best ext. drive enclosure (for SSD) for new r-MBP, for older OS...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by malch, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. malch macrumors 6502

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    Jan 20, 2008
    #1
    Hi there,
    I'm waiting for delivery on a new retina MBP, which will come loaded with Mavericks.
    Occasionally when I'm out of office, I'll need to do some editing with this laptop using Avid Media Composer, which is always a Mac-OS release or two behind. So, for example, right now Media Composer works with Mountain Lion, but not Mavericks.

    I've got a 250Gb SSD that I'd like to put in an external enclosure.
    I can then hook this up to my Mac Pro desktop (my main editing machine) and use Carbon Copy Cloner to make a bootable copy of my MP boot drive onto this SSD.
    My plan would then be to boot to this drive (that will have Mountain Lion on it, and Media Composer) when I need to edit out of office with my new MBP.

    My question is: what's the best external SSD enclosure for me to get?

    Does my workflow sound good? (booting to this external drive when I need to edit 'on the road'?)

    Thanks for any advice,
    malch
     
  2. FastEddiebags macrumors 6502

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    NJ
    #2
    Depends how much you are willing to spend. Usb 3 enclosures are going to be a lot cheaper than a thunderbolt one. I bought 2 usb 3 enclosures off of Amazon and they were only 13 dollars. I'm using a crucial m4 in one and the read/write speeds are good enough for me.

    A thunderbolt enclosure will of course be able to fully achieve the ssd read/write
     
  3. john123, Nov 17, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013

    john123 macrumors 68000

    john123

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    #3
    Edit: A TB1 enclosure cannot fully maximize those drives, but it usually will beat the USB3 enclosure—especially with many small files.
     
  4. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    But John, the new MBP has Thunderbolt 2. Does that change anything?
    malch
     
  5. davidlv macrumors 65816

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    Kyoto, Japan
    #5
    Are you sure the new rMBP will boot from ML? The older models will, but check about the latest ones, I am not sure. :confused: Maybe someone who does know for sure could chime in?
     
  6. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Hmmm. I hadn't even considered that!!! Amazing if a new MBP can't boot from an OS that's just one release back. I'll wait for some of the forum 'heavies' to pronounce on this...
     
  7. Phildo macrumors member

    Phildo

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    #7
    This is the limiting factor - no USB 3 or Thunderbolt.

    For a FireWire casing, consider a Macally PHR-S250UAB

    The two FireWire 800 ports are useful.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 20, 2008
    #8
    Yes, you're right about the Mac Pro not having USB3 or TB, and the MacBook Pro not having fw.
    But if I get a USB3 enclosure (with my SSD in it), I can hook it up via USB2 to my Mac Pro, copy whatever I want to it (at USB2 speeds, of course), and then attach this same device to my new MacBook Pro and play away at USB3 speeds.
    That is my evil plan, anyway (ruined, in part, by davidlv's pronouncement about the new MBP not being able to boot into anything other than Mavericks).
    Regards,
    Malcolm
     
  9. orangezorki macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 30, 2006
    #9
    Having such a good-looking and sounding name like davidlv, of course he's right! (I may or not be called David myself, it's just too early to tell…)

    Apple's thinking is that you would be silly to not want to use the latest OS, so drivers for newer systems released after the OS was current aren't produced.

    One possibility though is to use a VM like Parallels, which I _think_ allow you to boot an instance of an older Mac OS within the program. I don't suspect that it is without some sort of overhead and performance penalty though…

    David
     
  10. john123 macrumors 68000

    john123

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    #10
    It changes a lot—except you can't find any standard ThunderBolt 2 enclosures yet. When they do become available (and they'll be pricey at first), they should offer a significant performance improvement.
     
  11. MrX8503 macrumors 68000

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    #11
    USB 3.0 can't handle speeds from an SSD.
     
  12. Doward macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 21, 2013
    #12
    USB3 is fast, but it is not as fast as thunderbolt.
     
  13. john123 macrumors 68000

    john123

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    #13
    Neither can TB1. However, the difference is actually larger than I originally suggested, so I've amended my previous post accordingly.
     
  14. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

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    #14
    Not the case in my experience, in using a 240GB OWC Envoy Pro EX w/ my 13 rMBP, I get around 280MB/s on the low end and sustained writes over 500MB/s on the high end (that was with a 202GB folder of raw files).

    There are a variety of PCIe based USB3 cards for the MacPro, I use one and although it does not hit max theoretical USB3 it motors along at triple what FW800 would be.

    I think USB3 is a very nice price conscious way to leave FW800 and USB2 in the dust.
     
  15. MrX8503 macrumors 68000

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    #15

    http://images.techhive.com/images/article/2013/05/usb3_table_mercury-100038865-large.png

    OP don't listen to them. USB3 WILL bottleneck an SSD. Go thunderbolt if you want speed, go USB3 for price.
     
  16. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 20, 2008
    #16
    Thanks for all the info everyone. And now to add to the USB3/Thunderbolt debate, this other option for an external enclosure:

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003XEZ33Y/

    (hope I did the link right; this suggestion courtesy of Mr. Retrofire on another thread). So... eSATA... where does it stack up?
    malch
     
  17. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

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    #17
    Really, so *you* have the same computer I do, a 13" i7/16/1TB and the same drive and *you* are not seeing those numbers on a regular basis? The reason I ask is that the new PCIe based flash storage on the recent MacBook Pro resides in a MUCH faster system that uses these peripherals. That is why my 1TB internal SSD blasts speeds of 900+ MB/s on a daily basis and maxes out these connections.

    SATA based SSD's often fail to reach their max speeds in real world use due to the overhead of the SATA interface itself, so when you get rid of that middleman as both Apple and OWC has with these drives, you really get cooking, get it?

    Might be time to update that little chart of yours, if I were the OP in getting a new PCIe MacBook Pro, I would sell that 250GB SSD and put the money towards the OWC 240GB PCIe based SSD external, it is smaller than an iPhone 5 and fully saturates USB3.
     
  18. MrX8503 macrumors 68000

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    #18
    best ext. drive enclosure (for SSD) for new r-MBP, for older OS...

    That enclosure says esata 6gbps so that should be good, but whatever you connect it to needs to be 6gbps too. Do some SSD speed tests and let us know.

    What are you rambling about? The OP asked about USB vs Thunderbolt external. The *fact* is that thunderbolt is faster when using an SSD. In fact thunderbolt RAIDs can get ~800MB/s r/w speeds. USB3 can't reach anywhere near those speeds.
     
  19. Macshroomer, Nov 20, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013

    Macshroomer macrumors 65816

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    #19
    He did not ask about USB vs TB and where does it say he needs 800MB/s?

    The guy wants a fast bus powered external for when he is out of the office to boot from, as in mobile. I gave real world examples in how what I am using as one of my roadie externals as being pretty much perfect for him, super small and *very* fast.

    I think somewhere on here is a thread about what the best enclosures are to get in terms of speeds, but for the same money he might spend on a TB enclosure he could readily sell his 250GB SSD and forgo the enclosure testing crap and just get right down to business in getting real work done with what I recommended.

    There is a good reason I am saying what I am and that is I could not find a decent TB enclosure at all, not even on Amazon. Lacie might be the only SSD / TB based external I could even find and it is no where near hitting the TB speeds you are so attached to. I went with the OWC PCIe SSD and it simply kicks a$$.

    When time is money as in using this stuff for work, sometimes all that testing can cost you a lot more than you think....
     
  20. MrX8503 macrumors 68000

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    #20
    He asked the best enclosure. The fastest enclosure you can get is a thunderbolt one. RAID speed example is just an example, no where did I say he needs 800MB/s. If you're using USB 3 on a top end SSD, you're bottlenecked. Period.
     
  21. Macshroomer, Nov 20, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013

    Macshroomer macrumors 65816

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    #21
    OK then, point me to the best SSD/TB drive enclosure.....in fact, point me to ANY TB drive enclosure that is a small portable 2.5" form factor. And I have seen the Buffalo one, it's a pain in the ass to even get apart to pull the lame 5400 RPM drive out and the one guy who did manage to put an SSD in only got 250MB/s either direction.

    And by the way, did you SEE the numbers I posted? 400-500MB/s *sustained* is not bottle necked dude...in terms of getting actual WORK done, what is wrong with these numbers???
     
  22. john123 macrumors 68000

    john123

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    #22
    Why did you quote me in this? I specifically said that USB 3 can't fully take advantage of an (implicitly, decent quality) SSD. Your own numbers from the graphic you linked support that.

    ----------

    Actually, by definition, that is a bottleneck. Whether it matters in terms of "actual WORK done" depends heavily on the type of work being done. There are plenty of use cases (e.g., databases) where being close to 1GB/s sustained throughput would make a huge difference.

    ----------

    Seagate makes one that works for about $100.
     
  23. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

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    #23
    John;

    I hear ya, really I do…but…

    Lets talk about the real bottleneck here, the drive. After all, this is a game of “Straw, Fire Hose, Water Main”….

    For all we know the OP’s 250GB SSD could be an older SATA-II that maxes out at 250/250. But even if it is not, in order to make full use of TB-1, you would have to run a pair of fast late model SSD’s like 840 Pro’s in RAID-0. If you put a single 840 Pro in the Seagate Backup Plus ( I assume that is the one you are talking about that I had forgot ) you will not hit more than half TB theoretical…..which happen to be the same real world numbers I am getting out of the tiny OWC PCIe / USB3 external.

    The OP is talking specifically about a portable device, if he were not, then the game changes a bit in terms of what is actually available in the desktop form factor in that one can more readily use external power supplies.

    So you have a bunch of USB3 enclosures, a Seagate TB one and a couple of bus powered TB SSD drives like the Lacie Rugged TB series, the latter claiming a max of 385MB/s. How many if any at all are going to go over 500MB/s…? Probably not many although those still are nice speeds and you get to use one of those new fangled TB2 ports that might otherwise sit idle.

    Trust me, I did my homework on this before my new MacBook arrived and from all the research I did, emails to guys like Diglloyd, the teeny little OWC SSD drive was by far the best bet. It really cranks out screamer numbers, is stable and proven and until I see someone put one of these new Apple proprietary PCIe 1,000MB/s drives in a bus powered TB enclosure, I really doubt I could do better.

    For what it is worth, I am not saying anyone is wrong, I am very much open to revised thinking. So as solutions surface, revisions will be employed.
     
  24. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 20, 2008
    #24
    Macshroomer—I see you have pretty well the same two computers I've got (5.1 2010 Mac Pro and the new rMBP).
    It's the fact that one (the MBP) has Thunderbolt and USB3, and the other (MP) doesn't have either of these, but in my case anyway, does have eSATA, that I asked about the little MiniPro enclosure, which has both USB 3.0 & eSATA.
    This thing would allow me to connect nicely to both of my machines, right? (do I need to worry about 'drivers' or something not being compatible?)
    regards,
    malch
     
  25. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

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    #25
    Hi,

    As I was intrigued by the option, I read the reviews of the case you had linked and for the most part, the speeds that were hit looked really good, a major improvement over FW800 and leagues better than USB2, obviously. The reddish flags for me were complaints by some of it not being a viable boot volume and some had cited a needed firmware revision.

    I think for the simple bridging the gaps of the two machines, it is a no brainer but you will have to just take a chance on it being a boot volume or not. There is also the whole can the new rMBP even boot off of an older OS thing. I was running the Newer Tech eSATA 6G card in my 5,1 which was fine but have replaced it with a CalDigit combo card of USB3 / eSATA and seems to be fine too, still not anywhere near max theoretical in either connection but it still goes over 200MB/s and exceeds 300MB/s on occasion.

    I'd say give it a shot because anything that is faster than FW800 will be good for a boot volume although the little OWC drive I have would be flat out perfect to be honest. By the way, what model is your 250GB SSD? Because obviously a later model SATA-III SSD drive would be beneficial in hitting good speeds in using eSATA / USB3 / TB.
     

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