peterdaly writes "As a proud new owner of a Mac mini, I quickly discovered the internal hard drive performance was so pathetic compared to what I was used to that I needed to do something about it ... preferably on the cheap. I ended up trying a FireWire attached storage enclosure and using an older 80GB drive I had in my closet from a dead PC. My mini got about a 75 percent disk performance increase for about $50 (or $100 if you need a drive). Here is a benchmark of before and after as well as information about my research and upgrade. If you already have at least 512MB RAM, this may be the best performance bang for your buck if you're looking for your mini to be faster and more responsive."
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