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#24392 - 12/10/12 06:05 AM External DVD Drive-advice needed
Cazjaz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: UK
The internal DVD drive on my Mac Mini (2009 Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.26 GHz, OS X 10.5.8) has stopped working and I'm wanting to get an external drive to use instead. Do I need to look for one with Firewire to be able to boot from it if necessary or can I boot using the USB?

If anyone has any recommendations for specific drives they'd be gratefully received. I did look for a reasonably priced Firewire Lacie but haven't found one here in the UK so far...hence the query.

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#24393 - 12/10/12 06:24 AM Re: External DVD Drive-advice needed [Re: Cazjaz]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Intel Macs can boot from both Firewire and USB.
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#24395 - 12/10/12 10:17 AM Re: External DVD Drive-advice needed [Re: Cazjaz]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
While you can boot from either Firewire or USB, Firewire 800 (which your MacMini supports) would be a LOT faster and well worth the modest premium in cost. I don't have numbers to prove it, but my wife's MacMini certainly feels faster when booted from the external Firewire 800 drive than it does running from the internal drive. Booting her Mini from the same external drive using USB 2 (High Speed) is rather anemic. FWIW the external drive she uses is an OWC Mercury Elite Pro USB2/Firewire 800/Firewire 400/e-Sata enclosure with a 750GB Hitachi drive.
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#24400 - 12/10/12 08:37 PM Re: External DVD Drive-advice needed [Re: joemikeb]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Quote:
I don't have numbers to prove it, but my wife's MacMini certainly feels faster when booted from the external Firewire 800 drive than it does running from the internal drive.


That wouldn't surprise me. FW800 tops at 79MB/sec by my tests. One larger 3.5" sata I tested with esata only did 89MB/sec. When I wondered why I checked the specs, and that was that drive's theoretical performance max. Laptop drives are historically slower, so I could see an older 2.5" sata, or especially a 2.5" IDE, being a good deal slower than FW800 attaching a faster drive.


(btw, macs can also be booted off SD cards, esata, thunderbolt, and a variety of even less common things, such as compactflash)
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#24402 - 12/11/12 12:50 AM Re: External DVD Drive-advice needed [Re: Virtual1]
Cazjaz Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: UK
Thanks for all the replies. They've confirmed the idea I had that Intel Macs can be booted form both Firewire and USB and given me a few other things to think about too.

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#24404 - 12/11/12 05:49 AM Re: External DVD Drive-advice needed [Re: joemikeb]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
FireWire is faster than USB, but DVD drives are always glacially slow. It has been my experience that FireWire hard drives are noticeably faster than USB hard drives, but FireWire DVD drives are not.
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