hard drive upgrade... Hybrid internal or 7200 external via FW800?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by heboil, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. heboil macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2010
    This is in regards to the 2010 mini. I have been reading up on SSD, Hybrids and FW800 with a 7200. What is the easiest AND most effective/cost effective solution? If I went he FW800 route, can I use the same drive as my data storage drive? Will there be enough headroom to run the OS over FW and use the drive to stream movies playing in another room on Apple TV2 simultaneously? Will this give me a performance increase over the internal 5400 if I use the external 7200 for everything over FW800?

    That is where my thoughts about the hybrid come into play. I know I can stream the iTunes content over USB2, which I have at the moment for the big drive. I would need to go buy an enclosure with FW800 to run it as a boot drive. I could use that same money and go get a 500GB Hybrid drive and install myself and leave the USB2 as data only. If the install is painless but tedious, I might just do that.

    If the FW800 route would be robust enough to run the OS and stream data to other devices simultaneously (ie use it as I would the regular internal drive), I might just do that and wait for SSD prices to come tumbling down and do a bigger internal SSD in the future.

  2. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    For streaming media the SSD (or even a hybrid) is a waste of money. Even a USB external drive would be adequate and if the systems are reached over WiFi then even "N" speed will be the bottleneck.

    I've got a Mac mini server with a 1.5TB external FW800 drive for video, another 1.5TB external USB drive for TimeMachine, and the internal 1GB drive for everything else, including all my video clips for iMovie editing, music, and photos. Server performance has never been an issue.

    Just hang a 7200RPM external drive off of your mini and be done with it. Anything else will cost more, take more time, and won't be beneficial.
  3. heboil, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010

    heboil thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2010
    Thanks. I am looking for overall speed increase as well for daily tasks. Would I benefit from running the 7200 external via FW800 as my main drive over the internal 5400?

    Thanks again.
  4. heboil thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2010
    Well, I tried it last night. After I got my system working as I liked using the internal 5400 drive, boot-up from the start-up sound to all my loaded programs was 1:42. After I ran the setup and installed everything on the FW800 external 7200, boot-up time is down to :54. Everything seems snappier too in general. It is ever so slightly noisier as I can hear the drive a touch more, but it is very minimal. This should hold me over until the prices of SSD comes down to something I find more reasonable. The drive I used was a LaCie 1TB d2 Quadra Hard Disk btw.

    Thanks for the help.

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