Want to buy 2018 Mini: recommendations for external HD to complement 256 GB internal drive

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by elasticmedia, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. elasticmedia macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2010
    I have a 2012 QC 2.6 ghz mini which has served me well. I am thinking the perfect mini for me, without breaking the bank, would be the i5 3.0 ghz 6 core model. I guess I'm cheap: if you want to convince me to get the i7 and pay another $200 then please do so. This should be about twice the speed of my mini if I am reading the various geekbench reports. 256 GB is enough to run the mini: I would get a 1 TB drive for storage. What would you get? A 1 TB SSD drive is a bit expensive, but maybe a hybrid drive would be a good compromise.
  2. Originalbitman macrumors member


    Apr 15, 2012
  3. michaelb5000 macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2015
    The fastest option is using TB3 and OWC has this on sale today.


    the other faster option is a NVMe drive in a case, which total seems to be around $200 for the drive + 50 for the case. Or getting a SATA based external SSD as mentioned above. I am still thinking about these options, and like you, I am cheap. I got the base i3 with the 128 SSD.
  4. tedson macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    What are you going to store on the external drive? If it is media that you only access a few times a year, get a large USB 3 based spinning Hard Drive. They are pretty cheap. If you are going to use the external drive for active data, get the T5 mentioned above or if you really want extremely fast data get the Samsung X5. (But it is very expensive)
  5. Sarpanch macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2013
    If you don’t need fast storage, then I would recommend the Western Digital Black 1TB 2.5” SATA Drive. It has 5 years warranty and is very reliable. You can put it in any external enclosure.

    Another option would be to get a 1TB SSD (Crucial MX500 or Samsung 860 EVO) and put them in a USB-C to Sata Enclosure or simply a USB-C to SATA cable. Both drives are around 120-130$ in US right now.

    Finally, you can also get a Samsung T5 which is smaller in size, but it’s close to 200$ right now.

    Getting and external NVMe Thunderbolt 3 enclosure is not very economical as of now as most enclosures are costly possibly due to Intel controlling the interface tightly.
  6. macdos macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2017
    If you need a very fast drive, just up the internal storage, especially if you just need 1 TB.

    Otherwise get a TB3 spinner. I bought a LaCie 8 TB together with the Mac Mini, it is $500-ish iirc.
  7. MacWorld78 macrumors 6502


    Jul 25, 2012
    I love this Thunderbolt 3 because of its speed 40 Gbps. I'm still waiting for the price to come down to a reasonable price for the Thunderbolt 3 + external enclosure + Samsung 970 Pro NvMe M.2.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 23, 2018 ---
    Just wondering what's the speed is like between USB-C to SATA like Samsung 860 EVO - I was thinking similar route maybe Samsung 860 Pro SATA III
  8. Coyote2006, Nov 23, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018

    Coyote2006 macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2006
    I'd go with an 1TB internal, as it's extremely fast and a 1TB ssd in a usb 3.0 external box (up to 400MB/s). use the external as a time machine or carbon copy backup.

    An external bootable 1-to-1 copy of your system that runs just after a reboot is priceless.

    External usb 3.0 boxes like this one https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B0...eASIN=B00KW4T69A&linkCode=as2&tag=techtest-21 are cheap and fast enough. you are not faster with an expensive thunderbolt 3 unless your are using a raid system or NvMe.
  9. mmomega macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    I had a Samsung 960 EV0 name drive from a previous build. 500GB model, currently wasn't being used.
    Put in this $56 case

    and it gives me
    Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 11.22.55 AM.png

    Now the 970EVO are $30-40 less than the older 960's. So for sub $200 you can have a 500GB, 1GB/s read/write external.
    I have a Samsung T3 and T5 and they do pretty good as well at right at 500MB/s reads.

    The uncharge on Thunderbolt devices unless you are actively using that speed is unjustified IMHO.

    It's just all in, what is your particular use case scenario.
    Don't go buying something because you or someone else "thinks" it's cool. You make a purchase to use it.
    You can watch youtube videos of plenty of cool **** the tech tubers play around with without dropping the cash on it, which most of them don't either.

    I have the 512GB, i7, 32GB, 10Gb NIC Baby Mac. So this gives me 1 TB worth of very quick storage.
  10. weaztek macrumors member


    Aug 28, 2009
    I can tell you what I did. I went with the i5 with 16GB RAM and it added $200. That's an adequate amount of RAM for photo editing and it saved me the hassle of cracking open the brand new machine.

    The i5 comes with 256GB stock. That was just enough for me. On my startup SSD drive I have system, apps, fonts, email, settings. Those files take 71 GB. That leaves me 178 GB to play with for working files "in progress" like a movie edit or a folder of photos.

    For ext. storage I got a Plugable USB C, 3.1 Gen 2 external dock ($40) and a 8 TB HGST Ultrastar HUH728080ALE600 ($230). I did quite a bit of research to come up with those options and I won't bore you with the details but it's a very fast, reliable system.
  11. kaibob macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Prescott, Arizona
    After 6 years of use, apps and data on the boot drive of my 2012 mini took up 25GB of space. So, I went with the 256GB SSD on my new mini.

    For large files, I purchased a 500GB Samsung T5. It has two cables with USB-A and USB-C connectors, and in everyday use it seems almost as fast as the internal drive. I paid $110 but B&H has it on sale for $98, although the 1TB version cost twice that amount. I'm happy with the T5.
  12. Sarpanch macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2013
    While most USB 3.0 enclosures top out around 400 MBps, USB-C enclosures tend to go 525-550 MBps (atleast from the reviews). I am personally undecided between this Syncwire cable https://www.amazon.com/USB-SATA-Adapter-Cable-Converter/dp/B077GV6TJ3
    I have sent them a query asking how they have implemented TRIM over USBC for MACOS.

    I am also checking this Mediasonic enclosure in case I end up getting 2 SSDs for RAID-0

  13. coot macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2005
    Possibly overkill for your needs but I picked up a couple of Samsung EVO 970 1TB nvme drives in the sales and a netstor enclosure.

    Getting 2000MB/sec write and 2500 read in RAID 0 configuration.
  14. elasticmedia thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 29, 2010

    So usb-c is about 1 Gbbs but TB3 is about 40 Gbbs? That is a huge difference. No wonder people are drooling over TB3.
  15. archer75 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2005
    For just storage I find SSD's to be overkill. A mechanical drive works just fine. I'm using slow 5400rpm drives in my drobos and run a server from one with multiple 1080p and 4k streams just fine. The other is used primarily for photos for Lightroom. No issues.
    If I was running programs directly from the external, or installing a game where load times could be an issue then I'd opt for a SSD external. But just for movies, pictures and other storage type data it's not needed.

Share This Page

14 November 23, 2018