Mac mini 2011 Expansion Recommendations

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mikochu, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. mikochu macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2011
    Hey folks,

    I was wondering if anyone could recommend any external expansion for the Mac mini, specifically for a 2011 model. There's the miniStack series, thunderbolt expansions, etc. However, I don't see good reviews for any of them. I'd like to add USB 3.0 and maybe eSATA. Does anyone have experience with any of these peripherals?

  2. Richdmoore macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Troutdale, OR
    No experience, but it just preordered the Caldiget thunderbolt dock to add usb 3 to my 2011 imac. I believe that owc & others sell usb 3 to esata adapters as well, so once you get usb 3 it may simply be an adapter.

    Kanex had a poll on their web site to choose between thunderbolt to usb3/sata or up thunderbolt to usb3/Ethernet, so they may also be looking at something.
  3. DisMyMac macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2009
  4. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    As an alternative, I'd consider selling the 2011 and buying a new one. Might even be less expensive.
  5. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    For the cost of a T-bolt to USB3.0 hub like the Belkin one, I would sugest trying to get a new mini with USB3.0. It is a huge cost to gain USB3.0 and the Belkin hub operates at half USB3.0 speeds anyway.

    I ended up just buying a new 2012 mini to get USB3.0 (and kept the 2011).

    I run a Lacie eSata T-Bolt hub on the 2011 mini. I then use a few different eSata enclosures and get very good speeds.
  6. mikochu thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2011
    I'm partial to my 2011 since it has the AMD Radeon HD 6630M in it. I don't need USB 3.0 or eSATA, but it would be nice to know what works well and what doesn't.

    Thanks guys.
  7. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I have done extensive testing of thunderbolt. esata and usb 3

    . your model wants thunderbolt. I am typing on your model right now.

    I use lacie little big disk with 2x 500gb ssds in it. I did a great thread on it .

    USB 3 does not work at usb 3 speeds and thunderbolt to esata is slow.

    still using the lbd with the fan removed since 2011 just under 2 years.

    pm me if you have any questions.
  8. mikochu thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2011
    Thanks Philip!

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