External SSD - which type of enclosure to use?

rjsounds

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 3, 2017
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26
Hi guys,

I have a 2017 iMac with a 512GB internal SSD. I want to add an external SSD which will become a dedicated project drive for my Logic Pro X projects. I've decided on the Samsung 860 EVO SATA 1TB SSD.

I know I need a 2.5" SATA hard drive enclosure, but I'm not sure which is the best option. Would a USB powered option suffice, such as this StarTech one?:

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00JQJURMM/

Or do I need to get one that requires it's own power? Or a thunderbolt enclosure? What are the differences / advantages or disadvantages?

Thanks in advance.
 

ChrisChaval

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2016
542
459
MGTOWn
none

I use a USB3 to SATA cable and I am booting Mojave from it, no issues at all

AFAIK one advantage of thunderbolt over USB3 is TRIM support, if I remember correctly
 

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
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Colorado
I believe the iMac has Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 G2 ports. If you will be booting from the external drive, it may be worthwhile to go for faster performance. TB3 offers 40Gbps throughput, USB3.1 G2 about 10Gbps. USB3 is about 6Mbps if I recall.

Since the bus on internal drives is 6Gbps, and external USB tends to be a bit slower than internal bus, a 3.1 or TB3 drive enclosure will probably be more satisfying. @Fishrrman link looks like a good choice.
 
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rjsounds

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 3, 2017
69
26
I won't be booting from the external SSD. I'll just be using it to work on my Logic Pro X projects and store Logic's massive sample library.

Would TRIM support be desirable / useful in this case? A quick Google search yields following about TRIM:

"SSD TRIM is an Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) command that enables an operating system to inform a NAND flash solid-state drive (SSD) which data blocks it can erase because they are no longer in use. The use of TRIM can improve the performance of writing data to SSDs and contribute to longer SSD life"

I'll likely be saving and editing hundreds of projects on this drive over the next several years. By using a Thunderbolt enclosure, will having this TRIM support be worthwhile (considering the cost) and extend the life of the SSD?
 

ChrisChaval

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2016
542
459
MGTOWn
I won't be booting from the external SSD. I'll just be using it to work on my Logic Pro X projects and store Logic's massive sample library.

Would TRIM support be desirable / useful in this case? A quick Google search yields following about TRIM:

"SSD TRIM is an Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) command that enables an operating system to inform a NAND flash solid-state drive (SSD) which data blocks it can erase because they are no longer in use. The use of TRIM can improve the performance of writing data to SSDs and contribute to longer SSD life"

I'll likely be saving and editing hundreds of projects on this drive over the next several years. By using a Thunderbolt enclosure, will having this TRIM support be worthwhile (considering the cost) and extend the life of the SSD?
there are lots of articles on how trim actually works and how it supports garbage collection on modern SSD drives and in which way they relate ... do not get yourself a headache, it does not matter too much. most probably you will replace your SSD or computer long before even noticing the effects of not having trim

not having TRIM ain't an issue for me (booting Mac OS), it sure should not be an issue for you

an old rule does still applies: always back up your data

I do agree with our follow MR member techwarrior: go for the superior performance of TB3 (my use case relates to a 2014 Mac mini with all the respective limitations)
 
Last edited:

rjsounds

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 3, 2017
69
26
I'd consider going with a TB3 enclosure for sure, but right now they seem to be priced far beyond the moon. Unless anyone has any good recommendations?

With regards to external SSDs, i.e. Samsung T5; what's the difference between this and an internal one? How does it compare to the EVO 860? The all-in-one and plug-and-play nature of the T5 is quite appealing.
 

hobowankenobi

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2015
980
261
on the land line mr. smith.
I'd consider going with a TB3 enclosure for sure, but right now they seem to be priced far beyond the moon. Unless anyone has any good recommendations?

With regards to external SSDs, i.e. Samsung T5; what's the difference between this and an internal one? How does it compare to the EVO 860? The all-in-one and plug-and-play nature of the T5 is quite appealing.
Without having the benchmarks...I would agree. On a tight budget, USB 3.1 is alot of bang for the buck.

I too would grab the case Fisherman linked to. Rugged, should be easy to swap drives, and future proof (resistant) with the USB C port. The power supply is nice, though I can't imagine any SSD ever needing it. Looks like the 2.5" version of this....and their stuff has been good. Often gets rebranded and sold other other names.