Mac Reviews

Best External SSD for Mac Mini M2

Written by John

Apple's latest innovation, the Mac Mini 2023, packs a punch with its compact design and the formidable M2 chip. However, every silver lining has its cloud, and in this case, it's the limited SSD capacity. For users eyeing an upgrade to larger storage options like 1TB or 2TB, a substantial additional cost comes into play. Hence, the savvy choice of opting for External SSDs for the Mac Mini emerges as a pragmatic solution.

In the pursuit of the perfect External SSD, several crucial factors demand consideration:

  • Deciphering Speeds: Be vigilant in your selection process, avoiding ambiguous terms such as 'Up to 2800 MB/S.' It's crucial to ascertain whether 'Up to 2800 MB/S' refers to the Read speed or the Data Transfer speed. If the data transfer speed between the Mac Mini and the USB-C 3.2 SSD is only 1000 MB/S, achieving 2800 MB/S may not be feasible and may only be applicable when copying data between volumes within the same drive.
  • Language Vigilance: Treading carefully during the selection process is essential to avoid misleading terminology. Expressions like "Up to 2800 MB/S" can lead to confusion—is it the read speed or the data transfer speed? A discerning eye is necessary to navigate through potential pitfalls, ensuring a precise understanding of the SSD's capabilities.
  • Thunderbolt vs. USB-C Differentiation: Beyond physical similarities, distinguishing between Thunderbolt and USB-C is vital. If an SSD explicitly states Thunderbolt 3 or 4, it aligns seamlessly with the Mac Mini's Thunderbolt 4 support, ensuring optimal data transfer speeds.

For those overwhelmed by the plethora of considerations, fear not. We've meticulously curated a list of the "Best External SSDs for Mac Mini M2," offering you a shortcut to informed decision-making. Explore our recommendations and unlock the full potential of your Mac Mini with a storage solution tailored to perfection.

1. Crucial X8 2TB Portable SSD

Crucial X8 2TB Portable SSD

The Crucial X8 uses a Type-C connection that follows the USB 3.2 (10Gbps) standard, allowing for super-fast data transfer at speeds up to 1000 MB/S. What's noteworthy is its compatibility with a read speed of 1050 MB/S, achieving a well-balanced combination of data transfer and read speeds. This guarantees a smooth and effective user experience.

With a capacious 2TB storage, the Crucial X8 becomes a go-to solution for expanding your Mac Mini M2's drive space effortlessly. Bid farewell to storage constraints, providing a straightforward and practical solution for those requiring additional room for their digital repertoire.

Going beyond the basics, the Crucial X8 2TB is equipped with robust shock resistance capabilities. This feature ensures optimal data protection, making it an ideal companion for those constantly on the move or anyone prioritizing the safety of their valuable files.

Remarkably, the Crucial X8 2TB Portable SSD doesn't just impress with its features but also comes with an attractive price point. Offering premium functionality at a reasonable cost, it stands as a testament to affordability without compromising on performance. For those seeking a cost-effective yet high-performing storage solution, the Crucial X8 2TB is a compelling choice.


The SAMSUNG SSD T7 emerges as a standout External SSD for Mac Mini, achieving a harmonious balance between three crucial factors: product affordability, read/write speeds, and seamless data transfer compatibility with the Mac Mini.

With read/write speeds soaring up to 1,050/1,000 MB/s, the SAMSUNG SSD T7 ensures swift data processing. Its USB-C standard 3.2 port, boasting speeds of 10Gbps, guarantees the SSD's full utilization of the Mac Mini's capabilities. This synergy creates an optimal environment for seamless data transfer.

Encased in an aluminum shell with three color options, the SAMSUNG SSD T7 not only offers a sleek aesthetic but also provides robust protection. The durable build is complemented by a reassuring 3-year warranty, ensuring longevity and peace of mind for users.

The SAMSUNG SSD T7 stands out for its competitive pricing. Users can acquire substantial terabytes for data backups on their Mac Mini at a cost-effective rate, making it an attractive option for those seeking high-performance storage without breaking the bank.

3. SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO

The SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO emerges as a formidable contender, boasting exceptional read and write speeds of up to 2000MB/s. However, it's important to note that its data transfer speed with the Mac Mini is limited to the USB-C standard 3.2, capping at just under 1000MB/s. This makes it an optimal choice for users frequently accessing data directly from the SSD. For those regularly transferring data between the Mac Mini and External SSD, opting for SSDs that support Thunderbolt 4 is recommended.

With blazing read and write speeds, the SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO reaches up to 2000MB/s. However, its data transfer speed with the Mac Mini is constrained by the USB-C standard 3.2, restricting speeds to just under 1000MB/s. This makes it an ideal choice for users primarily utilizing data directly from the SSD.

The SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO prioritizes data protection with its robust design, featuring resistance to shocks and water with an IP65 rating. This ensures the SSD's resilience in various scenarios, safeguarding your data against unforeseen circumstances.

The current pricing for the SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO is quite competitive, promising significant cost savings. This affordability ensures that users can maximize their investment without compromising on performance, making it an economically savvy choice.

4. SanDisk Professional 1TB Thunderbolt 4

Leveraging the Thunderbolt 4 port with speeds up to 40Gbps exclusively designed for Mac Mini users, this SSD ensures lightning-fast data transfer. With impressive read and write speeds reaching up to 3000MB/s and 2500MB/s, respectively, the SanDisk Professional 1TB Thunderbolt 4 enables the movement of 50GB of data in under a minute. This makes it an ideal solution for Mac Mini users demanding swift and efficient performance.

Emphasizing durability, this SSD incorporates shock resistance and an IP68 waterproof rating. The robust design ensures the device's resilience in the face of shocks and water exposure, providing a safeguard for your data in various environments.

True to its name, the SanDisk Professional 1TB Thunderbolt 4 is designed for professional-grade tasks that demand high-speed performance. Despite its advanced features, the SSD comes at a reasonably competitive price, offering a cost-effective solution for those with professional demands.

5. Fantom Drives Extreme 2TB

Featuring Thunderbolt 3 support at 40Gbps, the Fantom Drives Extreme 2TB excels in delivering optimal data transfer speeds. With an impressive 2800MB/s read and 2300MB/s write capability, this SSD ensures seamless and rapid data processing for Mac Mini users.

The use of a premium aluminum enclosure not only adds a touch of sophistication but also serves a practical purpose. It efficiently dissipates heat during continuous use or when running macOS directly from this SSD. This thoughtful design ensures optimal performance even under demanding conditions.

Fantom Drives offers a robust 5-year warranty, providing users with a sense of security regarding their data. This extended warranty period underscores the manufacturer's confidence in the product's durability and reliability.

The Fantom Drives Extreme 2TB presents an attractive balance between high-end features and reasonable pricing within its segment. This makes it an appealing choice for users seeking top-notch Thunderbolt performance without breaking the bank.

In the quest for enhancing your Mac Mini's storage and performance, the market offers an array of compelling choices. Whether you seek the budget-friendly efficiency of the Crucial X8 2TB, the speed prowess of the SAMSUNG SSD T7, the rugged durability of the SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO, the professional-grade performance of the SanDisk Professional 1TB Thunderbolt 4, or the Thunderbolt 3 dominance of the Fantom Drives Extreme 2TB, each external SSD brings its unique strengths to the table.

Consider your specific needs, be it affordability, speed, durability, or professional-grade performance, and choose the external SSD that aligns with your priorities. Regardless of your choice, these top-tier external SSDs promise to revolutionize your Mac Mini experience, offering seamless storage expansion and high-performance data handling for your every need.

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