External SSD Drive for Macbook Air End 2012 (5,2)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by KhunJay, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. KhunJay, Oct 5, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017

    KhunJay macrumors 6502

    KhunJay

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    Sep 16, 2013
    #1
    Toying with getting a 256GB SSD for external use.

    Transcend Jet Drive Series 520 in an enclosure is a bit out of my budget.

    I saw this online:

    https://www.transcend-info.com/Products/No-735

    will it work as an external drive?

    it says SATA 3 6GB....is there any way to find a connector that will turn this into a usb 3.0drive?
     
  2. elf69 macrumors 68020

    elf69

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    #2
    Yes it should work, usb 3.0 will make it usable.
    thunderbolt be better but cost fair bit more.

    what is the drive for?
    could you not get bigger internal SSD if yours too small?
     
  3. xylitol, Oct 5, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017

    xylitol macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Why not a simple USB3 SSD, something like Samsung T5? (I just bought one for my Air)
     
  4. Audit13 macrumors 601

    Audit13

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    #4
  5. ZapNZs, Oct 5, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    #5
    I'm a big fan of Transcend MLC products (like the 370), but the 220 is not a very good performer relative to the price (its a planar TLC drive with inconsistent write performance.) If you are looking to buy the SSD separately from the enclosure, the Samsung 850 EVO is a better drive IMO. You can often find 500 GB EVOs for under $180 when on sale (I would recommend investing in a 500/512 GB SSD over a 250/256.) Further, the EVO has proven its ability to maintain its performance in a TRIM-less environment, which would be the situation when using USB (as macOS does not support TRIM commands over USB,) and the EVO has a superior warranty with clearly-defined industry-leading write limits for a 3D TLC drive. The Crucial MX-300 is another solid performer, although its performance is inferior to the Samsung (in real-world use, this difference would likely not be noticeable.) (The 850 EVO in a good USB enclosure will generally have superior performance to the Transcend 520, and most other Thunderbolt-to-single-SATA SSDs - [both or which will have inferior performance to eSATA 6.0 in this situation].)

    Any SATA3 to USB enclosure will work - however, the chipset used in the enclosure will have some effect on what type of performance you get. I'm partial to USB-C enclosures now, as the connector has enhanced durability (over the delicate microUSB) and is reversible, and works fine with A devices with a $5 USB A-to-C cable (in the case of drives like the Samsung T5, it includes both a C->C and A->C cable in the box.) I like the construction quality and chipsets used by Oyen Digital, with outstanding performance from their USB-C enclosure using the AS-Media 1351 chipset, and especially how their USB-C enclosure supports 3.1 gen 2 (should you ever upgrade to a newer machine, chances are it will have this capability.)
     
  6. KhunJay thread starter macrumors 6502

    KhunJay

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    Sep 16, 2013
    #6
    If you had to choose between a Samsung T3 and a 850 Evo, which would you pick?

    I can get both for the same price now...altho in case of the 850 Evo I'd have to spring for an enclosure.
    ( I keep seeing the term UASP used in these enclosure listings....is that some sort of speed protocol?)
     
  7. xylitol macrumors 6502

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    #7
  8. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

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    #8
    I have a 1TB Samsung T3 that I use as a boot drive with Sierra on a 2012 quad core mini. I use that machine exclusively for video editing and it is very fast. Also have a 500gb T3 that I use for various things, and I setup another Mini for my daughter that boots from a 500gb T3.

    The performance is the same on both the 500 and 1TB versions, very happy with these. :)

    [​IMG]


    The T5's look nice also. But I'm wondering if we would see any better performance on a 2012 machine, or if you need a newer computer with a USB-C port?
     
  9. ZapNZs, Oct 5, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    #9
    The 850 EVO has IIRC a five year warranty versus the T3's three year warranty - the T3 is more portable, where as the 850 EVO can have slightly better performance (enclosure dependent and the real world implications are likely insignificant.)

    My understanding of UASP is limited, but, tmk, UASP is essentially a protocol that reduces signaling overhead and makes USB 3.1-1 perform better, to try to close the gap between the 'theoretical maximum transfer speed of 5 Gbps' and the 'actual transfer speed'. USB still has a significant gap here. Most modern USB 3.0 (also labeled 3.1) drive enclosures will feature this.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 5, 2017 ---
    You would need a computer that supports 10Gbps USB 3.1 gen 2 to see "noticeable" performance increases. The T5 supports 10Gbps 3.1 gen 2 (over type-C), but is backwards compatible with 5Gbps 3.1 gen 1 (type-C/A). For example, the retina MacBook only features legacy USB 3.1 gen 1 (type C) - with the retina MacBook, the sustained performance difference between the T3 and T5 is insignificant because 5Gbps USB 3.1 gen 1 is the bottleneck. However, the 2016-2017 MacBook Pro supports 3.1 gen 2 (type-C) - here the sequential read/write performance is IIRC around 100 MB/s higher with the larger T5 compared to the larger T3 - of course, how big a difference 400 MB/s versus 500 MB/s makes in the real world is certainly debatable! But with 3.1 gen 2, one can also run a RAID0 of two SATA SSDs and get significantly higher sustained performance (IIRC some Members are getting around 800 MB/s with some of the various 3.1 gen 2 hard RAID0 enclosures.)
     
  10. xylitol, Oct 6, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017

    xylitol macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I'm getting 520 MB/s read speed (2015 Air, so no 3.1 gen2). But yeah, real world performances are probably quite close. The speed difference between 250GB and 500GB models is more significant than the speed difference between T3 and T5. Anyhow, I bought the 250GB version of T5 (I got it cheaply) and it's quick enough for me.
     
  11. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

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    #11
    Surprising that the video says the 250gb T5 is actually slower than the T3....
     
  12. KhunJay thread starter macrumors 6502

    KhunJay

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    #12
    Well, I have a end 2012 Macbook Air so I doubt it has the 3.1 usb ports to utilise the higher speeds the T5 can potentially provide.

    I got a smoking hot deal on the 250GB T3...something like 85 bucks brand new...so I jumped on it. Thanks for all the advice.

    Don't want to open a new thread so I'll ask here:

    My macbook's 256GB ssd is listed as SM256E.

    The most cost effective upgrade I can find for it is a 500GB Samsung 850 Evo M.2.....for which I would need to purchase
    a M2>Sata adaptor (about 12 bucks online).

    Is the M.2 ssd I mentioned better (performance-wise) than the stock ssd my macbook came with?
     
  13. samcraig macrumors P6

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    USA
    #13
    Love my T3
     
  14. xylitol macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Well it's still a SATA III-drive, so I'm guessing it's not much quicker with large files, but it can be drastically faster with small files (random reads and writes). There are benchmark sites that can tell you more precisely.

    Here's what you now have:
    https://www.anandtech.com/show/6003/the-new-macbook-air-uses-toshibas-sata-6gbs-ssds

    And you've probably watched this:
     

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13 October 5, 2017