OWC MiniStack v2 drive

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Baron58, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. Baron58 macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2004
    I'm setting my sister up with a C2D Mini, and was looking into one of the OWC MiniStack V2 external drives to go with it. I'd like to hear any actual experiences with these before I invest in one. I use a WesternDigital MyBook 500GB drive for my own backup & storage, so I'd be interested in any comparison of noise, defects, etc.

    It will of course be the Time Machine backup location, but I'm debating whether it should also hold the boot volume, if a 7200RPM drive would give better performance over FW400 than the Mini's internal (4200RPM, 2.5") drive would.

  2. yippy macrumors 68020


    Mar 14, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I have one of those. I got the model where you put your own drive in it and right now have a 320Gb drive in there.

    I absolutely love it. The extra ports it provides is invaluable and it is plenty fast for my needs. The noise it makes is pretty much just the drive that is in it so it is also quiet. It also looks good and has a nice solid look and feel to it.

    I would say that it would be faster than the stock 4200rpm drive in the Mini. However, if you get a higher rpm, larger capacity drive in the Mini then the internal would probably be faster.
  3. XianPalin macrumors 6502


    May 26, 2006
    I bought the 320GB version from them a while back (over a year or thereabouts) and haven't had a single problem with it.

    I thought it was broken at one point after the power flickered, but somehow the drive had come unconnected at the same time. I called their support line and was asked if the light on the front flicked on and off quickly when I powered it on, and said yes, and he told me that it does that when it's not connected it. I disconnected and reconnected and it worked fine, which I was pretty happy about.

    It goes to sleep with the Mac and spins down when not in use. I find mine to be slightly loud if you're doing a lot of data access, it will crunch a bit, and the drive in mine is pretty loud when it spins up, but if you're not doing a whole bunch of data access you don't really notice the drive at all. The only reason you can even hear it at all is because the mini is so quiet :) When my PC is on you can't hear either over its jet engine fans.

    So long story short it's a good purchase, and like the above poster said the additional ports are extremely helpful, I wouldn't be able to plug all my stuff in without it.
  4. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I own two - a V1 and a V2. I have them setup in a mirrored RAID via Disk Utility.

    I love them, they have more fan/drive noise than the mini, but it's not that loud.

    The only thing I found in my own unofficial testing was that Firewire was faster than USB2 (used XBench to test), so I recommend that as the connection option. If you do decide to use firewire, make sure you flip the switch on the back :)
  5. mjsickel macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2002
    MiniStack v2 failures

    I got a refurb empty miniStack v2 from OWC's recent sale and it didn't work: the drive (once installed) wouldn't spin up (works fine with other enclosures). Got them to replace it and the replacement (also a refurb) spins up the drive, but it won't mount and the drive won't show up in System Profiler (under USB or FW).
    It's gratifying to hear that others' MiniStacks are working fine, but after wasting time switching drives back and forth with these broken enclosures I'm a bit frustrated. Don't they check these things before sending them out again?
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    I would never use a single drive for both my boot and backup volumes. Asking for trouble, if you ask me.

    Yes, the FW400/7200/16 will perform better than the 4200 drives. Alternately, you sacrifice the internal drive with an eSATA cable out the back to an eSATA drive.
  7. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    I picked up a bare V2 a while back and put a 500GB drive in it. It has performed flawlessly. However, I do suggest that you take a look at the air vents in the back occasionally. Mine gets quite dusty (it may just by my dust apt, I don't know).
  8. twig macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2007
    I've got a 500GB V2 that I use for my Time Machine backup. So far I'm pleased with it. The only time I can hear it is when it spins up to do an hourly backup - it's much louder than my iMac. The extra USB ports were the main reason I picked this drive as I find I need all the USB ports I can get. I figure that maybe a year down the road once Time Machine fills up the 500GB then the price on the 1TB will have dropped so I can pick one up to use for backups, then use the 500 for extra storage.
  9. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    I have a 160GB V2, and it works great. The USB/Firewire hubs are great, just like everyone has said. It looks fantastic under my Mini and is a great solution!
  10. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Don't hold you breath. I think it's unlikely that we'll see 1 TB PATA drives. You'd need to update to a v3 to have a SATA interface that all 1 TB drives have.
  11. micsaund macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2004
    Colorado, USA
    I bought the 400GB v2 from OWC probably 6+ months ago and have not had any issues. I don't leave it powered-on all the time -- I bought it to use with an AEBS, but when I found the AirDisk support of the AEBS so crappy, I returned the AEBS and have been using the Ministack for periodic rsync snapshots via FW/USB. It works flawlessly and the extra FW and USB ports are nice to have. A good example of the "get what you pay for" idiom.


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