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External hard drive for mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Chad H, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Chad H

    Hey guys,
    I was wondering which external hard drive you suggested for the mini and where to purchase it? I am looking for something around 320GB. Something for iTunes and photo's. I appreciate any advice

  2. macrumors 603


    there are external drives t macsales.com that match and sit under the mini. i dont own one though.
  3. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Just pick up a USB drive from one of the box stores. Every Sunday they have ads with really good prices. No need to worry about Firewire for your purposes.
  4. macrumors 68000


    I like the NewerTech Ministack from OWC:


    Works great, has Firewire 400 and USB, and comes in lots of different sizes - including one where you can add your own drive. This is the cheaper V2, but there is also a V3 that has eSata and Firewire 800 ports, although I am not sure how you would eSata on a Mac...
  5. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    I have two v2 MS and both are noisy (yes, I've checked the thermal probes). That's the problem with plastic enclosures - insufficient heat sink.

    Well, if he planned on getting a new iMac, Mac Pro or MacBook Pro those options would be nice. Still, I'm done buying plastic enclosures. Aluminum is well worth the price for the silence of the units.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Chad H

    Well to be honest I would like to have something that sits under the mini or something discrete. Firewire or USB, doesn't really matter to me though.
  7. macrumors 65816

    I have a cpl of these:


    Fanless, very quiet, aluminum enclosure, FW and USB.

    If you have a Frys close by you can usually get this for a bit cheaper. Or, there is a USB only version that is about $110-120. I was just there yesterday and saw it for $119 and change.

    Edit - just checked the site, here that is http://shop3.outpost.com/product/5030945?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

    I also saw this one there and I really liked. Has FW800, like to see how fast transfer rates are with that.

  8. macrumors 6502a

    Chad H

    I think I'm gonna go check out Walmart and Best Buy to see what they have. :)
  9. macrumors 68000


  10. macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    I'd strongly suggest buying the external enclosure and drive separately.
    That way, you know what drive you're buying -- plus it's often cheaper,
    and you get the benefit of the drive manufacturer's 3-5 year warranty.

    Here's Newegg's highest-rated USB/FW400 enclosure; it also gets rave
    reviews from many online reviewers. It's aluminum, fanless, and by far
    the easiest-to-assemble enclosure anywhere -- just four screws attach
    the drive to the quick-swap slide-in drive tray; no messing with cables
    or connectors.

    Icy Dock -- USB/FW400 enclosure @ $45


    Add whatever SATA hard drive you like -- 320 GB should be about $75,
    500GB about $100. Check Newegg for prices, and tomshardware.com
    for performance benchmarks. Don't buy more capacity than you expect
    to need in the next 12-18 months; drive prices are dropping rapidly,
    and it's easy to upgrade the Icy Dock enclosure. You can even buy an
    extra slide-in drive tray and swap drives in less than 1 minute.

    Icy Dock -- extra drive tray @ $19.

    OWC enclosures also have a good rep, but many of them are still based
    on obsolete IDE drives. OWC's SATA-based enclosures tend to be their
    more expensive "quad" models with FW800 and eSATA interfaces -- but
    FW800 and eSATA interfaces are useless with a Mac Mini.

  11. macrumors 65816

  12. macrumors 601


    I've had a handful of externals, and luckily, I've never had any trouble with any of them <knocks on wood>.

    From what I read and heard, hard drives usually act up right out of the box if they're going to malfunction. For that reason, I'd advise getting one out of a box store instead of online.
  13. macrumors 68000


    I got a fast Firewire external and boot from it, makes my mini faster then if running from the internal drive.
  14. macrumors 6502

    Sigh... do people ever search before posting?

    Try the Newer Tech MiniStack v3. I have 2 of them.

    EDIT: P.S. - I don't think they are too noisy.
  15. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Why would you recommend the V3 to someone who only has FW400 and USB?.

    On my V2s, the fans are on most of the time. Kind of defeats the purpose of the silent Mini.
  16. macrumors 68030


  17. macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Not bad for $19 -- IF you have an obsolete IDE drive around --
    but it would be a very bad idea to buy an IDE-based enclosure
    for a new drive.

    The world switched to SATA several years ago, and IDE drives are
    rapidly becoming less available and more expensive. For example,
    newegg.com currently lists 8 IDE drives versus 50+ SATA drives
    in the 500GB-and-up size range.

  18. macrumors 65816

    You act like IDE is impossible to find and wont work even if you do. Color me stupid, but IDE will be around a while yet, even if most things have moved on to SATA. No need to worry about 10yrs down the road.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    ...buy what you like, antiques are a great investment,

  20. macrumors 65816

    Then why even buy a computer because what you buy today will be out of date in 3yrs? :rolleyes:
  21. macrumors newbie

    Iomega Hard Drive

    Check this out at the Apple Online Store. It's made to sit on top of the Mac Mini:
    Iomega 500GB MiniMax Desktop Hard Drive

  22. macrumors 6502a


    Yeah the Mybooks are really nice and quiet and quite small too - although they won't fit right under your mini.
  23. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    The only reasons for buying a SATA drive for an external enclosure are (1) you need eSATA or (2) you need a TB of storage in a single drive. The OP needs neither. The bottleneck here is FW400 and USB controllers, not the PATA interface.
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Chad H

    Well, I just picked up a new mouse and a mybook 320GB HD. Working flawless!:)
  25. macrumors 6502

    Why wouldn't I? Why limit your connection capabilities? Maybe he will want to use the enclosure with another computer someday that has fw800 or eSATA.

    Those are v2s. I have v3s. I don't have a problem with the fans being too loud or on all the time on mine. Ever heard of "to each their own?" :rolleyes:

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