What's faster in Mini2009 -Int 7200/Ext FW800

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mrfaize, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. mrfaize macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    #1
    Just wondering what will be quicker:

    1) Internal upgraded 7200 rpm disk (Do it yourself after purchase)
    2) External FW800 disk such as NewerTech miniStack v3

    I assume the first.
     
  2. fteoath64 macrumors regular

    fteoath64

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #2
    It is first if your disk can peak over 80Mbytes/sec in transfer speed (read or write). FW800 can peak at 75Mbytes/sec. I have FW800 WD Studio 1TB drive and it cannot hit 80 MB/ps but comes close and hangs around the 75MB/sec mark.
    I am pretty sure the bare drive can burst on SATA interface past 90 MBps.
     
  3. mrfaize thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    #3
    OK adding something else into the mix.

    If I don't crack the Mini case open and use the stock 5400 rpm disk, will the FW800 be faster to save files to? Thinking something like the NewerTech miniStack v3.
     
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #4
    An internal 5400 rpm drive would be faster for most operations than an external fw800 drive. The only time the fw800 would win would be when its larger cache gives an advantage.
     
  5. OldMike macrumors 6502

    OldMike

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #5
    This is from http://www.barefeats.com/5472.html

    To me, it looks like the performance of the 7200 RPM Firewire 800 drive is pretty good. There are also some good RAID 1 external FW800 drives that make going the external route somewhat compelling...
     
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #6
    That test is over two years old when notebook drives were not that great. Here are two new drives that I have connected to my old Mini (2 gHz gma950, 1.5 gbps SATA interface):

    1. Samsung 2.5" 500 gb 5400 rpm 8 mb cache internal SATA drive and 1.5 gbps interface on the Mini (Mac Mini HT)
    2. Seagate 3.5" 1.5 TB 7200 rpm 32 mb cache drive in a FW400 enclosure (Blu-Ray)

    The internal Samsung is the better performing drive overall. It takes a hit on large random reads because of its small cache. The new Mini has a 3 gbps SATA interface, so it should be substantially better, even compared to FW800.
     

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  7. OldMike macrumors 6502

    OldMike

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    #7

    Wow those are pretty good rates off of a 5400 RPM drive - I'm impressed. I would imagine that FW800 would probably be in the 50 - 60 - 70 mbs range depending on operation - so it shouldn't be too far behind in most things.
     
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #8
    It's more a function of platter density and improved caches in notebook drives.

    With the 9400m controller in the new Minis, I suspect that same Samsung drive would top out around 150 mbps. It only has a 1.5 gbps interface, so the newer drives with 3 gbps interfaces should top out close to 200 mbps in a new Mini.
     
  9. mrfaize thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    #9
    Interesting information - the 2009 Mini has a 5400rpm disk with 3Gb SATA ?

    So going from an older Mac with internal 7200 IDE HDD to a 2009 Mini with an internal 5400 3Gb SATA HDD I should see no decrease in performance?


    Thanks
     
  10. mrfaize thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    #10
    Anyone got the part numbers for either of the stock HDD (120GB/320GB)? Couldn't read it from the ifixit breakdown.

    I guess they could be different manufacturers.
     
  11. SydneyDev macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    #11
    The stock 120 in mine was a Fujuitsu MHZ2120BH G1
    (I just removed it today)
    But as you say Apple could be using others too.
     
  12. OldMike macrumors 6502

    OldMike

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #12
    It was my understanding that most of these drives top out around 100 mb/s. The only drives that I have seen coming close to 150 mb/s have been SSDs and SAS drives. For instance this is a recent (Feb 2009) benchmark from Barefeats benchmarking the top 2.5" drives:

    http://www.barefeats.com/note05.html

    Also if you take a look at the 2.5" hard drive charts at Toms Hardware, it doesn't look as though throughput rates get anywhere close to 150 mb/s:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/hard-drives,3.html

    When you look at their Enterprise drive section, there you see rates around 150 MB/s for SAS drives.

    Personally, I'm on hardware that is a little dated. I have a SATA 150 interface on my motherboard, and a WD 1 TB Caviar Green drive gives me about 55 MB/s on read throughput. Perhaps we are looking at two different figures - I usually go by average throughput, and maybe the figures you are quoting are peak burst rates or something...
     
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #13
    Yes, that could be. I have no experience with those drives on a 3 gbps interface. I looks like the drive makers have some catching up to do.
     
  14. HHarm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #14
    What would be the best FW800 HD to get?

    I'll be moving HD-video so it should be fast. Also it must be almost silent so no fan (and otherwise silent). I've looked at different reviews but haven't found proper comparisons.

    Any tips?
     
  15. OldMike macrumors 6502

    OldMike

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    Dallas, TX
    #15
    I have a lot of video stored as well. It took so much time to assemble and create most of it, that I cannot stand the thought of losing it. That being said I am looking at external RAID FW800 drives, so that I can store the video and also have the video mirrored in case one drive dies. I am looking at the Guardian Maximus from OWC (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer%20Technology/GM8U2KIT0GB/ without drives it only costs $139 for an external two drive RAID 1 setup), and I am also looking at some of the Lacie external FW800 drives that are either RAID 1 or RAID 5, though I think I prefer the smaller RAID 1 drives to the 4 Drive RAID 5 Cube that they have.

    For non-RAID FW800 drives, I like the Mini Stack V3 from OWC. The mini sits right on top of it and it looks very nice: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ministackv3

    [​IMG]
     
  16. HHarm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #16
  17. OldMike macrumors 6502

    OldMike

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #17
    That is a shame. Is it true that the monitor issue would not be a problem if you just let the screen go into a screen saver instead of going to sleep? I used to have my monitor go to sleep, but for some reason I am having issues with Vista not waking it up at all - so now I just use a blank screen saver instead of having the monitor go into sleep mode...
     
  18. HHarm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #18
    That might work but if I would be getting a mini one the appeals would be the low electricity consumption (with screen in sleep mode), total ease of use and having it always and ready for use. I don't know if it sounds like a big deal but I'm not buying something that's obviously faulty. If there was a certainty that it will be fixed in the future - then probably, but I haven't run into that while searching for info.

    Well, on the bright side, if the problem gets solved in the coming months and I still want a Mac I might get the Snow Leopard update for free and a bigger and/or cheaper SSD drive might be available!
     

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