1TB Thunderbolt SSD for Macbook backups

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by MCAsan, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Jul 9, 2012
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    Atlanta
    #1
    I just ordered two Buffalo Thunderbolt USB 3 drives. One for me and the other for the wife. They are 500GB and seem to be on close out for $138 at Staples. The Buffalo units come with a Thunderbolt cable. Thunderbolt cables alone can cost dollars.

    With Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSDs now below $500, I can put an 840 EVO 1TB SSD into the Buffalo enclosure and have a mobile 1TB SSD with Thunderbolt cable for less than $600. Compare that to the Elgato Thunderbolt SSDs which are in the $879 range for a 512GB size.

    This Buffalo Samsung combo should make for a highly mobile and fast backup for MacBooks that have internal SSDs up to 1TB. The 512GB drives I take out of the Buffalo enclosures will be given to friends for their computers.
     
  2. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #2
    Let us know if the Buffalo enclosures are:

    1) Easy to open and reseal
    2) capable of delivering the power needed by 1TB EVOs
     
  3. MCAsan thread starter macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #3
    All you need is a blow dryer or heat gun to warm the two sided tape that holds the two sides of the enclosure together. There is a Youtube video on replacing the Buffalo drive.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZHgFHFZSf8

    No problem. A spinning 2.5" drive will consume in the range of 1-3 watts depending on if it is idle or streaming data. A Samsung 840 EVO SSD power consumption is 0.1 watt. The SSD does not have to have power for a motor to spin platters or move read/write arms. So if you can power a 1TB HD via USB 3 or Thunderbolt, powering any SSD via that same interface should not be a problem.
     
  4. hfg, Apr 23, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #5
    Sorry ... but I think you may wish to do a bit more research on this topic before posting such erroneous information.

    Large capacity SSDs can draw very high current in brief spikes which may overwhelm the power supply circuitry in a bus powered enclosure and cause corruption in the data storage of the SSD. The very low average power consumption often quoted for SSDs is useful for predicting battery life in laptop usage vs that of hard disks. Operating from active limited power is another story.

    You will notice that most of the retail bus-powered SSDs on the market are 256GB or less, with a very few >500GB sizes now appearing due to newer SSD technology which offers lower power consumption (at the expense of slightly lower performance). Simply taking a older design hard disk bus-powered unit (USB 3 or Thunderbolt) and swapping out the hard disk for a high capacity SSD will probably not work out very well for you. If you need a large capacity portable SSD, purchasing a retail one designed to work properly is probably a good idea.
     
  5. MCAsan thread starter macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #6
    Interesting. I had zero problems with Samsung EVO 840 500GB externally via USB 3.

    Tom's hardware tests show the Samsung 840 EVO 1TB at:
    active idle 0.30 watt
    average load 1.35 watts
    max observed peak 3.20 watts

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/samsung-840-evo-review-1tb-ssd,3567-13.html


    Thunderbolt specs:
    max voltage: 18V
    max current: .55A
    max power: 9.9watts


    USB 3 specs:
    As with previous USB versions, USB 3.0 ports come in low-power and high-power variants, providing 150 mA and 900 mA respectively while simultaneously transmitting data at SuperSpeed rates.[22] Additionally, there is a Battery Charging Specification (Version 1.2 – December 2010), which increases the power handling capability to 1.5 A but does not allow concurrent data transmission.[19] The Battery Charging Specification requires that the physical ports themselves be capable of handling 5 A of current[citation needed] but the specification limits the maximum current drawn to 1.5 A. So a USB port should be able to deliver around 4.5 watts. 5V x .9A = 4.5 watts.



    Looks like using USB or Thunderbolt should provide the Samsung EVO 840 1TB with the 0.3-3.20 watts it will need. I guess I will find out. :D
     
  6. hfg, Apr 23, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #7
    I too have had some luck with 512GB 840 EVO drives is some enclosures on Thunderbolt and USB 3. However, a M500 960 gets a bit flakey in the same enclosures. The USB 3 and Thunderbolt specs do have the power to accommodate these larger SSDs, but I suspect inadequate filtering within the older enclosures is at fault. They seem to work until you really load them down and then they either fail, freeze, or disconnect. Of course, you wouldn't want to "daisy chain" a Thunderbolt interface with the drive at the end of the chain.

    Please post your results with various enclosures and larger SSDs as there isn't a lot of information available. I have posted my results in various threads here regarding tests I have done.

    My best results so far have been with LaCie "Rugged" enclosures (after disk swap) and Oyen Digital enclosures.
     
  7. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #8
    Note that 3.2 watts at 5V equates for 0.64A which exceeds TB specs...

    As for USB3, I've found it capable of running a hard disk at 0.85A without issue, so you might find you have better luck with the Buffalo enclosure on USB3 than TB.

    The largest 840EVO I've personally run off a USB3 or Thunderbolt enclosure is a 750GB model.
     
  8. MCAsan thread starter macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #9
    The enclosure has a controller that should take 18VDC and step it down to 5DC for the drive (SSD or HD).

    So if the controller consumed the max TB power of 9.9 watts and dropped the voltage to 5VDC, it could deliver up to 1.98amps. Of course the drive only consumes a max of around 3.2 watts. So the controller only needs to deliver around 0.64amps at 5VDC for the Tom's Hardware observation to be correct.

    Allowing for some power consumption within the controller board itself, I would think the total power consumed off of the TB bus would ~4 watts. Four watts at 18VDC is 0.22amps so it would be well within TB specs.

    This should be interesting. ;)
     
  9. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #10
    Bus power management in Thunderbolt devices is a bit more complicated.

    Must pay attention to peaks, as there is little tolerance if power is exceeded, even for a short period of time.

    This is due to the various power modes that Thunderbolt supports.

    USB is a bit more simple, providing a simple, steady state +5v. Thunderbolt on the otherhand can switch to different power levels depending on different device requirements.

    This is why you don't see manufacturers willy-nilly swapping in different drives for bus-powered devices.

    So, heed the warnings! Otherwise, one day you'll be posting a question here wondering why your data got corrupted and what you could do to fix things.

    I'm sure if larger capacities were simple to add, any of the manufacturers would already be offering it.
     
  10. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    Takamatsu, Japan
    #11
    Or you could get the AC-powered Delock 42490 for $82. It even comes with a screwdriver for the 4 screws on the case. :)

    No heat guns necessary.

    I'm currently running a 500GB Samsung 840 EVO in it, but will go larger in the future.
     
  11. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Portland / Seattle
    #12
    When you're done with yours, you can install an SSD in one of mine!

    I was suckered into thinking this drive was zippy. I got a 1TB on sale at a local Frys, but I could have done better. I'm nearly done investing in TB and am waiting for TB2 enclosures to come out like the Ministation and Lacie Rugged SSD that I have. I saw this thread and am going to keep an eye on it, and had some of the concerns others have expressed. FWIW, the SSD version of the Ministation had a Crucial M4 in them, so you can use the power requirements of that drive when dialing in your final choice (http://www.crucial.com/pdf/tech_specs-letter_crucial_m4_ssd_v3-11-11_online.pdf).

    I was able to get mine open with just my hands, but took some work and patience. I'm 6'7" 240# with a pretty good grip, but there's several YouTube videos of SSD installs in the Ministation - some use a hairdryer, some cut to the install of the SSD and leave out how they got the thing apart.

    I'm almost inclined to just install a 128 or 256GB SSD, not investing too much in the Ministation and wait to spend on TB2 enclosures. But, that's just me.
     
  12. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #13
    If I were a betting man, I'd expect the TB2 portable enclosures would likely host mSATA or PCIe SSD devices.

    If you look at many of the new and upcoming laptops, you'll find those 2 form factors rather than 2.5" ones.

    Computex Taipei should be interesting in June...
     
  13. Marty62 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #14
    I have just been getting good results with the Inateck UASP 2.5in enclosure
    and a 500Gb Samsung EVO over USB3.0

    The enclosure is a "snip" to use, clips together - no screws.

    SSD powers and works fine without additional pwr or weirdness!

    The only TB drive I have is a Lacie Rugged - I swopped the useless 5400 drive
    for a HGST travelstar 1TB 7200rpm and the transfer specs improved quite a bit.

    M.
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #15
    Why spend that much money on a drive that is going to be used for BACKUPS?

    Better off to use a spinning HDD for backing up, in a USB3 enclosure. Far cheaper, and it will "protect" you just as well.

    Unless you have money to burn.

    My opinion only.
     
  15. MCAsan thread starter macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Atlanta
    #16
    Because on safari when you get back to camp you only have a few hours of power to charge camera batteries, download SD cards into a rMBP, do any initial photo culling/editing, and backup the rMBP. My current rMBP has a 768GB SSD. I will change out the rMBP to one with at least a 1TB SSD next year. I want a 1TB SSD over TB for backup in the field for the next couple of years.

    At home I have multiple TBs of libraries on LaCie Thunderbolt drives that are work just fine. Those are all backed up to 3TB drives. The external 1TB SSD would not be used at home as it is way too small.
     
  16. MCAsan thread starter macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #17
    Some folks expressed concern about a TB port delivering enough power to handle a 1TB SSD.

    Consider the new WD My Passport Pro. It is a TB enclosure with two drives that you can configure as RAID 0 or RAID 1. It is powered by the TB port. A very interesting product indeed.

    http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=1240
     
  17. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #18
    The WDC has a tethered cable which permits devices to consume a bit more power. Devices with conventional cables with plugs on each end have to allocate power for each end. Tethered cables don't.

    Anyway, other things can be done to manage power by the developers so available power is not overconsumed. End users swapping devices don't have access to the complete specs or the internal design limits.

    "Typical works" isn't something to depend on.
     
  18. k-hawinkler macrumors member

    k-hawinkler

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    #19
  19. hfg, Apr 24, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #20
    Which model Crucial?


    FWIW: I finally found a bus-powered Thunderbolt enclosure which seems to be reliable with a Crucial M500 960GB SSD. It is the Oyen Digital "Mini Pro Thunderbolt SSD" which I picked up on a recent sale with a 128GB SSD, which I swapped with the Crucial 980GB SSD. All other enclosures that I have tried with it were flakey from the start. This one seemed to operate properly from the start, and I just did a bit of a stress test using CCC to copy my OS X environment and then copying my Aperture 400GB library from a LaCie Rugged 500GB SSD to the Oyen/Crucial M500 using the iMac. It maintained a 350-410MB/Sec transfer rate for about the 1/2 hour each that it took to do the transfers. The finned aluminum case did get slightly warm, but not overly so.

    Unfortunately this Oyen drive is not available as a bare enclosure at this time.


    Here are some DiskSpeedTest results for the two drives:

    Oyen/Crucial M500 960GB SSD ----------------- LaCie Rugged Samsung 840 EVO 500 GB SSD
     

    Attached Files:

  20. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #21
    I dare say Akitio (formerly macpower) make the enclosure for Oyen Digital...

    http://www.amazon.com/Akitio-Neutrino-Thunderbolt-120GB-Transfers/dp/B00DCAYYSE/
     
  21. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #22
  22. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    #23
    I'd looked at the Oyen Digital 480 but their own BlackMagic screen shot scared me off - 150 write/500 read:
    http://oyendigital.com/tech/benchmark/retina-blackmagic-480gb.jpg
     
  23. hfg, Apr 24, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #24
    They use a brand of SSD (Oyen Digital DASH SSD) which I am unfamiliar with, possibly their own "brand name" which they also sell separately. However, if you look at the specs of the SSD drives they sell, they look suspiciously like the ones OWC sells as well, and the Sandforce controller causes them to perform poorly on the BlackMagic disk test, especially the write speeds due to the internal encoding. Other testing algorithms show better performance on those drives with more "real life" random transfers. BlackMagic DiskTest is designed specifically for large video files.

    The Oyen "Mini Pro" USB 3.0 enclosure (available bare) is also a really good performer, similar to the Thunderbolt one I am using.
     
  24. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Portland / Seattle
    #25
    Sandforce, that explains it. I saw that BM test - we generate large video files, which is why that stuck with me! I fine tune estimates with AJA FWIW. I'm stuck with my Buffalo that I'll switch out soon. My future purchases for enclosures will be TB2!
     

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