5400RPM drive OK for media server?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jshbckr, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. jshbckr macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Or should I bump up to 7200RPM? I bought the data doubler kit. I have some older drives laying around. Pretty sure I have a 500GB 7200 somewhere. I'll be using a 90GB SSD + HDD. I don't really want to buy a whole new hard drive for it, but maybe it will come down to it.

    Anyone using their mini as a media server have some advice?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There's more to drive performance than rotation speed. Some 5400 rpm drives are faster than some 7200 rpm drives, due to higher density. 5400 should be fine for streaming movies and music.
  3. nydennis macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    I have all 5400 rpm hdd in my NAS with zero problems
  4. Poki macrumors 65816


    Mar 21, 2012
    The 5400 rpm drive in my MacBook Pro 2009 only reaches 55 MB/s read/write, while newer drives can get up to 80 MB/s, so rpm is not everything.
  5. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    You tend to find with media servers that its rarely the hard disc speed thats the issue, as the throughput needed for even a full HD movie is much less than the read/write speed of the drive its on. Issues are more likely to arise from network bandwidth.

    my brand new Mac Mini arrived yesterday (with a 5400rpm drive) it performs no slower with media server type work than my old 2009 iMac with a 7200rpm drive.
  6. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    Average access time will be slower on the 5400rpm drive, because once the heads locate the right track it needs to wait for the sector to come on 'round, which is a longer wait when the platter spins more slowly.

    So the net result is that 7200 rpm drives will usually perform better for non-sequential data transfers (i.e. small chunks of data scattered all over the drive), but they won't necessarily perform better for sequential transfers, which is a function of data density and rotation speed. A newer 5400 drive with very high data density will have more bits per second going under the head than a 7200 rpm drive with much lower data density.
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  8. Tinmania, Nov 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2014

    Tinmania macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2011
    The speed of my 2012 mini's HD tests nearly twice as fast as my 2010 mini's.

  9. jpnfan macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2014
    I've used 5400 RPM drives without any problems at all.
  10. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    As long as your files are not fragmented.

    Regardless, any 5400rpm will do just fine for a media center. I serve content off my NAS which uses 5400rpm drives. They run a lot cooler than 7200rpm.
  11. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    It's also 6gb SATA vs 3gb SATA so that's not unexpected. And the 2010 is Core 2 Duo with a much slower bus.
  12. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    Imho the downside of any spinning HD in a media server is that you either have the HDD spinning 24/7 (wear and power consumption) or have to wait for the media server until the HDD spun up from energy saving mode.

    Personal perception of the "spin up waiting time" plays a big role here, though it's something to keep in mind.

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