraded your HTPC from 5400 to 7200/SSD or even if you upgraded your 7200 to SSD. I'm probably going to end up doing it anyway but I'd still like to hear what you guys have to say. Thanks.
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Old May 7, 2010, 05:45 AM   #2
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I boot my main xbmc machine off my file server with tftp, and all my navigation is instant. Same with using usb sticks/cf cards to boot others.
I have very little experience with plex running on a mac, but would be surprised if a faster hard disk made much difference to your experience (other than a slightly quicker boot time?), especially if your media is remote.
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Old May 7, 2010, 06:19 AM   #3
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7200 is just fine, ssd is not practical for the price
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Old May 7, 2010, 10:37 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by PsyD4Me View Post
7200 is just fine, ssd is not practical for the price
SSD carries a premium, but the raves I've heard about the speed of these drives seems to justify much of the price. In straight transfers, they're not that much faster. Where they excel is random read and write operations. With that being the case, they make fantastic boot drives. Combine that with the low heat and power consumption and it makes them awesome in a laptop.
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Old May 7, 2010, 02:57 PM   #5
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I have a SSD in my Mac Mini, TBH, it's damn fast LOL
Really good for unzipping multipart files and things like that. Boot time is very very quick on Snow Lep in comparison to both the original 5400rpm drive and the 7200 I upgraded it to.
I must admit though I do find 128GB becoming a little restrictive especially with doing DVD conversion to AppleTV format as I am limited to the amount of disks I can rip before running the conversion.
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