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MAC Mini Mx with thunderbolt drives question
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: September 11, 2023 03:44PM
I’m looking to get a new Mini. My music, photos and videos folders are too big to fit into n a reasonably priced internal drive. Any issues putting these on an external thunderbolt drive? I seem to remember an issue with some thunderbolt drives randomly disconnecting.
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Re: MAC Mini Mx with thunderbolt drives question
Posted by: jdc
Date: September 11, 2023 04:07PM
nope and nope.

How big? and budget?

And do you want true thunderbolt speeds, $$$ -- or USB Gen 2 speeds, $$.

Are you talking mini, or mini pro?

goes without saying, potential M3 minis are close...





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



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2023 04:14PM by jdc.
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Re: MAC Mini Mx with thunderbolt drives question
Posted by: Gareth
Date: September 11, 2023 05:07PM
Although with the proliferation of generic USB4/TB (40Gbps) cables, it's probably more likely to have a bad cable that might cause random disconnects.

i.e. I'm using a "generic" USB4/TB (40Gbps) cable with an Apple Studio Display because I wanted angled connectors on both sides. In three weeks, it has randomly disconnected 4 times (monitor blinks off and on again). Debating if this is annoying enough to return the cable, but I certainly wouldn't use this cable for data.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2023 05:40PM by Gareth.
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Re: MAC Mini Mx with thunderbolt drives question
Posted by: hal
Date: September 11, 2023 05:24PM
I booted my 2017 imac from a TB3 external drive and it was smooth running for years!

Some people have had problems and they contend that it is universal and say so here - they are wrong. But you do indeed need a real Thunderbolt case and cable. USBC is not the same thing.

My current setup is running an apple cable to my apple studio display from an M2 mini and it never randomly disconnects.
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Re: MAC Mini Mx with thunderbolt drives question
Posted by: jdc
Date: September 11, 2023 05:54PM
If you dont want to pay for TBolt, USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 drives are now dropping -- more choices and lower prices. Peak 2000 MB/s R/W, ala 20 GB/s -- more likely 1600/1600 in speed tests.

DIY cases have dropped below $40, half true TBolt cases, and prebuilt are now not far from basic Gen 2 drives.

Crucial X10 pro (2TB was $140 recently) , Sandisk Extreme pro and Sabrent rocket nano are available.

DIY with a middle 2 TB NVMe ( 970 Evo or Crucial p3, about $80-90) + $40 case = $120 for a 20 GB/s drive. nice.





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



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2023 02:36PM by jdc.
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Re: MAC Mini Mx with thunderbolt drives question
Posted by: Robert M
Date: September 12, 2023 06:28AM
Hal,

Although I can say I've not had any issues at all with frankendrives built out of the OWC Envoy Express and NVME sticks, I wouldn't be so quick to say those who've had problems are "wrong". You and I not experiencing problems doesn't mean nobody has had issues with Thunderbolt drives. It can happen. In my experience, the issue is more common with USB drives connected to USB A ports.

The USB disconnection problem plagued several machines with a few enclosures. One of them was a well regarded OWC model. Swapping cables made no difference. Swapping drives solved the problem. The issue was common to USB drives with USB-A connections. It still happens now and again. However, I've not had the issue with any drives with USB-C connectors connected to USB-C ports or drives with USB-C connectors connected to a USB-A port via an adapter or USB-C to USB-A cable.

These days, if I'm going to go with an external drive, I'd spend the bucks for a true Thunderbolt box such as an OWC Envoy Express with the NVME stick of my choice or, less likely, a prebuilt model from a reputable manufacturer. I prefer building my own wicked fast NVME based drives unless I find a sweet deal on a prebuilt model.

I'm not sure I'd consider USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 for a connection. Seems like it is still very uncommon and I'd bet USB 4 will become standardized and more common before USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 takes off.

Robert
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Re: MAC Mini Mx with thunderbolt drives question
Posted by: rz
Date: September 12, 2023 12:47PM
I've been using two OWC miniStack STX's connected to my Studio via TB4 for the last 6 months or so with almost no problem. Only problem was once when I shut everything down for vacation, when I came back and turned it all on, the two drives in one of the STX's didn't mount for some reason. Rebooting again brought them up. Otherwise, they've been great. I love that they each hold both an SSD and an NVMe stick. So right now I have two 4TB SSDs and two 2TB NVMe sticks to go with the 512GB SSD in the Studio (and a 1TB microSD card).
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Re: MAC Mini Mx with thunderbolt drives question
Posted by: hal
Date: September 12, 2023 03:49PM
Quote
Robert M
I wouldn't be so quick to say those who've had problems are "wrong".

I wouldn't either - I said that anyone saying that THEIR issue is universal (meaning that everyone else also has the same issues) is wrong.
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Re: MAC Mini Mx with thunderbolt drives question
Posted by: Robert M
Date: September 13, 2023 06:02AM
Hal,

That's not how your comment came across. Now what you're saying makes sense but it still comes across as dismissing Thunderbolt issues voiced by others. Based on what I've seen all over the 'net, they definitely do exist even if you and I haven't experienced them.

Robert
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