External Enclosure help: USB3 vs TB and SATA2/3?!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by r0b0m1nd, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. r0b0m1nd macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2014
    Hi All,

    I have a 2013 MacBook Air 13" with a 128GB SSD and I use it for Logic Pro, GarageBand, iTunes, and other general things.

    I have a Crucial M500 SATAIII 240GB 7mm 2.5" SSD that I'd like to use as an external drive to hold samples and additional instruments packs and content for Logic Pro, and maybe move my iTunes library there too, but I'm having a hard time figuring out the ideal enclosure to use.

    From what I've researched, ThunderBolt external enclosures are pretty darn expensive compared to their USB 3.0 counterparts, so I will probably want to go with USB 3.0. Will I get different speeds on a SATAII USB 3.0 enclosure than with a SATAIII USB 3.0 enclosure? Will using USB 3.0 instead of TB be a bottleneck for me?

    I really like the Sabrent Premium Ultra enclosures on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-2-5-Inch-External-Enclosure-EC-ALUM/dp/B00EIAV0VG/), but it says "* Supports Standard Notebook 2.5" SATA and SATA II Hard drives." I know it's compatible with SATA III hard drives as well, but would I actually get faster speeds using a SATA III-specific external enclosure?
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    TB won't be much if any faster than USB3 depending on your usage. See this and this.

    To get the best speeds from an enclosure you want one that supports what is called UASP. Here are some to pick from.

    Here is a good review of that Inateck at the top of the Amazon list. The user who wrote that review (SaSaSushi) knows his stuff.

    That is what I would buy if I needed an external enclosure today.
  3. InquisitiveAmI macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2012
    If you need any convincing on TB side look at these threads



    Found all my answers here and was persuaded!
  4. r0b0m1nd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2014
    Thanks everyone! I ended up going with the Inateck. Great bus powered USB 3.0 R/W speeds at a great price!
  5. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    One note about the Inatek worth mentioning:

    The cable is unique in that it uses an unconventional USB 3.0 A to A cable, rather than an A to B or an A to micro-B cable.

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