You have a Mac mini and want to upgrade a few external ports and connect an external SSD at the same time? And the whole thing should also look good? Then hubs that are based on the Mac mini’s design are a good option for you.
There is a new model from Satechi, which should soon find its way to Amazon. The Satechi model offers two SD card slots, one audio, three USB-A ports and one USB-C. The connection is a maximum of 5 GBit/s, which is not even the maximum that the standard with 10 GBit/s could deliver.
However, this is also due to Apple’s implementation of USB in M1 Macs – it has become common knowledge that they are often slower than their Intel counterparts. Therefore, it is not surprising that Satechi only supports SATA SSDs in M.2 format. Why no normal 2.5″ SSDs are supported is surprising. These are available with larger capacities.
You should also note that the hub finds its place underneath the Mac mini. All the waste heat from the hub finds its way into the Mac mini. With the predecessor, it was the case that the mini then noticeably increased the fan speed. Since the M1 models generate less waste heat, the problem should less relevant.
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An alternative is the use of hubs, which can also be placed on the Mac mini due to their design and thus dissipate their heat directly upwards without influencing the thermals of the mini. In addition, many conventional 2.5″ SSDs can be installed, which allow large capacities.
There are also models that can even accommodate two SSDs, one of which is an NVME model. This can then be operated at close to 10 GBit/s speed, at least on an Intel Mac mini. For this powerful model, just take a look directly on Aliexpress.