Mini HDD upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mrgreen4242, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Hey all - I know this is discussed often, but I had some trouble finding what I needed with the search... so forgive me, but here goes!

    I've been thinking about upgrading the HDD in my mini with a faster one and then putting the 80gb 4200rpm drive into a FW (or even USB2 to save money) external case for backups, etc. My current choices are to drop $125 or so on a 60gb 7200rpm/8mb 2.5" drive and put that inside and use it for the primary drive (OS, Apps, frequently used files), and another $20-60 (depending on brand and if it's FW or USB) to have the 80gb externally for a backup, iTunes library, and temporary video files. That should perform pretty well, and isn't TOO expensive for a 140gb total space.

    OR, I could spend $60 for a FW 3.5" enclosure that matches the mini and has the FW and USB hubs (handy) from OWC. Put an $80 160gb 7200/8mb drive in it and partition it into 2 halves. Set up the first partition as a boot drive, and have the internal 80gb as a mirror of that, and the 2nd partition as an 80gb storage area for non critical things (temp video files, etc). The advantage here is that I would have a pretty decent backup of my important file (mirrored drive), 160gbs of usable storage, choice to go to a bigger drive for only a tiny bit of extra cash ($10 more for 200gb, for example) and TWO boot devices (I'd keep the internal drive installed with OS X etc, as an exact mirror of the main drive so I could boot if the external drive failed or had a booched upgrade, or had to be taken away for some reason, etc). Potential problems would be speed... which leads to my questions:

    1) Is there somewhere that I can see some benchmarks of a good desktop drive connected over FW400 vs. a fast internal laptop drive vs the stock 4200 mini drive? I THOUGH that xlr8yourmac had this, but I can't find it and they seem to have changed the site since I was there last.

    2) Is there any built in OS X function to clone a drive to another one easily or would I have to use a third party app? Does anything support daily automated copies, to copy the bootable partition of the external drive over to the internal backup drive every morning?

    Thanks for some help here...
  2. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Hey, I found the thread I was looking for! (I told you I searched, and I didn't give up after I posted :p) Anyways, the article I wanted was on barefeats, not xlr8yourmac, and here's a link if anyone wants it, or just to get it into the searchable records as more recent thread...

    So that answers most of my questions.Looks like a FW400 drive was either the fastest or tied for the fastest in every test they did, which suprised me. In any case it is way faster than the current drive which doesn't suprise me at all. I'd be happy for any input from anyone still. :)

    Off to find a good deal on a nice Mac mini styed FW enclosure...

  3. e²Studios macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2005
    I have a 160GB and a 250GB External LaCie FW drives attached to my mini and I have been quite happy with the results :)

    It was a cheaper and more effcient way to add space since i needed more than a few GB's more.


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