Tom Evans

Mac Mini and fast storage / external drive for DaVinci Resolve

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I bought an Apple Mac Mini M1, and while it is very fast when working inside of DaVinci Resolve with footage on the internal disk - it's slow with a fast external hard drive connected to the USB port. Any suggestion? Do I need to connect the drive differently, will a RAID work faster? Any ideas very much appreciated. I want to avoid swapping the Mini with a new one with more storage.

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Are you talking about the USB A ports?

I think they're 5Gb max, so not going to be as fast as the TB ports.

In the past (not with the Mac mini) I've experienced problems with wired mice or keyboards slowing down USB when connected to adjacent USB A ports.

What sorts of speeds are you getting?

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I'm talking about the USB-C ports, but I experience much slower playback from the external drive than the internal ones. Isn't it supposed to be that way?

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It's always going to be hard to match an internal NVME drive as it's directly attached to the PCIE lanes.

The sorts of performance I get ( on  HP laptop with TB4)  is as follows...

Mechanical, single  hard drive - 100MB/s

SSD drive connected via SATA (eg. Samsung T5) - 500MB/s

NVME SSD drive in cheap, NVME enclosure with USB C (USB3.1 Gen 2) - 1000MB/s

Internal NVME - 3000MB/s

I would imagine that (assuming the interface was not limiting the transfers) for RAID 0 with mechanical drives, you'd be getting anything up-to approx 180MB/s per drive. There are some expensive NVME enclosures with proper TB interfaces, which supposedly can reach the sorts of speeds of internal NVME. There's also RAID NVME boxes that can really push the limits of Thunderbolt.

Obviously, SSD is the way to go for ultimate speed, but if you need many terabytes of storage, it might become too expensive if you don't need TB/s of speed.

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