Accessories for our new 2018 minis?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by archer75, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. archer75, Nov 6, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018

    archer75 macrumors 68020

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    #1
    I don't know about you but i'm going to need to add a USB hub. Any recommendations? One that connects to a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port, has 3-4 USB-A ports and a SD card slot. I see a lot of hubs also have HDMI and Ethernet on them which I don't need.

    I'm also looking for a thunderbolt 3/USB-C drive enclosure of some sort. I have 4x 4tb 3.5" hard drives and i'd like to put them in a RAID 5. I'll primarily use this drive for photo work with lightroom. Photos are also backed up online and I periodically back them up to another drive that I keep elsewhere.
    I was looking at OWC Mercury Elite Pro Quad Raid edition or Akitio Thunder 3 Quad X(but looks like I have to purchase software to raid this?) Any thoughts on these or additional recommendations? I'd like to keep the cost for the enclosure under $350.
    I also have a drobo with 5x 8tb drives that I use for movies, tv, 4k, full disc rips,etc. And I already have a thunderbolt 2 to 3 adapter for that so i'm good there.

    I'm also considering an external enclosure for the bluray optical drive I have in my PC so I can use that for my rips on the mini. Looking at a OWC Mercury Pro optical enclosure for that $49.99

    Also looking at the 2x 16gb Crucial ram kit on amazon for $275.

    Here's a thread for keyboard/mouse:
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/keyboard-and-mouse.2152511/

    And one for egpu enclosures:
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/recommended-egpu-enclosures.2151611/
     
  2. F-Train macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2015
    Location:
    NYC & Newfoundland
    #2
    Just in case you're not already aware of it, there's a Mac Accessories forum here with a couple of sticky threads covering USB-C Docks/Hubs: https://forums.macrumors.com/forums/mac-accessories.77/
     
  3. archer75 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    Thank you, yes. It just doesn't get a lot of traffic over there and some of the info is a little dated. But yes, I posted over there as well.
     
  4. StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

    Joined:
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    Earth
    #4
    I’ll be watching this thread.

    I do have a question though, is it OK to buy used eGPU boxes? AKiTiO Node 3 is around 200 new, but there are used (in like new condition) for 170 on Amazon?
     
  5. jrlcopy macrumors 6502

    jrlcopy

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #5
    I think so, I'd buy a thing of compressed air to blow out the fan real quick for any dust. And Amazon's A-Z Guarantee is pretty rock solid for buyers, if anything is weird.
     
  6. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
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    Thailand
    #6
    If it doesnt do hardware RAID, it depends what level you want.

    If you're happy with either RAID0, RAID 1 or RAID 10 (a RAID 0 striped over two RAID1 mirrors) macOS can do it natively without any extra software.
     
  7. archer75, Nov 6, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018

    archer75 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #7
    I want RAID 5. RAID 10 would be my 2nd choice but I don't think it would give me enough storage. I'll have to double check how much data my photos folder is using.
     
  8. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

    Joined:
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    #8
    Do you need the increased read speed specifically?

    I’ve used hw raid5 “prosumer” (LaCie) arrays before, and I’m kind of over it. R5 arrays have a nasty habit of killing a second drive while you rebuild a replacement.

    If you don’t need the increased speed, I would actually try JBOD over raid1 pairs. This gives you better durability (a single drive doesn’t lose everything) but also expandability. You can join new disks (or in this case raid1 pairs) to the JBOD and it just becomes a bigger volume. I’m on a R10 now, but once I have some space to move that data around I’ll be moving to JBOD over R1 pairs.
     
  9. archer75 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Oregon
    #9
    I don't know about how much speed is needed. It's my wife who will be doing the lightroom work with it. But i'll ask her. You've given me something more to consider, thank you!
     
  10. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #10
    Consider Drobo? The 5c has five slots, and the nice thing with Drobo is you can mix & match (and upgrade as needed) disks to get more space. I have the older 4-slot model that started with four 1TB disks (about 3TB capacity with redundancy), I upgraded two of them to 4TB disks and now have about 6TB, I can add new larger disks as needed to gain more storage. https://www.drobo.com/storage-products/5C/
     
  11. archer75, Nov 6, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018

    archer75 thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #11
    I have one drobo, a 5D2. I've had 3 in 4 years. Just received the 3rd one today as the previous two died but were covered under warranty which is why i'm considering something else. Good news is i've never lost any data! Drobo failures, drive failures, never any data loss.

    The drobo 5D3 was a consideration for thunderbolt 3 but the cost is high. The other enclosures i'm looking at are thunderbolt 3 for under $350 which is appealing.
    The 5C does have USB-C. So maybe. Perhaps they'll offer a discount to current owners if I bug them.
     
  12. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #12
    I bought a USB 3 hub, 512GB SSD time machine drive, usb-c enclosure (bus powered), cable straps and stacked shelves to hold everything. My desk currently looks like a rats nest of cables and power adapters. I'm tearing it all down and organizing everything.
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    I will be looking for a powered USB hub as well, BUT....

    ... I DON'T want one that has a "molded on" (i.e., non-removable) shorty cable, because it will not provide enough length to position the body of the hub where needed.

    So... the cable (from Mac to hub) needs to be about 3' long.
    Not one of those "less-than-a-foot-long" cables that you see for connecting a hub to a MacBook, etc.

    4-7 ports ought to do, perhaps with charging as well.

    I wouldn't mind USB3.1 Gen 2 (for 10gbps), but not many of these out there yet, and they're more expensive.
     
  14. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

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    Nov 2, 2018
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    Thailand
    #14
    The nice thing about hubs with a separate cable, is you can switch from USB A-to-A to A-to-C cables, depending on what you plug it into.
     
  15. archer75 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
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    Oregon
    #15
    I did contact drobo and they offer $50 off for a new drobo for existing owners. Makes the 5C $300. Very tempting. This won't be as fast as the other options I was looking at but should still be fast enough for photos and by far more versatile.
     
  16. japtor macrumors regular

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    Jun 29, 2010
    #16
  17. archer75 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
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    Oregon
    #17
    I went ahead and ordered another drobo(5c). It's not as fast as the Akitio but it's far more versatile and still fast enough for my needs.
     
  18. Synchro3, Nov 9, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018

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17 November 6, 2018