I’m currently running a 2012 Mini, and looking to upgrade to a 2018 to get 4K, USB-C, etc.
My sticking point is storage.
Basically, I have a bunch of data that can live anywhere, as long as it’s fast. I run a bunch of VMs, and they’re painful running from a USB spinning disk. Probably 100GB worth, and I envision this need increasing.
Normally I’d just keep that on the internal SSD, but I’ve actually managed to churn through one internal SSD in the last 7 years. The “how” is a long story, but it worries me because I can’t just replace it on the 2018 like I did on the 2012. And I’d like to have this mini still functioning well in another 7-8 years, even if I wind up relegating it to the role of a server.
It seems that my options are to either buy more internal storage from Apple (expensive), or get an external SSD (Thunderbolt or USB 3 - much less expensive).
If I only keep the stuff that absolutely has to be on the internal drive on the internal drive, and hang a USB 3 or Thunderbolt SSD off the back, will that give me good performance for things like virtual machines? Is that feasible as an alternative to paying Apple a huge chunk o’ cash for a bigger internal SSD?
And if so, is Thunderbolt important? Or am I going to hit the practical limits of SSD throughput with USB 3?
Any advice is appreciated.