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Compatible with: Mac mini M2 & M2 Pro 2023; M1 2020; Mac mini 2018; Mac Studio 2022
Size: 7.8 x 7.8 x 1.5 inches
4x Thunderbolt 4 ports (40Gbps)
Internal SSD enclosure
Internal HDD bay
You get faster ports and two drive bays in the OWC miniStack STX hub for Mac mini or Mac Studio. The miniStack STX matches the Mac's own Thunderbolt 4 bandwidth and its SSD drive bay will support the fastest NVMe M.2 SSDs. By comparison, Satechi's rival Stand & Hub for Mac mini features 5Gbps USB-C and USB-A ports and slower SATA M.2 SSDs.
Combined with the Mac mini's own roster of ports, with the ministack STX you will have six fast Thunderbolt 4 ports and two USB-A ports, plus the mini's own ethernet and HDMI ports. The OWC miniStack has one upstream Thunderbolt port that connects to the Mac, and three downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports. With Thunderbolt 4, you can create three independent daisy chains with up to five total Thunderbolt devices with a USB device on the end of each chain (eight devices total). Devices can be removed from one chain without affecting the other chains.
The ports are all at the back, which seems like a missed opportunity–as does the lack of an SD or microSD card reader, which is conspicuously absent on Apple's Mac mini. That said, adding a full set of Thunderbolt 4 ports provides the flexibility to add a variety of devices, including an inexpensive SD card reader adapter.
Sitting on the dock with two bays
As well as the fast ports, the OWC miniStack STX offers two drive bays: one for an old-school mechanical hard drive and the other for an NVMe M.2 SSD. This flexible storage arrangement means you can buy a cheaper hard drive for large archives and Time Machine backups, and a speedy (and more expensive) SSD when working on low-latency instant-access operations.
While NVMe SSDs can reach speeds of 3,000MBps, the NVMe slot on the miniStack STX has only one lane of PCIe allocated to it, so the performance is limited to 770MBps real-world.
For greater data security, you can use OWC's SoftRAID software on the miniStack STX to create a RAID 1 that automatically maintains identical copies of all your data on each drive. SoftRAID constantly monitors the health of your disks using S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) to test drive reliability and anticipate imminent hardware failures.
You can buy the miniStack STX with empty drive bays ($279.99) or with storage pre-filled in a variety of hard drives (2.5-inch or 3.5-inch) and SSD combinations. You are free to buy your own storage components and fit them yourself, which is easy enough if you know how to use a screwdriver and have a steady hand.
A 1TB internal SSD costs around $50/£50, and a 4TB SSD can be found for under $400/£400. Apple charges $1,200 for a 4TB SSD in the high-end Mac mini.
Pre-installed HD options include 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 16TB, 18TB, 20TB.
Pre-installed SSD options include: 1TB, 4TB, 8TB
The top-end pre-built model with 20TB HD and 8TB SSD costs $1,849– 250 percent storage increase on Apple's most capacious Mac mini.
If you want to replicate Apple's $4,399 top-end Mac mini configuration (12-core CPU, 32GB RAM, 8TB SSD), you could buy the 512GB mini for $1,999 and then add the miniStack STX with 8TB SSD for an extra $1,249 for a total cost of $3,248–a savings of over $1,000, plus the extra half-terabyte in storage. And you get all the extra ports plus future storage upgradeability.
The OWC miniStack STX comes in black only, so it doesn't match any model of the Mac mini or Mac Studio. It ships with a mini screwdriver and a couple of screws to add an SSD, plus a 0.7m Thunderbolt 4 cable. It boasts a generous three-year warranty.
Save money on Apple's expensive custom-built internal storage options with this smart hub that boasts both a hard-drive bay and fast SSD enclosure, plus four Thunderbolt 4 ports.
Reading Time: 4minutes Hellooo everyone, this blog post is an entry for the #AzureSpringClean community project. In this post, I cover an overview of why you should use Defender for Cloud and then how to deploy the solution with Bicep. What is Defender for Cloud? Microsoft Defender for Cloud is a cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP) with a […]