External Thunderbolt 2 SSD enclosure?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MythicFrost, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    Is there an external Thunderbolt 2 SSD enclosure that can be purchased? i.e., without a drive. I've been looking around, and I haven't found any. I did see a rugged lacie SSD which looked pretty good, but I'd rather choose my SSD -- I also heard that LaCiE works well with bootcamp, too.

    Appreciate any help
     
  2. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #2
    I'm in the same boat. Would like an external Thunderbolt 2 SSD enclosure that gives great transfer speeds.
     
  3. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #3
    For a single SATA SSD, Thunderbolt2 won't be any faster.

    You should look for PCIe or dual SSD to experience "faster".
     
  4. MythicFrost thread starter macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    Australia
    #4
    Faster in what regard? I'm thinking of random read writes, not sequential speeds.
     
  5. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Location:
    Poole, England
    #5
    There is no SATA based SSD that will be bottlenecked by Thunderbolt 1 when it comes to random reads and writes

    There is no SATA based SSD that will be bottlenecked by Thunderbolt 1 when it comes to sequential reads and writes, unless you put two of them in RAID 0 and even then, the bottleneck will be minimal.
     
  6. bob5k macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    #6
    For normal usage, latency is far more important than sustained reads or writes. Sure, for copy operations sustained speeds are nice but if you put apps or other randomly accessed data on the disk - for example games or windows apps you dont want to keep on your main, internal flash drive - then latency is a big factor. From what I read USB3 is a lot improved than USB2 due to its bidirectional setup, but still has 5-20ms latency on I/O. Not noticable much with spinning disk but very much noticable with SSD.

    I too wonder, with iMac5K being the first Mac as main computer for me, whether a Thunderbolt enclosure will be faster than plain USB3 for offloading apps and some other binaries such as VMs on an external SSD.
     
  7. MythicFrost thread starter macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    Australia
    #7
    Ah awesome, that's what I wanted to hear.
    So does Thunderbolt have good latencies?
     
  8. bob5k macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    #8
    That's what I'd like to know too, maybe I wasn't clear :)
    Is the difference between USB3 and Thunderbolt noticable with quick SSDs?
     
  9. theSeb, Oct 21, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014

    theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #9
    Yes, it does. Also, Thunderbolt (1 and 2) supports SATA NCQ, which USB 3 historically has not. This is fixed with USB 3 UASP enclosures, but... (editing this after some reading since I was unsure if the iMac supports USB3 UASP and it looks like every Mac with USB 3 supports UASP)

    You can read about USB 3 UASP here
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/usb-3-uas-turbo,review-32467-4.html

    Anyway, the difference between the same drive in a normal USB 3 enclosure and in a Thunderbolt enclosure is there, even with a 7200 RPM mechanical hard drive, especially when copying multiple files. But I am pretty sure that the tom's hardware review that proved this did not use a UASP USB 3 enclosure, as I don't think they were available yet. I'll look for the article again to double check.

    Having said all of that, in the quest for fastest and best, people forget the most important thing:

    In real life and in typical use, a normal user would not see the difference between an SSD in a Thunderbolt enclosure, an SSD in a USB 3 enclosure or an SSD in a USB 3 enclosure with UASP. A typical user would also not see the difference between a "fast and expensive SSD" and a "slow and cheap SSD", unless your typical use includes running artificial benchmark tests to check your drive speeds all day ;)

    Final comment: if you wish to check if UASP is working, then connect the USB 3 enclosure, open the terminal and type in

    Code:
    ioreg | grep  IOUSBAttachedSCSI
    If you get nothing back, then UASP is not supported by the Mac, or the enclosure, or both. If it is supported then, you'll see something similar to this

    Code:
        | | | |       +-o IOUSBAttachedSCSI  <class IOUSBAttachedSCSI, id 0x100003187, registered, matched, active, busy 0 (2504 ms), retain 9>
     
  10. MythicFrost thread starter macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #10
    Appreciate the info...!
     
  11. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    #12
    Correct - starting with the mid 2012 portables & late 2012 iMac

    ASmedia chipped externals were rare until mid 2013 (Caldig had one)
     
  12. FireWire2 macrumors 6502

    FireWire2

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    Oct 12, 2008
    #13

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