Mid-2010 Mac Mini - SSD + External FW800 drive performance?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ApplePu, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. ApplePu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #1
    I just began to ask about this in my other thread, sorry for that.

    What I need is fast help because I need to decide in the next few hours....

    First I wanted to upgrade my new mac mini with a Momentus XT but now I'm thinking about getting a "real" ssd + a FW800 drive for storage to have the huge speed boost of the ssd drive.

    Does anybody have this combination in his mini? What I want to know:

    How is the performance like of the external drive connected to FW800? Is it comparable to a standard internal hard drive?

    Which way would you go?

    Thanks for your fast hints!
     
  2. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #2
    My understanding is that the only external hard drive interface that is comparable to an internal SATA drive is eSATA, which unfortunately isn't available on most Macs.
     
  3. ApplePu thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 3, 2010
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    Switzerland
    #3
    So that means that the performance of such an external drive for large file size image editing etc. is let's say not so nice?
     
  4. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #4
    I don't have a mini or a Firewire hard drive for that matter so I could be off on my information. That said, Firewire 800 is the fastest interface for an external hard drive on most Macs. If the drive is a 7200 RPM drive it MAY be faster than a stock internal 5400 RPM Mac mini drive, but I believe it will be slower than if the mini had a 7200 RPM drive installed in it. I believe that Wikipedia has all the stats on the various interfaces if you want to look up what's theoretically possible. Hopefully someone with first hand experience will chime in on this before you make your buying decision.
     
  5. DannySmurf macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    #5
    FW800 is somewhere in between a fast internal drive and a USB/FW400 drive. Moving files between my mini's internal drive an an external FW800 (spinning at 5400RPM), I get about 2.5GB of throughput per 15-20 seconds for large files going out, about 3GB/15 sec for files coming in.

    YMMV
     
  6. ApplePu thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 3, 2010
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    Switzerland
    #6
    may i ask which FW drive you use?
     
  7. DannySmurf macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 7, 2005
    #7
    Verbatim SureFire 500GB portable, dual interface.
     
  8. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #8
    I'm using a Momentus XT internal and a 7200rpm SATAII drive in a FW800 enclosure. I do use Photoshop CS and Aperture as part of my workflow. I wouldn't consider that combination slow. Is it the fastest thing possible? No. Is it slow? No. It's faster than previous desktops I've built.

    To be honest, if you wanted pure speed, you short-changed yourself from Day 1 with the Mac Mini. The starting point should've been an i7 27" iMac (I make my switch to that in January, already have a buyer lined up for my Mini). Work in Photoshop/Aperture/Lightroom tends to be more CPU-bound, not I/O bound. Actually, it's almost never I/O bound unless you're working on large, composited panoramas.

    Another storage alternative is a NAS solution that supports iSCSI. OS X and Windows 7 both heart iSCSI.
     
  9. Kaiser Phoenix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #9
    I use a Vertex 2E SSD in my mini with a 2TB WD external via FW800. It works great for streaming HD videos, etc.
     
  10. ApplePu thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #10
    As there was a shipping problem with the ordered Momentus XT I changed my mind and installed now a Crucial C300 SSD. I'm just in the middle of the OS setup procedure, can't wait to see if it was worth it.

    I will store part of my data on a FW800 disk in the future. I hope I'll be happy with that solution....

    Thanks guys!
     
  11. mangrove macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    FL, USA
    #11
    I use FW800 LaCie externals. They have eSATA capability, but I don't use that They are swappable and can be RAIDed easily. I tend to use RAID 1 so if a drive goes, the other one holds my data until I replace the bad one which the LaCie just copies again to the replaced drive.

    I do not think it is slow when moving iMovie and vid over to it. Those tend to be large files too.

    Sorry ApplePu, I left my comment on the C300 too late for you on your other thread, but enjoy anyway.:cool:
     
  12. Phantom Gremlin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Location:
    Tualatin, Oregon
    #12
    Is that right? I think you need third party software such as globalSAN.

    In the Linux world NFS really rocks when used with good servers such as NetApp. I haven't tried to do anything serious with NFS and OS X, and I don't know if any/all major applications (such as Photoshop) would work over NFS.
     

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