Mac Pro to Mac Mini? Storage Solution?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by fiatlux, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. fiatlux macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2007
    I currently have an aging Mac Pro 1,1 upgraded to 2x4c @ 3GHz, SSD boot drive, Bluray burner, 16 GB RAM, etc....

    The machine still runs fine but it can't be much more upgraded, does not run the latest OS, could fail any day (almost 7y old) and isn't particularly power efficient.

    Apart from switching to a more recent MP, I had a look at the latest Mac Mini - the late 2012 Core i7 @ 2,6 GHz is a tad faster than my current machine, but way more efficient and runs OSX ML. I don't really need fast graphics.

    I could connect my 30" HP screen through a DP-dual link DVI adapter and my digital cable TV receiver to the Firewire port.

    But I currently have close to 5TB of HDD in my Mac Pro:
    • 80 GB SSD boot drive
    • 2x1 TB of data in RAID 0
    • 2TB Time Machine
    • 750 GB of movies (clone of media-hard drive connected to TV set)
    • plus an eSATA/USB 2.0 dock used for cloning

    And while I could move the SSD to the Mac Mini to set up a fusion drive I can't find any affordable Thunderbolt-based solution to hook my HDDs, not to mention my 5"1/4 Bluray burner.

    Any clue?
  2. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    I made the switch from a Mac Pro 1,1 with all 4 bays full to a Mini last year. I went with the server edition, removed one of the drives and put an SSD in its place to boot off of. I did not make it a Fusion drive; the other drive it came with I use for storage.

    For the rest of the storage, I just put my 2 TB drive in a USB3 enclosure, and time machine is still the same external firewire 800 G-Drive. I looked into 5.25" enclosures for my optical drive, but optical drives have come down in cost so much, it was actually cheaper to just buy a new one. Even Blu-Ray drives are cheap now, so it's worth looking into.

    Initially when I was planning this, I looked for Thunderbolt setups but prices are still way too high, especially for the Promise stuff. Some people buy the LaCie Thunderbolt RAID setups and replace the drives, but I ended up not needing to do that, as my current setup works well for me.
  3. nightmars macrumors member


    Sep 21, 2010
  4. LeandrodaFL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2011
    I plan on getting 2x 1TB G-drive Firewirie drives and RAID them on daisy chain.

    For internals, 500GB Samsung ($330) and the 1TB internal HDD that ships with the product

    for Time Machine, get a 2TB My Passport USB 3.0 drive, or a Time Capsule.

    500GB SSDs are very common now and in earlly 2013, altugh its already April, Crucial is expected to introduce the M5 SSDs, wich is promised to sell in 1TB capacities. Moreover, there are already 2TB SSDs in the enterprise market. So we may see 2x 2TB SSD Macmini setups in a near future
  5. fiatlux thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2007
    The plan was to try making use of my existing HDDs, not spending an absurd amount of money on 2TB SSDs :D Otherwise, I could as well just get a 12c MP ;)

    More pragmatically, it seems the best way forward is to go the USB 3.0 enclosure way for the HDDs, and just get a new USB 3.0 Bluray burner. FW800 is another option, but I fear it is going to feel significantly slower than internal SATA in my current MP.
  6. mus0r macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2005
  7. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    The backups don't matter, you could get by with USB2. FW800 would be plenty fast, or USB3, for your working drive. I have an older Mini (no USB3) with a similar setup. A main drive using FW800, a drive with movies on USB2, and a TM backup drive using USB2. Other than waking up the USB2 drives, they are plenty fast for access and playback. I actually find that the FW drives can be faster than the internal Mini drive (non-SSD), because the 3.5" HDDs are faster than 2.5" versions. Geez, I haven't thought about this, my main drive might actually be FW400. The Mini has FW800, but the drive enclosure might be older, can't remember offhand.

    "Significantly slower", probably, but I doubt noticeably, because these should be fast enough for most people's tasks. If you were doing major video work, perhaps not, but sounds like you aren't if you think a Mini can handle what you need.

    It's more of an issue that you have these external drives everywhere. Messy, and needs lots of power outlets.
  8. utekineir macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2008
    i went from mp to a mini too, no real demanding data speed needs.

    got the owc data doubler for <$40, put in a cheap staples ssd for os drive, leaving the full 1tb drive for storage,

    also have several usb 3 drives,

    most importantly a 4tb for backing up everything, and a 2nd 4tb for rotating offsite backup.

    also time machine through a netgear router

    i'm torn between picking up a cheap nas (hp 54l probably) and stuffing the volume storage into the basement, or holding out for a cheap diskless 4 or more bay tb enclosure.

    regardless, the mess of usb 3 drives, cables, and power bricks in the office bugs the hell out of me.
  9. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    My experience is that gigabit offers the best storage connection. OK, TB en USB3 are faster, but gigabit beats FW800 and there are many nice price lot-of-bay solutions in gigabit. In full duplex you can in theory have 1 gigabit in both directions at the same time, which makes it even faster when the disks have a JBOD config and you transfer files from one drive to the other (copying between 2 USB or FW drives would really slow things down).

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