USB 3.0 Question

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by wicked23, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. wicked23 macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2009
    I have a year old Mac Mini with no USB 3.0 ports. I have a 2T external hard drive connect via Firewire 800 for my media files (mainly movies and tv shows). I would like to pick up some really cheap ($) WD 2T hard drives as backups but they are USB 3.0. Is there an adapter for USB 3.0 to Thunderbolt or Firewire 800? The Thunderbolt & Firewire 800 hard drives seem to be more expensive than USB 3.0 Or does anyone have a better solution? One option is to sell my current Mac Mini and get a new one, but I would prefer not to take this route.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    There are currently no Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 adapters, there will never be Firewire <> USB adapters, the only thing I can think of is are those price Thunderbolt hubs, that have not really materialised yet.
  3. Colchiro macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2013
    See if your USB 3.0 drives are backwards compatible with USB 2.0. :D
  4. raniel macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2011
    does your mini comes with thunderbolt? anyway, my advice is sell your current mini and buy the new model. USB 3 is super fast, plus the additional computing power of the newer model
  5. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    If you mean your new drives are "backups" in terms of using them for Time Machine, go ahead & get the USB 3.0 drives and use them as-is on USB 2.0. Your initial backup will take a while at 2.0 speeds but your ongoing incrementals won't take too long. Plus when you do later upgrade to a computer with USB 3.0, you'll then be able to take advantage of the faster speed.

    This would not be a good solution if the drives are to be used as data storage (read/write) as opposed to backup (write-only other than restores).
  6. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    USB3 will run on a USB2 interface, at USB2 speeds. Better to have drives that will work faster when you upgrade, than USB2 drives that won't go faster on newer hardware.

    If the drives are for backup, then it doesn't matter how long it takes.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium


    Feb 20, 2009
    If you really, REALLY "need the speed" via USB, your only realistic option is to sell the USB2 Mini, and buy one of the new ones with USB3.

    You aren't going to be happy otherwise...

    (Only other alternative might be to "go the Thunderbolt route", but it will be pricey)

    Aside: 6 months ago, this is EXACTLY why I made posts in this forum to the effect that "the most important upgrade in the 2012 Macs will be USB3". Thunderbolt counts for virtually nothing in the upgrades, whereas USB3 makes all the difference...
  8. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I agree. USB3 was the reason to upgrade. I feel my FW800 port is slow now.
  9. eyepea macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2012
    Belkin is taking pre orders on their thunderbolt hub with usb3 and matrix makes one. Sonix is also due out soon with one. Technically they are hubs and not adapters though. Plus they are expensive just to gain usb3. I believe belkon's usb3 also only runs at half usb3 speeds (2.5).
  10. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Pre-orders? Hmm, it took them quite a while since announcing those suckers 15 or months ago,
  11. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Last I checked, if you get the Seagate Goflex models (instead of the WD you want), you can change out the connection from USB 3.0 to Firewire or Thunderbolt.

    For example, here is the firewire adapter.

    Just be careful because some adapters are meant for the portable Goflex drives (2.5") and some are meant for the desktop ones (3.5").
  12. eyepea macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2012
    It took wayyyyyyyyy toooooo long for what they finally produced.

    I won't buy it because of the price, and what you get for the price. Just remember the USB3.0 is only working at half speed as well. So you get "USB2.5" and no eSata, and the rest of the options most Mac's have!! It doesn't make sense that they scaled down the options so much at the end. They were going to have eSata originally?

    Disappointed, so I just bought a new MacMini for a few hundred more and I get proper USB3.0.
  13. Towhead macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2007

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