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bb_mac

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 22, 2005
52
26
Hey, just got my base model Mac Mini M1 today.

As it is the base model, with just 256gb (although 256gb of *smoking* ssd performance - 3200MB/s write, 2800MB/s read!!), I ordered two reasonably priced crucial 2tb drives (mx500 on a deal at £156 each - about $212 USD).
These are never going to even get close to the onboard SSD chips - max 560/510 MB/s - I knew that.

I opted to go a bit cheap and got a usb-3 enclosure and a usb-c to sata cable, for each drive respectively.
One will be local backup, the other for data. That'll do for now, whilst I search for something a little more fitting & sexy - there's a TON of expensive junk enclosures out there. Total minefield.

Oddly enough, the usb-c connected to a thunderbolt 3 port, only hits around 320MB/s read/write, yet the USB-A external enclosure hits 360MB/s - go figure. Total for both connection options was about £20, so no big deal. Possibly the el-cheapo usb-c to sata cable I got is at fault, but I wouldn't expect to ever hit the max speed.

Is that about the best I can expect? - I'm thinking it probably is, but it begs the question, whether I should've opted for faster SSD's? - but then, price right? - £156 for 2tb of SSD is pretty damn good.
My experience of this tells me you *never* hit the advertised max speed of an SSD, so I guess 65% ain't too bad for external.

What is everyone else doing RE external storage?
Let's face it, this is the best bang for the buck Mac ever - but adding extra storage, as always with Apple, is crazy expensive.

I may research NvME enclosures - but would like to know what other people are doing regarding this?
Sure, this is a pretty well covered topic - but I'm wanting to see what others are doing for the Mac Mini M1 and external storage.

The NvME is a route I'll go down if I'm finding some issues with loading apps and data of the cheap SSD's I have - but need to wait for the stats first.

But boy, am I happy. It wipes the floor with my souped up old mac pro 5.1 cheese grater :) - and my power bill is going to be cheaper ?

Anyone in the UK want to buy my old 5.1 mac pro? /joke ... need to get it on eBay before the price plummets ... oh wait, it already has ;)
 
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NikoBeaR

macrumors member
Nov 20, 2020
32
69
I am in the EXACT same boat, but I got the 8GB/512MB model for $200 more. I do regret it a little as I could've done with 256GB (even with all my apps I'm only using 125GB!). I would've rather saved the $200 and potential gone with the Space Gray 'pro' model rumored for next year or the year after that. I have a Crucial 512GB MX100 for Backup and 1TB MX500 in USB3 enclosures for data. I feel like that's the best tradeoff

It's criminal how much Apple wants for +RAM & + Storage. However, agree that the Mac Mini M1 is an incredible machine. It is dead silent and always cool to touch no matter everything I throw at it. Software support is obviously not there for Apple Silicon but slowly catching up.

In hindsight, I would've gone with 8GB/256GB and also waited another 3-4 months for a deeper sale than what's available for -$30 off from Costco.
 

bb_mac

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 22, 2005
52
26
I deliberated over the 16GB, but after a lot of reading up, it really does depend on the use case.
I'm not doing heavy video production.
My Logic Pro X usage, right now, is fairly amateurish - the most tracks I've ever racked up is about 20.
I do a little light weight design - but nothing that would warrant more ram on the M1.

My purpose for this mac, is, 90% music production and casual surfing/email/graphic design - so, it's perfect.
Except the storage!

I've looked at loads of drive bays - there was one which looked so awesome, pretty much the same dimensions as the mac mini, so it sits under it. The *real* reviews indicated it was a stinker of a product, which is sad.

Fortunately, I don't need a USB-C dock, which I was worried about - because they all suck. Every single one.
The 2xthunderbolt 3 and 2xUSB-A are perfect for my needs and my el-cheapo USB-A hub is spot on for connecting audio devices.

I do intend to keep this unit in absolutely pristine condition, so it's going to sit in a dust free space below my desk.
Kept all the packaging as usual.
I reckon the resale value is going to be strong even in 12 months from now, so I'll look again then to see what Apple is offering - although I'm 100% sure you will *Still* pay a premium for extra ram and storage!

I got mine for £16 less than Apple, via amazon - about $21 USD. Go figure!
But we pay a premium here in the UK.
The base model from apple UK, is £699 - which is $934 USD.
Apple have *always* just substituted the currency symbol from $ to £ over here, keeping the same figures after ;)
 
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