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I'm looking into purchasing a 13" Macbook unibody (version that came out oct 09) and have a few questions regarding its compatibility with my other computer accessories. With this being my first Mac purchase and I do not know much and will simply lay out the questions and concerns I have.


I intend to connect a new 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green HDD to store 1080p media and have read that there are possible compatibility issues with external enclosures. How can I verify that my enclosure ( Thermaltake Max 4 ) will function properly? Also since I will be storing HD media on the external drive I will be dealing with large files (>10GB in size), to what file system should I format the drive initially as I have previously encountered issues with FAT32 (does not support files >4GB). I would like to keep it in a format that can also be accessible by Windows 7 if possible should I decide to stick the drive in my desktop.


The other compatibility question was regarding my external monitor. I have the ASUS VW266H . I am planning on purchasing a mini-displayport to dvi connector so I can take advantage of the full 1980x1200 display resolution. My concerns come from reading specs on the apple displayport adapter some of which say the max supported output resolution is 1080p (1980x1080) while others says it is 1980x1200. I would like to confirm that latter is true. Also I have seen third party adaptors on amazon for much cheaper than their apple counterparts that may offer better compatibility for my monitor and I was hoping to verify this.


I know its a lot to ask but if I can get even a bit of info from a few people, it may be enough. I'd like to know exactly what I will be getting out of my macbook if I am to purchase one. I have researched a lot online, but not found much so I am resorting to the forums. I'd appreciate any help or experiences you could share with me.


Thanks so much!
 

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Quote:
I'd like to know exactly what I will be getting out of my macbook if I am to purchase one.

It's impossible to know that, especially since you apparently have no experience with OS X.

Quote:
I intend to connect a new 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green HDD to store 1080p media and have read that there are possible compatibility issues with external enclosures
Quote:
How can I verify that my enclosure (Thermaltake Max 4) will function properly?

You can't, until you try it firsthand. The only Thermaltake product I have any experience with is their USB/eSATA docking station:

http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-Bl...6929316&sr=1-1


and I bet it's very similar performance-wise to the enclosure you're considering. I keep one connected over USB to a 2007 Macbook in my HT, and with Plex I can play back 1080p blu-ray rips stored on 1TB and 1.5TB WD Green drives just fine. Drives left in the dock spin down after a period of inactivity and wake/sleep just fine.

Quote:
what file system should I format the drive initially as I have previously encountered issues with FAT32 (does not support files >4GB). I would like to keep it in a format that can also be accessible by Windows 7 if possible should I decide to stick the drive in my desktop.

We run OS X exclusively in our house, so someone else will be in a better position to help you, but whenever this question is asked folks in a mixed environment always seem to recommend MacDrive for this...while you're at it google MacFUSE and Paragon as well as MacDrive. What I'd consider if I were you, though, if you're just starting out in OS X, is to buy two 1TB green drives instead of a single 2TB drive--because any single drive can fail, including your internal MB drive, you want to hedge your bets against a catastrophic loss.


Format both of the 1TB drives as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) with the GUID partition scheme. On the first drive, the one that you will normally keep in the enclosure connected to your MB, set up two partitions, a smaller volume for Time Machine and a larger volume for 1080p media. On the second drive, set up a smaller volume for a SuperDuper bootable clone and a larger volume for more media storage. After you clone your MB drive, remove this second drive and keep it in a safe place. (Time Machine is a nice feature, especially if you're going to be disconnecting and doing real work on that MB in addition to HT-related tasks, but SuperDuper protects you in a way that Time Machine does not--providing you with an instantly bootable clone of your internal MB drive. That means no down time if you screw your system up with a software or firmware update. And it is highly likely you will unintentionally screw your system up by using it in the home theater arena.)


To make this swapping process a little easier, you might want to pick up a docking station as well, I think I paid $19 for mine...then it's a piece of cake to mount additional drives.


I don't yet have a Mac with miniDP, so can't help you there...but at $8 I think that third party adaptor is well worth a gamble.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc /forum/post/18188474


On the first drive, the one that you will normally keep in the enclosure connected to your MB, set up two partitions, a smaller volume for Time Machine and a larger volume for 1080p media.

Your advice is probably the best for a Mac newbie.


But if you have the discipline to not overfill your drive with too much "1080p media", then I would recommend keeping this drive as a single partition. That way you're not a priori creating arbitrary partition sizes that you may regret later.


Time Machine has no problem coexisting with other files on a single partition. It merrily creates its own "Backups.backupdb" folder where it does all its magic.
 
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