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Old 8th May 2009
Lives for gear
James Lehmann's Avatar

Mini has arrived! thumbsup

I was up and running within 25 minutes of this thing landing on my desk!

So I'm going to answer my own questions here:

1. Is the Mini going to be dead quiet on my desk?
YES! Much quieter than any of the drives I possess.

2. Can I pass FW400 through my Cinema Display using the display's bespoke cable, which thus far is very useful as a hub?
Not tried this - have devised an alternative (and better) Firewire chain (see below)

3. I would have preferred a 7200rpm drive option, but this isn't available on the Mini (on the flip side I've heard it increases fan activity)
Can't comment on this yet.

4. There's a bewildering array of display adapters and options now chez Apple - Mini seems especially blighted by this, although it will never be a problem if I continue using Apple Displays as I have always done
Yes - no problem at all, uses exactly the same adapter as my old PB 12" so just plug and play. I ordered a Mini DisplayPort >> VGA adapter just so I have it lying around in case.

5. Graphics card isn't as cool as the one on the iMac - dunno if this will affect performance
Can't comment on this yet. Seems zippy so far - not installed any massive 3D games yet (although neither am I likely to!)

6. Slightly worried by reports that Migration Assistant is dodgy when going PPC >> Intel (couldn't I do this using Time machine?)
Just to be safe I did a clean OS-X install and reinstalled some software (iWork, Logic, MIO Console). Put my old PB 12" in Firewire Target Mode and dragged the rest over easily. For me this is now really only: Address Book, Bookmarks, Documents, Music, iWeb Domain file, Photos, Movies, Logic Library

7. Also concerned that FW800 >> FW400 limits chaining to 2 devices - right now I'm chaining 4 devices (2x MH and 2x HD's) with no problems at all
I've decided I'm going to take my Time Machine disk out of the Firewire chain and run it off USB2 from now on

So my new Firewire chain is:
FW800 Mac Mini >> FW800 La Cie Drive >> FW400 MH2882 >> FW400 ULN-2

I was mistaken in thinking that adding a FW400 device to a FW800 chain lowers the overall speed of the bus. According to Metric Halo this is not the case - in my chain the Mini communicates with the Drive at FW800 speeds, and the drive is linked to the 2882 at FW400 speed.

EDIT: One thing though: The DVD drive is very noisy! I mean really unreasonably loud when a disc is spinning in there. Anyone else experiencing this?