Mac Mini Hard drive upgrade options??


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 8, 2005
I'm considering upgrading the hard drive and stand at a cross road.

1. I could get a 7200rpm internal 100 Gig HD but it could cause excessive heat and hence would make my fan come on more often which I DONT want as my mini is a music server. But i would sit back with a cheesy grin knowing my mini is top whack now.

2. I could get an external 7200rpm HD which obiously would be several times bigger than option 1. Id have to boot from this, would this be as fast as option 1 giving the limiting factors of firewire/usb 2.0. Plus its visible and the "coolness" of having no wires and no clutter on my desktop will be comprimised.

Anyone have any experiences with modding to an internal 7200rpm HD? What is the noise level of it anyway? Also does anyone boot from an external HD? Significant speed increase or retardation?


macrumors regular
Mar 10, 2005
Haven't had any experiences with a Mac mini in particular, but the new 7200RPM drives run pretty cool from my experiences. The Hitachi 7k60 ran much cooler in my Dell D600 laptop than a 5400RPM Toshiba GAX and consumed less power. The noise level was also pretty low, certainly lower than the nasty crunching seek noises the Toshiba GAX made.

The new Hitachi 7k100 should consume even less power and generate less heat than the 7k60. Not sure how the Seagate Momentus 7200.1 compares though.

Have a look here for benchmark comparisons between various internal/external drives. The external FW400 drives don't seem to have much, if any noticeable overhead.


macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2004
For the money, the external drive is the way to go. One thing you may want to do for the external drive is to get a longer Firewire cable and tuck the drive out of site.

I have a cable tray on my desk that the drive fits in nicely...


macrumors 68040
Aug 21, 2004
I'd vote for the internal Hitachi. What's the point of a mini if you have all this cr*p attached to it?

I have had only GREAT luck with IBM/Hitachi laptop drives. QUIET, cool and great. Mebbe wait for the 100k drive -- they will be pricey, tho.

It bugs me that Apple won't ship with the 7200 rpm option, btw. Weird.


macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
Working for MI-6
Go with an internal 7200 rpm hard drive, the performance over the mini's original 4200 rpm hard drive should be very noticeable. I do not think that the 7200 rpm hd is going to run much hotter or louder than the current 4200 rpm hd.