Mac Mini 2011 Hard Drives: 500GB 7200 or 750GB 7200?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Reg88, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. Reg88 macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2010
    I'm planning on buying the 2.0 QC i7 version of the 2011 Mac Mini server and I was ready to pull the trigger on the 2x500GB drives when I came across a thread or two that talked about how the 750GB drives with the server version are faster than the 500GB drives.

    Can anyone confirm that the 2x750GB 7200RPM drives are faster than the 2x500GB 7200 RPM drives? I don't plan on running them in RAID but since both the 500GB and the 750GB drives are 7200RPM drives, I wanted to be sure.

    Thank you in advance!
  2. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    philipma1957 has had more Minis than probably anyone else on this board (he upgrades some and resells them). If he says the 750GB drives are faster, they are faster. Whether that's worth it or not to you depends on your usage. I'm fine with the 500GB drives in my Mini. I'll possibly upgrade to newer drives in a few years (though this is difficult).
  3. philipma1957, Nov 18, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    the 750gb hdds are far better. this is the western digital 750gb 7200 rpm vs the seagate 500 gb 7200rpm.

    there are caveats to the comparison. the added speed of the wd caviar blacks really show their stuff at the 300gb point on the hdds. the seagates drop off a lot around 60% full or 300gb point the wd's get slow at the 650gb point. so if you have your hdd's filled from 300gb to 650gb the speed is as much as 50% faster with the 750 gb hdds.

    Now if you keep your hdds pretty much empty the speed is close. also buying a server with a pair of 750gb hdds is 1099 at the apple store. buying a server with a pair of 500gb hdds is 970 at amazon..

    I have 2 servers for personal use a 2x 500gb model and a 2x 750gb model.

    both work well both have this ram

    the 2x 750gb machine is faster .

    i have around 450gb on every hdd.

    It really matters how you use the machine.

    In a world that I have of lots of money (not this one oh well)

    I would have these ssd's only
  4. Reg88 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2010
    philipma1957 - thank you very much for your insight and your thorough response.

    I'm actually coming over from the PC for the first time -- and while I do 80% of my work on my laptop, I'm planning on using the mini 2.0 QC i7 for light cs 5.5 (dw, fw, ps) with no files over 500MB -- basic web development stuff. I already have 2 x Dell u2211h's that I love, so I don't want to go with an iMac (though I do understand that the iMac has more power and can take 16GB of RAM at a much more reasonable cost) or a Mac Pro (price point is too high).

    My concern is that while I'm looking to go to the mac, I will still need to run office and cs5.5 through parallels/boot camp for the time being. If I'm happy and productive on the mac platform (believe me, I'm scared) then I will replace my pc laptop for a MBP and then go native mac on CS5.5 and office.

    It's just that I don't want to make the leap with new software before I know I'm happy (and as an aside Adobe's open licensing will allow me to have mac and pc copies of CS.5 -- but I can only run one platform at a time hence the need for a Windows 7 VM).

    Which brings me full circle back to the hard drive question. I now believe that 8GB of RAM is fine for what I do with CS 5., but I'm worried that with 4GB allotted for parallels/win 7 and 4GB for OS X, I may be cutting it close. Thus, any advantage I can get with HDD speed is one I'd want to take. (And I'm not interested in SSD right now as I'm planning on running lion of HDD1, and boot camp on HDD2 [and thanks to this forum for that and a lot of other advice]).

    And thank you for the RAM recommendation and all of your input.

  5. deafgoose macrumors regular


    Oct 20, 2011
  6. Reg88 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2010
    And also, philipma1957, I take it you didn't find any overheating problems with the 2x750s?

    Thank you!
  7. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    WELL they are oem as an upgrade. (meaning apple makes some effort to not have it overheat.)

    I find the server to run cool in comparison to the i7 2.7 core two with the discrete graphics card.

    (the upgraded 2.7 discrete graphics machine does run hot)

    the server 500 gb and the server 750 gb run about the same temp.

    Just remember to let the mini breath don't shut it in a small space allow air to get to it.

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