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Mac mini: teardown, adding second hard drive, 1TB upgrade kit - Page 2

post #41 of 74
Well one little thing they pointed out was that the "cheap" Mini does in fact automatically assign 256MB to video when upgraded to 2 GB. This is what I thought, but I'm glad to see now it has actually been proven.

This means, basically, that there is only one Mini. You buy it configured as you think is best for your needs.
post #42 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

Stories floated around at one time about matched memory chips providing better system performance than non-matched chips in Intel-based computers. I don't have much recollection of the details, though.

Question: The new base mini comes with a free memory slot. Is it a mistake to buy a 1GB RAM mini and then add a 2G memory chip to total 3GB? Or is it better to add only a 1GB chip to an existing 1GB configuration to make 2GB?

Thanks,

Why stop there?
Go nuts and spend $88 to buy 2X2GB sticks and max you mini out!

P.S. Apple wants $150 to go from 1GB to 4GB!
post #43 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1

Is it a mistake to buy a 1GB RAM mini and then add a 2G? Or is it better to add 1GB to match an existing 1GB?

The performance hit from not using matched RAM in dual channel mode is only a few percent at most. If you routinely fully utilize the 3GB RAM, the size advantage will overwhelm, dwarf, crush, etc. any disadvantage from the mismatch. But if you're using 2GB most of the time...
Quote:
Originally Posted by gadgetfreak-apple View Post

Is there anything precluding you from putting a single 1TB drive in there?

The only 1 TB 2.5" drive currently made is an SSD (or rather, an $$D).
750GB 2.5" HDDs will be out in mid 2009, but it's 2010 for 1TB 2.5" HDDs.


There was a rumor that given the utility of Remote Disk, Apple might offer a BTO HDD-instead-of-Superdrive option; nice for those mini-server farms with row on row of pointless opticals.
I thought they might surprise with setting up the optical bay to adapt to two 2.5'ers. The 6.5" mini footprint fits 2 2.75" drive formfactors across with an inch to spare, but they chose not to do the extra design wizardry. Probably too hot with 3 HDD's but...
...imagine the next revision Mini, after SSD price drops and an upgrade to SATA 6 Gbit/s, with 2 coolrunning RAIDed SSDs rocketing along with a Time Machined pokey HDD. That performance + reliability boost would really make it a tiny computer for the ages.
post #44 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by OccamsAftershave View Post

The performance hit from not using matched RAM in dual channel mode is only a few percent at most. If you routinely fully utilize the 3GB RAM, the size advantage will overwhelm, dwarf, crush, etc. any disadvantage from the mismatch. But if you're using 2GB most of the time...

Thanks for the reply. Now that I think about it, the reports all centered around DDR2 memory. I assume not much would change in the case of DDR3 but that's just speculation on my part.
post #45 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The second thing I'd do, given an abundance of money, is to install SSD drives in both locations. It would be very interesting to see how low one could lower the Minis power profile, while at the same time keeping it responsive.

This is *exactly* what I'm going for! I will post performance benchmarks in a few days.
post #46 of 74
I knew it, two internal hard drives. You go you little fire box!
post #47 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Yes which is why, hindsight being 20/20, no high volume OS vendor that I know has attempted to bring grid computing to the masses. If you earn your bread selling boxes you don't want people just buying the basics. A render farm is just a bunch of connected procs..it's the infrastructure and software that matter more than the shiny case and hot swapability.



Yeah I personally wouldn't go through the hassle and potential thermal issues to get more internal storage but some unique cases may require such benefits.

All you do is turn up the air conditioning to 30 degrees.... what's the problem?
post #48 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishstick_kitty View Post

FW800 is fast...but it's MUCH slower than SATA

No, it's not.

SATA's big advantage is in multichannel setups. For single channel, single drive configurations, FireWire 800 provides similar performance to SATA:

http://www.barefeats.com/hard30.html

Look at the single-channel results:

http://www.barefeats.com/hard51.html
post #49 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Greats comments auxio.
No- we're just tired that whenever we do for whatever reason, it's called a complaint.

Apple's mantra has always been ease of use for the adverage person, not the tecnofobes.
For the fobes, get a PC.
post #50 of 74
Quote:
Would you purchase a cordless or wireless phone with a permanent battery? For this reason alone I will not, not, not buy an iPod.

I'm pretty sure that I've never owned a cell phone that had a user-replaceable battery (so, that'd be a "yes" for me...)

Kyocera QCP-6035
Samsung SPH-i300
Treo 300
Treo 600
iPhone

The iPhone is the first that I bought new, so I did have occasion to change the batteries on several of the others; usually, by the time the battery's ready to go, the phone is long-since out of warranty anyway, and doesn't have a ton of value (on the off chance you bungle the job, opening it up)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WPLJ42 View Post

That would be part of my point. This is more about Apple than us. Is the 8 hour battery life on the 17 inch more important than having the option of changing the battery myself?

For you? Maybe not. For me? Absolutely-- especially since the new MacBook Pro batteries have a much, much longer life-cycle (so, again, by the time you're replacing the battery, the resale value of the machine is WAAAY down, because it's 8-10 years old!)
post #51 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Greats comments auxio.
No- we're just tired that whenever we do [argue that Macs should be infinitely customizable] for whatever reason, it's called a complaint.

Well, what would you prefer we call it? A disagreement with Apple's strategic direction and/or corporate policy?
post #52 of 74
I guess it's hard to tell from the photos, but doesn't the optical drive use the standard SATA + power connector? If so, why not make a carrier that supports a 2.5" drive while using the optical's screw holes, and use the original connector?
post #53 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Why stop there?
Go nuts and spend $88 to buy 2X2GB sticks and max you mini out!

P.S. Apple wants $150 to go from 1GB to 4GB!

The 4GB (2 x 2GB) RAM upgrade is only $65 at OWC.
post #54 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Monoprice has one for just under $10!


Dude- thank you so much. Fantastic- a Mac Mini for me .
post #55 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by wtbard View Post

Everyone that's thinking about getting a Mac-Mini, be aware that it appears to not put out analog video. The mini-dvi appears to be digital only. So now I'm trying to find out how to drive my analog TV.

That would suck.

Is the Mini-DVI port that much different from a standard DVI port?

I've got a 40" Sony Bravia HDTV with a VGA input. I can drive it from my MacBook Pro's DVI port (with an adaptor) perfectly. I've been dying to get a mini to connect to my HDTV full-time.

I wonder if the Mini-DisplayPort would work with VGA.
What about using a Mini-Display or Mini-DVI to HDMI adaptor?
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post #56 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I was thinking a mini+FW800 Drobo and it would be a very simple yet powerful network storage appliance. I'm still surprised that Apple put FW800 into this thing. A Drobo can be attached to the Time Capsule by USB, but I think a mini would give you plenty more flexibility and better performance, with only a little bit more hassle and probably a lot lower power consumption compared to a regular desktop with RAID as a server.

It's GREAT that Apple put FireWire 800 into this thing. USB is only good for keyboards and mice. For hard drives, it's slow and inefficient even compared to FireWire 400. I won't even use it for memory card readers. I only wish the AirPort Extreme had FireWire ports to attach a RAID to it!

With FireWire 800, there's no need to get an network drive, a typical RAID should work fine. I've got a couple of LaCie 2big triple RAIDs that are great!

Doesn't the Drobo run some form of Linux?
The problem there is that a Linux based network drive (I've used Western Digital and LaCie Ethernet RAIDs) will NOT allow you to copy files with non-Linux compliant file names. I spent literally tens of HOURS running software to hunt down and replace offending file name characters in order to get Time Machine to fully backup several Macs' hard drives AND external drives.

As an architectural designer, I have hundreds of files with foot and inch ( " ' ) marks in file names (not to mention others that I can't remember), all scattered thoughout different hard drives, project folders and sub-folders. There's NO WAY I'd ever do that for myself. Getting paid to do it is another matter.
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post #57 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Monoprice has one for just under $10!

Cool!

Which type of HDMI adaptor would be better? From Mini DisplayPort or from Mini DVI?
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post #58 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.ballmer View Post

SATA's big advantage is in multichannel setups. For single channel, single drive configurations, FireWire 800 provides similar performance to SATA:

http://www.barefeats.com/hard30.html

Look at the single-channel results:

http://www.barefeats.com/hard51.html

One should add that these benchmarks were run with PCI controllers, resulting in an overall bandwidth of 133MB/s. This was not a limitation for single-drive configurations in 2005, but maybe today. A comparison between PCIe controllers would be interesting.
post #59 of 74
This whole thread seems to be about buying a Mini and immediately tearing it apart. Then upgrade it to the max. The geekie thing to do I guess. Way back ... guys were tearing apart the old Tandy Color Computer just to see how far they could max it out. I am not like that. I would much rather buy a Mac (no screen) and have it already built my way. The new Mini runs at the same speed as my iMac (11/2007). I guess the graphics are better, but I would like a shot at more horsepower in an upgrade. I would like to see Apple make a slightly bigger box with more goodies inside from the start. I don't go inside my computers. As frightening as under the hood of the car.
post #60 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amorph View Post

And auxio, there is in fact a persistent subgroup of Mac power users, including some moderators here and veteran pundits/techs like Andy Inahtko, who want to buy something from Apple that can be hacked up like your Linux boxes. I don't understand it either; I use Macs for the same reason you do.. But there it is.

And that's the thing. Why go through all of the pain of hacking a Mac when you just can put together a PC which will fit any needs (present and future)? And likely for cheaper (if not now -- in the long run).
 
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post #61 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

And that's the thing. Why go through all of the pain of hacking a Mac when you just can put together a PC which will fit any needs (present and future)? And likely for cheaper (if not now -- in the long run).

Because some home-built PC will not run Mac OS X. Taking the hackintosh route, Mac OS X is unsupported and I'd assume has stability issues. Who in their right mind, or given a choice, wants to run WIndows? If you need to or want to Macs can run EVERY Intel based OS as a virtual machine.

I understand Apple wanting to offer a limited range of Macs, but there's a gaping hole that surely could be (needs) filling, without detracting from the rest of the Mac range. A MacPro is total over-kill, the Mac mini doesn't cut it (except as nice nice little media serve) and the iMac is basically a MacBook Pro stuck to the back of a glossy display.

But I do think... and I'm NOT alone in this... that Apple should offer a small tower. I call it a Half/MacPro. Same processors, two PCI slots, two internal drive bays (RAID anyone?), one optical drive and less than half the size. Some of us would like a hard-core graphics card and select our own monitors. For me, it's about size and need. I just do not need a huge box that I'd use 1/4 of it's expansion abilities and while I love my (last generation) MacBook Pro, I'd love some much more serious horsepower!

For many, who want to choose their own, matte screen monitor, the choices from Apple are few. You get a MacPro or a custom built-MacBook Pro. I use a second, external 26" ViewSonic monitor with my MacBook Pro.
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post #62 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post

....

I understand Apple wanting to offer a limited range of Macs, but there's a gaping hole that surely could be (needs) filling, without detracting from the rest of the Mac range. A MacPro is total over-kill, the Mac mini doesn't cut it (except as nice nice little media serve) and the iMac is basically a MacBook Pro stuck to the back of a glossy display.
....

I have a hard time thinking of potential uses for a Mac in which a MacPro is "total over-kill" yet a mini "doesn't cut it". Just what are you trying to run that requires this mythical mini-tower yet a mini can't handle and a MacPro is total over-kill? If you're talking about hard core games, well Apple has pretty much said people buy consoles for games, not computers.
post #63 of 74
That is painful to upgrade the HDD. It makes it not even worth buying if you want to upgrade for the future before buying any future revision.

Having torn apart several laptops of Apple's [iBook/Powerbook come to mind] this is right up there with dickish to the eleventh degree.
post #64 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

I have a hard time thinking of potential uses for a Mac in which a MacPro is "total over-kill" yet a mini "doesn't cut it". Just what are you trying to run that requires this mythical mini-tower yet a mini can't handle and a MacPro is total over-kill? If you're talking about hard core games, well Apple has pretty much said people buy consoles for games, not computers.

The only thing that I think is overkill for a non-pro is using workstation components, making the price higher than it really has to be for the capabilities offered, even considering the value of an Apple machine with OS X.

I don't think the people that buy consoles for games are really the kind of people that use computers for games. To suggest otherwise is a gross oversimplification.
post #65 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

I have a hard time thinking of potential uses for a Mac in which a MacPro is "total over-kill" yet a mini "doesn't cut it". Just what are you trying to run that requires this mythical mini-tower yet a mini can't handle and a MacPro is total over-kill? If you're talking about hard core games, well Apple has pretty much said people buy consoles for games, not computers.

Here in NYC, where office and desk space is at a premium a Mac Pro is just too big, physically. In this case, size and too much of it, DOES matter. I simply do not have the space for a MacPro. My office is 7' x 7'.

I use VectorWorks for 2D and 3D, Photoshop and a few other 3D apps. I know lots of architects, lighting designers, video, audio and graphic designers who work with similar tools and would love one. Most everyone I know use a MacBook Pro. Some have one MacPro to use as a heavy lifter for rendering, etc.. In this case, running these types of apps, a mini simply does NOT have the raw power to handle it. And these days, being able to crank out work quickly is crucial, especially with clients' shrinking budgets!

The mini is a great machine for what it is, a headless MacBook, but a small footprint machine, with quad or octo-core processors, a serious graphics card, an internal 2-disk RAID and a spare PCI slot would be fantastic!

Besides, an intermediate sized headless Mac would be a great "switcher" machine, too.
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post #66 of 74
Hi Jeff,

I think I can help with this one. I got a new mini 2 days ago and have a 32 Inch Sony Bravia with HDMI and VGA in. Your best bet is to go with the MiniDVI to VGA adapter that apple sell if you want to have a full screen desktop showing on the bravia. The Minis MiniDVI port is DVI-D which carries only the digital signal, the old mini was was DVI-I which carried both analogue and digital (hence all you needed was a cheap DVI-I to vga adapter). You could use the mini DVI to DVI connector that comes with the mini and then plug in a DVI to HDMI cable which will work after a fashion - but make sure you know the resolution of your TV. My 32 inch is 12xx(can't remember) by 768 - a 720P signal is less than that so you have a small but irritating black border around everything. You can turn on overscan but then you loose the menu bar and part of the dock off screen (on 32inch anyway).
Reviews about the Mini Display Port to VGA adapter seem a bit iffy so i steered clear of it.

Hope that helps

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post

That would suck.

Is the Mini-DVI port that much different from a standard DVI port?

I've got a 40" Sony Bravia HDTV with a VGA input. I can drive it from my MacBook Pro's DVI port (with an adaptor) perfectly. I've been dying to get a mini to connect to my HDTV full-time.

I wonder if the Mini-DisplayPort would work with VGA.
What about using a Mini-Display or Mini-DVI to HDMI adaptor?
post #67 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottStevens View Post

Hi Jeff,

I think I can help with this one. I got a new mini 2 days ago and have a 32 Inch Sony Bravia with HDMI and VGA in. Your best bet is to go with the MiniDVI to VGA adapter that apple sell if you want to have a full screen desktop showing on the bravia.

Reviews about the Mini Display Port to VGA adapter seem a bit iffy so i steered clear of it.

Hope that helps

Absolutely. Good info!

Full screen looks amazing from my MacBook Pro, so I'd definitely not want to lose it. Since all my HDMI ports are being used (cable, DVD, Blu-ray), that leaves the VGA free for a mini. I even figured out a way to attach the mini to the HDTV wall arm mount I installed.

Chief PDR - http://www.chiefmfg.com/productdetail.aspx?MountID=55
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post #68 of 74
Has anyone tried 6GB yet? I seem to recall that they put 2 4GB sitcks in there rather than a 4GB and a 2GB stick and saw the performance issues.
post #69 of 74
---
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1
Is it a mistake to buy a 1GB RAM mini and then add a 2G? Or is it better to add 1GB to match an existing 1GB?
---

According to Other World Computing, the Mac mini can physically take up to 4GB, but can only make use of 3GB of RAM, and their tests show that you can use mismatched chips - hence, they sell a 3GB upgrade kit as well as 2GB and 4GB kits.

Check out this info:
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/mac_mini/intel
for more info and performance tests.


OWC also indicates that the largest hard drive they recommend is a 640GB SATA.
post #70 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by BehrTek View Post

---
Quote: Originally Posted by Hudson1
Is it a mistake to buy a 1GB RAM mini and then add a 2G? Or is it better to add 1GB to match an existing 1GB?
---

According to Other World Computing, the Mac mini can physically take up to 4GB, but can only make use of 3GB of RAM, and their tests show that you can use mismatched chips - hence, they sell a 3GB upgrade kit as well as 2GB and 4GB kits.

OWC also indicates that the largest hard drive they recommend is a 640GB SATA.

The older model Mac minis could only use 3GB out of 4GB RAM. The current models can access the full 4GB. It would be nice to put two 4GB RAM sticks in for 8GB total, if it were possible.

If you're buying the low-end mini (w/2GB), you can get the full 4GB from the Apple Store for only $100 more and not have to eat the 2GB.

Personally, I'd prefer a 500GB x 7200 rpm hard drive for the thing, rather than a slower, 5400 rpm x 640GB drive. You can always add a big external FireWire 800 drive for mass storage.
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post #71 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Technicians caution, however, that the challenge in making both drives fit snugly without being damaged when the machine is reassembled, combined with some necessary soldering, makes the installation "very difficult." That said, their step-by-step instructions -- covering nine pages and 27 steps -- do well to remove virtually all of the guesswork.

There is optical drive-shaped enclosure to put second HD inside Mac Mini.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #72 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by smuspisrell View Post

I was doing some reading online and I came across the split second turbo tuner. I was wondering if anyone has used this on their 335 or 135? I have a 335 coupe and I was wondering if it is really all it says it is. You are supposed to gain over 25hp? Is it hard to put on / take off? And does the cars computer store information when its hooked up... the webpage makes it seem like you just take it off when your taking your car into service then hook it right back up. I just dont want to do anything that will void my warranty.

What the heck is a 335 or 135?
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post #73 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post

What the heck is a 335 or 135?

BMW car models?
post #74 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwin2213 View Post

BMW car models?

Cars?

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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