Is the present mac mini reliable? and will a FAT ext'l HDD run slow between mac/pc?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by TheNorthWaves, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. TheNorthWaves macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    Hi everyone... a bit of a noob here.

    I am pretty interested in getting a Mini in the present form, with leopard when it arrives (and before they supposedly redesign it to the mac nano without an optical drive - how stupid!). I currently run a lenovo T61 with vista... core2duo 2.0ghz, 2gb ram... it's a nice machine but I want a desktop mac to round things out.

    So my questions:

    I would be interested in using an external HDD that I could switch between the pc laptop and the mac desktop. I realize this means formatting in FAT32, but I hear that it would be rather slow on a large HDD (such as 250gb+). Can anyone comment on this? I hear there's a mac-only format but I assume my vista laptop won't like this?

    Also, I was an early adopter of Vista on my desktop PC (which I just currently sold, after a couple months of frustration/constant tweaking!) and I am beginning to get tired of early adoption...

    so... Is the Mac Mini in present form (ie: intel 1.83ghz, 1gb ram, tiger/leopard) a RELIABLE machine? I recall the early macbook with the single core intel chip was a pain in some people's behinds, and I don't want to wait for the new mini replacement just to have the "new product" syndrome with all of its problems, if the current iteration is a solid machine. People's opinions of this will also decide for me whether or not AppleCare is worth $99 (student).

    Please help me - I am ready to convert :)
     
  2. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #2
    I'm not aware of any Mac being 'unreliable', apart from the 98/99 iMacs which are getting on a bit and possibly dying due to old age.

    'New product syndrome' is a bit of a misnomer. You don't get people checking serial numbers on Dell laptops in case that model was recently released and not buying them :)
     
  3. TheNorthWaves thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    Thanks - good to know. My girlfriend has an ancient green clamshell mac and it still works - I know my '99 dell laptop would have never made it this far! Most people buying a dell here in the states probably don't know what a serial number is, lol...

    I never found during my mac research anything that stood out as a reliability issue, which is good - I came here more to verify this belief.

    Anyone care to comment on reliability of the current macs, or to discuss the formatting question?

    Thank you all,
     
  4. peeaanuut macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #4
    I have a 1.83 C2D mini with an exernal USB 2.0 fat 32 drive. It is a 250gb drive that contains my itunes library. The only perfomance issue I find is loading my itunes library as the drive is nearly full. It is just as fast as my other usb 2.0 mac formatted drives as far as copy and read speeds. It also performs the same speed on windows XP with bootcamp and also the same speed at my work which is a windows XP box.

    You can format it mac only and get a program called macdrive for windows. I would say format it for whichever way you will use it the most. Mostly mac, format mac (and get mac drive or something like it), mostly windows, format windows. 1/2 and 1/2 format windows.
     
  5. TheNorthWaves thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Location:
    USA
  6. JAT macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Mpls, MN
    #6
    Ugh, USB2 is not for drives. It is for people to think it is for drives. And apparently that worked.

    My Mini runs off a 400GB Firewire drive, faster than it can run off the slow laptop internal drive. The Mini already has Firewire, just network from the PC or throw in a real Firewire card.
     
  7. TheNorthWaves thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    well good point - my laptop has a firewire port on the front of it... I read that the speeds for USB2 were actually slightly better than Firewire400. Can you explain why it's better? I'm about to buy an external enclosure...
     
  8. Tara Davis macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    #8
    USB2 has a theoretical limit of 480 vs. the 400 of low-end FireWire, but for a variety of reasons which I don't claim to understand, FireWire works a lot more reliably and reaches it's potential throughput a lot more consistently, especially when you chain multiple drives.

    I have a big old stack of 6 FW drives in my basement, connected to the Mini in my living room with a couple long cables & a relay box in the middle, all chained through an external DVD drive *and* an EyeTV 500 HD tuner. It all works with zero hassle. I don't think I'd even attempt to do all that with USB2.
     
  9. JAT macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Mpls, MN
    #9
    Firewire is stable at 400, 24/7. USB2 is not. You don't even need to add other devices, USB simply doesn't maintain its bandwidth in a fashion conducive to disk usage. Latency.
     
  10. JAT macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Mpls, MN
    #10
    BTW, assuming that is some sort of PC laptop, it almost certainly does not have Firewire. It has iLink by Sony, which is Firewire without real power. (electric power) Not good for drives unless they plug into power on their own.
     

Share This Page