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Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: pdq
Date: March 02, 2021 08:26AM
I went for the base M1 Mini (256 GB SSD) - couldn’t see spending $200 more for an additional 256GB of storage - thought “I could add that later for much less”.

I saw this today:



$69 for 500GB; USB 3.2 gen 2 (10 Gb/s). Not the fastest SSD (~540 MB/s), but this would mostly hold a big collection of family pics and such. Plug it in and leave it.

I’d really rather have a case like our sponsor’s (NewerTech) for aesthetics:


Niiiice!

...but to be honest, my Mini is hidden in the kitchen pantry, and $70 all in is tempting.

What d’you folks think?
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: pdq
Date: March 02, 2021 08:45AM
Looking around, it seems like this is no great shakes; can do a (smaller, faster) NVME Micron external for another $10.

Reading reviews tho, it looks like some drives promise more than they deliver.
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: modelamac
Date: March 02, 2021 09:06AM
pdq,

How fast do you need a drive to be when it is used mainly for storage?



Ed (modelamac)

I think I will just put an OUT OF ORDER
sticker on my head and call it a day.
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: deckeda
Date: March 02, 2021 09:09AM
It's way cheaper than the Mac's optional storage upgrade because it's not nearly as fast, although it may be fast enough given the cost.

The T7 is advertising that makes full use of the interface, for $10 more: [www.amazon.com]
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: raz
Date: March 02, 2021 09:14AM
FWIW, I went with our sponsor's 4 bay thunderbolt dock. This allows me to have extra storage, optional boot drives, a time machine disk, or some combination. It makes the regular "backup the entire system and move it off-site" easy as well.



--------------

Embarassing myself on the Internet since 1978.
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: celliott
Date: March 02, 2021 09:49AM
Raz- what dock did you go with? Do you have a link or more description?
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: jdc
Date: March 02, 2021 09:55AM
Its a basic low rung SSD. More than fine.

Agreed that moving up to something with double the speed is prob only $10 more.... see a few posts down.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: raz
Date: March 02, 2021 09:56AM
Quote
celliott
Raz- what dock did you go with? Do you have a link or more description?

This

Corrected



--------------

Embarassing myself on the Internet since 1978.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2021 09:58AM by raz.
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: jdc
Date: March 02, 2021 10:00AM
Quote
raz
Quote
celliott
Raz- what dock did you go with? Do you have a link or more description?

This

Thats not really a dock... is it? So you have multiple drives inside doing multiple things? Cost is half as much as a new mini... for just the case...





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: raz
Date: March 02, 2021 10:03AM
Yes. Not so much a 'dock' though there is a display port on it. I just use it for very flexible storage options. Sorry, if I misled you.



--------------

Embarassing myself on the Internet since 1978.
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: rz
Date: March 02, 2021 10:04AM
Raz,
The description of that dock says "Ultra Quiet". It looks a lot like their old Qx2 box, which I would say is definitely NOT ultra quiet. Can you comment on that? I'm going to be going from a cMP5,1, with 5 internal drives, to an M1 (or M1X) mini probably within the next year. Need some sort of external enclosure(s) to go with it. Quiet is a high priority.
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: mikebw
Date: March 02, 2021 10:07AM
I feel it's worth pointing out that OWC does have a 2-drive case with some number of extra ports that make it a great combo case/dock: [eshop.macsales.com]


Adds Ethernet, 2x USB and an SD card reader, in addition to the standard 2x TB3 and DP port.


Thinking about getting this for a new home office setup, with the next MacBookPro release. Would provide for decent RAID speeds for video and audio projects, plus I would not need a separate dock for other periphery.
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: jdc
Date: March 02, 2021 10:29AM
Quote
mikebw
I feel it's worth pointing out that OWC does have a 2-drive case with some number of extra ports that make it a great combo case/dock: [eshop.macsales.com]

Thinking about getting this for a new home office setup, with the next MacBookPro release. Would provide for decent RAID speeds for video and audio projects, plus I would not need a separate dock for other periphery.

I thought that might be what rz was talking about, more a dock + case.

Its nice kit, and a good solution if you need multi TBs of space. Drop in a couple of 3-4 TB drives in a RAID 0 and get 300+ MB/s. Faster if you used SSDs, but gets kinda pricey fast if you want TBs. 2 TB 2.5" SSDs are $200. So $300 for case, $400 for drives = $700 for 4TB RAID 0 @ 600-700 MB/s.

At that point, my solution would prob more along the lines of a nice USB C dongle for extra ports and a 4 TB nvme ($500). Same cost, but NVME could easily exceed 1500 MB/s, more if you buy the right case. And 4 TB NVMes seem to be going down in $

Sorry for the thread hijack pdq. I just went thru this same thing with a couple of clients.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: Zoidberg
Date: March 02, 2021 10:39AM
Quote
mikebw
I feel it's worth pointing out that OWC does have a 2-drive case with some number of extra ports that make it a great combo case/dock: [eshop.macsales.com]

The Merc Dock [OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dock] is an excellent piece of hardware; I've had one almost since OWC started selling them and it's been top notch. I have a couple of shucked 8TB drives in it for archiving & storage as well as some movie rips to watch while working; nary a hiccup.



YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary)
TETO (To Each Their Own)

(BTW, it's spelled < y'all >.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2021 10:41AM by Zoidberg.
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: raz
Date: March 02, 2021 11:48AM
Quote
rz
Raz,
The description of that dock says "Ultra Quiet". It looks a lot like their old Qx2 box, which I would say is definitely NOT ultra quiet. Can you comment on that? I'm going to be going from a cMP5,1, with 5 internal drives, to an M1 (or M1X) mini probably within the next year. Need some sort of external enclosure(s) to go with it. Quiet is a high priority.

There's definitely fan noise - but far less than the Early 2008 Pro that my Mini replaced. But, as you're aware, those disks had to go somewhere.



--------------

Embarassing myself on the Internet since 1978.
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: Robert M
Date: March 02, 2021 11:54AM
pdq,

Nope. It's more like the drives deliver pretty close to what the manufacturer's promise. Whether you get to use some, the majority of or all of the speed is dependent on the stick, box that the stick is in and how you connect it to your machine. Or, in the case of a prebuilt solution, the complete box.

Robert
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: freeradical
Date: March 02, 2021 05:36PM
It really all depends upon what you're using it for.

I have an old 3G SATA SSD that I bought from our sponsor. I use it to store videos that I'm going to watch. I get read speeds of 239 MB/s, and write speeds of 207 MB/s. It is of course perfectly serviceable for this task.

I have a 7200 RPM full size hard drive with a 256 MB buffer that has read speeds of 225 MB/s, and write speeds of 219 MB/s. This is for a solo drive, not a RAID 0 configuration.

:-)

Interestingly, the SSD fails the write test when I use a 16 GB test file, but the hard drive comes through with flying colors. It probably has something to do with the big buffer.
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: deckeda
Date: March 02, 2021 06:32PM
Quote
freeradical

Interestingly, the SSD fails the write test when I use a 16 GB test file, but the hard drive comes through with flying colors. It probably has something to do with the big buffer.

My uneducated suspicion is that SSDs and the like excel at small files but heat can become an issue for large ones. I sometimes hear of SSD that get weirdly hot when transferring large files, where a physical disc doesn't care because it's not attempting to "work" the file faster than it can be worked, if that makes sense.
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Re: Opinions on external drive for my M1 Mini
Posted by: Robert M
Date: March 02, 2021 06:52PM
Deckeda,

I suspect heat will be an issue if you drop the stick in a shoddy enclosure. The better models dissapate the heat very well. Factor in a well made model that also has a fan and heat should never be an issue unless the enclosure is defective and/or failing.

Robert
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