Mac Mini 2014 compatible with 4-bay or 8-bay JBOD?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mnoisewater, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. mnoisewater macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2014
    #1
    Hi all.

    Is anyone out there successfully using the new Mac Mini 2014 with a USB 3.0 4-bay or 8-bay JBOD enclosure?

    I'm looking for a compatible enclosure, and I'd love to know what, if anything, other people are using that's guaranteed to work with the new Mac Mini.

    Last week I bought the Mediasonic ProBox 8-Bay H82-SU3S2, but none of my drives (3TB and 4TB) would mount -- Mediasonic is going to exchange the unit because they think it's faulty, but I have a sinking feeling that the ProBox and the Mac Mini 2014 aren't compatible, so I'm looking for a Plan B. (Bummer, too, because it's a nice enclosure at a good price, and Mediasonic claims it even supports 6TB drives.)

    Any suggestions greatly appreciated :)
     
  2. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    Zurich, Switzerland
  3. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #3
    USB is USB. Can't see any reason why it would be incompatible with a 2014 Mac mini.
     
  4. mnoisewater thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2014
    #4
    @MRrainer: No Thunderbolt because it's too expensive, and the speed gains won't be of much use on my HTPC. Although OWC's Thunderbay sure is tempting ...

    @MagicBoy: You would think so, but I also (briefly) owned a 2012 Mac Mini that constantly and randomly ejected my hard drives that were in an IcyDock USB 2.0 enclosure. The same drives and enclosure work perfectly with the 2014 Mac Mini ... now I just need a reliable enclosure that has USB 3.0.

    Does anyone have first-hand experience with a working 4-bay or 8-bay USB 3.0 enclosure on the 2014 Mac Mini?
     
  5. ColdCase, Dec 15, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    NH
    #5
    I have had awful experiences with 1, 4 and 8 bay USB3 enclosures. USB is just not right for heavy duty large storage applications. I have been much happier since I've moved on to thunderbolt. Not one issue and full sata command support comes in handy, especially for SMART and TRIM (if you use SSDs for performance). For large file transfers between RAID0 arrays, TB is about twice as fast as USB3, but speed is really not the issue. USB has its place with mice, printers, small portable drives, iOS sync....

    If you insist on USB3, its seems one enclosure works for some, and not for another. Some drives are fine and others are not and it varies from system to system. Your USB2 issues could be drive related and how they react to the OS, not enclosure related. Just saying that one positive response here may not translate to your box.
     
  6. scottsjack macrumors 68000

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    Aug 25, 2010
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    Arizona
    #6
    I can't seem to keep either Mercury Rack Pro connected to USB 3 on either of my 2012 minis. On the other hand a NewerTek single HDD dock always stays connected.

    I bought a ThunderBay 4 which has been about as close to perfect as possible, lots of disk noise but otherwise out of sight, out of mind. One advantage of TB is that it frees a USB3 slot. Since all Macs are short on USB slots that can be important.
     
  7. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #7

    First, USB is only cheaper if your time is worth nothing.
    Then, it has to be useful, actually.
    Which, your posting proves, isn't really the case.

    Looking at the market, the number of multi-disk USB3 enclosures looks to be quit small, actually.
    I wonder why?

    While the USB-spec is apparently pretty strict, what hits the market (in terms of devices) in practice is usually a "best effort" type of device whose litmus-test is usually "runs with the latest version of Microsoft Windows on a Lenovo or Dell. Once".
    In theory, these devices should not be allowed to carry the "USB3"-logo (there's a certification program, AFAIK) - but in practice that doesn't happen, either.

    USB, for me, is still something that you use to attach a mouse, a keyboard, a camera, a DVD-drive and maybe a TimeMachine backup drive to (though I use a FW800 case for that, to spare an USB port....).
     
  8. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    May 28, 2006
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    Manchester, UK
    #8
    I got fed up with the unreliability of DAS boxes. Nonstandard RAID standards and cheap PSUs that fail may well cost you data.

    I built my own NAS using an HP ProLiant Microserver (£90 after cashback) and installed FreeNAS, then stowed it away.
     
  9. MrX8503 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #9
    I use the 4 bay Mediasonic enclosure with my 2014 mini and it's been working out great.

    Occasionally you'll get some disconnects and that's probably unavoidable with USB enclosures due to the nature of USB. If you want rock solid wake/sleep without disconnects, you'll have to get either e-sata or thunderbolt.

    Because Thunderbolt is expensive and the Mini not supporting e-sata natively, I can live with the shortcomings of USB3.
     
  10. mnoisewater thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2014
    #10
    Thanks all for the helpful suggestions :)

    For the time being I'm going to keep my fingers crossed and hope Mediasonic sends back a working 8-bay ProBox.

    If that fails, I might just have to break the bank and pick up a pair of OWC Thunderbay enclosures, because it looks like I have limited options in this segment.
     

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