External Thunderbolt enclosure

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 14, 2010
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Australia
Hi All,

I was wondering if anyone could help me out here. Anyone know where I can buy an inexpensive external thunderbolt HD enclosure...

I'm looking to upgrade a family member's 2011 iMac and a family friend's 2011 Mac Mini to an SSD, but I don't want to open either up at the risk of breaking someone else's computer (If it was my own I'd probably do it :p). So I want to buy a 128GB (inexpensive) SSD and put it into an also cheap external enclosure to use as the boot drive. However I can't seem to find an empty external thunderbolt enclosure, other than hugely expensive multi disk ones. Do these things exist at all?
 

Truefan31

macrumors 68040
Aug 25, 2012
3,416
657
I use a seagate thunderbolt adapter on my 2013 iMac with a 512 crucial m100 ssd as a boot drive. Works great, average around 400 mb

When I bought it from bhphoto it was like 80 bucks. For whatever reason it's like 180 now. U can get it cheaper on eBay.

One thing I'm interested in is the western digital raid thunderbolt 4 Tb drive. Integrated Tb cable and u can run it either in raid 0 or 1. Doing it in 1 means 2 tb drive with the other 2tb as a backup. Nice idea for a boot drive. I think the speeds are only around 250 mb but it's still way faster than a mechanical drive.

 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 14, 2010
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So hang on... How does the seagate thunderbolt adapter work??? What is it? an enclosure? What have you got the crucial SSD in?
 

Truefan31

macrumors 68040
Aug 25, 2012
3,416
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I put my ssd in this




It locks into the Tb adapter. I have it on a twelvesouth shelf behind my iMac out of sight. Been working flawlessly about 2 years straight now. I'm actually thinking of swapping out the 512 gb for a 1 Tb.
 

matreya

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,286
127
Hi All,

I was wondering if anyone could help me out here. Anyone know where I can buy an inexpensive external thunderbolt HD enclosure...

I'm looking to upgrade a family member's 2011 iMac and a family friend's 2011 Mac Mini to an SSD, but I don't want to open either up at the risk of breaking someone else's computer (If it was my own I'd probably do it :p). So I want to buy a 128GB (inexpensive) SSD and put it into an also cheap external enclosure to use as the boot drive. However I can't seem to find an empty external thunderbolt enclosure, other than hugely expensive multi disk ones. Do these things exist at all?
You're not going to find an inexpensive external thunderbolt hd enclosure, simply because Intel are the ones that make the chipsets, and they set the prices.

SO you have the option of buying something like this, and pulling the HDD out and replacing it with an SSD (which I have done twice for 2 different macs):

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MOTGTBH5T1.0/

or

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Lacie/9000490/
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 14, 2010
4,292
5,692
Australia
You're not going to find an inexpensive external thunderbolt hd enclosure, simply because Intel are the ones that make the chipsets, and they set the prices.

SO you have the option of buying something like this, and pulling the HDD out and replacing it with an SSD (which I have done twice for 2 different macs):

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MOTGTBH5T1.0/

or

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Lacie/9000490/
I've considered that but I got a bit nervous :/ How come OWC don't make that one without the internal drive.. surely it would cost less without the drive???
 

Truefan31

macrumors 68040
Aug 25, 2012
3,416
657

matreya

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,286
127
I've considered that but I got a bit nervous :/ How come OWC don't make that one without the internal drive.. surely it would cost less without the drive???
It's a shame that OWC doesn't sell it without the hdd - it's easy to remove the hdd and install an ssd. 6 simple philips head screws.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,170
5,529
oldmacs asked the question:
"I was wondering if anyone could help me out here. Anyone know where I can buy an inexpensive external thunderbolt HD enclosure... "

Answer:
There AREN'T any "inexpensive" external thunderbolt enclosures.

Suggestion:
Unless you have a mission-critical reason why you absolutely need thunderbolt, go for USB3 instead. MUCH cheaper, and nearly just as fast...
 

matreya

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,286
127
Suggestion:
Unless you have a mission-critical reason why you absolutely need thunderbolt, go for USB3 instead. MUCH cheaper, and nearly just as fast...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think a 2011 mac mini and imac have USB3...

That said, people have been reporting problems with USB connected drives on various Macs since 10.9.5 (there's a large number of threads on apple's discussion fora about this issue)

For a system drive, I would stick with Thunderbolt.
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 14, 2010
4,292
5,692
Australia
oldmacs asked the question:
"I was wondering if anyone could help me out here. Anyone know where I can buy an inexpensive external thunderbolt HD enclosure... "

Answer:
There AREN'T any "inexpensive" external thunderbolt enclosures.

Suggestion:
Unless you have a mission-critical reason why you absolutely need thunderbolt, go for USB3 instead. MUCH cheaper, and nearly just as fast...
Unfortunately neither the 2011 iMac or 2011 Mac Mini feature USB 3.0 ports :/
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,170
5,529
oldmacs wrote above:
"Unfortunately neither the 2011 iMac or 2011 Mac Mini feature USB 3.0 ports :/"

Oops, oversight on my part.

You might consider something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/MiniPro-FireWire-External-Aluminum-Enclosure/dp/B00655YT9C/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1438873951&sr=8-2&keywords=oyen+usb3+firewire+enclosure

Has -both- USB3 -and- firewire800.

Do you have a firewire port on the iMac?

This will not be "as fast" as USB3, but it will give you a decent connection for now, and will have USB3 available for the next computer you get...
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 14, 2010
4,292
5,692
Australia
oldmacs wrote above:
"Unfortunately neither the 2011 iMac or 2011 Mac Mini feature USB 3.0 ports :/"

Oops, oversight on my part.

You might consider something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/MiniPro-FireWire-External-Aluminum-Enclosure/dp/B00655YT9C/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1438873951&sr=8-2&keywords=oyen+usb3+firewire+enclosure

Has -both- USB3 -and- firewire800.

Do you have a firewire port on the iMac?

This will not be "as fast" as USB3, but it will give you a decent connection for now, and will have USB3 available for the next computer you get...
I've thought about adaptors but so many have poor reviews and are expensive. Also the iMac and Mac Mini are both going to be in use for a while yet as neither are my own Mac....

Firewire is a good suggestion, but will there actually be any speed improvement?
 

MrX8503

macrumors 68020
Sep 19, 2010
2,269
1,571
This is what I have and it's the best you'll get.
http://www.amazon.com/Akitio-Neutrino-Thunderbolt-128GB-Transfers/dp/B00DCAYYSE/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1438922082&sr=8-8&keywords=akitio+thunderbolt

Key Features
1. Cheaper than most single thunderbolt enclosures
2. Bus power
3. Can power 512GB drives (seagate adapter is known to kill drives due to not providing enough power)
4. Includes thunderbolt cable
5. Isn't driveless, but at least it includes an SSD
6. Fastest write speeds you'll get in a bus powered thunderbolt enclosure
 

thedeske

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2013
963
58
This is what I have and it's the best you'll get.
http://www.amazon.com/Akitio-Neutrino-Thunderbolt-128GB-Transfers/dp/B00DCAYYSE/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1438922082&sr=8-8&keywords=akitio+thunderbolt

Key Features
1. Cheaper than most single thunderbolt enclosures
2. Bus power
3. Can power 512GB drives (seagate adapter is known to kill drives due to not providing enough power)
4. Includes thunderbolt cable
5. Isn't driveless, but at least it includes an SSD
6. Fastest write speeds you'll get in a bus powered thunderbolt enclosure
Not bad for a thunderbold enclosure. The original retail is funny - over 500!
 

Truefan31

macrumors 68040
Aug 25, 2012
3,416
657
This is what I have and it's the best you'll get.
http://www.amazon.com/Akitio-Neutrino-Thunderbolt-128GB-Transfers/dp/B00DCAYYSE/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1438922082&sr=8-8&keywords=akitio+thunderbolt

Key Features
1. Cheaper than most single thunderbolt enclosures
2. Bus power
3. Can power 512GB drives (seagate adapter is known to kill drives due to not providing enough power)
4. Includes thunderbolt cable
5. Isn't driveless, but at least it includes an SSD
6. Fastest write speeds you'll get in a bus powered thunderbolt enclosure
Interesting. My seagate adapter has been fine but I'd like to upgrade to 1 tb. This may be an option.
 

Ray2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
622
105
Is the 2011 mini so much more difficult than a 2010? I've done several hdd/ssd swaps in 2010's and it's quite simple. Lot's to remove but none of its difficult. All you need is an AdaptaDrive.