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New Mac mini's SATA
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l008com
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Mar 3, 2009, 06:35 PM
 
I have some technical questions that maybe nobody knows the answer to yet. First off, is the optical drive in the mini SATA as was rumored? Second, are these SATA ports SATA I or SATA II? Third, do either of these ports (if there even are two) support Port Multiplication?

The answers to these questions will greatly effect what my drive tower looks like. I can't buy my new mini to replace my old G4 server until my drive tower is ready to go.
( Last edited by l008com; Mar 3, 2009 at 06:51 PM. Reason: typo)
     
Chongo
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Mar 3, 2009, 07:14 PM
 
From Apple
120GB, 250GB, or 320GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard disk drive

Slot-loading SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW): Writes DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL discs at up to 6x speed, writes DVD-R and DVD+R discs at up to 8x speed, writes DVD-RW discs at up to 6x speed, writes DVD+RW discs at up to 8x speed, Slot-load optical drive reads DVDs at up to 8x speed, writes CD-R and CD-RW discs at up to 24x speed, reads CDs at up to 24x speed

Sorry, no BluRay
45/47
     
l008com  (op)
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Mar 3, 2009, 07:16 PM
 
Are you answering someone else's question maybe?

Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
From Apple
120GB, 250GB, or 320GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard disk drive

Slot-loading SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW): Writes DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL discs at up to 6x speed, writes DVD-R and DVD+R discs at up to 8x speed, writes DVD-RW discs at up to 6x speed, writes DVD+RW discs at up to 8x speed, Slot-load optical drive reads DVDs at up to 8x speed, writes CD-R and CD-RW discs at up to 24x speed, reads CDs at up to 24x speed

Sorry, no BluRay
     
mduell
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Mar 3, 2009, 08:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by l008com View Post
I have some technical questions that maybe nobody knows the answer to yet. First off, is the optical drive in the mini SATA as was rumored? Second, are these SATA ports SATA I or SATA II? Third, do either of these ports (if there even are two) support Port Multiplication?
Unfortunately nVidia doesn't make their chipset docs easy to find like Intel does.
1) Unknown but very likely.
2) SATA II is (was) a committee, not a standard. They're 3Gb/s SATA ports with unknown features.
3) Unknown but unlikely.
     
Simon
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Mar 4, 2009, 05:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by l008com View Post
I have some technical questions that maybe nobody knows the answer to yet. First off, is the optical drive in the mini SATA as was rumored?
Yes.

Second, are these SATA ports SATA I or SATA II?
No such thing. The mini's SATA bus supports 3Gbps.

Third, do either of these ports (if there even are two) support Port Multiplication?
Probably not.

I can't buy my new mini to replace my old G4 server until my drive tower is ready to go.
The mini is not a server. Even though some people try to use it as that. Real servers offer redundancy, expansion, and are built for that kind of use. The Mac mini is not. You should have that in mind if you're considering using a Mac mini as a server.
     
chichow
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Mar 4, 2009, 10:21 AM
 
Simon...

would you say that a mini would perhaps work fine as a home server? e.g. 2 - 3 people at most accessing it and serving files, home media, ssh point, etc? With the understanding that you use time machine and keep off-site backups.
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 4, 2009, 10:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by chichow View Post
Simon...

would you say that a mini would perhaps work fine as a home server? e.g. 2 - 3 people at most accessing it and serving files, home media, ssh point, etc? With the understanding that you use time machine and keep off-site backups.
Friends of mine, software developers, have bought a mini just for that. It's plenty. I (mis)use my parents' mini for some remote stuff, too. The only limits concern harddrive capacity (500 GB internally, but you can use external drives to extend it, obviously) and speed of data transfers if you use Gigabit ethernet. For watching movies, storing music, etc. it's plenty.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Simon
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Mar 4, 2009, 11:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by chichow View Post
Simon...

would you say that a mini would perhaps work fine as a home server? e.g. 2 - 3 people at most accessing it and serving files, home media, ssh point, etc? With the understanding that you use time machine and keep off-site backups.
Yeah, for that light kind of "server" use I think a Mac mini could be ok. Keep in mind its internal disk isn't fast (or large for that matter). You might eventually be forced to use an external drive depending on your capacity and performance requirements.

I use a Mac mini to drive my projector and also as a "media server" at home. It's fine for that kind of light use.

As the saying goes, there's no free lunch. There are reasons the mini is as cheap as it is. As long as you are aware of the limitations and and your needs don't exceed them you'll be fine.
     
Drizzt
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Mar 4, 2009, 04:18 PM
 
Somebody knows if the eSATA mod still works? You could add an external RAID appliance using that...
     
danangdoc
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Mar 12, 2009, 10:45 AM
 
If you want to really expand your storage and speed, look to iFixit on the web, who has a solution. You get a kit for around $250, pull your super drive, and can install 2-500Gb drives. I read the add, and you will need a little soldering, so if you're not comfortable with that then take a pass. You can use an external DVD drive for the few times you may need one. Install 4 Gigs of Ram (system will recognize 3.18 Gb of that) and you've got a hot machine!
     
l008com  (op)
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Mar 12, 2009, 10:49 AM
 
If the mini's SATA has PM support, you could connected ten 1T hard drives to the mac mini, and access them at 750MB/sec through two port multipliers and the two sata ports. Hell of a lot better than replacing the optical drive with a second laptop hard drive eh?
     
dowNNshift
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Mar 13, 2009, 12:48 AM
 
If you want to use a mini as a server, it does require modification. I too am excited about the dual SATA ports on the interconnect board, however the optical drive SATA port is a slimline. Even though the data jack is normal, the power connection is too small for a secondary internal HDD in lieu of the optical drive.

Having a FW800 port on the rear offers better external throughput and chaining options. The best combination for running an entry level mini-server would be to upgrade the internal HDD with a 7200RPM 2.5-in drive of your liking and then to connect one or more RAID mirror capable FW800 externals.

A cleaver modification would be to adapt the slimline SATA adapter on the interconnect board and customize the mini's case to have an eSATA port for the secondary HDD. I'm still giving it thought, but I've always been excited about the mini's potential.
     
l008com  (op)
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Mar 13, 2009, 08:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by dowNNshift View Post
A cleaver modification would be to adapt the slimline SATA adapter on the interconnect board and customize the mini's case to have an eSATA port for the secondary HDD. I'm still giving it thought, but I've always been excited about the mini's potential.
Thats actually what this thread is about. If neither SATA port support port-multiplication, then i'll be running both SATA ports out the back of my mini, and plugging them into two 3.5" hard drives, and then adding a few more 3.5" hard drives via firewire. If the mini DOES support port-multiplication, then i'll just route one sata out the back, and put a port multiplier in my tower instead of a firewire bridge or two, and run all the drives off that.
     
   
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