Mac mini peripheral storage advice

Nazwisko

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 27, 2012
11
0
Hello,

I'm planning on getting new Mac mini 2018 next year (Feb/March). It will replace my current Mac Pro mid 2010 which has served me well for the last 5 years. I'm donating Mac Pro to a friend who is in a bigger need for it then me and I need an alternative.

My current work is all Photoshop and Lightroom on High Sierra. Large photos, especially when edited with lots of layers. My husband does try some video editing from time to time (just personal video from GoPro). No gaming.
I have huge collection of large pdf books (Some of them 3-4 GB) and over 20,000 pdfs. It's about 500 gb. Music library rather small (100 gb). My photo library is fairly small as I do only 10-15 projects per year and I tend to get rid of things older than 2 yrs. Just checked and it's about 3.12 Tb.

I have macOS and all apps on 1 Tb Samsung SDD; I also keep there all pdfs and most books.
I keep all photos and music on 8Tb SeaGate Barracuda HDD.
I have back up on second 8Tb SeaGate Barracuda HDD (Time Machine)
Additional backup of the photos on external drive (kept on the shelf)

I also have Samsung 860 EVO 2TB SDD (currently empty, I used to use it as an external portable drive)

I would like to get advice on the best storage options once I get Mini. So far I came up with this idea and would love to hear opinions from gurus here:

OWC Thunderbay 3 enclosure
* Two Samsung 2TB SDD (I would buy second one) in RAID0 for all the photos (3.12 Tb) -- I know the risk of RAID0 but I have good backup; I think I can keep the library below 4Tb for another 2 yrs. Then buy 2 x 4tb SSD at reasonable price (hopefully ;))
* SeaGate Barracuda discs used as double backup (Time Machine and ChronoSync)
* macOS on 1tb internal drive in the Mini + all music and pdfs

I also looked into Drobo but it seems too much for what I need.
Still reading on new Mini and waiting for more data before deciding on the options.

Questions: above set-up is too slow? too much? there are better alternatives?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

archer75

macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2005
2,700
1,235
Oregon
I have 2 drobos. The great thing about them is they grow with you. Plug in whatever drives you have. Need more storage? Plug in another drive if there's a space available. If not, pull out the smallest capacity drive and put in a larger one. Done.
As the years go by we tend to collect more data so it's good to have something that will grow with you. It can also protect against one or two drive failures. In all the years I've been using Drobo I've never lost any data.
 

bigfatipod

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2011
224
87
I'm just curious about setting up for the RAID. With a new, presumably fast, Mac mini combined with internal and external SSDs, what's your interest in using the RAID set up?
 

Nazwisko

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 27, 2012
11
0
I have 2 drobos.
I looked into Drobo as it's a neat enclosure. However reading made me believe that Drobo users are either super happy or extremely upset (speed problems, Drobo not mounting, horrible customer service and since it's proprietary 'raid' one is left with no solution). So obviously I got a bit scared.
Plus I have two Samsung SDDs I would love to use too and with Drobo you can use only all SDD or all HDD.
[doublepost=1542725367][/doublepost]
I'm just curious about setting up for the RAID. With a new, presumably fast, Mac mini combined with internal and external SSDs, what's your interest in using the RAID set up?
Trying to limit expense. I have 2tb SDD and >3 Tb photos. Add second SDD + RAID0 and I have almost 4Tb SDD drive. Currently 2TB samsung is $300, 4tb close to $800.
I could use HDD and no RAID but I already have SDD and it's presumable faster than HDD.
 

Fenwayfan77

macrumors newbie
Nov 19, 2018
7
4
Hello,

I'm planning on getting new Mac mini 2018 next year (Feb/March). It will replace my current Mac Pro mid 2010 which has served me well for the last 5 years. I'm donating Mac Pro to a friend who is in a bigger need for it then me and I need an alternative.

My current work is all Photoshop and Lightroom on High Sierra. Large photos, especially when edited with lots of layers. My husband does try some video editing from time to time (just personal video from GoPro). No gaming.
I have huge collection of large pdf books (Some of them 3-4 GB) and over 20,000 pdfs. It's about 500 gb. Music library rather small (100 gb). My photo library is fairly small as I do only 10-15 projects per year and I tend to get rid of things older than 2 yrs. Just checked and it's about 3.12 Tb.

I have macOS and all apps on 1 Tb Samsung SDD; I also keep there all pdfs and most books.
I keep all photos and music on 8Tb SeaGate Barracuda HDD.
I have back up on second 8Tb SeaGate Barracuda HDD (Time Machine)
Additional backup of the photos on external drive (kept on the shelf)

I also have Samsung 860 EVO 2TB SDD (currently empty, I used to use it as an external portable drive)

I would like to get advice on the best storage options once I get Mini. So far I came up with this idea and would love to hear opinions from gurus here:

OWC Thunderbay 3 enclosure
* Two Samsung 2TB SDD (I would buy second one) in RAID0 for all the photos (3.12 Tb) -- I know the risk of RAID0 but I have good backup; I think I can keep the library below 4Tb for another 2 yrs. Then buy 2 x 4tb SSD at reasonable price (hopefully ;))
* SeaGate Barracuda discs used as double backup (Time Machine and ChronoSync)
* macOS on 1tb internal drive in the Mini + all music and pdfs

I also looked into Drobo but it seems too much for what I need.
Still reading on new Mini and waiting for more data before deciding on the options.

Questions: above set-up is too slow? too much? there are better alternatives?

Thanks!
I'm in the same boat regarding backup and fast external storage. I recently decided on the Akitio SK-2520 (backordered). USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds (not thunderbolt) which is fast enough for my needs. 2 Trays for 2.5 Sata SSD or HDD. Bus powered so no fan. RAID 0,1,Span and No raid options. I'm going to pick up 2 EVO 860 2TB's myself. Will use it as external photo/video storage along with Time Machine Backup, as well as a WD My Book HDD for backing up my backup.
 

archer75

macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2005
2,700
1,235
Oregon
I looked into Drobo as it's a neat enclosure. However reading made me believe that Drobo users are either super happy or extremely upset (speed problems, Drobo not mounting, horrible customer service and since it's proprietary 'raid' one is left with no solution). So obviously I got a bit scared.
Plus I have two Samsung SDDs I would love to use too and with Drobo you can use only all SDD or all HDD.
No you can't use a mix of SSD or HDD. They physically don't fit in the same enclosure. I don't know of any enclosure where you could mix. And you wouldn't want to due to speed differences. You'd end up neutering the SSD.
Keep in mind OWC uses their own proprietary soft raid. Though depending on raid level you can use MacOS to handle the RAID.

Drobos customer service has been phenomenal. I had one die out of warranty. So they offered to sell me a replacement at half price and shipped it out right away. And it included an extended warranty. Just put the drives in and your up and running. I had another die after a power outage but under warranty. Couple emails and I sent mine in the same day. No hassles. New one on the way, drives back in and up and running. When I just bought my 2nd one I emailed and asked as a current owner if they would give me a discount. Couple minutes later they sent me a coupon code to use.

No issues with mounting.

Only issues I had with speed are related to MacOS. MacOS loves to do this preparing to copy thing which takes an eternity before it actually copies. I've used drobo on windows as well and windows doesn't do this. So the initial setup when I moved it from windows to mac involved me copying over 30tb of data so yes, that was slow. But in day to day copying and file operations speed is just fine. I run a plex server feeding multiple clients simultaneously and my wife does her lightroom work from one. No issues.
I have built servers in the past. I have a rack mount case that can hold 22 drives and I used SAS. But it was a pain to manage especially when things started going wrong. I've built various other servers.
Eventually I just moved to drobo as I didn't want to have to mess with stuff as much.
 
Last edited:

Ifti

macrumors 68020
Dec 14, 2010
2,191
393
UK
Im glad I got rid of my Drobo's.
Currently use a NAS with 10GBe.
I also have a Samsung X5 for moving files around if need be, and as my portable device, and a OWC Thunderblade V4 as my editing drive.
I did have a OWC Envoy Pro EX drive, but I sold that and replaced it with the Samsung X5.

OWC drives are good, although the support not so much. My Thunderblade drive came with the incorrect TB3 cable so I wasn't getting full speeds, and had to go through a lot of hassle to get a replacement!
Otherwise I do recommend them.

OWC RAID drives use SoftRAID, which is also pretty good, basic and easy to use, and again never had any issues with it.
 

Nazwisko

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 27, 2012
11
0
Their customer service has been phenomenal.
You convinced me. I'll look into Drobo again. What speeds can I expect with regular HDD over TB3? Some people posted it's no more than 70-80 mb/sec which is rather slow for editing large photos.
I rarely care about speed when coping large number of files so that wouldn't be a problem for me.

Currently use a NAS with 10GBe.
I just learned that NAS can be use as a home solution. Would it be sufficient for photo work? I'm not sure I can afford 10GBe thought so it would have to be a regular speed. Do you have Synology or Qnap?
[doublepost=1542728280][/doublepost]
No you can't use a mix of SSD or HDD. They physically don't fit in the same enclosure. I don't know of any enclosure where you could mix. And you wouldn't want to due to speed differences. You'd end up neutering the SSD.
Keep in mind OWC uses their own proprietary soft raid. Though depending on raid level you can use MacOS to handle the RAID.
I think with OWC I can set it up as JDOB and then use any raid software to RAID two discs only while keeping the other two as regular volumes for two separate backups.
 

archer75

macrumors 68030
Jan 26, 2005
2,700
1,235
Oregon
You convinced me. I'll look into Drobo again. What speeds can I expect with regular HDD over TB3? Some people posted it's no more than 70-80 mb/sec which is rather slow for editing large photos.
I rarely care about speed when coping large number of files so that wouldn't be a problem for me.
Speeds can be higher than that. I'm using one USB-C drobo and the other is a thunderbolt 2 connected via an adapter. And it has a 128gb SSD as a cache. For photo work it's more than fast enough. With lightroom you keep the cache on the internal SSD but the original photos on the drobo.
I have seen speeds anywhere from 30MB/s(long transfers) up to over 200MB/s(short transfers). All depends. I have used it connected to my PC with USB 3.0 and it was still plenty fast enough.
 
Last edited:

JannLipka

macrumors newbie
Feb 17, 2019
1
0
Stockholm
Im glad I got rid of my Drobo's.
Currently use a NAS with 10GBe.
I also have a Samsung X5 for moving files around if need be, and as my portable device, and a OWC Thunderblade V4 as my editing drive.
I did have a OWC Envoy Pro EX drive, but I sold that and replaced it with the Samsung X5.

OWC drives are good, although the support not so much. My Thunderblade drive came with the incorrect TB3 cable so I wasn't getting full speeds, and had to go through a lot of hassle to get a replacement!
Otherwise I do recommend them.

OWC RAID drives use SoftRAID, which is also pretty good, basic and easy to use, and again never had any issues with it.
Is using Samsung X5 as editing drive possible ?
OWC Thunderblade V4 is RAID zero inside / Samsung X5 non RAID -


is Thunderblade faster ?
Did you runt disk speed test on both ?
is Thunderblade much faster ?
( I know it has 2 TB 3 ports vs X5 one only )

X5 is 30 % cheaper in my country ...
( and easier to obtain )