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 Post subject: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:34 am 
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With regard to my earlier thread on application temp cache files, it has been suggested to me by an Adobe-sanctioned Audition support forum expert:

1. it's best to have a separate drive for application temp cache files, apparently due to constant reading and writing of what is most often very large files.
2. it's best to have these as internal drives, to avoid any possible USB interruptions.

This guy has his temp caches on an internal SSD.

But, while another Adobe Audition pro user suggests (rather than recording my audio to an external mechanical drive) that I instead record to an internal SSD for better performance...

the Audition expert says of SSDs: "their life is limited to the number of write cycles they will stand, and temp files can use up a lot of those."

While it sounds as if the Audition expert might be contradicting himself (having temp caches on an internal SSD despite what could be a short life), he's apparently using a tower-type PC, where swapping out an SSD is easily done.

I love the idea that recording to an internal SSD would improve application performance, but I am not keen on the notion that it may have to be replaced more often than would a mechanical drive (this is especially highlighted by a recent thread where I mentioned a friend's bad luck with an SSD).

However, as I've been a tinkerer since about age 13, I ordinarily wouldn't shy away from considering installing an SSD in a computer; I'd swapped several components in my previous Macs. But the thought of attempting this on a Mac mini, because of its size, scares the crap outta me.

Thoughts? Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:01 am 
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No Adobe expert but I'd opt for external Drive or SSD.

Expensive but blazingly fast...

https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/externa ... -Envoy-Pro


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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:07 am 
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Been using SSDs for years now with no problems. But I also operate the same policy I do for HDD, if there's important data on them, I replace them at 5 years reasonably heavy usage, or at least move them to less critical machines and put new ones in. Been doing the same with HDDs ever since I made the grave mistake of using IBM Deathstars...

Oh and backups of course ;)


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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:09 am 
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Thanks, Juan... BD...

It was recommended that I locate the temp cache folder on a dedicated internal drive UNLESS I can be sure there will be no USB interruptions.

I've been recording to external USB drives for over seven years and am not aware of any USB interruptions. And I can only assume I would know if there had been.

Have you ever experienced USB interruptions?

OR... another thought just flew into my head: can a USB flash drive be used as a location for temp caches?

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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:16 am 
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No real idea where they got USB interruptions from, except maybe defective USB devices!


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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:29 am 
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As I thought. Thanks, BD.

So, getting back to the temp file issue again, "ideally," I am told, I'd want to have temp cache files recorded to an internal drive SEPARATE from the boot drive, in case of crashing. But, dissecting the mini scares me because it's so small and so much has to be removed to install anything.

Thus, I'm wondering what your thoughts are about my getting an external SSD to record audio to, and using a USB flash drive for temp cache files. Is that a realistic option?

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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:37 am 
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Quote:
I am told, I'd want to have temp cache files recorded to an internal drive SEPARATE from the boot drive


I have no idea why that was said, makes no sense except if maybe it was before USB3 or USB-C & external SSDs.


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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:41 pm 
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Now, a new twist: it's been suggested that an external SSD connected via Thunderbolt would work nicely. However, the tech specs for my late 2012 mini aren't exactly clear: under "Video Support," the specs read "Thunderbolt digital video output." But, under "Connections and Expansion," the first item on the list is the Thunderbolt port, rated with a speed of 10 Gbps. So I can't tell if this means the Thunderbolt port carries video only.

But one question still remains: is it possible to use a flash drive as a place to locate temp cache files?

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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:44 pm 
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If it says Thunderbolt it's thunderbolt. They reused the displayport connector for Thunderbolt and then overnight renamed everything displayport as thunderbolt because that wouldn't be confusing at all.


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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:49 pm 
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So... the Thunderbolt port on my late 2012 mini should run a Thunderbolt SSD?

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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 2:41 pm 
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Yes.


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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:23 am 
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Wow. Finding a suitable and compatible SSD is really giving me a hard time.

Apple specs don't say if my late 2012 Mac mini (running 10.12.6) is Thunderbolt 3, but I'll guess not, because photos comparing a Thunderbolt 3 cable to a USB-C cable appear identical and, according to the photo of the Mac mini's rear panel, these connectors don't appear that they would fit.

This article attempts to explain SOME of this stuff, but it makes my head spin.

I'm apparently going to have to ask B&H Photo whether this SSD will be compatible with my computer (OS, communication protocol and actual cable connectors). I used to enjoy shopping for this stuff. I hate it when things that could/should be so simple are made complicated. :nothappy:

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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:57 am 
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Thunderbolt 1...
Supports dual simultaneous displays -- 1920x1200 on an HDMI display or a DVI display using the included HDMI-to-DVI adapter and 2560x1600 on a Thunderbolt or Mini DisplayPort display or even a VGA display (with adapter). Thunderbolt is backwards-compatible with Mini DisplayPort-equipped displays as well as adapters that are compatible with Mini DisplayPort (DVI, VGA, dual-link DVI and HDMI). It also can support other peripherals that use the Thunderbolt standard, which provides a maximum theoretical 10 Gbps of bandwidth in both directions.
ADB: None SCSI: None
Serial (Standard): None Serial (Geoport): None
USB: 4 (3.0) Firewire: 1 (800)
Details: Four USB 3.0 ports, one Firewire "800" port.
https://everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_ ... #macspecs2

Envoy Pro EX with USB 3...
https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/externa ... -Envoy-Pro

Moat all Thunderbolt externals are TB2 or TB3.


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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:30 pm 
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Yes, they changed the Thunderbolt connector from Displayport to USB-C because they saw the opportunity to sell more dongles. You can adapt one to the other with a dongle, although it's primarily done for connecting older devices to newer thunderbolt ports.

Your late 2012 Mini should have a Thunderbolt 2 port (mid-2012 MacBook Pros had 2). It'll work with 1 & 2 devices without an issue. Most if not all 2 devices will work with a 1 port in any event.


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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:16 pm 
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The late 2012 models have TB1, not TB2. The minis weren't updated for two years afterward.

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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:13 pm 
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So, because this has completely befuddled me: my Mac mini has Thunderbolt 1, but the port is a Thunderbolt 2 port. Yes?

If so, my goal is to find an SSD that speaks Thunderbolt 1, and an appropriate cable. Does anyone know if any SSDs speak TB1, or did SSDs arrive on the scene after TB2's introduction?

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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:24 pm 
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TB1 & TB2 share the same port connector, just that TB2 is twice as fast...

https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/thunder ... nal-drives

https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/externa ... drive-dock


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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:47 pm 
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The port on your Mac Mini is TB1. It is not only half the speed of TB2, but uses a different controller as well. But at 10 Gbit/sec it is equivalent to USB 3.0 Gen2, so easily fast enough for an SSD. It's just a matter of getting a compatible one since TB and USB-C didn't become truly interoperable until TB2.

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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:42 pm 
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https://willhaley.com/blog/thunderbolt-enclosure/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GHCUAKO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I have a Lacie aluminum case drive bought in 2012 for my laptop. I believe
it will work with TB1. It looks exactly like the thunderbolt to eSATA Lacie
Hub I found for sale on ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lacie-ESATA-Hub-Thunderbolt-Adapter/113971824791?hash=item1a89400897:g:md4AAOSw0Nlbkurk

That will work too if you already have an eSata enclosure.

I bought both at the same time, and no I don't want to sell them. :)

Hey, I found an old article that shows my Lacie "little big disk" drive.

It's easy to disassemble to replace the drives - if you can find someone who wants to
part with one.

https://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/tmos_thunderbolt_roundup

If you can find both the hub and the "little big disk" you'd have a matched pair.

OWC used to sell them:
https://eshop.macsales.com/item/Lacie/9000321/

I found a black little big disk on ebay, but it is a later version. whether it
will work on TB1, I don't know.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/LaCie-1TB-Little-Big-Disk-Thunderbolt-2-Solid-State-Drive/264773589941?_trkparms=aid%3D1110001%26algo%3DSPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D225086%26meid%3D35ad8241a68b480ca42474c8a3570e7d%26pid%3D100623%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D5%26sd%3D113971824791%26itm%3D264773589941%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2047675&_trksid=p2047675.c100623.m-1

Here is the OWC page for the black one (they no longer sell it either).
They could probably tell you if it would work on TB1.

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/Lacie/9000477OB/

I couldn't anything about any of the above units on the Lacie
website in support section.

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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:46 am 
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Thanks, everyone. You've been a big help.

Because being stuck in the not-terribly-distant past makes it difficult to find a compatible SSD that would work with my mini and its older Thunderbolt port (I prefer not to use adapters for critical connections), I've decided to go with a Glyph Technologies Atom SSD and connect it via USB. But that brings me to a new scenario.

To free up a USB port, I'll have to add my secondary audio drive to the primary audio drive AND my Time Machine drive already on Firewire. But I just now realized: am I putting myself at risk for losing data if, for example, I were reading and writing to one of the audio drives and Time Machine were to begin doing a backup?

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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:15 pm 
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Thunderbolt 1&2 are compatible and use the same cabling.

My early 2011 macbook pro is indeed a thunderbolt 1
unit.

So any thunderbolt 1&2 disk enclosures such as the early lacie
ones I listed will work. They offer fan cooling and of course
aluminum cases for heat dissipation and offer much faster speeds
than USB speeds of that era.

Even the eSata hub I listed would be a better solution than the
USB offered on the early TB1 macs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbolt_%28interface%29#Thunderbolt_1

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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:50 am 
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OK, thanks.

I've decided on a USB drive, but my only question now is:

by having three other drives on a Firewire daisy chain, is there a risk of data loss or corruption if two of those drives are being written to or read from at the same time?

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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:58 pm 
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Having them daisy chained puts you at risk of:
Surges traveling along the chain
Anything that happens early in the chain can affect data later in the chain So if your first cable gets disconnected it will obviously interrupt everything after that point.

Other than those it's no big deal.

You could also get a USB 3 hub. HDs can't feed full speed USB 3, and it doesn't hurt to put keyboards, etc. on a hub alongside them.


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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:06 pm 
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Thanks, MB. Thankfully, all of my external devices, Firewire or USB, are close-by the computer, so cable runs are short and not the easiest to get to, so there's no risk of them being accidentally jostled or pulled free (famous last words; I know). Of my mini's four USB ports, three are handling, either directly or via hubs: my keyboard (and mouse), iPad, SanDisk music player interface, audio interface, Back/UPS interface, and external drives. The fourth port serves another hub which handles only an iLok and a similar software licensing key.

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 Post subject: Re: SSDs and Mac mini
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:05 pm 
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At one point I had a powered USB hub plugged into my UPS that the UPS and keyboard/mouse were connected to, that gave it a level of fault tolerance for important things. The idea is you can put one or two devices on the hub that use a lot of bandwidth and then plug other things like keyboards, mice, iDevices, etc. that don't typically require a lot of bandwidth. Then things like your audio interface (that's sensitive to latency) get plugged directly in as well as anything that requires high bandwidth like an SSD.

In theory you could get a Thunderbolt dock that can provide more full speed USB 3 hubs, although those are getting harder to find.


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