2014 mac mini with Thunderbolt 3 Enclosure - what adapter?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mykidisluke, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. mykidisluke macrumors newbie


    Jan 29, 2017
    Hello all,

    I have a 2014 Mac Mini with a 1 TB Fusion drive. I also have a Thunderbolt 3 Enclosure with a very fast NVME SSD inside.

    Since the Mini has a Thunderbolt 2 port which I am not using, I thought it would be a good idea to try out putting the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure on the mini and evaluate turning it into the boot/application drive as the SSD is quicker than fusion by a considerable amount.

    However, I cannot figure out how I would do this. The TB3 enclosure has a normal male TB3 cable end (which would fit a TB3 computer) and the TB2 port on the mac mini is female. I cannot find an adapter anywhere between the 2. Apple sells a 50$ TB3 to TB2 adapter -but it is between a TB3 male and TB2 female port - but I need the opposite direction: TB3 female to TB2 male.

    Can someone help me figure out what would make the 2 work together?
  2. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    If you bought a TB3 case with an attached cable your only option might to get a Thunderbolt hub. Most cases just have female ports. What case is it?
  3. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    Apple claims the adapter is bidirectional. Assuming the enclosure has a detachable Thunderbolt 3 cable, you'd need to plug the adapter into the enclosure and use a Thunderbolt 2 cable.
  4. Synchro3 macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2014
    In my experience everything connected with the Apple TB2-TB3 adapter is a challenge for booting.

    If you have a TB2 Mac use TB2 cases/drives, with a TB3 Mac use a TB3 case.

    Example: I have a Firmtek ThunderTek/PX TB 2 case for SATA SSD's. If I try to boot from them with my new TB 3 Mac Mini I have to disconnect and reconnect the TB2-TB3-Adapter in the right moment after start but before the drives begin to load the system. Not ideal.
  5. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    You need the Apple TB2-TB3 adapter as well as a TB2 cable.
  6. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    Are you saying the enclosure has a TB3 cable that can not be removed?
  7. mykidisluke thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 29, 2017
    My enclosure has a USB-C/Thunderbolt male to male cable. I can't find a solution which changes the TB3 to TB2 to plug into the 2014 Mac Mini.
  8. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    The cable isn't removable? What enclosure is it? Keep in mind if it's just a USB-C device, then no Thunderbolt adapter is going to work because the enclosure is just USB.
  9. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    Normally you use a TB2 cable from the 2014 mini to the TB2<->TB3 adapter (it is bi-directional) which plugs into your USB-C/TB3 enclosure.

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8 December 1, 2018