Monday, April 18, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

OWC miniStack STX

Other World Computing:

The miniStack STX now features Storage and Thunderbolt Xpansion, continuing its award-winning legacy as the best sidekick a Mac mini can have. Meet the world’s first Thunderbolt certified Thunderbolt 4 storage solution.

With a universal SATA HDD/SSD bay AND an NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD slot, you can expand your mini’s storage capacity to gigantic proportions. Three Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports enable you to connect to millions of Thunderbolt, USB, and future USB4 drives, displays, A/V mixers, cameras and tablets; as well as desktop accessories like a keyboard, card reader, or mouse.

That’s 3 Thunderbolt ports in addition to the one that goes back to the Mac. It’s $279 for the base configuration with no storage.

Previously:

Update (2022-08-09): Josh Centers:

While OWC explicitly designed the miniStack STX for the Mac mini, it fits well enough underneath my iMac, and it could also serve as a charging and Time Machine dock for a Mac laptop with an external display.

3 Comments

I ordered one of these the day it was announced, and I've been using it for about 4 months. I ordered mine maxed out with a 4TB SSD and 14TB spinning drive (for Time Machine and video archives). It works perfectly and allows me to use just one connection to my 13" M1 MacPro for everything, including display and power. My one complaint would be that the HD makes noises every five minutes or so even if nothing at all is happening. It's not very loud but now it's the only equipment I have that isn't completely silent (I've only heard the fan on the M1 machine once). I have LaCie HDs that are silent but they are only 4TB, not 14TB. Other than that minor issue, it's pretty much awesome.

@Jim Cool. This is marketed as for a Mac mini, but I was also thinking that it would pair well with a MacBook Pro. With Thunderbolt docks being so expensive (yet some not having enough ports to do without a USB hub), this is actually cheaper and has built-in storage.

Unfortunately and inexplicably, OWC shipped the miniStack STX with a subpar NVME controller. It uses PCI-E x1 instead of x4. The result is that you can never achieve the full speed potential of an NVME drive in the miniStack STX. NVME speeds are capped at around 770 MB/sec.

In comparison, for the same price, you can get the Trebleet Super Thunderbolt 3 Dock for Mac which has an NVMe/SATA slot that allows speeds up to 2800Mbps (https://www.trebleet.com/product-page/mac-mini-thunderbolt-3-dock-with-nvme-sata-slot-cfexpress-card-slot-silver)

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