getting a mac mini

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iSaygoodbye, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. iSaygoodbye macrumors 6502a

    iSaygoodbye

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    a boat
    #1
    So im thinking about trading my computer for a mac mini. The only problem is the mini has half the hard drive size. How much would it cost to have some store upgrade the hard drive to like 250 gigs?
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    Please, please wait for an update on the Mac mini.
     
  3. iSaygoodbye thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iSaygoodbye

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    Jan 2, 2009
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    #3
    im not buying one im trading my old crappy pc for it
     
  4. mpshay macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #4
    Cheapest route would be to just add an external FW drive unless you were going to do the install yourself
     
  5. iSaygoodbye thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iSaygoodbye

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
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    #5
    if i had all my files on the external could i still use them on the computer
     
  6. spacecadet610 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    #6
    Yeah it would show up as an additional drive. If you look at laptop hard drive prices, you can see how much it would cost. It's pretty cheap now.

    Installing itself can take some work but there are plenty of good instructions available on the internet

     
  7. iSaygoodbye thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iSaygoodbye

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
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    #7
    so it would be easier and cheaper just to use a external???
     
  8. angemon89 macrumors 68000

    angemon89

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    #8
    I think you should just replace the internal. It gets really complicated when you have all your stuff in different places. I recommend 320 or 500GB.

    http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=380&name=Laptop-Hard-Drives


    It'll cost about the same whichever you choose. You're limited to 500GB if you go internal though. (and that is if you do the installation yourself)
     
  9. rick3000 macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Coast
    #9
    Spend $80-100 on an external HD. If you pay a store to replace the HD you void the warranty, and will be paying significantly more that $80-100 in hardware and labor costs. Also, if your switching from a PC the current Mini is fine, I just gave my mom one yesterday. I was going to wait for the update, but honestly it is not going to be a night and day difference in my opinion.
     
  10. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #10
    :rolleyes: Hardly. Just save all your data to the external. Simple, and it means the boot drive will be freer = quicker boot times and program launches.
     
  11. Turmoil macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #11
    I use external drives with my minis. They are cheap and easy.
     
  12. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #12
    Is it that hard to install a HD in the Mini? I'm not sure about the Intel ones, but the G4's weren't too hard to poke around it.
     
  13. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #13
    It's funny to me how no one thinks changing the memory in a Mini is a big deal, but almost everyone thinks the hard drive is too hard. People, you have to remove the drive "cage" to put in the memory! If you can do the RAM you can do the HD. As for warranty I personally doubt it would void it, per the reasons I stated above - Apple does allow us to do the memory.
     
  14. rick3000 macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Coast
    #14
    If you need to use the warranty and you take them your Mini with a non factory HD they probably will not cover it.
    It is the same sort of idea as the guy who couldn't get his logic board repaired because of a small dent on his MB.
     
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #15
    Easiest solution there is. Buy a FW400 enclosure (Mini Stack's have a great form factor and include FW and USB2 hubs, but are noisy as hell) with an internal SATA interface and a nice 500 gb to 1 TB 7200 rpm drive and you'll get almost as good of performance as you do from the internal 5400 rpm drive.
     
  16. uhohzitzcooky macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    #16
    I recommend the internal drive as well. I originally started with a 160gb FW400 drive, but it was just an eyesore having it stand out.

    I just upgraded my mini to 320GB. Got the drive from best buy for around $90. Still a 5400 RPM but it's only for everyday use. I did the install myself just because I've been able to upgrade the memory without issues. Took about 20 mins from start to finish. Now I'm running my 1.83ghz C2D with 3GB ram and 320 seagate hard drive. Runs great.
     
  17. mpshay macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #17
    I went the external route mainly for increased capacity. I use mine as HTPC and I've just about got the 1 TB external filled 2.5" drives just are not big enough, but if you are willing to do the work and 320 GB is enough for you then you will end up with a cleaner finished product
     
  18. GodWhomIsMike macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #18
    Your old "crappy" computer is likely to be just as quick or quicker than a new Mac Mini. You need to note, the hardware it got back in 2007 was considered outdated laptop hardware back then. It has not been updated in nearly two years now.
     
  19. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    #19
    Bigger hard drives have greater information density and are, therefore, faster to deliver information assuming no other bottlenecks. FW, while good, would still be a bottleneck over the internal SATA. I was pleasantly surprised with the speed boost from replacing my MB hard drive.

    While you are in there you can bump up the ram.
     
  20. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    #20
    This would assume most people get a new computer every two years? Aside from my MB, my other computer is a PIII-733 Dell. The new Mini will certainly be faster than that.

    Here's a little look at Intel history:

    PIII-733 October 1999
    first P4 November 2000
    2.4 GHz P4 April 2002
    3.0 GHz P4 April 2003
    Core January 2006
    Core 2 July 2006
    Quad Penryn January 2008

    The current Mini is about as fast as anything going 3 years ago. And yes, with my PIII-733, I am as anxious as anyone to see the Mini updated.
     
  21. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #21
    In my Speedtools testing of a Samsung 320/5400/8 internal SATA drive compared to a Seagate 500/7200/16 FW400 drive, the internal drive performed better than the FW drive in almost all categories. The difference was minimal, though, perhaps 10%. The current Mini's SATA controller is 1.5 gbps, which is probably more like 1 gbps under average use. So the question for the OP is, is that 10% worth the lost space? Only he can answer that. For me, FW with larger capacity was more more important.
     
  22. mags631 Guest

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #22
    Successfully having done two internal hard drive upgrades and a CPU upgrade on a Mini, I caution you that you need to be prepared for a relatively difficult and not-risk-free process. If you are willing and able to afford the repairs or replacement costs and have the technical ability, it is certainly a feasible approach. If not, you should consider external options like a firewire drive as suggested previously.
     
  23. GodWhomIsMike macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #23
    If I recall, there is a ribbon inside the case, that can easily tear when opening and closing the case back up, correct?
     
  24. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #24
    Yes, and it's a mylar ribbon, which is far more a pain in the @$$ than conventional ribbon cabling. If you damage those leads, it's almost impossible to get it reassembled.
     
  25. Gleadr macrumors member

    Gleadr

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Location:
    Arizona
    #25
    You could check western digital but i dont know the highest hard drive space it can run. It might be limied to a certain size it depends on how old the mini is.
     

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