800$ 1TB pcie4x flash upgrade vs 1300$ Lacie 9000477 (boot from TB2)

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by giggles, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. giggles, Oct 20, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014

    giggles macrumors 6502

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    Dec 15, 2012
    #1
    Title says it all

    [​IMG]

    Pros:
    - less messy (no additional box and AC adapter)
    - Apple own firmware magic/optimizations
    - direct pcie 4x off the Intel platform (no 3rd party controllers involved)

    Cons:
    - not likely to be portable to your next Mac (or at least you have to crack open stuff and void warranties) = those 800$ are gone forever


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Pros:
    - super portable to your next mac, even a Broadwell Mini next year = those 1300$ will grant you a fast 1TB pcie boot drive for the years to come, whatever your Mac upgrade path will be
    - internal hardware raid0 = crazy fast (edit: SOFTWARE raid; faster than single SSD nonetheless)
    - could be upgraded to bigger/faster M.2 pcie ssds in the future (unlike apple proprietary connector, that leaves you praying OWC will come up with something)

    Cons:
    - pricey
    - mess and AC adapter (whatever)
    - probably setting up Bootcamp is a bit messier

    Going external is a way to dodge apple lockdowns on upgrades or high upgrade prices.
    Some people here already boot off thunderbolt anyway.
    Thoughts?
     
  2. Cape Dave, Oct 20, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014

    Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    #2
    One of the most interesting questions on the forum. Good one! Hmmm, I am now researching the Tbolt Lacie. from your photo, it looks like a blade PCIe SSD fits in it. Wow!

    I am unexperienced with Tbolt. Have never used it for anything.

    Desk is neater with the internal SSD. That I know without researching :)

    If the Lacie ends up being SUBSTANTIALLY faster, assuming the correct Blade is used, I may just get one for my 2012 mini i7 and let THAT be my upgrade. Because, as you say, it is transportable to whatever Mac comes down the future pike.

    Now in conundrum mode :)

    OK. that is a way cool item, the Lacie. How do we know what SSD's are in it? 2x? 4x? Samsung? SanDisk?

    And I see it has TWO SSD's in it. Wow.

    I must say, in spite of all the goodness, I like, these days, a "sealed unit". Like you said, no third party controllers, etc. There is much to be said for reliability and keeping things simple. Having been in tech support for almost 2 decades, the less weirdo issues the better for me.

    In closing (full circle style), if I knew for sure the 2014 mini came with a decent, and by that I mean hyper fast 4X state of the art Samsung SSD, then I would actually order one tonight :)
     
  3. giggles, Oct 20, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014

    giggles thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/7618/lacie-little-big-disk-thunderbolt-2-mini-review

    It uses two internal M.2 connectors, the "m key" version and probably PCIE-only. (no SATA lane for cheaper M.2 sticks like Crucial CT512M550SSD4)

    [​IMG]

    Lacie doesn't sell a 0TB model, it comes with two 512GB Samsung XP941 (the same used in nMP), worth 1000$, so you're paying 300$ for the enclosure and TB2 to pcie "bridge". (I stand corrected about the hardware RAID: there's no hw RAID, it relies on OSX software RAID, one could even leave it as 2 volumes and install Windows on the second one)

    A couple of years down the line, it could be upgraded with bigger/faster M.2 pcie ssd sticks. Hoping M.2 is still around. Still better than Apple proprietary connector.


    On the other hand, enabling TRIM on non-Apple SSDs is now a mess:

    http://www.cindori.org/trim-enabler-and-yosemite/
     
  4. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    LaCie uses the M.2 standard for PCIe. Apple uses proprietary format for iMac, MBPr, and nMP. Look similar but the keying is different.

    LaCie cannot take the Apple PCIe stick; Apple cannot take the LaCie/Samsung sticks.

    Also, as the OP indicates the M.2 standard can be SATA or PCIe. The keying determines what works.

    If ordering new, probably best to order from Apple. As OP notes, advantage of the external is use with other computers.

    Finally, yes, the Little Big Disk Thunderbolt2 uses Apple Disk Utility to partition and format. LaCie default is striped, but you can reformat as two more more separate volumes, or even mirror the 2 sticks.
     
  5. giggles thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Apple uses a proprietary connector but not proprietary SSDs.
    The SSD in nMP according to anandtech is based on Samsung XP941.
    That's what I meant.
     
  6. Cape Dave, Oct 20, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014

    Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    #6
    Whew! I got it. Thanks for the quick and dirty education. It matches up with what I have managed to learn elsewhere.

    I am seriously considering a mini for my web hosting needs. That one does not need much and I would have minivault put in one of their Samsung 128GB 850 PRO SATA drives.

    But for my own machine which is my pride and joy, I would go with the built in Apple SSD because I love trim :)

    So, now I have to ACTUALLY go around the house and see what old tech I can sell on eBay to help finance that killer machine. OUCH!

    My last and possibly most important question is... Do I HAVE to get the 1TB SSD to get the advantage of 4X PCIe? Or would the 512GB (which I MUCH prefer) also give me the 4X PCIe connection?

    If I can get the 512GB I will order tonight. I also realize that this is still quite early and this type of hard info may not quite be available. If the 512GB is SanDisk, no way Jose!
     
  7. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #7
  8. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    As I have both a nMP and the LaCie, I can confirm both SSDs are Samsung, but connector and firmware are different. So I guess we are both right. They are different PCIe SSDs.

    The Apple variation is proprietary to Apple while the real XP941 is available to several OEMs. I've seen them used in Samsung and Sony laptops.

    :)
     
  9. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    #9
    I am breaking out this question just so no one that may have a clue misses it:

    My last and possibly most important question is... Do I HAVE to get the 1TB SSD to get the advantage of 4X PCIe? Or would the 512GB (which I MUCH prefer) also give me the 4X PCIe connection?

    Thanks :)
     
  10. giggles thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I remember to have read somewher that the 1TB is 4x and the smaller ones are 2x, but I can't remember where, anyway there's no question the 1TB is faster, but I don't think it would make that big of a difference.

    If you can afford it light heartedly, go for 1TB for future proofing the capacity...add auto-enroll AppleCare and don't open it for 3 years...

    Since you're even considering the 800$ upgrade (enough for a fully spec'd ipad air 2 or a mid tier Mini), it's probably not a big expense for you...

    So I'd say, go for 1TB but not necessarily for the speed...but for capacity and future proofing a "sealed" machine...

    Go for 512gb to save money and if you think you'll buy a 4-core 5K-display-capable Skylake mini 2 years from now (and pass this mini to someone in the family)...
     
  11. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

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    #11
    This is being discussed over here.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?goto=newpost&threadid=1804863
     
  12. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Thanks for the excellent and cogent response. I also think I read the same thing somewhere.

    Computers are my hobby as well as business. So I consider any $$$ an investment of one kind or the other. Not like I can break out a Platinum card and not feel it. But in this short life, I feel that spending money on things I love is, well, kind of the whole point :)

    I really do like your 3 year sealed unit idea.

    I pretty much think the same way. I used to always have a big clunker of a desktop that I would tear down and rebuild for sport. Then I got a bit older and realized that was not how I wanted to spend my time. The idea of a "sealed unit" for myself and clients has worked very well over the past few years.

    I am also one of the earliest SSD users on this entire forum. I have followed/used them since they were a gleam in the engineer's eye :) So at the rate they are changing, I figure any way I get "out ahead" of the curve is good future proofing.

    In this case, going from 512GB to 1TB puts it out of my comfort zone. I usually NEVER buy at the very top. Near, but not at.

    Well, I am going to continue to research and ponder. It is just possible that I could spend roughly the same $$$ and get the new iMac 5K. I consider a monitor like that a really good investment. I stare at the monitor ALOT. Like really ALOT.

    a 4 core mini with video power to run that and a nice 1TB SD, ah, now that is the stuff dreams are made of!

    :)

    ----------

    Got it. Thanks!
     
  13. Cape Dave, Oct 21, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014

    Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    #13
  14. scottsjack macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Wait a minute! Your two choices are not even comparable to each other. On one hand you have a super weak but stupidly expensive mini. On the other you have a fairly fantastic iMac.

    A better comparison would be to a $2200 iMac which would knock the socks of the equally expensive mini. Minis are great as $500 - $1,000 computers but once you get over $1400 or so the alternatives are just too great.
     
  15. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    #15
    Yes, but my love for the mini supersedes all logic. After all, it was my FIRST Mac ever :)

    The only reason I am considering the iMac is the screen. That trumps power in this case. Although of course having both is OK too.

    I am just considering options at this point. Sure is fun.
     

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