Mac Mini TB ports, external drives & eGPU

dimme

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Original poster
Feb 14, 2007
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I will be purchasing a mac mini soon and had a question about the TB3 ports. I plan to add a eGPU also I would like to have 3 to 4 external drives hooked up. 3 of the external drives are USB3 and one is USB type C. I was thinking of getting a USP type C Dock (OWC or CalDigi) for the usb drives, thinking it would have better reliably and maybe speed that a USB. The USB C drive, hub and eGPU, would connect directly to the mini's TB3 ports. So my question to all 4 TB3 ports share the same bandwidth? Is there a better way to achieve what I want to do?
Thanks
 

tpivette89

macrumors 6502
Jan 1, 2018
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Newark, DE
I will be purchasing a mac mini soon and had a question about the TB3 ports. I plan to add a eGPU also I would like to have 3 to 4 external drives hooked up. 3 of the external drives are USB3 and one is USB type C. I was thinking of getting a USP type C Dock (OWC or CalDigi) for the usb drives, thinking it would have better reliably and maybe speed that a USB. The USB C drive, hub and eGPU, would connect directly to the mini's TB3 ports. So my question to all 4 TB3 ports share the same bandwidth? Is there a better way to achieve what I want to do?
Thanks
I believe ports 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 share the same bandwidth. So make sure whatever port your eGPU is plugged into, that the adjacent port is not used so it has full use of the TB3 bandwidth.
 
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chabig

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Sep 6, 2002
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...3 of the external drives are USB3 and one is USB type C.
To be clear, they are all USB 3 drives. What you mean to say is that three of them have USB Type-A connectors and one has a USB Type-C connector.
 

killawat

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Sep 11, 2014
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If you have the scratch for an extra thunderbolt 3 dock then you'll get more flexibility. In your case it's not required assuming you can use the two onboard ports for USB drives one and two, and then you can use TB3 ports 3 and 4 for the extra two drives.

There are 2 TB controllers for the Mac mini. Get a TB3 dock. With the number of drives hooked up you need a decent dock, it also depends on if you're using SSDs or any 10 Gbps devices, and also depending on whether or not the drives are bus powered or not.
Connect eGPU to port 1 and leave port 2 blank, connect TB3 dock to and leave port 4 blank.
 

dimme

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To be clear, they are all USB 3 drives. What you mean to say is that three of them have USB Type-A connectors and one has a USB Type-C connector.
3 drive are USB 3 (standard USB) connector the other is a usb type c connector
 

chabig

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Sep 6, 2002
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Right. The correct term for what you’re calling a “standard USB” port is Type-A. You see, USB 3 is the name of a data transfer protocol, while Type-A, Type-B, and Type-C are the names of the physical connectors. The drive of yours with the Type-C connector is also a USB 3 drive.