New OWC miniStack adds storage options, Thunderbolt hub to Mac mini

Posted:
in macOS edited November 18
OWC's miniStack STX is a plug-and-play hub and storage unit that adds additional storage and a Thunderbolt 4 hub to the Mac and iPad Pro.

Credit: OWC
Credit: OWC


The OWC miniStack STX is designed to seamlessly stack with an Mac mini, though it can be used with any Mac. It sports three Thunderbolt 4 ports, and a universal 2.5-inch drive bay plus a NVMe M.2 SSD slot to provide a range of storage capacity expansion options.

Users can leverage the three Thunderbolt 4 to create three independent chains with up to five Thunderbolt, USB, or display devices. OWC says users can also remove devices from one of the chains without affecting the others.

An aluminum chassis, internal heat sink, and a high-efficiency fan allow the OWC to run cool while also being nearly silent.

With up to 770MB/s of storage performance, OWC says that the miniStack STX is well-suited for heavy workflows like video editing, virtual machines, and photography. Users can edit, save, and access their multimedia content with near-zero latency, OWC says.

Although it works with any Mac, PC, iPad, or Chromebook device, the OWC miniStack is designed to be a companion to the Mac mini -- particularly since newer Mac mini models no longer feature upgradeable internal drives.

The OWC miniStack STX is available for pre-order now, and it starts at $299.00 without additional storage.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    thttht Posts: 4,131member
    Was waiting for this!

    Now, wonder if Apple will use the same Mac mini form factor for the M1 Pro or M1 Max, and this will perfectly stack with it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,823member
    Finally someone is listening.  I understand this is basically a Hub, not a dock but if there was a dock version of this with Ethernet, SD reader, etc.. then I would buy one.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    One thing that isn't clear to me from reading the press release info:

    Does this device somehow overcome the one-USB-C-monitor-only limitation on the current M1 Mac mini? The material says "displays," but my understanding is that the M1 Mac mini will not accept more than one display over Thunderbolt/USB-C.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    thttht Posts: 4,131member
    sflocal said:
    Finally someone is listening.  I understand this is basically a Hub, not a dock but if there was a dock version of this with Ethernet, SD reader, etc.. then I would buy one.
    There are tens of these available. Here's a Satechi model:



    Other models have 2.5" HDD options in something this size. It's only the OWC that has a 3.5"HDD. 6, 8, 10, 16 TB drive capacity. That's great. And you can stack two or three! I've had so many HDD failures lately.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 16
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,823member
    tht said:
    sflocal said:
    Finally someone is listening.  I understand this is basically a Hub, not a dock but if there was a dock version of this with Ethernet, SD reader, etc.. then I would buy one.
    There are tens of these available. Here's a Satechi model:



    Other models have 2.5" HDD options in something this size. It's only the OWC that has a 3.5"HDD. 6, 8, 10, 16 TB drive capacity. That's great. And you can stack two or three! I've had so many HDD failures lately.
    The Satechi model is a bandaid approach common to many dock manufacturers.  It's a USB dock, not a thunderbolt dock, limited to USB speeds, whereas a Thunderbolt dock would providing SSD speeds of 2.5GB/s.  
    thtentropysravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    a universal 2.5-inch drive bay
    Its actually a 3.5” drive bay that can take either size. 
    ravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    Bet they’re crossing their fingers that the mini redesign coming next year has the exact same footprint. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    tht said:
    sflocal said:
    Finally someone is listening.  I understand this is basically a Hub, not a dock but if there was a dock version of this with Ethernet, SD reader, etc.. then I would buy one.
    There are tens of these available. Here's a Satechi model:



    Other models have 2.5" HDD options in something this size. It's only the OWC that has a 3.5"HDD. 6, 8, 10, 16 TB drive capacity. That's great. And you can stack two or three! I've had so many HDD failures lately.
    All of those I've seen are USB 3 docks (specifically the model you listed).  They are not Thunderbolt.  They will be much slower, when pushed (10Gb vs. 40Gb).

    This article is about a Thunderbolt 4 storage chassis with 1 x internal NVMe slot & 1 x internal SATA 3.5"/2.5" drive space, with a THUNDERBOLT 4 hub (4 x Thunderbolt 4 ports, one consumed by the connection to the Mac/PC).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,200member
    Finally a proper th hub and storage for the Mac mini. I hope the M2 mini form factor doesn’t change, just because of this!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,321administrator
    One thing that isn't clear to me from reading the press release info:

    Does this device somehow overcome the one-USB-C-monitor-only limitation on the current M1 Mac mini? The material says "displays," but my understanding is that the M1 Mac mini will not accept more than one display over Thunderbolt/USB-C.
    It does not.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    ikirikir Posts: 126member
    One thing that isn't clear to me from reading the press release info:

    Does this device somehow overcome the one-USB-C-monitor-only limitation on the current M1 Mac mini? The material says "displays," but my understanding is that the M1 Mac mini will not accept more than one display over Thunderbolt/USB-C.
    Mac mini M1 can use 2 display not 1.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,124member
    ikir said:
    One thing that isn't clear to me from reading the press release info:

    Does this device somehow overcome the one-USB-C-monitor-only limitation on the current M1 Mac mini? The material says "displays," but my understanding is that the M1 Mac mini will not accept more than one display over Thunderbolt/USB-C.
    Mac mini M1 can use 2 display not 1.
    Unless somethings has changed very recently you can only connect one monitor via Thunderbolt/USB-C.  You can connect another via HDMI, but that’s not what the OP is asking about.
    johntdaviswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,321administrator
    crowley said:
    ikir said:
    One thing that isn't clear to me from reading the press release info:

    Does this device somehow overcome the one-USB-C-monitor-only limitation on the current M1 Mac mini? The material says "displays," but my understanding is that the M1 Mac mini will not accept more than one display over Thunderbolt/USB-C.
    Mac mini M1 can use 2 display not 1.
    Unless somethings has changed very recently you can only connect one monitor via Thunderbolt/USB-C.  You can connect another via HDMI, but that’s not what the OP is asking about.
    Crowley is correct. One HDMI, one USB-C display.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 16
    thttht Posts: 4,131member
    sflocal said:
    tht said:
    sflocal said:
    Finally someone is listening.  I understand this is basically a Hub, not a dock but if there was a dock version of this with Ethernet, SD reader, etc.. then I would buy one.
    There are tens of these available. Here's a Satechi model:



    Other models have 2.5" HDD options in something this size. It's only the OWC that has a 3.5"HDD. 6, 8, 10, 16 TB drive capacity. That's great. And you can stack two or three! I've had so many HDD failures lately.
    The Satechi model is a bandaid approach common to many dock manufacturers.  It's a USB dock, not a thunderbolt dock, limited to USB speeds, whereas a Thunderbolt dock would providing SSD speeds of 2.5GB/s.  
    Very true. And, it looks like Ethernet is not available in all of these Mac mini port extenders, and that will throw a wrench into some people's setups. Still, the stacking here looks pretty attractive to me: a port extender, a Mac mini, and an OWC miniStack w/3.5" HDD seems pretty attractive to me. It's nice and neat and tidy. And if you want another 3.5" HDD, stack another one.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    pmhpmh Posts: 15member
    Looks like I will be picking up one of these when they become available, mostly so I can add some TBolt connected storage as a backup for a flakey Drobo on my 2019 Intel MacMini. I'd also like to get the TBolt connector to the Drobo off of the MacMini as the MacMini runs hot and the Tbolt connectors are all above it's exhaust.
    edited November 20 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 16
    pmh said:
    Looks like I will be picking up one of these when they become available, mostly so I can add some TBolt connected storage as a backup for a flakey Drobo on my 2019 Intel MacMini. I'd also like to get the TBolt connector to the Drobo off of the MacMini as the MacMini runs hot and the Tbolt connectors are all above it's exhaust.
    This is Thunderbolt 3, also.  It will connect to the Mac mini in the same place as the Drobo Thunderbolt 3 cable.
    edited November 20 watto_cobra
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