I’ve been bashing my head for 10 days now, trying to get answers from apple about an issue with a new Mac mini I purchased. Now, I’m a techie. I come from the PC world. I’m not an idiot, and I’ve been doing this a really long time. I know my technologies, especially when it comes to something as simple as a SATA controller and its speed. As well as how to do the math to convert from bytes to bits and vice versa.
Within the Apple store, when configuring a mac mini, within the “learn more” link in the hard drive section, you come across this quote “All Mac mini models include standard Serial ATA hard drives with data transfers up to 300 megabytes per second” Now, if you’re a geek like me, you know that equals out to be about 2.4 gigabits per second. This is the theoretical limit of SATA II. If you were to look at the maximum of a SATA I controller, you’d see that it’s about 1.5 gigabit per second, or 131 megabytes per second.
Now that we have that out of the way, on to the problem.
I exchanged my 8 days old Mac mini for a brand new Mac mini 2010. In the system profiler, if you look at the SATA controller, in the window below you will see Link Speed, and Negotiated Link Speed. On my mac mini it is 3.0 gigabit link speed, and 1.5 gigabit negotiated link speed. Why? Because the hard drive in the Mac mini is a SATA I hard drive. I even called Hitachi to confirm this, AND Apple engineering has confirmed this. How can they get away with advertising it as something, then giving you something in the range of ‘half’? I’m waiting on a response from Apple about that.
Don’t buy a Mac mini. You’re not getting out of it what you should. And check any Mac you are about to buy, for any discrepancies between the Link Speed and Negotiated Link Speed, except optical CD/DVD drives. Most aren’t capable of those speeds anyway. Likely, I’m going to return this mac. I just know Apple isn’t going to fix it and make it right (replace the hard drive with a SATA II version), but I’m sure they’ll take the computer back and give me my money.Holy hell, and I was trying to give Apple a chance. I didn’t realize they hated me so much.
UPDATE: Apple’s response was “Sorry… you can return it if you’d like, but we can’t replace the hard drive”.