So which would be faster?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by kioshi, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. kioshi macrumors member

    kioshi

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    Brazil
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I have always used my Mini with the internal HD as the main one. It's 5400 rpm I guess, I can't recall because it's not the original one but a 160gb one since the old one fried (it says 1.5 gigabit in the 'about this Mac' section, this is 5400rpm speed right?)

    I also have an ATA external 120 7200rpm GB (bought when 120 GB was a LOT), but anyhow I just got a 1Tb 7200 SATA, just waiting for the Firewire case to arrive.

    My question is, which one of these drives would I get better speeds and performance using as my main one? The Firewire400 one or the internal 5400 drive? I guess there won't be any significant difference between the ATA and SATA one because they'll be both connected via FW400 so they won't reach their full speed (I'm right on this, am I not? Not sure lol).

    Thanks for any answers.
     
  2. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #2
    I have an old ATA 120GB hooked up via FW400 as well. It's not any faster than the internal drive, alas.
     
  3. kioshi thread starter macrumors member

    kioshi

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    Brazil
    #3
    I see. Currently when I'm using my external 120gb FW400 ATA it feels faster but I don't have nearly the same menu items and extra stuff installed so it's not a fair comparison. It only has Mac OS X and my media files.

    I guess it would be faster if the mini had an e-sata port since the case supports that...
     
  4. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #4
    eSATA would be faster, but FW400 will likely be slower. It's roughly the speed of USB 2.0, which produces a system that is slow a molasses if anything is installed. I'd just stick with the internal, as it has a far faster connection, even if it is a slower drive.
     
  5. kioshi thread starter macrumors member

    kioshi

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    Brazil
    #5
    Thanks for the answers. How about FW800? I'll probably upgrade my Mini when the new version arrives.
     
  6. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #6
    FW800 is certainly faster, although it probably still won't match the internal SATA interface.
     
  7. kioshi thread starter macrumors member

    kioshi

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    Brazil
    #7
    Oh damn. Changing the internal HD is like performing heart surgery (since I guess I could use a 7200rpm drive in the mini, right?).

    I better wait for the new mini then, unfortunately it won't have an e-sata port I suppose since it's usually based on the lower-end macbook pros and Thunderbolt HDs/cases won't be exactly easy to find in Brazil unless you go to an Apple Store and pay triple the price you guys pay in USA :(
     
  8. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    dolphin842

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #8
    If you stick a modern drive in it (even a green ~5900rpm drive like the latest Hitachis), FW800 would indeed be faster than the internal drive ~70MBps sequential reads vs ~30MBps for the internal. That said, splitting the system/data drives as we were discussing in the other thread would probably give you the same perception of snappiness, even with your existing drive.

    Thunderbolt is the ideal external solution moving forward, though that's still very much a 'future' thing... we still have no idea how much cases will cost, much less outside the US. A potential workaround would be to use an existing eSATA case with a (hopefully cheap) thunderbolt-->eSATA adapter. Everything's still up in the air at the moment.
     

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