Multiple drive enclosure vs seperate drives

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by NutFlush920, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. NutFlush920 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    #1
    I currently have 3 seperate hard drives connected to my MacMini which acts as a iTunes server to my multiple AppleTVs. I am in need of a 4th drive as I'm running out of storage.

    I'm considering putting all 4 drives into a single enclosure (http://www.amazon.com/Vantec-3-5-In...keywords=usb+3+quad+enclosure#customerReviews) as JBOD to cut down on power wires and USB cords.

    Am I better keep the 4 drives in seperate enclosures or would this enclosure work for me? Bare in mind I have multiple AppleTV's which could be accessing different content from different drives at any given time.
     
  2. ColdCase, Oct 5, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    NH
    #2
    What year is the mini? Does it have a thunderbolt port?

    If so, the best thing from a performance and reliability POV would be a four bay thunderbolt enclosure like the OWC Thunderbay IV. Everything else is a compromise of one form or another.

    Four separate enclosures connected to the four mini USB ports would perform better than four drives in a single enclosure with one USB3 cable to the mini. Dunno if one would notice the difference streaming multiple videos, however.

    Do you care how quiet the drives/enclosures are?
     
  3. NutFlush920 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 31, 2011
    #3
    I have a Mid 2011 Mini with Thunderbold but the OWC Thunderbay IV is way out of my price range. The setup is in my basement so sounds not a factor. Just trying to cut down on wires and plugs is all. I realize my Mini is only usb as well but, someday I'll upgrade to usb 3 so want to be prepared.
     
  4. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

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    Apr 25, 2012
    #4
    If the drives are "spinners" and you have no designs on using a striped RAID, anything more than USB 3.0 is overkill. A spinning drive can in no way saturate the interface of SATA 3, and USB 3.0 is only SLIGHTLY slower than that of SATA 3.

    I have this enclosure connected to my Mac Mini, it works very well.
     
  5. NutFlush920 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 31, 2011
    #5
    I was actually debating between the enclosure I previously posted and the one you have. The only reason I was leaning away from this one is it looks to have a proprietary power adapter.
     
  6. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #6
    While the Vantec has a familiar-looking plug, those adapters can be specific as to what input they receive and where the + and - are located in the plug.

    Mediasonic sells the adapter on their site for $25. Vantec does the same but through eBay, for a little bit less for their adapter.
     
  7. NutFlush920 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 31, 2011
    #7
    Ok thanks. I'll go with the Metasonic. I have used other enclosures from them and have been happy. Any reason at all you can think of not to do what I have planned?
     
  8. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #8
    Considering I've done pretty much what you want to, no. You shouldn't see a HUGE performance hit since you're accessing 4 drives over USB 2.0 in your current setup.
     
  9. yukyuklee macrumors 6502

    yukyuklee

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    Jan 4, 2011
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    Boston, MA
    #9
    Has anyone tried using other brand hard disks besides Seagates on the LaCie 2Big enclosure?
     
  10. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #10
    I tinkered with USB for years and have never been happier since swapping to TB. There is just no issues, no quirks, no drives disappearing, no sleep waking issues, no sharing anomalies to track down.... it just works, like most Mac stuff..

    You can certainly skimp and make the USB hard drive bandaid work, its nice to have choices... but you will see many forum posts here with similar experience. Blowing money on the relatively quirky and unreliable consumer grade USB before moving to a decent TB solution. Just suggesting that you may want to save some grief and money in the long term.... from someone that has been there and and done that.
     
  11. sickducker macrumors member

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    Sep 1, 2014
    #11
    How much TB's do you have now and how much do you want to expand? Those external hdd enclosures are expensive and ugly. You could consider buying one new external hdd and sell your old hdd's.
     
  12. NutFlush920 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 31, 2011
    #12
    Right now I have a 2tb, 2.5tb, and 3tb all full of video. Been very ambitious converting my movie library to digital format.
     
  13. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #13
    And let me guess, you haven't got any of that backed up to other drives....

    If that's the case, you're asking for a colossal failure at some point in the future, making a good portion of your effort on converting your media library a waste.

    I suggest you save up and get around to having a decent enclosure, like a Thunderbay IV, loaded with Toshiba 5TB drives so you can have 20GB to keep TWO copies of all your movie files, one copy on a pair of drives, cloned regularly with something like Carbon Copy Cloner to the other pair of drives...
     
  14. NutFlush920 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 31, 2011
    #14
    Multiple drive enclosure vs seperate drives

    I do have a full offsite backup of each drive. I've spent way to much time on this "hobby" to get burnt by a drive failure.
     
  15. NutFlush920 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 31, 2011
    #15

    I ordered a ProBox HF2-SU3S2 to house 4 separate external drives.

    1. 2.0TB Western Digital WD20EARX
    2. 2.5TB Western Digital WD25EZRX
    3. 3.0TB Seagate ST3000DM001
    4. 4.0TB Seagate ST4000DM000

    All of the drives have data on them that I really don't want to loose. The only drive that the enclosure will read and display the files on is the 2.0TB Western Digital WD20EARX. All the other drives give an error "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer." when I turn on the enclosure.

    When I take the drives out and try them in another single enclosure, my MacBook Pro reads the data without any issues.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. I can reformat, but if I do, then try to use the drive in the other enclosure I get the error. I'd like a to have the drives readable by both this enclosure as well as others at all times.
     
  16. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #16
    Your issue may be a controller issue. What capacity is the drive reporting when in each enclosure?

    I suspect the drive is formatting at a smaller capacity in one of the enclosures. The largest drive I have in mine is a 3.0 TB and I don't have other enclosures to try it in.
     
  17. NutFlush920 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 31, 2011
    #17
    All drives were damn near maxed (5% free) except my newest 4tb one. I had been using the stock enclosures that came with them. I've been copying the contents of each to the 4tb drive, formatting/partitioning the drive guid, then copying the contents back. Not so bad on usb 3 and am on my last drive now.

    Just doesn't make sense to me why I'd have to reformat each one in the Mediasonic enclosure.
     

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