Mac Mini Question about Ram and HDD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Wicked1, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. Wicked1 macrumors 68040

    Wicked1

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #1
    Ok so I have a mid 2009 Mini with a 2.0 CPU, 2GB Ram, and 320GB 5400 RPM drive.

    I am wondering if the new 500GB 7200 RPM drives will make that much difference or should I go with a 128 GB SSD for Boot and external FW800 for Data. Also does going from 2-4GB ram make a huge difference, I mainly do some MS Office, Web Browsing and Photo Editing.

    Trying to see if anyone has the similar model as I do and what they did to make it perform better.
     
  2. DSpawnZ macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Argentina
    #2
    Hi. A 7200 rpm hard drive is always faster than 5400 rpm, you will note the difference.
    As for ram, you will note the difference when opening multiple tabs in your browser, or editing your photos.
    I suggest you to check the Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid hard drive.
    It's a 500 Gb 7200 RPM HDD + 4 Gb SSD. Most frequent data is copied to the SSD part, and read speeds are noticeable increased, close to a SDD drive.
    My partner has this drive in his 2010 Mini and it's just incredible fast.
    Price is also very attractive.

    Sorry for my english. Hope you've understood me.

    Cheers
     
  3. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #3
    If you stick with a mechanical hard drive, you will notice the bump from 2-4 GB of RAM. If you get a solid state drive, however, you should be good with 2 GB given the apps that you use.

    As a frame of reference, I put the new SSD-powered MacBook Air (2GB RAM) through a torture test of sorts, loading multiple apps, browsers with dozens of tabs, etc. After using up all the RAM, I launched iMovie and it loaded faster than it would have with a normal hard drive + a bunch of free RAM. Needless to say, I was impressed with the performance of the MacBook Air given that it only had 2GB of memory. Also, any SandForce-based SSD you put in the Mini would be even faster than the MacBook Air's SSD, so if you can deal with the smaller capacity, it would probably be the smartest upgrade you could do at the moment.
     
  4. Wicked1 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Wicked1

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #4
    Can anyone say that putting in 4 GB of ram and using the Seagate Hybrid 500 GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache with 4 GB SSD has made a clear improvement, I am considering doing this until my MBA 13" comes in, I am now reconfiguring my
    2009 uMB for my son.

    I was also thinking of doing a 64 GB SSD for boot and apps, and move iTunes and files to an external 500GB drive, but now sure the new Seagate Hybrid performs in a 2009 Mini.

    Just curious
     
  5. biggd macrumors 6502

    biggd

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary
    #5
    Please add SSD
    The bottle neck you may be experiencing is best over come by adding an SSD harddrive.
     
  6. ThinIce macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    #6
    I think you would see a significant difference with an SSD. I would do that with a FW 800 external for data storage. And 4MB ram with this combo and you got a big improvement.
     
  7. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #7

    I don't have any first-hand experience, but according to a few posts from previous months, the speed boost of the hybrid drive is dependent on how often you access the files you want to be sped up. If your file access patterns are not very predictable or consistent, the speed boost is diminished.

    To take a simple example, if you restart the computer often, those system files will end up in the cache and boot times will be quicker. However, if you keep accessing different files over time, boot into Windows occasionally, etc., the drive will be less efficient at putting the right files into the cache.

    Long story short, people's experience with hybrid drives tend to be quite variable, but if you're doing a limited number of tasks on a regular basis, there's a chance of a decent performance increase. Personally, given how SSD technology continues to evolve and the price per GB continues to decline, I'm sticking with my stock drive and waiting until the price is right for getting something that will have a definite performance increase, versus taking a chance with a hybrid.
     
  8. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #8
    I use 5+ tabs reguarally, and 10+ sometimes too, and when I've got 10+ open and pages 1.5GB of RAM is being used. I'm sure if I had only 2GB of RAM it would be MUCH slower :eek:
     
  9. Wicked1 thread starter macrumors 68040

    Wicked1

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #9
    Just for giggles, I threw in the 4GB from my uMB and that made a difference because my use pattern varies everyday from Photos to music to internet to apps and games.

    I am now going to toss in my old and trusty Hitachi 320GB 7200RPM drive with 16MB of cache, since this thing is out of warranty it doesn't matter that I am yanking the stock 320GB 5400RPM with 8MB Cache out.

    Considering this is a 2009 Model with a 2.0 Ghz CPU and I had 2 GB stock the 4GB with the faster drive should be good.

    How much difference should I see from my newer External USB drive to the new FW800 drive I just purchased. The internal specs on both drives are 500GB 7200RPM with 16 MB of cache. I would think the FW800 has to be much quicker.
     
  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #10
    fw800 can be twice as fast as usb2
     

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