External 1TB SSD Solution for nMP

carrerascott

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 18, 2009
241
0
Thought I'd share what I've done. This isn't cheap but it's much cheaper than what's out there, and gets very nice speeds.

I was looking for an external 1TB SSD Thunderbolt solution. Everything was crazy expensive, the "cheapest" being LaCie's $999 external 1TB (2X500GB) SSD. However I didn't like that solution, especially since it was a powered case (more wires).

What I did (successfully) was purchase a MiniPro Thunderbolt 128GB from Amazon ($200), so that I could swap a 1TB SSD (around $520 for Crucial, or $530 for a SamSung. The drives comes with a 128GB SanDisk U110 which I can get close to $100 for, so the Thunderbolt case comes to $100 after that, which isn't too bad. It's a nice small aluminum, cable-powered case.

When I ordered a few days ago, the Crucial was much cheaper than the Samsung. Today the prices are almost identical. I got the Crucial but may have to get the Samsung to see how it performs. I ran BlackMagic on it, and it was getting about 350Mb/s Write and 370Mb/s Read speeds. Not close to the internal PCI drive but not too shabby. The Samsung is rated a little faster so I'll post those scores when I get them.

FYI I also tried the Akitio Neutrino that Amazon sells, and I'm not sure if it's the SSD it came with or the controller on the inside, but it tested very slow so I didn't even bother putting my SSD in it. I believe it was at about 140MB write and 300MB read. The two drives had the IDENTICAL cases other than the face, so it's very possible the controller is the same, but that the Intel SSD it comes with is just much slower (which I expect would mean worse retail).

What it comes down to is about $600-$650 for a small, portable, cable-powered 1TB SSD drive. Not too shabby considering the options. I'll post a screenshot in a bit, I'm in the middle of copying 350GB over to the new SSD from my slow external HD...

 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
115
Vancouver, BC
Cool. Nice solution. Thanks for sharing. Blackmagic isn't necessarily the best benchmarking tool I've found. Maybe give AJA a try as well (it's free also). I trust Quickbench but that costs money.
 

carrerascott

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 18, 2009
241
0
Cool. Nice solution. Thanks for sharing. Blackmagic isn't necessarily the best benchmarking tool I've found. Maybe give AJA a try as well (it's free also). I trust Quickbench but that costs money.
Here you go:



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Here's a pic of the drive with a dollar for size reference. Nice looking, metal enclosure.



 

chfilm

macrumors 68030
Nov 15, 2012
2,833
1,603
Berlin
This really is a cool solution.

I wonder how many more years it will take for SSDs do become as affordable as regular hdds right now..
 

carrerascott

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 18, 2009
241
0
This really is a cool solution.

I wonder how many more years it will take for SSDs do become as affordable as regular hdds right now..
I have the Samsung 1TB coming and will test its speed compared to the Crucial in the same Thunderbolt enclosure.

1TB today is what the 500GB was last year ... and the 500GB is at around $300 now. It seems to be accelerating to the point where 1TB SSDs might be pretty close to $200 in a year or two. I love the no moving parts aspect, and the speed is huge especially now that we're stuck with external storage only on the nMP.
 

carrerascott

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 18, 2009
241
0
Here is the test using the Samsung 840. It's definitely a bit faster than the Crucial SSD.

 

shaunp

Cancelled
Nov 5, 2010
1,811
1,394
Looks like a great portable solution. Might have to get one of these.

Thanks for sharing.
 

analog guy

macrumors 6502
Mar 6, 2009
358
0
thanks for posting. do these have a fan? doesn't appear so, so i'm assuming they are dead quiet.

any power issues with 1TB drives (the j4 seems to have this problem)?

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I'm just curious why you didn't pay the extra 200 or so dollars to upgrade your internal SSD to the 1tb version that would be twice as fast? Do you need it external for a specific reason?
maybe he did go with the 1TB internal drive already.

also, 256->512 is +$300 and 256->1TB is +$800 (and you really only gain 256 and 750GB, respectively, with those purchases).
 

carrerascott

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 18, 2009
241
0
No fan, so dead quiet. I specifically did NOT want a case with a fan. No power issues I've run into, I assume SSDs need much less power than a disc spinning at 7200rpm.

thanks for posting. do these have a fan? doesn't appear so, so i'm assuming they are dead quiet.

any power issues with 1TB drives (the j4 seems to have this problem)?

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maybe he did go with the 1TB internal drive already.

also, 256->512 is +$300 and 256->1TB is +$800 (and you really only gain 256 and 750GB, respectively, with those purchases).


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I'm just curious why you didn't pay the extra 200 or so dollars to upgrade your internal SSD to the 1tb version that would be twice as fast? Do you need it external for a specific reason?
I got the stock unit that was in stock. If I ordered I would have gotten the 512GB prob. But I like the external solutions as well, portable and easy to upgrade later (and will for sure be much, much cheaper than the internal drive to upgrade in the future).

I'm just learning to keep all system and "highly accessed" stuff on the internal drive (a good bit faster than even these) and everything else on these. I've gotten rid of all spinning hard drives other than the ones on my Synology Rackstation which back ups various computers.

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Looks like a great portable solution. Might have to get one of these.

Thanks for sharing.
Very easy to do -- too bad no one sells the case with no SSD inside. I like the case.
 

TjeuV

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2011
306
4
Belgium
First thought was it's only half the speed of the internal ssd but it's actually pretty great. The samsung for sure! Might look into that one as well.
 

Boomhowler

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2008
284
0
I wonder how much faster a Pegasus J4 with two 512GB (samsung, corsair or whatever) drives in it would be.
Bit more expensive though.
 

carrerascott

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 18, 2009
241
0
Carrerascott , can you post pics of the enclosure open ?

From the size of the enclosure shouldn't be a problem to install 2.5" SSD, but when i went to the site and checked the specs, looks like they using mSATA SSDs instead of 2.5" version... which SSD you got with yours ?



http://oyendigital.com/hard-drives/store/TNN-SSD-120-SL.html

I'll post pics later but I used the ssds linked in the first post and they fit fine. I'm sticking with the samsung for the extra speed.
 

CaptainChunk

macrumors 68020
Apr 16, 2008
2,142
6
Phoenix, AZ
Interesting. Thanks for the post!

It still frustrates me how nobody makes BARE external TB enclosures for single drives like that. $120 or so would be a reasonable price, given that FW800 enclosures cost around $80-90. I would love to see OWC do this with the Mercury AL series...

The closest thing we have to this so far is Highpoint's 2-disk TB drive dock, but that one costs $200 and it isn't exactly a portable solution because it needs AC power to work.
 

hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
3,576
281
Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
Interesting. Thanks for the post!

It still frustrates me how nobody makes BARE external TB enclosures for single drives like that. $120 or so would be a reasonable price, given that FW800 enclosures cost around $80-90. I would love to see OWC do this with the Mercury AL series...

The closest thing we have to this so far is Highpoint's 2-disk TB drive dock, but that one costs $200 and it isn't exactly a portable solution because it needs AC power to work.
OWC does have a Thunderbolt "Elite Pro Dual RAID" now which holds 2 drives in RAID-0, RAID-1, separate JBOD. It isn't real cheap however, at $300 for the bare enclosure.

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/External-Drive/OWC/Elite-Dual-RAID

I hope they come out with a Thunderbolt Qx2 RAID box.
 

analog guy

macrumors 6502
Mar 6, 2009
358
0

geta

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2010
837
377
The Moon
Interesting. Thanks for the post!

It still frustrates me how nobody makes BARE external TB enclosures for single drives like that. $120 or so would be a reasonable price, given that FW800 enclosures cost around $80-90. I would love to see OWC do this with the Mercury AL series...

That would sweet if we could buy empty TB enclosures, but the MiniPro TB is a great deal, for $230 ($200 through Amazon) you're getting TB enclosure, 120GB SSD and TB cable.
 

Boomhowler

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2008
284
0
That would sweet if we could buy empty TB enclosures, but the MiniPro TB is a great deal, for $230 ($200 through Amazon) you're getting TB enclosure, 120GB SSD and TB cable.
The pegasus j4 can be bought empty.
 
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