Need a Mac mini with 400Gb storage

keymoo

macrumors member
Original poster
May 20, 2005
60
0
Bedfordshire, UK
Hi there,

I've had my Mac mini less than a week and I love it. It's quiet, a joy to use and hasn't crashed yet. I've moved over most of my documents from the PC and discovered that I only have 1Gb disk space left. I intend to add more photos, music and might try my hand at transferring my analog audio tapes to the Mac, but cannot due to disk space limitations.

Now, I understand that I could buy a firewire external 400Gb disk and plug it into the mini, but I'm wondering if I've bought the right machine. Should I take the Mac mini back to the store, and get a refund and go for a PowerMac or iMac? Are PowerMacs noisier than minis? Are the external firewire drives noisy or quiet? Which is quietest? I'm not sure which route to take and whether to excercise my right to return the mini within 14 days of purchase.

Thanks for any comments.

keymoo
 

tech4all

macrumors 68040
Jun 13, 2004
3,406
489
NorCal
keymoo said:
Hi there,

I've had my Mac mini less than a week and I love it. It's quiet, a joy to use and hasn't crashed yet. I've moved over most of my documents from the PC and discovered that I only have 1Gb disk space left. I intend to add more photos, music and might try my hand at transferring my analog audio tapes to the Mac, but cannot due to disk space limitations.

Now, I understand that I could buy a firewire external 400Gb disk and plug it into the mini, but I'm wondering if I've bought the right machine. Should I take the Mac mini back to the store, and get a refund and go for a PowerMac or iMac? Are PowerMacs noisier than minis? Are the external firewire drives noisy or quiet? Which is quietest? I'm not sure which route to take and whether to excercise my right to return the mini within 14 days of purchase.

Thanks for any comments.

keymoo
Not quite sure how quite the Mac mini is, but IMO Power Macs (G5s) are very quiet.

If you only have 1GB space left on your HD, I would definitely get some other means of storage because OS X (as well as Windows I think), needs a certain amount of space left on the HD for a scratch disk. Once you starting getting less than about, ohhhh 2GB or so (don't know the exact number), the computer may start getting slower. If you're looking for an external HD solution I can recommend LaCie external HDs.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Plymouthbreezer said:
No, I'd just get a Firewire drive, as even the PowerMacs don't have 400GBs for low prices...
In a PM, you'd have the option of two large internal SATA drives for 500-600GB of storage, right? With the iMac, it'll be easier to boost yourself into the 200-300 range, if you're willing to open it up and change drives, but you will still only be able to put one drive inside. So yeah, I'm not sure that a change would help you that much. If internal drives was the only motivation, a PM is a big price hit to pay to get that. And I don't think it'll be quieter than a Mac Mini + a FW drive, although I could be wrong. :)
 

cgratti

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2004
782
0
Central Pennsylvania, USA
Save yourself a ton of money and get an external hard drive. Dont waste your money on an iMac or Power Mac if you really dont need to. If the mini does everything you need it to do then that answers your question. If not, then maybe you might want to consider an upgrade. Upgrade the RAM in the mini and get an external HD and you might just love that little machine.
 

dotdotdot

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2005
2,381
31
tech4all said:
Not quite sure how quite the Mac mini is, but IMO Power Macs (G5s) are very quiet.

If you only have 1GB space left on your HD, I would definitely get some other means of storage because OS X (as well as Windows I think), needs a certain amount of space left on the HD for a scratch disk. Once you starting getting less than about, ohhhh 2GB or so (don't know the exact number), the computer may start getting slower. If you're looking for an external HD solution I can recommend LaCie external HDs.
Windows will work with over 400 MB left but once you cross that border, there ain't no crossing back!

Seriously, once you have less than 399 MB windows will refuse to function AT ALL.

OS X will also work with under 1 GB but I think OS X doesn't die the way windows does.

They sell add-ons for the mini that match the case, this has 80 GB and adds more USB/FireWire ports, but it is even easier to replace that 80 GB HD with a really cheap HD with 400 GB (or you can just buy the 400 GB model)

You won't want a FireWire HD with your mini because of the lack of ports - the add on changes that.

There are currently two and I think they are reviewed at iPodlounge... just google them.

Also, people are now selling awesome stuff for the mini, like a user replacable 8x SuperDrive...
 

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,096
21
UK
i cant recommend lacie, they use maxtor drives which i have had nothing but trouble with one 20GB drive failed from my cube one 30GB drive from another cube, also a 120GB HD which gives nothing but errors in any mac but seems to work ok in my pc :S, i'd buy a caddy and a seagate HD they are very very quiet and quality drives, never had issues with them.
 

Plymouthbreezer

macrumors 601
Feb 27, 2005
4,240
76
Massachusetts
mkrishnan said:
In a PM, you'd have the option of two large internal SATA drives for 500-600GB of storage, right? With the iMac, it'll be easier to boost yourself into the 200-300 range, if you're willing to open it up and change drives, but you will still only be able to put one drive inside. So yeah, I'm not sure that a change would help you that much. If internal drives was the only motivation, a PM is a big price hit to pay to get that. And I don't think it'll be quieter than a Mac Mini + a FW drive, although I could be wrong. :)
Correct, but have you seen the prices?!
 

tech4all

macrumors 68040
Jun 13, 2004
3,406
489
NorCal
dotdotdot said:
Windows will work with over 400 MB left but once you cross that border, there ain't no crossing back!

Seriously, once you have less than 399 MB windows will refuse to function AT ALL.

OS X will also work with under 1 GB but I think OS X doesn't die the way windows does.
What do you mean by "there ain't no crossing back"? The OS just doesn't work anymore and you can't recover it? Is that just with XP or all versions of Windows?
 

aussie_geek

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,093
0
Sydney Australia
Build it

Have you considered making up your own external drive?

You can buy external firewire disk enclosures, smack in an ATA drive and there you have it. Doing it this way is much cheaper. Can anyone who has done it back me up with this?


aussie_geek
 

keymoo

macrumors member
Original poster
May 20, 2005
60
0
Bedfordshire, UK
wordmunger said:
That looks a bit like overkill to me. Your mac doesn't even have FW 800. Maybe this one? That would give you 330 MB, and you could always add another one later if you need more storage.
You're right! However the drive is 250Gb, not 330Mb which should be enough for now. I found it cheaper here. Thanks, you've just saved me from needlessly spending money. DOH.
 

pulsewidth947

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2005
1,106
2
Just to warn you, those LaCie Porsche drives get really hot when transfering.

I bought a D2 250GB for 140 quid off ebay - brand new from a company.

You might not want the FW 800 now, but in a few years time it could prove useful, if you decide to buy a powerbook or powermac.

Here is the eBay shop if you are interested.
 

SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,897
0
Chicago, IL
dotdotdot said:
Windows will work with over 400 MB left but once you cross that border, there ain't no crossing back!

Seriously, once you have less than 399 MB windows will refuse to function AT ALL.

Windows does NOT die. :rolleyes: I have no idea what version of Windows you were used (9x?) but I've seen 2K machines with less then 100MB of disk space left and it RUNS....if you call that running. My home XP box has gotten down to 200 MB when I forgot to remove a couple ripped DVDs off the drive. Windows NT/2K/XP/2003 doesn't like anything below 1GB of space but it can run below that.
 

Xiabelle

macrumors newbie
May 17, 2005
17
0
dotdotdot said:
Windows will work with over 400 MB left but once you cross that border, there ain't no crossing back!

Seriously, once you have less than 399 MB windows will refuse to function AT ALL.
They'll still work! It'll complain, but.... they won't stop. You should only have a problem if you're running with too little ram and going into your swap space all the time.

Besides, what I used to do (not anymore, but I used to) was set up my HD with partitions. 400 MB of that would be /only/ swap space for the pc. Right now, my XP machine has 10 GB to play in on its own partition for the OS; the rest of it is divvied up for data and programs and MP3s. I highly recommend at least two partitions for anyone running a Windows box. If you set it up with 10-15 GB or so on your C drive, then make sure you install all your programs on your D/other partitions, if you ever need to reformat, you will /not/ lose your data, because you're only changing the OS. Just make sure you remap your My documents folder to the other partition.
 

JzzTrump22

macrumors 65816
Apr 13, 2004
1,229
0
New York
Get the external firewire drive. Make sure you remove atleast 5 gigs of stuff right away because your machine will die if it only has 1 gig of space. Thats very unhealthy for the machine, i'm suprised your not having problems.