External SSD speeds – appreciate some quick advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tonycooper, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. tonycooper macrumors member

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    Jan 17, 2014
    #1
    Hi, I am running a Oct 13 MBP, and am just about to hit the button on a LaCie 1tb Thunderbolt drive.

    Question is, as I move large files around, would the smaller capacity SSD Thunderbolt version be much quicker? Has there been any comparisons?

    Thanks very much!
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    Why do you think a smaller drive will be faster?
     
  3. tonycooper thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 17, 2014
    #3
    Ah, really sorry - the 1TB is traditional 5,400rpm hard drive, the 256GB is SDD. Guess I would likem to know whether in practice it would be much quicker to copy to/from an SDD than the traditional hardrive version? Both Thunderbolt.
     
  4. Meister, Jan 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014

    Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #4
    Larger SSDs tend to be faster. Of course ssds are much faster than hdds.
    Id advice you to get an affordable ssd and put it in a housing with usb3.
    Thunderbolt on an external ssd is utterly pointless since the bottleneck is not usb3 or thunderbolt but the ssds speed.
    Of course an ssd is faster than an hdd.
    I would strongly advice you to get a 2,5 internal ssd and put it in a housing with usb3.
    They are more affordable, faster and you can use them to upgrade another system if you like.

    The lacie external ssd with thunderbolt are a overpriced gimmick.
    the bottleneck will be the ssd speed. usb3 or thunderbolt will make no difference.
     
  5. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    SSD much faster. Check out specs for read/write speeds. Usually larger SSD's have better write speeds than smaller SSD's. Both faster than standard HDD's.
     
  6. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #6
    sorry i posted twice. the first one seemed to have disappeared ... :confused:
     
  7. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #7
    A thunderbolt case is a waste of money on an hdd. Just get a cheap USB 3 one. They usually cost a fraction and you'd need like 4 hdd in raid-0 to reach USB 3.0 limits.
    SSDs can reach the USB 3 peak but still I would consider that a very expensive solution that is not very universal. What happens when you want to carry the drive to a friend and copy some pictures or whatever over. USB works everywhere. Every freakin TV has a USB in. Thunderbolt only works on your Mac.
    I don't think Thunderbolt is a good idea for that use case.

    All too often the cases are internally SATA 2 which is slower than USB 3 and would be the true limit.
    At least get a case with USB as well as TB. I don't think TB is worth the money but I am also not sold on SSD external storage. Yes it is faster but just for large files HDDs are fast enough and they are cheap and big.
     
  8. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #8
    Very well put and exactly my point.
    I recently bought an external drive and i was looking at thunderbolt/lacie, too. Very odd product.
    They are targeting people who dont understand about usb3, tb and ssd.
     
  9. tonycooper thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 17, 2014
    #9
    Thanks everyone. I already have a LaCie enclosure, with both USB 3 and Thunderbolt. But I recall reading that some enclosures might struggle for power when changing the 256GB SSD with something like 1TB?? Samsung seem to top the reviews for SSDs.

    Thanks
     
  10. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Perhaps LaCie's idea is to provide a shuttle drive. There are many Macs that have Thunderbolt, but only USB2.

    Having both interfaces ensures that faster transfers are possible when used among different Macs and/or PCs.

    Granted a properly designed USB 3.0 drive will be fast, provided that UASP is also supported in the driver and bridge chip. If not, then performance will suffer.

    Too bad that it is not so easy to determine UASP support from most packaging. So, you'll have to specifically know the type of empty case you are buying to get the best performance.
     
  11. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #11
    I think the only reason to get a TB SSD enclosure is for running VMs when you have a small internal SSD, so you can have your VMs running at SSD speed. Also, a TB+SSD is suitable for multitrack audio or video editing when you have more data than your internal SSD could handle. It's advertised that TBolt uses a PCIe bus internally which charges the processor less than USB3. So I would avoid USB3 if you want save every clock tick of processing time for the actual stuff you're working.

    In short, if you need a media storage/backup device, go for USB3+HDD. If you need loading/writing data at internal SSD speeds while saving CPU time, get a TB+SSD.
     
  12. barkmonster, Jan 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014

    barkmonster macrumors 68020

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    #12
    I've yet to see a viable 2.5" Thunderbolt enclosure designed by a company with the common sense to limit it to SSDs only and to offer 2 ports.

    With a HDD, it's a waste of money, might as well be USB 3.0, with an SSD, you get the bandwidth of Thunderbolt but unless you specifically buy the Apple Thunderbolt display, you have zero chance of using the Thunderbolt port for a second screen (or anything else) because even the various Thunderbolt hubs available only offer 1 port for input and 1 for through and there's no Thunderbolt equivalent to what hubs "Literally" are in the traditional sense, as in offers several Thunderbolt ports from 1 single port. You're stuck no matter what you do because those drives are the end of the Thunderbolt chain.
     
  13. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #13
    Bus powered and dual port isn't going to happen.

    No way to provide 10W out the downstream port when daisy chaining drives.

    Controlling computer responsible for delivering 10W to the first device which typically consumes most of the power; nothing left for downstream devices. Even if downstream device is wall-powered, the upstream device is still responsible for powering the attached downstream cable.

    So...for dual-port 2.5" enclosures, you are limited to wall-powered, just like the Little Big Disk or other devices like the Akitio Thunder Duo.
     
  14. leftyMac macrumors regular

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    Feb 20, 2011
    #14
    that sucks big time! FW port on older MBP can bus-power external HD enclosure and daisy chain a FW audio interface (apogee duet) without AC adapter.

    I hate the fact that apple put 2 TB ports but only 2 USB ports, not to mention the HDMI port that you can use for hooking up an external monitor (instead of TB port). TB enclosures / drives are still way too expensive for my blood. 1 TB port and 3 USB ports would have made more sense.
     
  15. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

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    #15
    For the purpose of a display, it shouldn't make any difference.
     
  16. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Connect the storage device after a Thunderbolt display; the downstream port of the display provides power.

    As for display topology, dual port Thunderbolt devices must be able to provide 10w to either port. Can't rely on fact that connected device doesn't require power. Note well, must always be able to power bother ends of connected cable until end device is detected.

    Rules are rules.

    Assures everything works correctly, except for drivers of course.
     
  17. barkmonster, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014

    barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

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    #17
    You don't seem to be appretiating the OBVIOUS point that not everyone WANTS an Apple Thunderbolt display. People might want to add a Thunderbolt storage device AND their existing display via a Mini-Displayport to DVI adapter. Particularly on the all but 2 systems that only have 1 Thunderbolt port for both expansion and additional display support.

    If that means using a power adapter with the enclosure, then so be it.

    A simple senario:-

    A Macbook with a Thunderbolt external drive with dual Thunderbolt Ports.

    On the road, it uses it's own display and the first Thunderbolt port on the drive.

    When stationary, it plugs into an AC adapter and the additonal Thunderbolt port plugs into the additional display. You're never going to be anywhere that doesn't have a power outlet if you're using an additional display when stationary anyway.

    If Thunderbolt isn't the wonder-technology it claims to be and can't even provide power to devices in the way Firewire and USB can, I'm sure some kind of USB powerlead could be provided for additonal power in the way a lot of external DVD/Blu-Ray writers or USB universal drive adapters do.
     
  18. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #18
    I understand completely.

    As for FireWire or USB:

    Though there are dual port FireWire bus powered devices, there was never any guarantee as to the amount of power. Ranging from none for 4pin ports on many PC laptops to 5-16 watts on various Macs so it wasn't obvious how many bus powered devices could be connected.

    Of course, USB devices require a powered hub to connect more than one to a single port and for bus powered devices wall power is required.

    In the OP's case, the bus powered device is the terminating device. If DP or mDP connected display is the first device, you are correct: no downstream Thunderbolt devices.

    For single port Thunderbolt computers, tough luck.

    You make a very good case that all computers should have 2 Thunderbolt ports or at least a separate display connection if there is only one Thunderbolt port.
     

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