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Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: dan steinberg
Date: May 31, 2020 10:57PM
Hi there everyone, I have a 2018 Mac mini that I currently boot off of an external 512GB solid-state drive. The external boot drive has become too full and I’d like to now boot off of an external 1TB drive.

I am confused about the best type of SSD drive to buy these days, and the best type of enclosure to buy, to get the snappiest performance from accessing files but also from the operation of the mac mini itself.

The current external boot drive is a 2.5” SSD, in a Lacie enclosure that has both a thunderbolt 1 port as well as a USB 3 port. The enclosure is connected to the 2018 mac mini with a USB 3 cable, straight to one of the mac mini’s (2) USB 3 ports.

I am confused whether to:

1-Get another 2.5” 1TB drive that sell these days for around $100, and put it in my current enclosure.

2-Get one of the chewing gum stick sized “nvme” drives, and put it in an appropriate enclosure I would need to buy. With this approach, I am confused about if it is important to get one connects straight to one of the mac mini’s thunderbolt 3 ports, with a usb-c connector form factor.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give. I use this mac for some audio recording/mixing in Logic Pro X, some amateur photo editing, wireframe design work in programs like Balsamiq, document authoring in MS-Word. So I’d like to have a boot drive setup that lets the mac mini live up to tis potential. It’s the 3gHZ i5 model with 16 gigs of RAM.

Lastly, if it matters, I know that some people also boot off a small internal drive and then have a large external drive for all the docs / sound libraries / photos that the internal drive is too small for, but I like the simplicity of having everything one drive.

I also use dropbox (the larger paid plan) and from what I can tell it works best when it is running and syncing everything from a single boot drive (but maybe I am not aware of other options it has for that).

Thanks again!
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 01, 2020 12:03AM
1. if you happy with what you have now, and are on a budget.

2. Much faster, but gonna be more than $100... prob over $150 and closer to $200.

Oversimplified, T Bolt is a speed, USB C is a connection, if that helps.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: dan steinberg
Date: June 01, 2020 12:19AM
My budget is pretty flexible, and I would be willing to spend more to get better performance.

With solution 2, I would be grateful for any specific recommendations anyone has on NVME drives, and appropriate NVME Thunderbolt 3 enclosures.

For example, for the drive, there is a sale right now for the "Western Digital Blue" for around $105

[shop.westerndigital.com]

Not sure if this is a good NVME drive or if there are better ones?

For the enclosure, I am not sure what to look for specifically. On amazon, a search for "name thunderbolt 3 enclosure" provides lots of cases ranging from $25 to $50. Here's a $50 one with good reviews.

[www.amazon.com]

Also, I had assumed that it would be much cheaper to buy an nvme drive and pop it into an enclosure I but separately.

However, it seems there are also external thunderbolt 3 drives for around the same price.

This one from crucial

[www.amazon.com]

is $165. Not sure if it is an NVME drive, from the pictures it looks like that smaller, more rectangular form factor, as opposed to a 2.5" type drive.

For whatever I end up getting, since this will be used as a system boot drive, I wasn't sure if that places any unique demands upon the drive, compared to if it were an external "non-boot" drive just used for files.

Again thanks in advance for any guidance anyone can give me.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/2020 12:31AM by dan steinberg.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: Gareth
Date: June 01, 2020 12:31AM
2.5” SATA SSD on USB 3 - probably about 500MB/sec

M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD on TB3 - maybe around 2400MB/sec read & 1700MB/sec write (depending on drive). This speed is dependent on the chip type and cache size. Cheaper drives will drop down to SATA speeds when the run out of cache, but that is most likely to happen only during very large file transfers.

TB3 enclosure is going to be $100+ on its own, though there are also pre-built solutions, but may not be a huge savings.

Put an NVMe drive in a USB 3 case and you’ll be about double the 2.5” SATA SSD speeds.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: Gareth
Date: June 01, 2020 12:42AM
That Pluggable enclosure is USB, not TB3. They say TB3 “compatible” because it’s the “same” connector. You will need to spend $100+ to get a proper TB3 enclosure.

The Crucial is probably NVMe based on the speeds, but again, it’s USB 3, so you’re not getting the full potential of the drive, but it may still be fast enough for you. Pre-built may not have an actual M.2 drive in it as it might be custom, but could still use the same tech (or a smaller drive). M.2 is just a connector, the drives can come in different lengths, but 80mm is the most common.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: btfc
Date: June 01, 2020 12:47AM
Here’s a range of choices from our sponsor, faster/pricier at top:

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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: dan steinberg
Date: June 01, 2020 12:56AM
Thanks everyone for all of the additional clarification so far, I am beginning to understand a little better.

Gareth, you mentioned that it'd around $100+ for a proper TB3 enclosures. Do you happen to have any specific models you could recommend? The ones on Amazon I find seem to all be TB3 "compatible" as you mentioned.

BTFC thanks for posting those 3 pre-built drive choices from OWC, it looks likes only the most expensive $300 model is actually the top Thunderbolt 3 speeds.

What I am now curious to figure out is if I were to find a $100+ TB3 enclosure, and populate it with something like that Crucial drive if it would be close to those same speeds, or still much slower.

Apologies for all the back and forth, just trying to make sure I am really clear on what my options are at the different price points. It's also hard to say whether I would notice the speed differences between the different approaches, on my daily tasks.

Thanks!
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 01, 2020 01:02AM
Assuming your mini only has a 256 GB boot drive?

I have the Crucial X8. So far so good.

Its rated at 1000 MB/s = double your current drive.

The WD blue is $134 at your link... which is pretty much about the same price as every 1TB NVMe right now. Although they can theoretically get 2500+ MBPs, enclosures cant be found. OK, thats not really correct, what I mean is -- they cant be found for cheap -- and there arent many to choose from. Needs to specifically say "40 GBs"

So you need to buy something pre built, like our fine forum sponsors Envoy Pro. 1 TB is $300. Or samsung X5. $400

In addition to the X8, I also bulit a 1 TB NVMe with an XPG 8200PRO and a MyDigitalSSD M2X case. Also running just fine.



IF it was me... using the apps you mention... Id prob save my money for an eGPU box and real GPU. Should be a much bigger increase in the apps you use vs faster flash drive. Or possibly even push to 32 GB of memory.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/2020 01:19AM by jdc.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: dan steinberg
Date: June 01, 2020 01:17AM
Correct, my mini has a 256GB internal drive (it's the 3Ghz i5 model, with 16GB of RAM).

Regrading the eGPU suggestion: For my situation, the first priority is more storage space. The external 512GB drive I am using keeps getting full, and I want to avoid the complexity of having a separate boot drive with a 2nd drive for large files.

Then, since I know I want a bigger external drive anyway, I\ wanted to make sure that I am clear on what speed differences I would get, at different price points. Since the external drive will be the boot drive, I wasn't clear if the speed increases of a pure TB3 case/drive, would make a difference in overall operation of the machine and all apps I run (vs a USB3 solution).

I might go ahead and try that Crucial X8. At the USB3 speed/price point, it seems to be the same price or cheaper than assembling my own drive and case comb0, with no potential compatibility issues and more of a name brand.

If it is truly an additional $140 price jump, to go from that X8 to the $300 OWC option, that probably would not be worth it to me. If the crucial X8 is twice the speed I have now (and the current setup has always seemed snappy enough) that should do it.

But still open to any feedback anyone has about the situation. This is all very educational.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 01, 2020 01:36AM
Truthfully... you would want to use your mini's 256 GB as the boot. Its by far the fastest drive -- 3000 MB/s read/1200 MB/s write.

I get apples silly premium on BTO drive costs... bummer you couldnt have ordered with 1 TB, its rated 3000 MBPs both R/W.

Im one of those peeps with the separate system and working files setup. And you are correct about DBox... you can only have it on your boot drive, which is a problem if its full.

For my setup, Im using the 1 TB PCIe drive as OS only, then a 6 TB RAID 0 with 3.5" drives. My dropbox is 350 GB, so a 256 GB boot drive would be kinda out of the question. =) I went with the external RAID 0 because it was cheap (already had the drives) and Im getting over 300 MB/s R/W with HDDs. Its really not that complex, lawl/ =)

IF you could somehow get your OS and system onto the internal 256 GB comfortably, imho that would be the way to go. Then add an external drive for files. I get the "one drive for everything" if you are on a laptop... but its a desktop. Its got those 4 USB C ports for *adding* things =)



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/2020 01:37AM by jdc.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: Robert M
Date: June 01, 2020 05:21AM
Dan,

Search the forum for my posts about using an NVME SSD in a quality USB 3.1 Gen 2 enclosure connected to a thunderbolt 3 port as a boot drive. You’ll find your answers in them.

Robert
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: rich in distress
Date: June 01, 2020 10:14AM
I know you said that’s how you prefer it, but I am too of the opinion that a modern computer setup should be modular.
The workflow one needs to develop for it, will be paid many times in the future.
Then again, I prefer iCloud rather than Dropbox...
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 01, 2020 11:07AM
Quote
rich in distress
Then again, I prefer iCloud rather than Dropbox...

Theres nothing wrong with iCloud, at least on an individual level, or if everyone is sharing files are on macs running Catalina.

DBox is cross platform, including android & iOS, and can be used by many OSX versions and windows... iCloud cant.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: Gareth
Date: June 01, 2020 11:26AM
Quote
dan steinberg
Gareth, you mentioned that it'd around $100+ for a proper TB3 enclosures. Do you happen to have any specific models you could recommend? The ones on Amazon I find seem to all be TB3 "compatible" as you mentioned.

I don't have any single drive enclosures that I've used to recommend, but here's an example at $130: [www.amazon.com]

Here's a 2nd example, this time with a fan: [www.amazon.com] See the 2nd image which shows the dramatic difference effective cooling (be it a fan or heatsink) makes with NVMe drives - when the drive gets hot, it slows down.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: Robert M
Date: June 01, 2020 11:36AM
Gareth,

This Icy Box enclosure is the more experience, tougher sibling of that Shell model:

[www.amazon.com]

'course, I've got an NVME stick in this Sabrent enclosure, which lacks a fan, that has proven rock solid:

[www.amazon.com]

FWIW, I've checked out other models but most seem like flimsy garbage in comparison to the ones in my links.

Robert
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 01, 2020 11:53AM
Quote
Robert M
FWIW, I've checked out other models but most seem like flimsy garbage in comparison to the ones in my links.
Robert

Both look great, but both 10 GB/s models.

As a boot drive, a passive case is fine -- but used as a daily R/W storage device with GBs and GBs of data transfer... yea, something with a fan would be smart.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: Robert M
Date: June 01, 2020 02:55PM
jdc,

Yups. USB 3.1 Gen 2. To do better, you'll need to go to a Thunderbolt 3 box, which is very costly.

This is another USB 3.1 Gen 2 box with a fanthat is actually pretty good:

[www.amazon.com]

I built an external out of this and an NVME stick for one of my brothers and it works well. This enclosure isn't a brick like the Sabrent or Icy Box enclosures but still a worthwhile purchase.

Robert
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: June 01, 2020 05:03PM
If heat might be an issue & you choose not to spend the $$ for a box/fan unit,
consider the TDBT M.2 NVMe SSD Enclosure with Heat Sink for $26 @ amz

It's a finned aluminum case & has an internal finned alum. heatsink w/ thermal pad.
Chipset is the JMicron JMS583(PCIe 3.0x2)
Compatible with USB 2.0/3.0/3.1 Gen1/3.1 Gen2/USB 3.2 Gen2x2/Thunderbolt 3 hosts.
Includes two cables.





39°36'17"N 75°44'43"W

The search engine that doesn't track you.

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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 01, 2020 05:12PM
Box/fan units are only about $10 more.

Petty much all of the AL ones are finned like that... Mine has been running for the last 6 hours... just grabbed it. Warm, but not hot. I could easily hold it in my hand for some time.

All 3 of the NMVE drives I have bought came with a little sticker/heatsink pad... and my case came with one too.

The one you posted looks good with the double set of fins. Id buy it.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: sekker
Date: June 01, 2020 06:38PM
You know you are at the fab limits when thermal regulation is essential for chips to work well.

Will be interesting to see what happens when 3 nm fab comes online.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 01, 2020 07:31PM
As the 2018 mini has actual TB-3 and bottle necks are cumulative, I'd prefer to rip the bandaid off and go with a 40G/s box, with or with out fan, though a fan is probably better.

Unfortunately, it looks like the price is the biggest clue as to max throughput.

Spec listings have little uniformity, saying either

10G/s
Thunderbolt 3 compatible
USB 3.1 Gen 2

but it's rare to see 40G/s clearly listed as a spec.

But that's what I'm shooting for.

Right now, my 2018/16G mini is running Cat 15.4.x that shipped with it, and updated maybe once but still not the latest version.

The 128G drive has 30% free space.

Speed is spotty. One minute it's zippy, the next it's One Mississippi between a click and a response. Sometimes the first click doesn't register.

A Safe Boot didn't help.

It might be something DiskWarrior could find and fix, but DW can't work on a APFS HD.

I might have to try an NnP, but confidence is not high.

So I really don't want to go limit the speed of any drive I attach.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 01, 2020 08:04PM
Interesting about this Shell Thunder T3 box, it appears to be a T3 box and not a USB box.

According to the manufacturer/vendor, it won't work at all unless connected to at T3 port.

I may be confused here.

I thought there were T3 boxes that gave 40G/s or as near theoretical as possible, speeds on a T3 port, and slower but max speeds as appropriate on USB-C/T1/T2 ports.

Was I wrong about that?

Because it looks like that Shell Thunder box will work only on a T3 port and be dead to the world on any others. That limits it's utility to only one of my Macs.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 01, 2020 08:14PM
Ok, it appears I was laboring under a misconception, as the TREBLEET Thunderbolt 3 box is also not backwards compatible to anything below T3.

That's a little disappointing.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 01, 2020 11:02PM
Ive seen this 40 GB/ case several places, $140... and has a fan.

[www.amazon.com]

No personal experience.

RAM, you could always just go with OWCs Envoy -- $300 for 1 TB is roughly the same cost as DIY.

Im moving to a new iMac once they are announced.. hoping for all new everything, including design. Id like to think I could keep it running for the next 6+ years.

Will probably plurge on something like OWCs Express M2 and add my own NVMe. I already have 2 1 TB.

[eshop.macsales.com]



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: Gareth
Date: June 01, 2020 11:03PM
Quote
RAMd®d
Ok, it appears I was laboring under a misconception, as the TREBLEET Thunderbolt 3 box is also not backwards compatible to anything below T3.

Yes, Thunderbolt 3 cases will only work with Thunderbolt. They are backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 1/2 but that requires the Apple TB Adapter AND another Thunderbolt 3 device that is AC powered, b/c the Apple adapter doesn't pass bus power, so you need another TB3 powered device to power the bus powered TB3 case, so quite a bit of a hassle to use it on older TB computers.

It's confusing that the USB case makers advertise their cases as "Thunderbolt 3" compatible. Yes, Thunderbolt 3 includes USB-C, but not vice versa.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: Gareth
Date: June 01, 2020 11:06PM
Quote
jdc
Will probably plurge on something like OWCs Express M2 and add my own NVMe. I already have 2 1 TB.

[eshop.macsales.com]

FYI, in order to get the maximum speeds with the Express 4m2, you need to install 4 x M.2 SSDs. If you only install 2, you will get half the maximum speed, b/c the box splits the PCIe channels four ways, so each drive only gets to use 1/4 of the maximum bandwidth. So you need all 4 drives installed to achieve maximum speeds.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 02, 2020 04:36AM
Quote
Gareth
Quote
jdc
Will probably plurge on something like OWCs Express M2 and add my own NVMe. I already have 2 1 TB.

[eshop.macsales.com]

FYI, in order to get the maximum speeds with the Express 4m2, you need to install 4 x M.2 SSDs. If you only install 2, you will get half the maximum speed, b/c the box splits the PCIe channels four ways, so each drive only gets to use 1/4 of the maximum bandwidth. So you need all 4 drives installed to achieve maximum speeds.

yep.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 02, 2020 07:32AM
backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 1/2 but that requires the Apple TB Adapter AND another Thunderbolt 3 device that is AC powered, b/c the Apple adapter doesn't pass bus power, so you need another TB3 powered device to power the bus powered TB3 case, so quite a bit of a hassle to use it on older TB computers.


Thank you.

I read that earlier in the Question Answered portion of the review, but that bit didn't quite gel.

So backwards compatible, sort of, additional hoops required.

Thank you all.

This is an enlightening thread.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: Robert M
Date: June 02, 2020 10:34AM
RAM,

I looked into using an adapter to turn a T-Bolt 3 SSD into a boot drive connected via T-Bolt 2 for my office's '14 iMac. Wasn't worth the agita. Between purchasing the adapter, a T-Bolt device to power the external SSD and then the SSD itself, it wasn't worthwhile. It would've been expensive and jerry-rigged. That's why I went with the NVME drive in a USB 3.1 Gen 2 box and connected it via USB 3. It's just works and will be dandy once I replace that machine with a model with T-Bolt 3. Just swap out the cable, connect it and go back to work. At some point, T-Bolt 3 boxes might drop in price enough to make it worthwhile to buy one and use it in place of the USB 3.1 Gen 2 box.

Robert
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: dk62
Date: June 03, 2020 12:13PM
Getting an external drive to work as a boot drive on 2018 mini is a real pain anyway. I spent several hours trying to get the Startup Security Utility to work, which it continued to refuse to do. Re-installing Catalina did not help. I eventually gave up.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 03, 2020 04:17PM
Quote
dk62
Getting an external drive to work as a boot drive on 2018 mini is a real pain anyway. I spent several hours trying to get the Startup Security Utility to work, which it continued to refuse to do. Re-installing Catalina did not help. I eventually gave up.

that doesnt sound right... should be an easy task

maybe a new post?



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Please recommend me a SSD boot drive/enclosure for 2018 Mac mini
Posted by: dan steinberg
Date: June 04, 2020 08:22AM
Original poster here. Thanks so much to everyone for all the great feedback so far, I am very impressed by the amount and quality of the responses.

I think at this point, it wont make sense for me to spend the extra money on a "pure thunderbolt 3" solution, like the one from OWC. An NVME drive, running at USB 3.1 gen 2 speeds, should be good enough for now.

One thing I am still having trouble deciding is whether to:

-Buy my own 1TB NVME stick (for example one by crucial for around $120) and then put in one of the many $40-$60 enclosures people linked to

or

=Buy a ready to go, off the shelf solution like the Crucial "X8"

Any pros or cons of one solution vs the other? Both solutions would seem top come out to around the same $160-180 price.

If I were to do the NVME stick + case solution, would the NVME stick get faster speeds later, if moved to a real Thunderbolt 3 enclosure later, if or when prices come down?

Or, is the speed of the NVME stick part of the bottleneck as well, and a faster case later won't make a difference?

Thanks and I hoped I asked that question clearly.
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