Advice needed about Mac Mini external storage

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by CptBucky, May 12, 2013.

  1. CptBucky macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    #1
    Hey all,

    I use my Mac Mini primarily for using XBMC and have it connected to my TV. Currently, I have an Icy Dock with my own 3TB HDD connected via USB 3. It works a treat and I'm veery happy.

    However, I'm looking to experiment a bit further and would like to buy a USB 3.0 rack (or Gigabit, more on that later) so I could slot in 4 x 3TB drives. I use the WD Caviar Green ones which run really quiet, so noise isn't really a problem.

    Back on topic though, I've been doing some research and I'm really not sure how to go about this. It's unfortunate that Thunderbolt is so expensive, but USB 3.0 is plenty fast enough anyway as I run OS X from an external USB 3.0 SSD ;)

    Another option would be a NAS. I'm really not sure how these work to be honest. I would have thought that connecting hard drives via an Ethernet cable as opposed to USB 3 would much slower? I don't want a RAID setup either as my data isn't valuable enough to warrant such a setup.

    Could somebody kindly give me some advice on what to do? What I really want is an empty 3.5" rack with a USB 3.0 connection ( or a high speed Gigabit/Ethernet connection?? :confused: ).

    I already have a powerful tower PC but am reluctant to use that as a NAS as it consumes a ton of power, not to mention the noise it generates - and it would defeat the purpose of buying a Mini for my HTPC really ;)

    Advice please guys :D
     
  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    For a HTPC, it is all streaming media... so performance is not a significant factor. I would go with USB 3.0 (or even 2.1). If you were using it for editing and other options... then it would make more sense to go with TB. TB is overkill for a media library in a HTPC.

    /Jim
     
  3. brand macrumors 601

    brand

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #3
    There is no such thing as USB 2.1, only USB 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0.
     
  4. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I use a Drobo 5D connected to my Mac mini server via TB. Its an expensive solution though (I only got the 5D as I got a 40% discount!) but it works especially well. Most of the time the Drobo is connected to my Mac mini server, but if I'm going to be doing some editing on my MacBook I unhook it from the server and connect it directly to my MacBook and edit straight off of it. No issues whatsoever.
     
  5. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    LOL... thanks. Total brain fart on my part. I (of anyone) should know that!

    /Jim
     
  6. CptBucky thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    #6
    Thanks for the advice everybody, it's been much appreciated :)
     
  7. Giuly, May 17, 2013
    Last edited: May 17, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #7
    You wouldn't really benefit from a NAS in your case, as you can just share the hard drives from the Mac Mini to access them on your other machines and pretty much everything else that a NAS offers could be done on it as well (given that a Mac Mini with USB 3.0 is quite fast).

    The 4-bay or 8-bay Mediasonic ProRaid might be for you. They both have RAID5, so if you sacrifice the space of one disk, you can you can swap out a failing drive and rebuilt it from the data on the other drives.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Also, you want WD Red instead of WD Green, they're as quiet but specifically tailored towards RAID usage.
     

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