4TB External SSD solution?

chfilm

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Nov 15, 2012
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Berlin
Hey,

I‘m a freelance video editor constantly moving back and forth between client systems and my own new Mac Pro.
I need a fast mobile storage solution allowing me to copy footage from client’s servers to my own raid and back. A usually data drop might be between 500gb and 2.5 TB. So sadly a Samsung T5 which would otherwise be my preferred option is oftentimes a few hundred GB too small. Right now I‘m faced with 2.2TB footage that I need to copy fast.

Any thoughts on what‘s the ideal solution for this kind of scenario?
I was eyeing the Lacie Rugged 4TB raid which has traditional HDDs but can be configured as Raid0 (data redundancy is a given anyways since clients have the footage on their servers) an can read/write up to 250mb/s. It might be OK but it‘s still kinda slow, especially if I need to work off of it sometimes directly maybe on 4K Multicam footage.

I thought about slamming a 4TB SATA SSD into a USB3 enclosure, but I‘m not quite sure in my understanding about how those drives perform if I have to copy such huge amounts of data at once due to cache limitations. Sure 550mb/s is great, but how long can they sustain such speeds? When will the speed drop occur? Does a T5 also have this issue or is this a SATA SSD thing only?
Have they gotten better at it recently?
Is this a viable solution for video and which drive would you recommend?
 

Ifti

macrumors 68020
Dec 14, 2010
2,406
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UK
Does it need to be completely mobile and bus powered??

If not, then the fastest drive Ive tested, and the ones I now use, are the OWC ThunderBlade V4. Available in various sizes up to 8TB I believe. I purchased two and fit my own Samsung 970 Pro Plus NVMe's :


If it needs to be mobile and bus powered, then the Samsung X5 is a good option, but it will throttle after a minute or so and speeds will drop. The Glyph Atom Pro is much better - sustained write speeds, which didn't drop at all no matter how much I tested, and is stonking fast, but its limited to 2TB:


The above assume you are using ThunderBolt 3.

If you need USB-C then the Glyph Atom RAID is a good option, and its available in a 4TB size as well. Comes with both USB-C and a USB-A cables included in the box.


The above solutions arent cheap, but if you want the best speed then be prepared to pay for it.....
 

egrimo

macrumors member
Jan 1, 2020
38
38
Istanbul
Does it need to be completely mobile and bus powered??

If not, then the fastest drive Ive tested, and the ones I now use, are the OWC ThunderBlade V4. Available in various sizes up to 8TB I believe. I purchased two and fit my own Samsung 970 Pro Plus NVMe's :


If it needs to be mobile and bus powered, then the Samsung X5 is a good option, but it will throttle after a minute or so and speeds will drop. The Glyph Atom Pro is much better - sustained write speeds, which didn't drop at all no matter how much I tested, and is stonking fast, but its limited to 2TB:


The above assume you are using ThunderBolt 3.

If you need USB-C then the Glyph Atom RAID is a good option, and its available in a 4TB size as well. Comes with both USB-C and a USB-A cables included in the box.


The above solutions arent cheap, but if you want the best speed then be prepared to pay for it.....
If you want a ssd speed, stay away from sata as it can't give you best performance. There is Samsung's X5 which is NVME ssd with Thunderbolt 3 support which gives you 3000/2000 mb/sn speed results, in case of what you mentioned, sata ssd can give you 600-700mb max as reading speed. Samsung is expensive but if you need ssd, these are best results. Your macbook pro/imac with ssd is faster than these ssd's you mentioned and you'll feel this slow performance while copying files
 

chfilm

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Original poster
Nov 15, 2012
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Berlin
If you want a ssd speed, stay away from sata as it can't give you best performance. There is Samsung's X5 which is NVME ssd with Thunderbolt 3 support which gives you 3000/2000 mb/sn speed results, in case of what you mentioned, sata ssd can give you 600-700mb max as reading speed. Samsung is expensive but if you need ssd, these are best results. Your macbook pro/imac with ssd is faster than these ssd's you mentioned and you'll feel this slow performance while copying files
I dont need the FASTEST speed, I‘m perfectly fine with 500 mb/s as I mostly wont work off these drives and can copy 2TB in about 1,5 hours which is fine. My only question is, can for example a Samsung EVO 860 sustain those rates? I think my confusion stemmed from reading a test of the QVO and I didnt understand the issues with QLC memory at first. Seems like the EVO which uses TLC is fine In that regard?

I have already a Sonett 4x4 with 4TB, going up to 8TB internally in the new Mac Pro, so I dont want to spend another fortune, especially since my clients usually have trashcan Mac pros so my bottleneck will be the USB3 port on that end anyways.

I would like it to be completely bus powered.
 

nicho

macrumors 68040
Feb 15, 2008
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If you want a ssd speed, stay away from sata as it can't give you best performance. There is Samsung's X5 which is NVME ssd with Thunderbolt 3 support which gives you 3000/2000 mb/sn speed results, in case of what you mentioned, sata ssd can give you 600-700mb max as reading speed. Samsung is expensive but if you need ssd, these are best results. Your macbook pro/imac with ssd is faster than these ssd's you mentioned and you'll feel this slow performance while copying files
Testing of sustained write speeds shows that the "can" speeds you list are pie in the sky when it comes to large files OP is suggesting he'll be copying. https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sandisk-extreme-pro-portable-ssd/2

The difference over, say, a Samsung 860 Pro 4TB in an external enclosure won't be as great as you suggest.

Also, there isn't a 4TB Samsung X5 so the point is moot.
 

chfilm

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Original poster
Nov 15, 2012
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Berlin
Testing of sustained write speeds shows that the "can" speeds you list are pie in the sky when it comes to large files OP is suggesting he'll be copying. https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sandisk-extreme-pro-portable-ssd/2

The difference over, say, a Samsung 860 Pro 4TB in an external enclosure won't be as great as you suggest.

Also, there isn't a 4TB Samsung X5 so the point is moot.
Do you have any experience on how a Samsung QVO Would behave differently when copying a ton of large video files as opposed to the EVO? Would I quickly hit the limit of the cache and then it would be dead slow?
 

nicho

macrumors 68040
Feb 15, 2008
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Do you have any experience on how a Samsung QVO Would behave differently when copying a ton of large video files as opposed to the EVO? Would I quickly hit the limit of the cache and then it would be dead slow?
There are some pretty useful benchmarks here. https://www.anandtech.com/show/13633/the-samsung-860-qvo-ssd-review/2

Write speed you'd probably end up slower than the lacie drive. However, you'd have much better read speeds once you get home so I'd still probably go that route.

Personally, I don't have the same date-heavy requirements as you, and I'm considering replacing my external 860 EVO with a much larger 860 QVO soon. From the sounds of your workload though, I'd recommend at least the EVO (also available in 4TB). More than double the speed, not double the price. Beyond that the value proposition is questionable.

Would you double your speed again with an NVME solution? Possibly (not certain once they start to throttle!). Would you double the cost? And then some.
 

chfilm

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Nov 15, 2012
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nicho

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Feb 15, 2008
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Because of the caching behavior of the QVO you mean?
Why would my read speeds be much faster? The Small cache will be irrelevant for reading?
The cache isn't a factor in the read performance - reading performance pretty much matches the EVO. So you should be getting read speeds around twice the capability of the lacie (per that benchmark, and assuming the lacie figures are reachable).

But you're going to blast through the cache and experience slow writing speeds with the size of data you're talking about, that's for sure.
 
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egrimo

macrumors member
Jan 1, 2020
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Istanbul
Testing of sustained write speeds shows that the "can" speeds you list are pie in the sky when it comes to large files OP is suggesting he'll be copying. https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sandisk-extreme-pro-portable-ssd/2

The difference over, say, a Samsung 860 Pro 4TB in an external enclosure won't be as great as you suggest.

Also, there isn't a 4TB Samsung X5 so the point is moot.
I was referring speed to the connector and limits. 2.5 SATA is an old standard to work with. Most of the SSD's sold for mac is either mSata SSD(which can't boost performance more than 1 GB/s read/write) or SATA SSD( which is maximum of 600MB/s speed and usually 500 MB read, 150MB write). Thunderbolt 3 is the fastest connection type and you can achieve this only with TB3 supported cable and NVME SSD which provides this port. Samsung X5 is a wonderfull example about it, but I believe that you can find a ssd more than that. Indeed, I found one. And there could be some in near future too, it's up to cooling tech of these shells and ssd quality inside of it.
 

nicho

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Feb 15, 2008
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I was referring speed to the connector and limits. 2.5 SATA is an old standard to work with. Most of the SSD's sold for mac is either mSata SSD(which can't boost performance more than 1 GB/s read/write) or SATA SSD( which is maximum of 600MB/s speed and usually 500 MB read, 150MB write). Thunderbolt 3 is the fastest connection type and you can achieve this only with TB3 supported cable and NVME SSD which provides this port. Samsung X5 is a wonderfull example about it, but I believe that you can find a ssd more than that. Indeed, I found one. And there could be some in near future too, it's up to cooling tech of these shells and ssd quality inside of it.
Samsung X5 is a very poor example. It's reviews can be summarised as "very fast but throttles quickly". Up to is a key marketing term that's clearly got you believing the hype, but you should take a look at the benchmarks and evidence I linked which disprove it.

OP has also said that many of his clients have the trashcan mac pro. Right now the read and write speed of the drive you linked would be 0MB/s.

SATA SSDs like the 860 evo go way above 150MB/s write. Here's my 500GB model.

Screenshot 2020-02-24 at 10.49.16 pm.png
 

flygbuss

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2018
636
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Stockholm, Sweden
To transfer project data between different studios I ended up buying two Samsung SATA SSDs,

2 of these cables: https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B0133F30R8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B07MRCZTD1/ref=emc_b_5_t

and 2 rubber sleeves for the SSDs: https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B001HBVY2Y/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The SSDs are in RAID 0 and depending on the Mac (5,1;6,1;7,1) I get between 500 and 900 MB/s

I never had a failing drive or experienced data loss, although like you mentioned it doesn't really matter.

Like this you can easily get between 4 and 8 TB.

I chose this solution because of all the different connectors on different machines. Since no TRIM support is given that way I reformat the drives from time to time.
 
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