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Just how much does disk rpm affect system performance?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Dr Nick Riviera, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. Dr Nick Riviera

    Dr Nick Riviera
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    Hi all
    I realise this is based around a mac not a windows machine, but I am currently considering replacing an old Mac G4 tower with one of the new mac mini machines for use in a busy graphics department.
    Unfortunately it's difficult to find any objective review on whether the mini can handle day to day tasks such as image editing, document construction and website building - I've seen some that said it's good for little more than holding your mp3 files on; others say it is fine except for its slow hard disk.
    Seeing as I will not be using the HD for storage at all (external Firewire drive already in service will be connected), will the slow rpm of the drive affect performance in opening, editing and saving files of (for instance) up to 200mb back and forth from the FW drive?
    Surely it is safe to assume that a new 1.42Ghz G4 processor mac mini with 1GB ram will perform better than an old G4 400mhz with 768mb ram for my day to day requirements? It's a faster CPU, faster Ram and a thoroughly more modern graphics card - gotta be faster hasn't it?

    Sorry if newbie stuff to you all.

    Nick
     
  2. Werner

    Werner
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    mac mini will be faster than your current setup at doing processor tasks, spreadsheets, image manipulation etc. Where pure disk IO performance is concerned (saving/copying/moving files), the laptop drives fitted to mac minis (and laptops) are not exactly stellar performers and will hardly set the world on fire with seek times and transfer rates. Laptop drives are esigned to run off very little power, make little noise and a small amount of heat. This means they are slow. period. (compared to what we are used to)

    That doesnt make the mac mini slow as such, except that when disk operations are performed, the hdd becomes a serious bottleneck and everything else hangs around twiddling it;s thumbs waiting for the hard drive to do it;s stuff
     
  3. Dr Nick Riviera

    Dr Nick Riviera
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    Werner
    Thanks for looking :)
    With regard to the I/O operations showing up the slowness of the HD in the mac mini: if I am using an external FW HD for storage, is the copying of data onto and off this external FW (and likewise across the network) compromised by the internal HD speed? Wouldn't these type of operations be more about bus speeds?
    All I am envisaging being on the mini HD is OSX and my apps. Either way I would imagine that my current 3 or 4 year old G4 probably doesn't have the fastest HD in the world anyway, so I would have thought opening, saving and printing large postscript files etc would be quicker on the new mini wouldn't it?

    Cheers

    Nick
     
  4. Werner

    Werner
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    As I said, the mac mini will be faster. An early adopter friend of mine in Ireland picked one up about 3 weeks ago in Dublin, and he is overly impressed with the machine. In fact, so much so that I am trying to avoid speaking to him on msn messenger due to the "my mac mini is this and that" type conversations we end up having.

    For the money, you cant upgrade your G4 to those specs, plus, it is a cool looking device, runs nearly silent, and is about the smallest thing around right now.
     
  5. Dr Nick Riviera

    Dr Nick Riviera
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