Anyone hack a sata external enclosure for the intel mini

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Wultsch, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. Wultsch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    #1
    I am thinking about buying one of the core duo mini's, remove the hard drive and cut a hole for a sata extension cord.

    From what I have seen all the of the mini styled external boxes are ide internally, so I would have to use a molex to sata power converter. I would cut a hole in the back and run the extension out. I would probaly also have to make a small hole for the extension to get out of the hard drive tray.

    Sata ought to be a far amount faster that firewire 400 (or usb 2) and I would not be using any bandwidth on those pipes.

    Other than cutting into a new mac does anyone see any problems?

    PS I have a dell 2405 so I do not want an iMac.
     
  2. DaftUnion macrumors 6502a

    DaftUnion

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #2
    well your void your warranty obviously, but I"m sure many more people will post their opinions about this...
     
  3. superwoman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    Monterey,CA
    #3
    I know I'm not answering your question, but... I'm not sure this is the correct thinking, because bus bandwidth is never the bottleneck. Even with the "lowly" ATA33, the harddisk cannot transfer fast enough for the bus to be saturated. Remember that seek and latency times for harddisk is in the order of milliseconds.

    My advise is to save yourself the trouble, and either use the built-in setup, or get an external FW drive.
     
  4. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #4
    just get a regular eSATA enclosure, or get one with USB2.0/Firewire instead (which would be easier). Or, in fact, don't get the mini at all, just get a Power Mac, because there's room for upgradability in there, and not in a mac mini. wrong computer for the job :)

    Personally, I have two external enclosures that support eSATA and USB2.0 (and i believe there's a similiar model with firewire support) called the venus ds3, search on newegg. It's like $40-50 though :rolleyes: They're both very very good though.

    And personally, having opened my Mac mini to add more ram to it, I'm not sure you even have enough room to snake an extension cable out of the mini without having something get in the way.
     
  5. Wultsch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    #5
    Firewire 400 has max bandwidth of 400 mb/sec, aka 50MB/sec, which is less that both the peak and average of the hard drive that I currently like, the samsung 250GB. USB is a bit better in theory, but often does not perform as well as firewire.

    As for getting a powermac that is a truckload of money for someone that want to run linux, is not very aestically pleasing, and at this point is old tech.

    If someone is talking about cutting into a machine they probaly do not care about warranties, and would be insane to do it without burn in testing.
     
  6. brett4got macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    #6
    I really wish Apple would have just included a port for SATA on the back of their mini! Anyway, this might help with half of your delima:

    http://www.macpower.com.tw/products/hdd3/m9/m9s2h

    It is an enclosure for the mac mini form factor that supports SATA drives and includes a SATA port on the back.

    So the only trick should be routing the internal SATA from the mini out to this thing.. Please let me know if you get anywhere with this because I agree that the performance gain (over firewire/usb2) would definitely be worth the trouble.

    --Brett
     
  7. mmmcheese macrumors 6502a

    mmmcheese

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #7
    If you'll be running Linux, why not get a Shuttle machine? It will be slightly larger, but you can get at least 2 hard drives inside of it (so no snaking cables) and they look pretty good too.

    They have quite a few nice ones (http://global.shuttle.com/Product/Barebone/brb_default.asp).
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    Seems a lot of work for a very marginal gain. WHat are you planning to run on the Mini that will push the limits of Firewire?

    I've beena long time Linux users. and befor hat UNIX going back to early 80's. I'm on a SOlaris system 40+ hours a week. That said "Why Linux?" I've not found anything I can do with Linux that Mac OX can't also do, except one thing - run on generic hardware. I'd say if you like the minii's size run Mar OS X on it.
     
  9. topgunn macrumors 65816

    topgunn

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    The problem with your idea is that the SATA connector on the Mac mini is female. I haven't seen a male to female SATA cable before but that is what you would need.

    I used a homemade 44-pin to 40-pin IDE adapter to use a 3.5" HD on the G4 mini's internal bus and it made the machine much much more responsive. It is like night and day. It is much faster than USB, Firewire or the built in 2.5" disk even at 7200rpm. I wish you well in your quest to run an 3.5" SATA drive but you may have to rig up the cable yourself.
     
  10. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #10
    you know, i cant help but feel that unless you need to run OS X, you'd have better luck and less hassle with a PC with a bigger case.
     
  11. Wultsch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    #11
    I encode a fair amount of movies and I expect that the faster transfer rates would help, and mostly I like projects. I expect that it will be fairly easy to get linux working on generic intel hardware, which the mini pretty much is.

    As for why linux? DEBIAN. Fink is pale imitiation. With apt everything program is one command away from being installed.
     
  12. Wultsch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    #12
    7 pins is way simpler than 40 some odd pins...

    Update: http://www.satagear.com/221003A_SATA_Cable.html
     
  13. topgunn macrumors 65816

    topgunn

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #13

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