I'm buying a firewire enclosure for my mac mini... suggestions & questions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by th3g1z, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. th3g1z macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2008
    So I've finally just decided to turn off my PC *tear*.. since this mac mini does everything my PC did and more I don't find any reason to waste anymore electricity on running it 24/7..

    Anyway, I need all the data from that drive, so I've decided to go with a firewire enclosure... as per previously advised by other forum members... as they claim the firewire will be faster than the usb 2.0.

    so basically, 3 questions...

    1) Is the Mac Mini Firewire 400 or 800? Would it make sense for me to buy an 800 even if its 400.. for future upgrades or work with a different computer? About a $40 price difference from 400 to 800.. but I plan to use this on my mini for the next year or so.. Wondering how new firewire 800 really is I guess and how common it is among other computers to justify me dishing another $40 for the 800.

    2) I've been reccomended to buy the Icy Dock brand one. I plan to use this mini for a year or so as my main HTPC box. I want to do video editing on this hdd as well, so I need the enclosure to be uber fast. I already have a nice 750gb SATA 7200rpm 32mb buffer drive ready to put into it.. and I want whatever will be faster... so if anyone reccomends a different Enclosure for my drive.. I am all ears

    3) What format should I put this drive in? I'm tempted to do NTFS because it would work with Windows PC's which is mostly all I use at work and whatnot.. would it really benefit me for speed or whatever else to convert it to whatever filesystem type OSX uses.. what is that btw?

    Thanks for the advice everyone, much appreciated
  2. Heath macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2005
    For point 1
    The mini is FW400, you'll see no benefit to getting a FW800 enclosure.

    For point 2
    Be aware that not all enclosures will take SATA drives, be on the lookout when choosing your enclosure.

    For point 3
    OS X cannot by default write to a NTFS formatted drive, only read from it.
    Also on the flip side PC's cannot read and write a OS X formatted drive (HFS) by default. If the file system needs to be accessed by both then I would suggest going with FAT32 formatted drive which is usable by both.
  3. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    for specs: apple.com/macmini
    click on Tech specs

    1. Firewire 400.
    2. All firewire 400 will be limited in speed for SATA 3.5" drives. No particular recommendations here.
    3. It should be formatted for Mac OS. Mac OS can read NTFS, but write (another app required)

    Perhaps you might want a refurb iMac (looks exactly same as new except for box, same warranty as new)? If you do a lot of videos, iMacs might be a better choice. go to: store.apple.com and look under special deals.
  4. operator207 macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2007
    Get an enclosure with an oxford chipset. If possible, get one with a fan in it, so your HDD does not get too hot.

    Check this out:

    V3 is what your gonna want, as its sata. Will go nicely with your mini, as it just sits under it. Its also using an oxford chipset, so thats good. It has a fan, so thats good. Its $109, a bit pricy, but seems worth it.

    it also gives you an esata port to use later if you want to add additional sata drives.

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