Hardrive upgrade for Mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Macarc, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Macarc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    #1
    I have a 2009 Mac Mini 2.26 with the stock 160 Gb hardrive. I'm quickly running out of space and want to put in a bigger drive. I also like to have a faster drive, since I think it would make a difference in Photoshop and just make the mini feel a bit snappier.

    I originally was going to but in a 7200 drive such as the WD Scorpio black, but then I got concerned about the additional noise. I really like how quiet the Mini is. Therefore I started looking into 5400 drives. I even considered putting in a sdd plus an external am not sure it is worth the extra expense.

    I have been looking though the forum but still can't figure out which option to go with.

    My specific questions are.

    1. Would a 7200 drive be significantly faster than a 5400 drive?

    2. Would a 7200 drive be noticeable nosier that a 5400 drive?

    3. Which specific drives are recommended for speed and quietness.

    Thanks
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #2
    1. A bigger but emptier 5400RPM drive will be nearly as fast as a smaller but fuller 7200RPM drive.

    2. Not really in a mini. I barely noticed the noise in my old MacBook but it does vibrate more (not really an issue in a mini).

    3. WD or Seagate seem to be the market leaders.
     
  3. ziwi macrumors 65816

    ziwi

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Right back where I started...
    #3
    I have tried both. Went from an original 80 5400rpm to a 200 7200 rpm and now have once again gone to a 500 5400rpm WD blue - performance differences were not noticable IMO.
     
  4. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #4
    the RPM's aren't as important as having a hard drive with NCQ. it stands for native command queuing. you regular hard drive will rely on the CPU to process the I/O commands. a hard drive with NCQ has a chip on board to process those commands and will give you the biggest performance boost. i've read hard drive benchmarks since the 1990's and going from 5400 to 7200 won't give you any noticeable difference.
     
  5. Macarc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    #5
    Thanks for the good info everyone. I think the WB Scorpio Blue 640GB seems like a good candidate. Does anyone have experience with this drive?

    alent1234, how do I know if a hard drive has NCQ? Can't find it in the specs of the drives I have looked at. Does the Scorpio Blue have it for example?
     
  6. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #6
    i think only the velociraptor line have it. not sure. check anandtech or tomshardware
     
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #7
    I have this in my Mini and it's just fine. I'm thinking about putting it into my Apple TV, though.
     
  8. Macarc thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 7, 2009
    #8
    Did you notice any difference in speed or noise compared to stock drive?
     
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #9
    No noise difference and it's a lot faster. After all, the stock drive was a 60 gb.
     
  10. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    #10
    I put a 320gb 7200rpm drive in my mini (1.8ghz) about 9 months ago and it was and still is much snappier than the old stock 80gb hdd with no extra noise or heat.
     
  11. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #11
    Go for a WD Scorpio Blue 500 Gb. It's on par with most 7200 rpm.
     
  12. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #12
    always remember opening a mini voids your warranty , as its not user upgradable
     
  13. Macarc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    #13
    I thought that the warranty was still valid when you do ram or hard drive changes as long as you don't break anything. This used to be the case. Have it changed recently?
     
  14. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #14
    not as long as you don't break anything
     
  15. jw2002 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    #15
    Not true. Please don't spread this misinformation. It's been refuted over and over and over...
     
  16. Gordy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #16
    Quite, it's utter nonsense.

    I've got a 320GB 7200RPM drive in my mini, I'm considering a 7200rpm drive or even a SSD. Not sure whether the money is worth it on either option though.
     
  17. ANDYMILLMAN macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    #17
    Hi guys,

    Im about to take the plunge and buy my first mac mini...

    Going to go for the 2.56 ghz 4gb ram option....

    From doing a lot of reading up, I hear that the biggest gripe with the machine is the slow stock hard drive...

    What speed does the stock hard drive run at ? is it 3200 ?

    What is the best drive to replace it with? Any problems with over heating, noise etc?

    :D
     
  18. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #18
    It runs at 5400RPM.

    Here a couple of good hard drives.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Seagate/YST9500420AS/
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Western Digital/YWD6400BEVT/
     
  19. ANDYMILLMAN macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    #19
  20. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #20
    Yes I did it myself. There is somewhat a performance increase but not much.
     
  21. ANDYMILLMAN macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    #21
    Hmm Just wondering whether it is really worth the extra expense.

    On a more general mini related grounding..

    Is there anything you have found that the mac mini particularly struggles with in your current set up ? Can it playback hi def mkv's avi's OK?
     
  22. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #22
    Well when I had 1GB of RAM, 1080p sucked. Now everything plays fine.
     
  23. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #23
    it's definitely better to buy 4 Gb of RAM than a new hard drive, in term of performance gain
     
  24. HDH macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    #24
    I replaced my HD with a Seagate 500GB 7200RPM ..... it's not noisy at all, and it's running perfect.
     
  25. Raima macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    #25
    I stalled 4gb of ram with a 500gb 5400 hdd. I wasn't too impressed with the performance. I then later replaced the drive with a g.skill falcon II ssd drive which made things much better.

    Ended up putting back the 500gb in the mac mini when the macbook pro arrived. I don't know what it is, but the macbook pro with hdd booted up quicker than the mac mini when it had the ssd drive in there. The ssd drive now lives in the macbook pro :)
     

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