Intel mini HDD

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mrgreen4242, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Probably a stupid question, but here goes... the new mini's use a 2.5" SATA drive, right? Now, I've not had a machine with a SATA HDD (yet) - I'm still loving my little IDE PPC mini. :) With a 2.5" IE drive the connector is different than a 3.5" (justs physically, though, you can use an adaptor).

    Do SATA drives have this same issue? I'd be interested in connecting a 3.5" high speed, high capacity, low cost HDD to a mini (I know it wont close - you'd have to either put it in a new case, or extend the cabling a bit and route it out of the mini to an enclosure or something like that).

    Seems a bit Frankenstien, I know, but hey, it's just a thought. :)
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    I believe that 2.5" and 3.5" SATA drives use the same connectors. Whether you can "extend the cables" I'm not sure. In the PPC Minis there are no cables: the drive connectors are on a solid riser card.
  3. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Interesting. Thanks for that info. I'm assuming that the drive has a standard connector, so you'd just need an extension cable with a female connector on one side and a male on the other. I think the max length for SATA is pretty significant.

    My thinking with all this, btw, is that HDD produce a pretty significant amount of heat. Plus, 2.5" drives are slower, lower capacity, and more expensive than 3.5" drives. If I was going to build a mac mini media center I would want a larger hard drive and I would want to keep the temperature inside the mini as low as possible (to minimize fan noise).

    My idea was to attach the HDD (with a passive heat sink) to the inside of a closed entertainment center cabinet right under the mini casing. This would keep noise and heat down for both "halves" of the system, and also look nice (all you would see is the mini).

    I'm kinda keeping my eyes out for a core solo mini with a dead HDD that I can pickup cheap. Adding the drive and a tuner would be the first steps, and then eventually slapping in a used (or just heavily discounted) core duo for HD playback and faster (realtime?) transcoding.

    Alternatively, the core solo might overclock well without the extra heat from the HDD in the case, and the added room for airflow.

    Ya, I'm wierd, but I think it might work?
  4. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    Just a thought:
    Newertech makes the v2 Ministack hard drive and cases. Ups your ports and has the same footprint. For $80 you can get a empty case and throw any size HDD in there, 3.5" 7200 RPM. They also offer them with drives up to 500 GB. They are ATA not SATA compatible cases however.

    You can get them at OWC, here's a link if you're interested. Technology/FWU2MSV2/
  5. khisayruou macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2004
    The sata hard drives have the exact same connectors.
    The problem is, there is no extension cable for the sata one makes them (at least my search has failed me). You may be able to find the connectors, pin them and make your own cable. Most ppl have been using a power supply or an external enclosure to power it up.

    Happy modding. :)
  6. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    If a machine ever cried out for eSATA it's the mini... In fact all of the Intel Macs could use it...


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