M1 Mac mini Upgrades – Black Friday/Cyber Monday Edition

The Linus Tech Tips take on the M1 Mac mini hit many of the benchmarks and use cases that we’re planning on testing. As noted in our initial impressions and numerous reviews that have been published thus far, the reduction in total ports on the unit will warrant investments in a Thunderbolt 3 dock and potentially some external USB or Thunderbolt 3 drive enclosures. The need for external storage becomes further pronounced once World of Warcraft is installed. The fully patched install consumes over seventy gigabytes of storage. With the entry point providing 256 GB of capacity, this one piece of software will consume a third of what the baseline model offiers.

As StorCentric has not released an Apple Silicon-native version of the Drobo driver install, our previously reviewed Drobo 5C unit won’t be viable for this use case. While we’d like to see support for the new platform, it may not be available until the next wave of systems are released. The OWC Thunderbay 6 that is in use with an Intel-based 2020 iMac has an equivalent conundrum with Big Sur. The current workaround involves using a beta version of SoftRAID until the update is blessed as a final release product. In the interim, use of USB or Thunderbolt storage solutions with a localized RAID configuration offers a viable path of augmenting local storage for entry level Mac mini configurations. We’ll most likely have the review of two potential options available during the month of December.

The prior headphone review that was mentioned earlier this year will be hitting the site soon. Sufficient break-in time was afforded and the anomalies we’ve encountered haven’t been addressed via firmware or driver updates. The pricing on the mystery unit in question has also dropped since the unit was delivered.

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