External HDD/Newertech Ministack Question

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by srexy, May 18, 2009.

  1. srexy macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2006
    I am soon to be the proud owner of a new early 09 refurb unit (when apple sees fit to ship it!)

    I've got my ram and 500gb internal hdd upgrade already ordered and I've ordered a WD 1.5tb green drive to serve as my backup media.

    I'll preface this by saying that I know the ministack has a bad rap but I'm hoping I'll not get a lemon and that the WD Green drive will mitigate some of the common issues. That and the fact that the whole deal will be in a built-in cupboard.

    The plan is as follows:
    - use the 500gb internal for my initial media storage
    - when space runs low procure a 1tb ministack and connect via FW800
    - back up all of this to the 1.5tb ministack

    My question - (FOR BACKUPS) should I bother w/the faster connections of the Ministack v3 for my 1.5tb drive if all I'm going to be doing is backing up to it? OR - is the v2/2.5 more fast enough via USB or FW400. I think I know the answer and am certainly happy to save the $40 or so if there isn't a need but wanted to get some additional feedback.

  2. ileneh macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2006
    Ministack 2.5 or 3

    Hi Srexy,

    If you're going to use the Ministack to just drag over files for backup, the main speed issue is the data transfer rate. From personal experience, I find that a USB connection can be slow when transferring very large files. I prefer FireWire and use both FW 400 and FW800. Obviously, FW 800 is much faster. I don't use TimeMachine, but it would also transfer faster over FireWire.

    Before I started working for OWC, I got a Hammer 1TB drive for backup. It's USB only, and transfers are slow, but as a backup drive it's ok.

    Thinking ahead though, if you also want to use the Ministack to store files that you may edit off of that drive, you really need at least FW400 for sound and video editing, because USB doesn't transfer files continuously. It works in bursts. I'd go for the faster Ministack (FW800), if you think you might edit files off that backup drive.

    The Ministack 3 includes the faster FW800 and eSATA connections, but if you don't need those, than the Ministack 2 should work just fine. You might also want to spend that extra money on a Ministack with the software bundle, which is a great deal and includes:
    Prosoft Engineering® Data Backup 3
    NovaStor NovaBACKUP® (PC)
    Intech® SpeedTools Utilities™
    Carbon Copy Cloner

    Hope this helps.

    OWC ilene
    Ilene Hoffman, MS
    Web Community Manager/Editor
    Other World Computing
  3. srexy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2006
    Thanks for the response. As this drive is primarily for Time Machine backups I ended up going w/the Ministack v2.5 and a FW400->FW800 cable. I still saved $30 and at this juncture - it all counts :eek:

    As my media library expands I plan on adding a second Ministack (probably a V3 w/1tb drive) for storage and then backing up to the first ministack using time machine. The FW400 should be more than up to the task I think.

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