NAS or Direct w/ USB 3.0

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by UhFive, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. UhFive macrumors regular

    UhFive

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    #1
    I am about to update my external drive and need some help deciding what to do.
    Currently I have a USB3.0 external drive plugged directly into my 2012 Mac Mini, which shares the drive on my network. I am looking to upgrade, so, will I see faster speeds with a NAS device plugged into a Gigabit Switch or my USB 3.0 drive plugged directly to the Mac Mini?
    Also, this Mac mini is solely used as a Plex Media Server and I transfer movies to it from my MacBook Pro.
     
  2. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    In general connected drives will be faster. Consider also that if all you are running on the mini is Plex server, and have a NAS, that will double the traffic over the network. Of course you could just drop the mini and run Plex on the NAS. Basically your mini just running Plex server *is* a NAS.

    You won't see any difference in speeds when serving, of course, since a two hour movie will take two hours to play no matter what. The only thing that will be faster is transferring from your MacBook Pro, and then that will likely be limited by your Wifi speed unless you connect your MBP directly to your Ethernet.

    I just ran a speed test from my iMac to my mini server. Either an internal drive or an external I'm seeing 840Mbit/sec, which is hitting the limits for gigabit ethernet.
     
  3. UhFive thread starter macrumors regular

    UhFive

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    I looked at different NAS with Plex built in...but I ended up paying $250 for my Mac Mini, which is less than most of the NAS devices I was was looking at. Also, I at least have a backup computer in case I need it.
    Sounds to me like the USB3 is the best option for me then.
     
  4. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #4
    Run plex on the mini and put storage onto a NAS.
    It's a much neater and more flexible solution.
     
  5. LiveM macrumors 6502a

    LiveM

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    #5
    I depends on the NAS. With a WD MyCloud, it will perform similarly to a drive attached to a router's USB port. That's much slower than attaching to your Mini if you are using the HDMI out to your TV.
     
  6. UhFive thread starter macrumors regular

    UhFive

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    I am not using the HDMI out. I use the Plex app on my ATV4, I also stream my media to my phone and occasionally my parents will use it to stream to their devices.

    It looks like direct connect USB3 is my best bet in this case...thank you everyone for your input.
     

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