I love the miniStack!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mrgreen4242, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #1
    I've had a mini for maybe 6-8 months now, and have been pretty happy with it. With the 1.42ghz G4, 1gb of RAM, 80gb, and SD it does just about everything I could need. I use MOST of the 80gb HDD all of the time, and use every last bit of free space to store temporary video files, etc. SO, I was feeling the need for more disk space. Plus, although satisfied, I wasn't thrilled with the disk performance (4200 rpm is teh suck, as they say).

    I disliked (but could live with) the longer waits to open apps, and the occasional beach ball while using a few apps at once (presumably paging memory). So, I finally sprung for a miniStack from OWC (the v1 model, which was on sale for $60) and a 120gb WD HDD w/8mb cache (WD1200JB - very well rated and one of the fastest IDE drives available).

    The difference is amazing. Boot time has got to be close on half of the length, loading iPhoto (~1100 photos) has gone from PITA to maybe 3 seconds. Firefox, which for some reason has always been slow to load on Macs, went from 15 seconds to 8.5 seconds. EVERYTHING is snappier... browsing the web, spotlight (of course), dashboard... it's an amazing upgrade.

    I wish Apple had made the mini, say 8x8x3 and put a full sized drive in there. It would have made a huge difference in user experience. My only complaint about the miniStack is that it adds some noise to the system overall. The HDD clicking is much more audible than the internal drive, and the unit has a fan that comes on based on an internal temp sensor.

    The mini was almost completely silent unless I was copying lots of data from the optical drive (those two running full bore right on top of one another must have made some pretty good heat) flipped the fan on. The miniStack kicked on high fan speed during the drive clone and was kinda loud, and is back down to the lower fan now which is pretty quiet.

    All in all, it is about the same volume as my wife's Dell (which is 6 feet away under her desk - compared to the mini about 2 feet away on top of mine). Not BAD, just more than it used to be. The pitch of the fan is pleasant, not an annoying squeal like some of the iMac G5's.

    I would recommend this to ANYONE with a mini over an internal drive upgrade. It would also make sense for a laptop user for extra storage space - at $60 it's a good price when you consider it's built in FW hub, powered USB2.0 hub, and attractive mini-styled appearance.
     
  2. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #2
    Nice review mrgreen4242, what a deal at $60 for you :D Plus those extra ports on the back for anything else you want to plug in and use. Did you clone your HDD over to it or is it just for a few apps that you use?
     
  3. tjwett macrumors 68000

    tjwett

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NYC
    #3
    it sounds from your post like you have installed the OS and your apps onto the new 7200 RPM Firewire drive, is that correct?
     
  4. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #4
    I cloned my internal drive with SuperDuper and made it the boot device.

    I've moved my music library and video files back to the internal HDD (gotta do something with it!).

    The whole setup, miniStack+120gb WD drive was $130 shipped. For comparison, a 100gb 7200 rpm 2.5 drive (replacing the internal drive) would have cost $180, doesn't come with the extra 3 USB ports and 2 FW ports, AND would leave me with 100gb less total storage space.

    Again, I am really impressed with this product. It looks good, performs great, and is a terrific product. It should be standard with every mini sold!
     
  5. MacEffects macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Darkspear
    #5
    I love the DashMini too, but it seems no one else does :p
     
  6. superwoman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    Monterey,CA
    #6
    Question: Does miniStack comes with FW and USB cables? If yes, are they the short kind so that there's no messy cables dangling behind?
     
  7. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    I really wish they could hurry up and release SATA versions of the ministacks!! Preferably without the connectors on the side (I think the ministack V2 has those and I think they're ugly and ruin the look). I really need SATA!!
     
  8. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #8
    whered you get it for $60? i only see it for $80 on newertech.com. i just got a mini and spend $40 on a plain generic external enclosure for a HD but for $60 id return it and get the miniStack, but $80 is a bit much.
     
  9. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #9
    www.macsales.com, go to the specials section. They seem to be clearancing off the V1 models (without the connectors on the side, which I think is a better looking design).

    I'm not sure if SATA would be any faster than IDE. Given that the mini is limited to 400mbit FW, I think that a good IDE drive is pushing the limits of that connection already. But, what do I know? :D

    And, yes, the miniStack came with a ~6" FW and USB cable to connect to the mini. It doesn't make too much of a cable mess behind there. It also comes with all the mounting screws, internal cabling, power adaptor with a good lengthed cable, and some thermal tape to attach the temp sensor to the HDD (which in turn regulares the miniStack's fan).
     
  10. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #10
    cool, thanks, i missed that. i think i might take mine back to the store and get one of those instead! looks a lot better than the one i have now
     
  11. trogdor! macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    #11
    Yah, I would have to agree. I wish the mini was slightly taller to accomodate a 3.5 hd.
     

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