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The 2009 Mac Mini, Cont.

But with all this video processing punch on tap, not to mention awesome parallel processing power, how come Apple shortchanges us with such slow, small hard drive choices for the new Mini? For $600 all you get is a measly 120GB drive that spins at a lazy 5,400-RPM.

And if you spring for an extra $150 you still get another slow and small drive, a 5,400-RPM 320GB unit. In the current mass storage market this is a blatant rip off. (Maybe Steve J. ran up large Rx co-pay he needed to settle.)

So out came the surgical putty knife and in we went. Our Mini procedure suffered some complications when confronted by one of the three wireless transceiver connectors; in this case, the one located on the far right when facing the computer’s front. It immediately popped off little its circuit board when we flipped open the computer assembly. 

When it came time to sew things back up, reconnecting this wire to its nano-sized connector was one frustrating bastard. The Airport wire was no problem as its head unit easily pulls off prior to doing any work.

The Apple hard drive sports a different placement arrangement than the old Mini.  It slides out to the side and sits on two small, shiny, sticky back metallic cushions that easily peel off the drive's bottom —They remain sticky, so don’t panic.

When you replace the disc, diagonally position the two cushions on the drive’s bottom, e.g., one cushion on the left front, the other at the right rear. If you don’t do it this way, the drive won’t go back into position properly.

There is also what is apparently a thermal sensor wire that is tacked to the rear of the disc. This is also easy to stick back on when finished.

Now it was time for the big guns. In went a Seagate Momentus 7200.4 500GB lap top drive. According to Seagate, it delivers the highest available capacity and performance in a laptop hard drive yet draws only .05 percent more power than a 5400-RPM laptop drive.

Seagate Momentus — Monster Drive, Tiny Package

This low power spec also means no worries about thermal buildup issues when replacing the original Apple drive. This fast monster Seagate can be yours for as little as $115.

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