Apple drops tiny, cheap Mac bomb

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slam
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Post by slam » Fri Jan 14, 2005 4:08 pm

dago wrote:
I also wonder what HDD it will be, as Toshiba is their partner for ipods and given this SPCR review, it'll be like a 'cuda IV or quieter if other brand (see other reviews).
hi dago,

as i posting in this thread http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewto ... 725#147725 it's a toshiba mk8025gas, which i was told by the on-site apple tech was a 3.5" drive, but which googles as a 2.5" 5400rpm drive.

i also downloaded and ran a temp monitoring utility on the minimac and found that the only onboard sensor was for the toshiba HD, which came in at 41C. under heavy 3D graphics load the HD actually went down in temp to 39C. perhaps the main fan sped up to cool the processor, and in turned cooled the HD as well.

i can also confirm that the unit did not totally suck at 3D gaming; i have no benchmarks but it ran smoothly. it wasn't software rendering; as far as i know the video requirements of OSX affect only whether the OS itself is hardware or software rendered, not whether 3D games are hardware or software rendered, but i could be wrong.

in any case while i do agree that the minimac would make a great graphic design machine, i think it would make a poor 3D gaming machine, unless you are playing much older games with lower requirements. but i think all macs fair poorly as 3D gaming machines when compared dollar-for-dollar to a PC.

slam

bob670
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Post by bob670 » Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:32 pm

luggage wrote:Not to fan the flames but I'd call having the CPU do something that is supposed to be handled by the GPU a compability issue.
It's like saying: "I can still play Unreal in software mode so I have no problem with my graphic card not supporting D3D or OpenGL"
You probably need to take a closer look at what Core Image/Video really is/does, while not ideal it should still be functional. Your example doesn't hold up because you are mixing performance with compatability, and an extreme case at that. Since the 9200 can provide some of the acceleration that Core needs I think we can expect reasonable performance with Tiger.

I wouldn't expect Tiger to run well on a G3 iMac with a Rage128 Pro, but I think any G4 Mac should do fairly well. And let's not overlook that performance with G3 Macs took a pretty big performance leap going from Jag to Panther, with G3 based Macs being sold until just after the 2004 MacWorld I don't think Apple is eager to piss off that many customers.

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Post by IonYz » Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:13 pm

slam wrote:... as far as i know the video requirements of OSX affect only whether the OS itself is hardware or software rendered, not whether 3D games are hardware or software rendered, but i could be wrong.
Your correct slam. The OpenGL used for games isn't the same as whether Core Image/Video support is available. Core Image/Video require PixelShader 2.0 support that the Radeon 9200 is lacking.

All current Macs support Quartz Extreme (Core Graphics) and THAT is the most important thing. The entire windowing system is accelerated. Core Image and Video deal with real-time transition effects. Imagine your using a photo editing program and you add some filters to adjust hues, brightness, distortion you commonly have to wait. With Tiger and higher-end GPUs these effects are processed at the lowest levels on the GPU instead of requiring CPU time.

Packages like Motion use Core Image and Video (an early version of it). And its a cool application its not something you'll ever find a common Mac mini user running. Because it a dual G5 is recommended. I don't see a lack of Core Image and Core Video as being a problem for a large majority of Mac users. More for the power (PowerBook, Power Mac) users who are already "Core" compliant.
slam wrote:In any case while i do agree that the minimac would make a great graphic design machine, i think it would make a poor 3D gaming machine, unless you are playing much older games with lower requirements. but i think all macs fair poorly as 3D gaming machines when compared dollar-for-dollar to a PC.
Even poorer when your using any of Apple's Cinema Displays ;) My Power Mac G4 1.3 GHz with Radeon 9800 plays games acceptably at 1680x1050 but I'd MUCH RATHER be using a PC. Cheap upgrades, the latest games, custom building. I'd love to have a PC right about now just because it would be the best of both worlds.

Now if only I could find a reasonable DVI KVM :lol:
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patord
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Post by patord » Sun Jan 16, 2005 12:13 am

Now if Apple can get an ibook to match the pricing parity of the low end PC notebooks... and yeah I own their lowest end $999 (when they first came out) ibook G4 so I know what it's really worth.

sdc
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Post by sdc » Mon Jan 17, 2005 12:27 pm

There is an interesting article on Daring Fireball, which is IMO a good analysis of what market Apple is aiming at:
http://daringfireball.net/2005/01/small ... no_display

A particularly interesting bit:
Apple “does not recommend” that users upgrade the memory themselves — you’re supposed to have a service provider do it if you want to add more after purchase — but doing it yourself does not void the warranty unless you damage something.
Good news if this proves correct.

/sdc

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Post by davidstone28 » Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:05 am


dago
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Post by dago » Fri Jan 21, 2005 12:51 pm

As we're on silentpcreview, I think I'll point out that a P4 in this box will peak at 85W (around) while the G4 will be at 25W. It's also priced at 514 CHF here (no cpu/ram/...), while the mini mac is 699 CHF ...

This one is much better OTOH.

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Post by dago » Sat Jan 22, 2005 3:20 pm

Umh, first hand-on review in this MacWorld article, and ...
One thing that did surprise me about the Mac mini was the noise level, both good and bad. Most of the time the machine is very quiet, basically silent; I expected more regular fan noise given the cramped quarters inside the box. On the other hand, under the heaviest extended loads—ripping a number of CDs in a row while performing other processor-intenstive tasks, for example—the fan ramps up to a surprising volume. Nothing compared to the wind tunnel levels of a crashed Power Mac G5, to be sure, but louder than I expected. Similarly, the Mac mini’s optical drive is about as loud as its PowerBook cousin—it can get noisy when ripping songs in iTunes. (Thankfully, it’s nearly silent when watching DVDs.)

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Post by ao » Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:29 pm

I'd have to disagree with a review that says that it's basically silent at times. I haven't had a ton of time to play with mine (yet), but even when idle it's definitely noticeable in a quiet room.

It's very,very quiet, definitely much quieter in overall noise level than my most silent homebuilt with all NMB low cfm fans, but there's a touch of a high pitched whine that I find to be pretty annoying, even though it's fairly low in terms of volume. I haven't had a chance yet to see if it's the fans or the HD, and now that I see from the anandtech review that some of them are shipping with seagate momentus drives instead of toshibas, I'm much more prone to believe it could be the drive instead of the fan. I'd be delighted, as now I find it marginally too annoying to have sitting on the desk, and have tucked it away in the closet instead (an ok solution).

I'll report back as soon as I have a chance to force a HD suspend with the fan running. It'll go quicker if anyone knows the best way to do that under OS X. The equivalent of a linux 'hdparm -Y /dev/hdx' ?

Other than the whine, though, I LOVE the machine. With 256 mb, it's true that it's a little hamstrung, but with more than that, it's really perfect. I'd recommend one to anyone.

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Post by grandpa_boris » Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:47 pm

ao wrote:there's a touch of a high pitched whine that I find to be pretty annoying, even though it's fairly low in terms of volume. I haven't had a chance yet to see if it's the fans or the HD, and now that I see from the anandtech review that some of them are shipping with seagate momentus drives instead of toshibas, I'm much more prone to believe it could be the drive instead of the fan.
my experience with having a completely fanless system with a whiny seagate momentus has taught me that i find fan noise a lot less irritating than the momentus' low-volume, but amazingly annoying keening, piercing squeal.

does the mini come with the OS and applications disks that would allow you to reinstall the system if you replaced the drive?

is the higher clocked model, with an 80GB drive, also using momentus? or are they all hitachi? any way to find out?
I'll report back as soon as I have a chance to force a HD suspend with the fan running. It'll go quicker if anyone knows the best way to do that under OS X. The equivalent of a linux 'hdparm -Y /dev/hdx' ?
you should also investigate possibilities of tmpfs mounts for the usual logs and /tmp kinds of things. it's BSD unix somewhere under all that glitz, so it should be possible :-)
Other than the whine, though, I LOVE the machine. With 256 mb, it's true that it's a little hamstrung, but with more than that, it's really perfect. I'd recommend one to anyone.
you can bump the memory up to a reasoanble level without letting apple fleece you. here is a step-by-step instructions with illustrations, and you can get 1GB of compatible RAM for well under $200 from the usual sources.
**

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Tue Jan 25, 2005 3:48 pm

Hello Dago:
dago wrote:This one is much better OTOH.
That one does look to be quite good -- but the price is pretty steeeP! At nearly $500 for just the case and the motherboard and power supply -- you still have to add the CPU, RAM, HD, video card, optical drive...
Last edited by NeilBlanchard on Tue Jan 25, 2005 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sincerely, Neil
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slam
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Post by slam » Tue Jan 25, 2005 6:10 pm

grandpa_boris wrote:
does the mini come with the OS and applications disks that would allow you to reinstall the system if you replaced the drive?
unless apple is drastically departing from all their other models, you get both a restore cd (to set the unit back to factory shipping software config) and an OS cd with the applications CD.

if apple really is shipping a lot of these with the whiney seagate drives, then they run the risk of this being another cube-style disaster. "look and feel" on this model (or in this case "listen and feel") is going to be a majorly covered media event. a crappy drive and intro could be a media achillies heel.

slam

ao
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Post by ao » Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:51 am

slam wrote:
grandpa_boris wrote:
does the mini come with the OS and applications disks that would allow you to reinstall the system if you replaced the drive?
unless apple is drastically departing from all their other models, you get both a restore cd (to set the unit back to factory shipping software config) and an OS cd with the applications CD.

if apple really is shipping a lot of these with the whiney seagate drives, then they run the risk of this being another cube-style disaster. "look and feel" on this model (or in this case "listen and feel") is going to be a majorly covered media event. a crappy drive and intro could be a media achillies heel.
That's right -- I'm pretty sure that the OS X dvd that comes with my mini isn't just a reinstall disc, it's just a plain OS X install disc that has 'Mac Mini' written on it.

As much as the momentus bothers me, I don't think it would bother pretty much anyone outside of these forums. The machine is still an order of magnitude quieter than most other boxes you could buy. I doubt this is going to be a media achilles heel, and if it is, it's going to penetrate beyond the mini line. I'm pretty sure the momentus is (or is going to be) the drive for the new powerbooks.

I'm still looking for a way to force the drive to suspend. Hdparm appears to have been wrapped into diskutil, but without the suspend functionality. I'm new to OS X, so I'm sure I'll find some mac-specific forums to post in, but if anyone here knows how to do it...

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Post by sdc » Wed Jan 26, 2005 2:37 pm

grandpa_boris wrote:
does the mini come with the OS and applications disks that would allow you to reinstall the system if you replaced the drive?
It does, but the best way to change system disks, if you have an external enclosure, is to clone the old disk to the new disk using a utility such as Carbony Copy Cloner (bootable copy of course), and then swap the disk.
That way, you won't have to reinstall anything.
ao wrote: I'm still looking for a way to force the drive to suspend. Hdparm appears to have been wrapped into diskutil, but without the suspend functionality. I'm new to OS X, so I'm sure I'll find some mac-specific forums to post in, but if anyone here knows how to do it...
There is a tick "Put the hard disk to sleep when possible" in System Preferences/Energy Saver

From the Terminal, you can access power management settings using the pmset command, spindown is the option for suspending the disk.
man pmset will tell you everything you need.

/sdc

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Post by ao » Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:08 am

sdc wrote: There is a tick "Put the hard disk to sleep when possible" in System Preferences/Energy Saver

From the Terminal, you can access power management settings using the pmset command, spindown is the option for suspending the disk.
man pmset will tell you everything you need.

/sdc
Hey -- thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for. I tried it out last night, though with

Code: Select all

pmset -a spindown 1
and sat there with my ears tuned to hear the whine go away. I certainly didn't hear the whine go away, and moreover I didn't hear anything that indicated that the drive had spun down. If the whine is from the fan noise, then it's certainly possible that the drive spun down quietly and I just couldn't hear it. I'm still hoping that it was just user error and that the drive didn't spin down, but I'm less hopeful now that it's just the drive noise.

It's unfortunate. When there's any background noise at all I don't really notice it (provided it's not directly in front of me), but it's definitely noticeable enough that I wouldn't just want to leave it on in my room.

Does anyone else have a mac mini that can offer their thoughts on it's noise level and quality? Is my experience atypical?

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Post by ao » Sun Jan 30, 2005 5:05 pm

Hey -- I just wanted to follow up on this. I used carbon copy cloner to clone the disk onto an external enclosure, and then booted off of it.

a) that's a heck of a nice trick, and unbelievably simple to do. I've done it by hand on linux, but it certainly wasn't that simple. I've never heard of the equivalent on windows. What a straightforward backup solution!

b) when running off of the enclosure, the internal notebook drive spun down. That high pitched whine is absolutely the seagate drive in there -- without it I would have no objection to having it right on my desk in front of me. It's really quiet.

I'm going to swap the seagate drive for one of the fujitsu's I have in a 2.5" enclosure. The performance is clearly going to suffer, but hopefully the gig of ram I'm about to throw in there will mean I don't have to hit the drive too often.

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Post by Hifriday » Mon Feb 14, 2005 10:10 am

I received my Mac Mini today, 1.25/40gig model, but was also disappointed with the noise level. There is a constant whir/whine even at idle, not to mention the loud harddisk seek noises. When placed on top of the desk it is noticably louder than the A64/6800GT Sonata rig I have under the desk (which is running 5 fans and 3 HDD).
From AO's experience, I suspect the harddisk is the culprit. Mine reads in Profiler as an ST940110A which seems to be the Seagate. This is certainly much louder than the Samsung M40 5400rpm/8mb cache drive I have in my SFF, maybe a swap is in order.

AO did you get around to switching the HDD? Any other Mini users have similar problems with the noise levels? Noise level aside, the Mini is definitely a cool machine, and it's so small!

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Post by ao » Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:48 am

Hifriday wrote: AO did you get around to switching the HDD? Any other Mini users have similar problems with the noise levels? Noise level aside, the Mini is definitely a cool machine, and it's so small!
I did crack open my mini and put in a 1 gig patriot stick of pc3200 (150 bucks at newegg and works great), but I haven't swapped the hard drive yet. The whine is definitely the drive in there. I'm still planning on swapping it eventually, but both of the external enclosures I ordered turned out to be DOA, so making a disk image for reinstalling hasn't happened yet.

I'm also planning on using a 3.5" firewire enclosure to store all of my music, and am thinking about using it as a boot drive as well. When I've tried it previously, a good 7200 rpm drive over FW was snappier than the notebook drive. I've got a really deep closet that has a lot of room to breathe, so the plan would be to grab a long FW cable, stick the enclosure at the far end of closet where I couldn't hear it, and boot off of it. In that case the momentus in the mini spins down, the mini is once again a super quiet machine, and I get increased performance. I can use CCC to keep the internal image on the momentus up to date with the one in the enclosure for a quick backup from time to time.

We'll see how well this works. The part I'm most skeptical about right now is whether even a quiet 3.5" drive in an enclosure is going to be quiet enough for me, even if it's 15' away in a closet. I'm sort of a nut.

I do feel it's worth mentioning, however, that for 500 bucks, this machine is really impressing me. I feel like I've spent about that much over the years just on PC silencing stuff alone and have never gotten this close to silence in a machine that was still practical. To have a solution out of the box that does everything I want it do to with plenty of power, and is already a lot quieter than my quietest rig? It makes me really happy. I'm surprised this board isn't completely overrun with people raving about theirs, just for the noise factor, but I suspect if it ran windows that it would be.

Maybe it's also worth saying that I've never been a machead, or OS X nut, or what have you. I've always run dual boot windows and linux. But frankly, OS X is pretty nice. Stuff really does just seem to work, because it's all been designed to work together from the start. Easy to navigate, easy to use, it's good gear. It's not the end all and be all of OS's, none of them are. But I'm happy to say that between the new desktop options on linux (gnome, kde), XP, and os X, there are three totally solid and viable options for your desktop today. OS X just happens to feel like it combines the best parts of linux with XP, and that's starting to have real value for me in terms of time and effort saved.

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Post by sdc » Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:02 am

ao wrote:I'm also planning on using a 3.5" firewire enclosure to store all of my music, and am thinking about using it as a boot drive as well. When I've tried it previously, a good 7200 rpm drive over FW was snappier than the notebook drive. (...) The part I'm most skeptical about right now is whether even a quiet 3.5" drive in an enclosure is going to be quiet enough for me, even if it's 15' away in a closet. I'm sort of a nut.
ao,
Why don't you use a 2.5" enclosure? Of course, it's more expensive, but you will be able to power the disk directly from the Mac, and there won't be any fan.
I think Toshiba makes 7200 rpm 2.5" disks.
I can use CCC to keep the internal image on the momentus up to date with the one in the enclosure for a quick backup from time to time.
Don't forget that you can only make full clones with CCC, not incremental ones. (The incremental clone function uses psync, which seems to be broken in Panther)

/sdc

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Post by ao » Wed Feb 16, 2005 12:44 pm

I do have a 2.5" enclosure with a 40 gb fujitsu in it, but they don't make 2.5" drives that are large enough for the entire music collection. I have a *lot* of cds. Making them easily accessible and mixable in a way that's silent enough to not detract from the enjoyment of sitting and listening to music is one of the things that brought me to this board.

I suppose I could daisy chain a few notebook drives together in enclosures, but the cost really gets pretty excessive compared to non-notebook drives. At that point I'd probably just throw a pII samba server in the basement with a fairly quiet 3.5" drive in it and give up the idea of booting off of firewire. A network share should be plenty fast for just serving up songs via itunes.

Also, while the stock psync is broken in panther, there's a link on the CCC page to a patched version of psync which allegedly fixes the problem. I haven't tried it yet, but it's worth looking into.

-ao

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Post by Hifriday » Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:12 am

Further to the noise of my MM, the constant whir/whine sounds a little too loud just to be the HDD. Some owners have posted problems with fan constantly being on after the latest OSX update. Maybe I just lucked out and got both a harddisk and fan from the loud side of the production spectrum.

As for the drive seek noises, after more extensive use, actually the drive seeks are not loud. It is quite faint and barely audible within one foot. It seems the loud clicking sound I heard are due to "over agressive" head parking on Seagate's part. There are several posts on other forums mentioning the same problem. A similar problem was described in another SPCR thread for the old version of the Hitachi 5k80. This clicking only occurs occassionally, usually when the disk is accessed after idling for more than 10-15 seconds. During constant disk access, this sound is not present. Unfortunately a lot of my usage is without constant disk access, so that means there is a lot of clicking and can be extremely annoying.

* AO, is yours also the 40G, 5400? Seagate HDD (reads ST940110A under Profiler)? Have you noticed any similar clicking? I am wondering if this is a factory setting in the harddisk itself that can be changed with some Seagate utility or if it is fixed in the firmware?

As to why so many people are claiming the Mini is "silent" or nearly inaudible, despite differences in hearing thresholds, how easily one notices or is bothered by noise, background ambient noise, etc. I believe the claim is on the most part true (and hope so too!!).
The reason is that Apple has been shipping their Minis with quite a few different types of harddisks. Mentioned on various forums/reviews, for the 40G this includes the Seagate, both 4200 and 5400 models, and some even claimed a Hitachi 4200. For the 80g, seems most of them are Toshiba 4200 MK8025GAS, and some mention of Seagate 4200. I suspect the loud constant whine does not plague 4200 drives and seems most of the posters/reviewers have the 1.42ghz model which comes with the 80g drive, and if the 80G is similar to it's 40G brethen then we know (thanks to SPCR) it should be one of the quietest drives out there and also believe Toshiba has no issue with head park clicking.

I'm sure there's some other Mini owner with a 4200 40g drive wishing that he got the better performing 5400, while here I'm wishing mine came with a 4200 one, but certainly won't find that owner here in SPCR. I brought my Mini to the local service center to be checked out in anycase, even though I strongly suspect they won't find anything wrong with it. In which case I am going to switch in a Samsung drive (hey 5400 performance and low noise).

On another note, I did open up the Mini using a $0.60 putty knife from the local hardware store. It was 2.5" instead of the recommend 1.5" but didn't have any problems following the video/pdf circulating the net. I swapped in a 512MB Geil DDR3200 RAM from an old PC and it worked just fine.

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Post by Hifriday » Thu Feb 17, 2005 8:16 am

We'll see how well this works. The part I'm most skeptical about right now is whether even a quiet 3.5" drive in an enclosure is going to be quiet enough for me, even if it's 15' away in a closet. I'm sort of a nut.
I don't have any experience with 3.5" external enclosures, but guess also depends if it uses a loud fan. However I would suspect 15' away AND in a closet would be pretty hard to hear. Otherwise you could probably stick the HDD in a fanless silent internal enclosure and use the firewire to ATA interface out of your external enclosure. Do keep in mind firewire has a cable length limitation of 14.8' after which the signal could degrade. If your closet is 15' away, incl the cable travel up/down, this maybe too far.

A more elegant solution assuming a 2.5" Samsung or Toshiba 40g is a silent enough replacement for the internal drive is to use that as the boot drive. Then get a NAS device and stick that in another room. Buffalo will release a Terabyte version shortly which should be able to hold a *lot* of CDs!! Or there are also ones that run Wifi which should be enough bandwidth for mp3s.
I'm surprised this board isn't completely overrun with people raving about theirs, just for the noise factor, but I suspect if it ran windows that it would be.
Yeah I'm a little surprised too, but I guess the fact there is no stock and you have to wait three weeks doesn't help. My original justification for purchasing the Mini was to use it as a "silent-out-of-the-box" second machine for web browsing, email, ipod docking, photo storage and only power up my "quiet" PC-A64 rig for gaming or more CPU-I/O intense work. Plus most LCDs have dual inputs so the Mini would cohabitate nicely with the existing PC.
Of course that plus the fact it is so so so small, looks so sleek, and can be had for such a relatively low price. In terms of PC SFF, I haven't seen anything close to this size and not to mention most nicely styled SFF tend to be priced a lot higher and most likely to be quite a bit louder.

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Post by ao » Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:13 am

Hifriday wrote:
* AO, is yours also the 40G, 5400? Seagate HDD (reads ST940110A under Profiler)? Have you noticed any similar clicking? I am wondering if this is a factory setting in the harddisk itself that can be changed with some Seagate utility or if it is fixed in the firmware?
Yes -- this is the same drive I have. The 5400 rpm seagate momentus, with a 2 MB cache. It's funny that the 'lower powered' machines are the ones getting the upgraded drive.

I hadn't made the connection with the 10.3.8 update and the fan being on more, but there's no question that it's running more often now, and at a louder volume. That's . . . annoying to say the least. It's still quiet, but not as quiet as before, even accounting for the HD.

I haven't noticed the head parking noise (clicking) that you're talking about. The machine is behind a thin wall, though (with an open door near to it), so it's possible that I've just missed it if it's somewhat subtle. Actually, I just stuck my head up against it for a few minutes (somewhat comical) and didn't hear any trace of clicking.

I got the 3.5" enclosure back today and threw the 300gb 7200.8 in it. I just powered it up and stuck it at the far end of my closet, just to see the best case scenario for noise. Frankly, even though the enclosure is fanless and well made, the low pitch idle noise of that drive is still audible from anywhere in my room. Quiet, there's no question, but more audible than the mini, and not acceptable. I'd look into the NAS, but it's a bit pricey. I'll probably just set up the samba server in the basement again and call it a day. I had high hopes for the 7200.8, at least for the PATA version, but it's just not that quiet.

What forums are you reading about the mini that talk about the fan noise post 10.3.8, btw? I'm new to macs, so I don't know the circles to search in. And what samsung are you going to throw in? My fujitsu 40gb 4200 rpm was totally quiet, but the 60gb version I bought for my brother was not. I'm a little gun shy about assuming that notebook drives will be quiet now.

Totally agreed on the value of the mini as a quiet all purpose machine, though. It's great.

-ao

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Post by Green Shoes » Thu Feb 17, 2005 10:27 am

The depressing thing about all this to me is that I just bought this exact same config in a Powermac G4 about a year ago for over $1300 before tax/shipping. meh.

FWIW, my experience with macs (as a PC user, forced to use them all the time) is that they're relatively quieter than an average PC, but nowhere near as quiet as Apple claims.

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Post by Hifriday » Thu Feb 17, 2005 10:48 am

What forums are you reading about the mini that talk about the fan noise post 10.3.8, btw?
This is my first mac as well, basically I've just been googling my way around. The Apple support forum (under discussions) has some interesting information. Also might want to check out www.byodkm.net
The machine is behind a thin wall, though (with an open door near to it)
Wow guess you weren't kidding when you mentioned you were sensitive to noise. I'm only unhappy because my Mini is sitting 2 feet in front of me on top of my desk!

Also I imagine a 300gb HDD would be pretty loud, maybe a 160gb Samsung would be a better choice. As for NAS, I believe prices have come down. I seem to recall seeing a wireless Buffalo NAS enclosure (HDD not included) for under $100, I would guess a wired one would be even less.

ao
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Post by ao » Wed Feb 23, 2005 12:24 pm

hey Hifriday,

I just wanted to see if you've replaced the HD in the mini yet, and if it did the trick for you.

Also -- thanks for pointing out the NAS devices. I haven't found the Buffalo enclosure you're talking about (the one without the HD), but I did find the linksys NSLU2 (I think that's the right name) that looks like it'll do the trick. Eighty bucks for something I can just stick down in the basement with an enclosure or two? Well worth it if it means It Just Works, and I don't have to dink with setting up another machine and dealing with its noise and power draw...

Does anyone have any experience with the linksys I'm talking about? It looks great.

http://www.tomsnetworking.com/Reviews-1 ... -NSLU2.php

-ao

Hifriday
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Post by Hifriday » Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:06 am

I just got my Mini back after a week at the local service center, of course to be told "all hardware was functioning correcty". But when I turned it on, it was quieter than before, hmmm... my imagination? as supposedly nothing was changed. Wait a minute, the desktop was different, and hey it's a different user name. They put another owners hard disk into my Mini!! (can you believe that?!) It's the same ST940110A 40G model, but clearly quieter than my previous one which whined/whirred louder. However it still made the ever so annoying clicking (head parking).

I did swap in a Samsung M40 which does NOT click at all. In terms of spin noise in the open, the Samsung is slightly quieter than the Seagate (the second "quiet" one), a softer medium pitched whir versus the Seagate's slightly louder lower pitched whir. In terms of the idle sound, I wouldn't say it's worth replacing the HDD (assuming you have a quiet and not loud Seagate). To me the Mini is still clearly audible with the one fan and 2.5" disk noise, and late at night, slightly too "audible" to be used on top of the desk and within 2 feet. I will try relocating it further away from me or worst case under the table as I am finding OSX does have a lot of nice features albeit some annoying limitations/differences as well.

In terms of the clicking of the Seagates, if that bothers you (as it does me) then it would be a very worthwhile change. The swapping of the harddisk itself was a relatively painless process following the .pdf document, however reinstalling the OS was slow and took more time.

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