Run 2018 mini off external USB-C (3.1) SSD?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by pinkoos, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. pinkoos macrumors 6502a

    pinkoos

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    #1
  2. archer75 macrumors 68020

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    #2
    The internal is faster. Run the OS and programs on it.
     
  3. MacWorld78, Nov 26, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018

    MacWorld78 macrumors 6502

    MacWorld78

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    Jul 25, 2012
    #3
    Above link that should provide you a decent speed but not the same speed as internal SSD, however if you really want fast as internal then you might want to go for Samsung X5 - obviously it is expensive but the price will come down eventually

    I'm currently using a WD Passport SDD via USB-C to C - I run VMware from the external SSD - the speed is no issue for me.
     
  4. chrfr macrumors 604

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    #4
    External USB SSD speeds will max at about 5-600MB/sec at the very best, or potentially about 1/4 the speed of the internal SSD.
     
  5. Originalbitman macrumors member

    Originalbitman

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    #5
  6. chrfr macrumors 604

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    #6
  7. Originalbitman macrumors member

    Originalbitman

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    #7

    You are correct. I was too eager to respond. Sorry.
     
  8. DRDR, Nov 26, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018

    DRDR macrumors regular

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    #8
    Overview of my externally connected drives (APFS, encrypted):
    011EBB94-9B03-479D-97E4-EF913CB77CAF.png

    Each drive is connected according to its specification (Samsung T3 is not USB 3.1 gen2).

    The sizes are:
    • Samsung T3: 1TB
    • Samsung EVO 850: 500 GB
    • Sandisk Extreme: 960 GB
    • Samsung EVO 970: 2 TB
    Cost of ownership for the DIY-NVME-solution:

    Sonnet Echo Express: 240€
    Glotrends PCI adapter: 20 €
    Samsung EVO 970: 500 €

    I am using the TS3 Thunderbolt 3 dock from Caldigit for eSATA and a Sonnet Echo Express Box for the NVME. I strongly recommend going the NVME route.
     
  9. pinkoos thread starter macrumors 6502a

    pinkoos

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    #9
    Wow, that is really helpful, thank you very much for posting that
     
  10. DRDR macrumors regular

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    Jul 23, 2008
    #10
    I will try to finish cutting a video showing how to put the things together.

    In my opinion it makes sense to get a PCIe-Box where you can then put your NVME drive inside. This way you can upgrade later, when they will have become cheaper.


    The Sandisk drive uses internal raid. It is not bad but more expensive and slower then the Samsung NVME drive. It is also probably more likely to fail.
     
  11. rmdeluca macrumors 6502

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    Oct 30, 2018
    #11
    Could you include the sizes of your SSDs in the chart or an edit of the post?
     
  12. chrfr macrumors 604

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    #12
    You should be seeing better performance from the T5 if it's connected to a 10Gb USB 3.1 port.
     
  13. F-Train, Nov 26, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 65816

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    #13
    If you're referring to the Samsung, he's using a T3, not a T5. That said, here are my speeds for a 500GB T5 connected to one of the mini's Thunderbolt 3/USB 3.1 ports. For a drive that I can easily carry in a shirt pocket, I'm pretty happy with this:

    speed.png
     
  14. doboy macrumors 68020

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    #14
    I would be more worried about the lack of Trim feature for external SSD
     
  15. Nsmn macrumors newbie

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    #15
    I Just had a quick check about the price, mini upgrading to 1tb cost for extra $800, and x5 is about $600 (amazon) , even tb3 ssd is not cheap and uncommon at the moment , it is still cheaper then the apple ssd
     
  16. rmdeluca, Nov 26, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018

    rmdeluca macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Trim has been available over USB for a few years now, no need to worry about this anymore with modern externals.

    EDIT: with the caveat that this means hardware support will likely be there via UASP. It's not clear whether Mojave will properly utilize it. For those using Boot Camp, this isn't as big a deal because you can trim while booted into Windows.
     
  17. Sarpanch macrumors member

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    SoCal
    #17
    I have been trying to find a USB-C to SATA enclosure which supports TRIM with macOS. So far, nothing concrete. Any recommendations? Based on my limited research so far, it appears that enclosures with JMicron JMS578 chipset have had success with TRIM on Linux but not sure how it works with macOS.
     
  18. rmdeluca macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Yeah macOS is the sticking point (which might have been @doboy's point - if so my apologies). You should probably just boot into Windows every once in a while with the SSD and trim it there.

    I know Startech makes a ton of UASP enclosures:

    https://www.startech.com/HDD/Enclosures/?filter_TRIMSUPPORT=Yes
     
  19. doboy macrumors 68020

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    #19
    Yeah that was my point. I wonder if those Samsung T5 (which I own) does it’s own garbage collection.
     
  20. DRDR macrumors regular

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    #20
    I updated my post.

    Regarding TRIM:

    It is natively supported with the eSATA-and NVME-drives. These drives appear as internal drives, which enables you to install Windows without special procedures.
     
  21. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #21
    For years now, I've been an advocate of booting and running a Mac from an external USB3 SSD, rather than ripping open an iMac (or pre-2018 Mini) and swapping drives out that way. I've promoted doing so as the "fastest, easiest, cheapest, safest" way to get more speed from an older Mac.

    BUT... I don't recommend that with the 2018 Mini.
    Apple's new internal SSD's are "state of the art" fast.

    As I see it, the best solution with the new Mini is to buy an "adequate" amount of internal storage to boot and run and maintain "basic" accounts.
    (It's not worth it -- not to me, at least -- paying Apple's high prices for 1tb or 2tb of storage, unless you have the cash to toss away freely)

    Keep the OS, apps, and basic accounts on the internal drive.
    If you have "large libraries" of stuff (movies, photo libraries, etc.), they can be kept "externally". Your apps will still find and access them without problems.

    If you need more storage, add an external USB3 drive.
    It can be USB3, or perhaps something faster (USB3.1 gen. 2, or thunderbolt).
    It can be a platter-based HDD, or an SSD.

    Drives like the Samsung X5 are nearly as fast as the Mini's internal SSD, but... you pay a high premium for them. More than I'd want to pay (unless I could justify it as a business expense, etc.).

    The Samsung t5 and Sandisk Extreme USB3.1 external drives are getting to be downright affordable. These are realistic alternatives to platter-based external storage UNLESS you need more capacity than they offer.

    When it comes time to order my new Mini (the 2012 I have is still doing fine), I'll get either 256gb or perhaps 512gb, and "call that enough" internal storage.
    Anything more, I'll just plug in an external drive.
     
  22. archer75 macrumors 68020

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    Oregon
    #22
    Even for external libraries for photos and music and movies they can be kept on mechanical drives. They are plenty fast enough for working with photo libraries in lightroom and running a plex server as I do. On slow 5400rpm drives. Multiple 1080p or 4k streams without issue.

    Fast internal. Storage on cheap slow drives. But the op already has an external SSD so there's that. May as well use it.
     
  23. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #23
    MacOS does not support TRIM/UNMAP via USB Attached SCSI (UASP). Windows and Linux support TRIM/UNMAP via UASP. That is the reason why ASmedia, JMicron and others list TRIM support for newer bridge chipsets.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 27, 2018 ---
    Nonsense.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 27, 2018 ---
    TRIM/UNMAP is not garbage collection.
     
  24. kaibob macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2010
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    Prescott, Arizona
    #24
    Support for trim is a concern, although, in their review of the Samsung T5, Anandtech states that Samsung T5 supports trim. I don't know if this extends to macOS and an APFS drive, though.

    The Anantech article states:

    "Support for TRIM is a much more interesting feature, given that neither the T1 nor T3 supported it. Though Samsung doesn't officially claim TRIM support for the T5, we formatted one of the drives in NTFS to verify the status.... We were pleasantly surprised to find that TRIM was enabled. It is likely that the new ASMedia bridge chip has contributed to the availability of this feature."
     
  25. ChrisChaval macrumors 6502a

    ChrisChaval

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    Aug 30, 2016
    #25
    AFAIK on external drives TRIM is supported via thunderbolt but not via USB

    read some articles a while ago when I was deciding on how to upgrade my 2014 Mac mini with a SSD. Internal was not an option (too lazy), connecting externally I could choose between USB and TB

    Chose USB (APFS but no TRIM)

    TB would have given me both but having a quality Samsung 500 GB EVO drive with lots of free space and modern garbage collection, I decided I could go without TRIM and to this day I have had no issues at all
     

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46 November 26, 2018