Cheap External Thunderbolt SSD

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ConCat, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. ConCat macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2012
    In an ethereal plane of existence.
    The Thunderbolt adapter for Seagate's mobile hard drives is certainly a decently-priced thing compared to the cost of most other Thunderbolt products, however what many don't know is that this adapter contains a hidden secret that I have yet to find any source mention. It uses an mSATA port. Every single one of their adapters that I've used so far has been the same; they all use a regular (although slightly transsexual... As you'll see in a sec) mSATA port. What this means is simple: You can get the adapter, and then you can get any internal laptop mSATA SSD or HDD to use with the adapter, and swap them out as needed. Neat, huh? The thing is, there are no credible sources I could find to cite for this whenever anyone asked about it, and so tonight I decided to start this thread. I will endeavor to answer any questions regarding this topic as I have two adapters with me to use.

    First off, here is the adapter:


    as you can clearly see, the connector appears to use a standard mSATA port, the only thing is I can't seem to decide if it's a female or male connector; oh well. :p Now, here is the mSATA hard drive I am going to use as an example (sorry, don't have an mSATA SSD to use ATM, but mSATA is mSATA. It'll work.):


    This HDD was taken from my old (but still dearly loved) 2008 Aluminum Unibody MacBook. It's the only mSATA drive I have lying around, so please bear with me. :p

    As we will now see, the connector is exactly what it appears to be: an mSATA port. Here is the proof:


    Here is the USB3 adapter. It works the same way:


    The total cost of this varies depending on what SSD you choose (obviously), but this could easily total around $250 (with a $100 SSD). If price is a concern for anyone, I'd think it's safe to say that you make up any added cost in versatility.

    Attached Files:

  2. fortysomegeek macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2012
    It is not a mSATA slot. Just a regular SATA end-piece.

    If you want clean, you can buy an external blank USM case to house your SSD/HDD when connecting to the Seagate STAE121/128 Thunderbolt adapter.

    The same USM case can swap out with USB 3,2,eSATA and Firewire 800.




  3. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    Where can you buy a blank USM case?

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