External HD... worth it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by captoats85, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. captoats85 macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2006
    Would getting an external HD (a 7200 RPM one) be worth it to speed up performance with my Mini that either has a 4200 or 5400 RPM HD? (lowendmac says its 5400)

    LaCie 160 GB HD

    Capacity: 160GB
    Interface: Two FireWire (IEEE 1394; 6-pin) ports
    Average seek time: <11ms
    Max. data transfer rate: Up to 40 MBps
    Rotational speed: 7200 rpm
    Cache: 8MB or greater
    Dimensions (WxHxD): 6.5 x 6.5 x 1.77 in./165 x 165 x 49 mm
    Weight: 2.98 lb./1350 g
    Total accessible capacity varies depending upon operating environment (typically 5-10% less than stated capacity).

    System Requirements
    Mac OS 9.x; Mac OS X v10.2/10.3/10.4 or later
    Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP or later
    32MB RAM minimum

    In the Box
    LaCie 160GB mini Companion Hard Drive
    FireWire standard-length cable
    FireWire short-length cable
    Power supply kit
    LaCie utilities, quick start guide and user’s manual on CD-ROM
    One-year limited
  2. captoats85 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2006
  3. chicagdan macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    I think it's worth it, especially with Leopard coming and the cool Time Machine feature necessitating a backup storage option. I think the rule of thumb is find a backup storage 2X the size of your internal drive. FW is best (well, FW 800 is best, but not an option with the mini.)

    Note -- it's not going to speed up performance of your machine much, if at all. Bandwidth in a FW drive will still be slower than the internal drive, due to FW transfer rates.
  4. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    Yes. A faster external HD will speed up the performance of your mini. Also, as was said above, having a second drive will allow you to back up (which is an important habit to develop).
  5. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    I've ran xbench tests with my internal 5400 rpm HD and more tests with my external 7200 rpm drives. I always score higher with using firewire drives.

    I have a laptop and attached are 2 160GB HD's. They are worth it, so buy one.
  6. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    Yes, if you can afford it, get a second drive. I've got a 2-drive FW800 RAID attached to my Dual G5 with a pair of 500GB drives in it that I use for backups. For now I'm using SuperDuper while I wait for TimeMachine.

    I've become absolutely paranoid about data loss now that my life has gone almost completely digital. One good crash and I'd lose all of the photos of the best part of my life. I don't trust backing them up to CD or DVD because I see such wildly varied numbers on how long optical media lasts. Keeping a live copy doesn't completely protect me from bit-rot, but as long as the drive is spinning I can be relatively sure that most of the data is ok.

    I bought the RAID enclosure from here:

    For $200, or whatever it was at the time, it wasn't much more than a single external enclosure and I got a little more speed out of it which makes full backups less painful.

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