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herbal 01-11-2007 05:14 AM

Replacing PC with Mini
Howdy. I'm after a bit of advice from all you experts out there.
I have a mini 1.5 core solo/512/60Gb/Combo running Tiger at work and an old P3 900/512/250Gb/DVD-RW running XP at home. I have the chance to buy the mini cheap, and would like to replace the PC with it. The only problem is the small HDD and lack of a DVD burner on the mini, as all i really use it for is downloading and burning.

AFAICS, I have the following options:

1/ Buy an external HDD and burner for the mini
2/ Buy an enclosure and use the HDD and/or burner (Sony 16x dual-layer) from the PC with the mini. The HDD is a Western Digital IDE 250Gb, 7200 rpm and it contains around 100Gb of music & video.

My questions are
1) Which is the best budget option?
2) Can i transplant the HDD without losing the data?
3) Will using a 7200 rpm drive as my boot drive increase the performance of the mini significantly?
4) Will the mini be significantly faster at video transcoding than the PC?



eric 01-11-2007 05:25 AM

why replace it? use it as a server for the mini.

then if you find that there's something the mini won;t do for you, you can still use the wintel machine (maybe even via a remote desktop function on the mini).

herbal 01-11-2007 05:37 AM

It's a space issue. I don't have anywhere to put the PC (it shares the kitchen table with breakfast at the mnute!)
I'm kinda happy with the PC, but it's so sloooooooooow. Encoding and burning a DVD from various video clips through Nero takes 18 - 36 hours, even with every other app closed.:(

eric 01-11-2007 05:46 AM

well then, you could use an enclosure for the big HD, though if it's formatted ntfs you'll only be able to read from it. you'd need to format is fat32 (or 16) to have full read/write/modify/delete to that drive - but that would mean basically erasing the disk. the enclosure should only run maybe 15 - 30 bucks (more if it's a networked enclosure rather than firewire or usb).
i don't think you can smiply transplant the drive. i'm pretty sure the mini uses a 2.5" drive. i'd guarantee the windows machine is a 3.5".

you could also get an external dvd burner, though here you're adding cost again.

the mini should be faster in almost every way than a p3 900 with half a gig of ram (dependant on the os).

MartinS 01-11-2007 05:47 AM

I'd recommend a visit to – you'll find all you need to know there. Many members use external firewire drives as boot disks, and you can always use an external DVD drive.

herbal 01-11-2007 07:59 AM

OK. Cheers. I still have the problem of how to get my 100gb of data onto the mini if I need to format the drive.

??? 01-13-2007 11:55 AM

Well you really have 40GB spare on the mini, that so for speed just a transfer. Do you have a friend with a laptop that can come round and store data on that too.

I had this problem a few years ago, before DVD burners were around. It was either burn about 80CDs or friends. I endedup using about 7 friends computers for a few days. But it just seems simple to either sell your PC whole to pay for an external HDD and external DVD writer. This may cost more but seems simply.

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