Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

BeautifulWoman_1984

Contributor
Original poster
Sep 5, 2016
430
50
Hey guys,

I'm sorry to be creating a thread about this, but I've searched MacRumors and I couldn't find any threads where this is discussed.

My task I need help with:
I want to setup a machine that will be used primarily for downloading completely legitimate and legal files from the Internet via a web browser and the Vuze Torrent app.

At first I thought the best Mac to buy would be the current Mac Mini 2020, but it only comes with a tiny 256GB SSD... Speed doesn't matter to me so I wish there was an option to install something like a 2TB internal HDD into the Mac Mini 2020...

I was thinking the current iMac may be a better option for me because at least it comes with a 1TB HDD.

No matter which Mac I buy I'm going to need to increase its storage capacity...

I've never ever tried downloading a file from my web browser directly to an external USB HDD before so I don't know if this is a good idea or if it's a reliable way to download files. 😢 I've always downloaded files from my web browser directly to an internal HDD or SSD...

Thank you so much!

Edit: Made question briefer so it's easier to read.
 

BeautifulWoman_1984

Contributor
Original poster
Sep 5, 2016
430
50
Thanks, but I'm not sure how using the Brave Browser helps me?

I'm trying to choose which hardware to use to download and use for file storage.
 

gnasher729

Suspended
Nov 25, 2005
17,980
5,555
I want to setup a machine that will be used primarily for downloading completely legitimate and legal files from the Internet via a web browser and the Vuze Torrent app.
Why would you need a torrent when the files or completely legitimate and legal?
Or maybe the files themselves are completely legitimate and legal, but downloading them isn't?
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Shawn Llewellyn

BeautifulWoman_1984

Contributor
Original poster
Sep 5, 2016
430
50
Why would you need a torrent when the files or completely legitimate and legal?
Or maybe the files themselves are completely legitimate and legal, but downloading them isn't?
The files are distributed using Bit Torrent because it's too expensive for files to be directly downloaded from the website as it takes too much bandwidth. Bit Torrent is becoming more popular for this reason.

They are legitimate files.
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
9,420
6,050
the Abysmal Plane
I agree with others: use an external high-capacity HD for storage. The kind of Mac is mostly irrelevant. I've run several browsers with an external-drive Downloads folder, and they all work fine.

I recommend that you do some trials now, using any available external drive. It doesn't need to be a high capacity drive, because all you'll be doing is setting up the app to use an external Downloads folder, then doing a few test downloads.

Any external drive should work: for example, a USB thumb drive, an SD card in an SD-card reader, or a real spinning HD with a USB interface. The purpose of the test is for you to:
  • Learn how to configure each app to use an external drive.
  • Test how each app actually works with an external drive.
Do the same kind of trials with Vuze. That is, change its Preferences or settings or whatever, so it downloads directly to the external drive. After changing its settings, test a couple of downloads, and make sure the data is what you expect.

After finishing the trials, you can change each app's settings back to an internal folder.

If you do these trials before you make any other purchases, you'll know how things work, and what to expect. It will be one less thing you'll have to learn, or stumble over, after your purchase.
 

BeautifulWoman_1984

Contributor
Original poster
Sep 5, 2016
430
50
Just download to an external drive.
Makes NO difference.
Files can be downloaded to anywhere the Mac can see a drive available "for storage".
Thanks for your reply, but I'd much rather have files being downloaded to an internal HDD in the Mac as I've never tried downloading a file from a torrent or web browser that's downloaded straight to an external drive whether it's an external USB HDD or external Firewire HDD or USB thumb drive.

I've always saved the files to the internal HDD and only after it's downloaded to the internal HDD I'll copy it to an external USB HDD/Firewire HDD/USB thumb drive.

Is it possible for me upgrade the Mac Mini 2020's internal HDD with something like a 2TB internal HDD and not an SSD?

EDIT: Would I be better off buying the cheapest available iMac instead as far as installing extra internal HDD's and using an iMac as the machine for file storage?
 
Last edited:

hallux

macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
3,355
908
Thanks for your reply, but I'd much rather have files being downloaded to an internal HDD in the Mac as I've never tried downloading a file from a torrent or web browser that's downloaded straight to an external drive whether it's an external USB HDD or external Firewire HDD or USB thumb drive.
I download direct to a drive in an external enclosure all the time, it works well and is still pretty quick, though I'm not using a torrent. It's perfectly safe to do this though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: m00rpahwer!

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,978
8,750
"Is it possible for me upgrade the Mac Mini 2020's internal HDD with something like a 2TB internal HDD and not an SSD?"

No. Not possible.

"Would I be better off buying the cheapest available iMac instead as far as installing extra internal HDD's and using an iMac as the machine for file storage?"

I would not pry open ANY new iMac.
You'll immediately VOID THE WARRANTY by doing so.

Get an external drive and download to that.
Geez, this is child's play.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BeautifulWoman_1984

theluggage

macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2011
5,583
4,720
Why would you need a torrent when the files or completely legitimate and legal?

...because bittorrent is a completely legitimate and legal way of downloading large files, and assuming that "torrent" is synonymous with pirate moves/porn/warez is just plain ignorant. OK, so it is popular for dodgy downloads but by your logic anybody driving a car is a bank robber because bank robbers use cars to rapidly escape the scene of their crimes.

I used to use it to get things like (genuinely free & open source) Linux distributions.

E.g. https://ubuntu.com/download/alternative-downloads#bittorrents

It's not even a 'dark web' thing - the purpose is to reduce the bottleneck of a single server, not to hide it.

I want to setup a machine that will be used primarily for downloading completely legitimate and legal files from the Internet via a web browser and the Vuze Torrent app.

Just use an external HD. There shouldn't be any problem. If you want silent/low power then there are far cheaper external SSD options than Apple's hyper-expensive built in SSDs.

An old-model Mac Mini with more generous storage would probably be a better solution than a new one.

Personally, I wouldn't use a Mac for that - it's s job for a NAS or cheap PC/Linux box - and there are Bittorrent clients that work via a local web interface , so you don't even need a keyboard/monitor connected to the torrent box.

This might give you some inspiration: https://pimylifeup.com/raspberry-pi-transmission/
 

BeautifulWoman_1984

Contributor
Original poster
Sep 5, 2016
430
50
"Is it possible for me upgrade the Mac Mini 2020's internal HDD with something like a 2TB internal HDD and not an SSD?"

No. Not possible.

Get an external drive and download to that.
Geez, this is child's play.

Thank you, but the reason I'm so worried about this is because I've never downloaded something from a web browser/Torrent app directly to an external HDD.

Why can't I install a regular 4TB 2.5" HDD into a new Mac Mini 2020 so I can save my downloads directly to the internal HDD?
 

Thoradin

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2020
655
917
Yorkshire, England
You can’t add a 2.5 inch HDD because the new Mac mini only has soldered storage chips and no upgradable storage.
If you want upgradable internal storage, the only option is to purchase an older mini and not a brand new one.
I have just picked up a 2011 mini myself to use for file server duties and will be spending this weekend on upgrades and setup. Have been testing it with Catalina for the last week and it will be perfect for my plans.
I’m sure I have seen a previous post where you mention having an older mini, why not use this for your file storage, with a high capacity drive and a new mini for daily usage?
 
  • Like
Reactions: RootBeerMan

hallux

macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
3,355
908
Why can't I install a regular 4TB 2.5" HDD into a new Mac Mini 2020 so I can save my downloads directly to the internal HDD?
Because when I look at the iFixit teardown I don't see a connector to plug it in. Using an external drive is SOO MUCH EASIER than opening a Mini and adding a drive. How do I know? I've done it, on my 2012! On that same 2012 I also download direct do an external enclosure and experience ZERO issues. What more do you need than someone else who does exactly what you want to saying that it works fine?
 

hobowankenobi

macrumors 68000
Aug 27, 2015
1,759
677
on the land line mr. smith.
Because when I look at the iFixit teardown I don't see a connector to plug it in. Using an external drive is SOO MUCH EASIER than opening a Mini and adding a drive. How do I know? I've done it, on my 2012! On that same 2012 I also download direct do an external enclosure and experience ZERO issues. What more do you need than someone else who does exactly what you want to saying that it works fine?


Note only that...externals are much more flexible. Replace, move, add, share, etc. And performance (depending on device) can be be better than an internal 2.5 HD.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RootBeerMan

Erehy Dobon

Suspended
Feb 16, 2018
2,161
1,995
No service
My task I need help with:
I want to setup a machine that will be used primarily for downloading completely legitimate and legal files from the Internet via a web browser and the Vuze Torrent app.
Buying a Mac mini for this purpose is a poor price-performance value.

A more economical choice would be a $180 Wintel PC paired with an external drive of whatever size suits your fancy. One of my local bricks-and-mortar computer shops lists a normal 8TB hard disk drive at $220. Throw that into a $30 enclosure and you have your storage.

If you're a tinkerer, you can shave off $80 by using a $100 Raspberry Pi 4 kit (Amazon et al.) instead of the Wintel box. If you want to shave off a further $30, try a $70 Raspberry Pi 3.

All of those options are WAY cheaper than a Mac mini.

The Mac mini is great -- I have one -- but I wouldn't waste it on a mundane dedicated task like this.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: chengengaun

BeautifulWoman_1984

Contributor
Original poster
Sep 5, 2016
430
50
Buying a Mac mini for this purpose is a poor price-performance value.

A more economical choice would be a $180 Wintel PC paired with an external drive of whatever size suits your fancy. One of my local bricks-and-mortar computer shops lists a normal 8TB hard disk drive at $220. Throw that into a $30 enclosure and you have your storage.

If you're a tinkerer, you can shave off $80 by using a $100 Raspberry Pi 4 kit (Amazon et al.) instead of the Wintel box. If you want to shave off a further $30, try a $70 Raspberry Pi 3.

All of those options are WAY cheaper than a Mac mini.

The Mac mini is great -- I have one -- but I wouldn't waste it on a mundane dedicated task like this.

Wow, I greatly appreciate you for laying out my options so clearly!

I really wish I could just swap out the Mac Mini 2020's SSD and put in a high capacity HDD... 😓
 

David G.

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2007
1,113
472
Alaska
Wow, I greatly appreciate you for laying out my options so clearly!

I really wish I could just swap out the Mac Mini 2020's SSD and put in a high capacity HDD... 😓
Why not get an external drive, install the OS on it, and boot from there? There shouldn't be any noticeable difference from the user's point of view as far as what/where/how you navigate the software/operating system as you were concerned about in post #10. Others will certainly be able to confirm.
 

BeautifulWoman_1984

Contributor
Original poster
Sep 5, 2016
430
50
You can’t add a 2.5 inch HDD because the new Mac mini only has soldered storage chips and no upgradable storage.
If you want upgradable internal storage, the only option is to purchase an older mini and not a brand new one.
I have just picked up a 2011 mini myself to use for file server duties and will be spending this weekend on upgrades and setup. Have been testing it with Catalina for the last week and it will be perfect for my plans.
I’m sure I have seen a previous post where you mention having an older mini, why not use this for your file storage, with a high capacity drive and a new mini for daily usage?
Thank you for your message!

You're correct that I do have a Mac Mini mid2011, but the Mac Mini mid2011 won't be receiving security updates past September 2020 so I can't use this beyond September 2020. :(

I'm still trying to find an answer to my problem.
 

HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
3,321
1,146
I'm still trying to find an answer to my problem.

I really wish I could just swap out the Mac Mini 2020's SSD and put in a high capacity HDD...

Why not get an external drive, install the OS on it, and boot from there?


You have gotten the answer multiple times. Don't do it. You want an internal, boot drive, to be fast so that means an SSD. SSD's are expensive, not cost effective for file storage under normal conditions. You don't want an internal boot HD drive on the mini. It will drastically slow the system down, particularly the boot, assuming you care. Same thing for booting from an external HD.

When you download files you just specific the download location on an external drive. There is no need to copy the file from the internal drive to the external one - waste of time.
 
Last edited:

BeautifulWoman_1984

Contributor
Original poster
Sep 5, 2016
430
50
You have gotten the answer multiple times. Don't do it. You want an internal, boot drive, to be fast so that means an SSD. SSD's are expensive, not cost effective for file storage under normal conditions. You don't want an internal boot HD drive on the mini. It will drastically slow the system down, particularly the boot, assuming you care. Same thing for booting from an external HD.

When you download files you just specific the download location on an external drive. There is no need to copy the file from the internal drive to the external one - waste of time.

Thank you for your message!

It's such a shame that the Mac Mini 2020 comes with a soldered SSD because that means I'd have to take it into an Apple Store if the SSD has a problem right?

I'm just not comfortable downloading files directly to an external HDD like a USB HDD.

I really wish there was a solution to this problem 😢
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.