Fast external SSD and enclosure?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Loa, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. Loa, Jul 30, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019

    Loa macrumors 68000

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm going to switch from a 2009 Mac Pro to a (2019) iMac soon and I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to manage my disk space. The easy part is that I'm going to be using a 4 drive enclosure (on USB) for my big spinning drives.

    I'm going to have a 1TB SSD in the iMac, but I'd also like additional fast external storage. And this is where I'm getting lost with all the options available.

    What would be a cheap system (specific drive and enclosure, on USB 3.1) for 1 or 2 TB? I'd like the speeds to be at least 1500MB/s.

    Thanks.
     
  2. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #4
    It will work. But not at your desired speed. The enclosure you cited on Amazon shows a 10Gbps speed - a theoretical 1000MBps.

    You want something like this: https://www.newegg.com/p/0D9-0009-006T4

    ...which includes 1TB Samsung and is only $100 more for the NVME cited above. Yes, it's from China, but the official Samsung device is somewhat pricier.

    If you can live with USB 3.1 10Gbps, you could save some money.
     
  3. Loa thread starter macrumors 68000

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #5
    Always that balance: speed and price! :)

    Thanks for the info. I'm not sure the extra speed is worth the price.
     
  4. ruslan120 macrumors 6502

    ruslan120

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    #6
    +1 for building it yourself.

    If Thunderbolt 3 enclosure prices come down (which they should when USB 4 comes out, which is essentially TB3 (I'm pretty sure)) then you can swap the 970 into the new enclosure and get fast Reads and Writes (~2GB/s).
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    1500mpbs???
    Thunderbolt3 is the only way you're gonna get that.
    That would take a Samsung X5.
    They are VERY fast, but also pricey.

    950mbps???
    If you can live with that, then do this:
    1. Get a USB3.1 gen2 enclosure (accepts ONLY nvme type blade SSDs)
    2. Get an nvme blade SSD (MUST be nvme, NOTHING else will fit)
    3. Put it together yourself.
     
  6. Loa thread starter macrumors 68000

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
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    #8
    So my combo on post #3 would work then.
     
  7. ruslan120 macrumors 6502

    ruslan120

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    #9
    https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-SB-R...ent+ssd+256gb&qid=1564595292&s=gateway&sr=8-3

    Currently running this with a 2TB Samsung Evo 970. $60 for a 256GB SSD included with the enclosure vs. $40 for the enclosure, only. The extra 256GB SSD for $20 was worth voiding the warranty.

    + the included thermal pad, the enclosure gets warm to the touch which means it does its job of cooling the SSD well
    + Sponsored by Sabrent*

    * I wish.
     
  8. MrTk, Jul 31, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019

    MrTk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2013
    #10
    So could you guys help me understand something?

    I'm JUST about to buy a 2019 27" with 1 TB SSD. I believe I can store nearly everything I have on that 1TB; however, I would like to start processing family movies (i.e. converting from MiniDV Sony into iMovie then clip, fix and export onto drives to give to my kids, etc). That would mean needing 500GB or 1TB of space to import the converted movies to and work with them.

    I'm trying to understand if USB 3.1 would be fast enough to have my movies on that external drive. Keep in mind, I'm still used to slow USB 1.1, etc for backup and other purposes as it is a joke, as we all know.

    This is LONG and poor way of saying how much of a difference in iMovie performance would I see between USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3, if any?
     
  9. wardie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    #11
    No if your definition of “work” means >1500MB/s as you stated. You’ll need to be using a (more expensive) T3 enclosure with NVMe / T3 all-in-one-drive for that not a USB3.1 gen 2 interface. You can get well over 2GB/s with T3. But of course whether that matters to you depends on use case etc. (As opposed to random R/W speeds).
     
  10. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #12
    Yes. Just with a max speed of 1000MB.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 31, 2019, Original Post Date: Jul 31, 2019 ---
    In a word: huge.

    There are a couple of ways to approach this, but any recent SSD in an external USB 3.1 enclosure will deliver acceptable performance for light editing such as home movies.
    Editing on a USB 1.1 drive would be painful. Still, you could transfer to the internal drive, do the edits and export, and then transfer the final product back.
     
  11. mikehalloran, Jul 31, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019

    mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #13
    A 2009?

    There is no fast option for an external drive. Early or late, your only bus is USB 2. A 7200 rpm HDD is just as fast as any SSD for file transfer though an SSD would boot more quickly.

    Your only choice is to install an SSD internally on one of the two SATA II buses (the HDD or optical drive). Period. That’s it.

    These are very easy to install. An early 2009 takes longer than a late 2009 to install unless also replacing the NV RAM battery which is highly recommended — he a CR2032. In that case, the late 2009 motherboard has to be pulled to replace the battery (mounted on the front with an early 2009).

    Average labor charge $75 though it is an easy DIY. No temp sensor to buy.
     
  12. Loa thread starter macrumors 68000

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #14
    Ok. New combo (looking for best prices here in Canada):

    Sabrent 1TB NVME drive (170$ CAD)
    https://www.amazon.ca/Sabrent-Rocke...nt+rocket+pro&qid=1564602619&s=gateway&sr=8-4

    in the enclosure listed in post #3 (50$ CAD)

    So for 220$ CAD, I'd get a ~900MB/s 1TB USB 3.1 drive?

    Seems like a very nice deal (especially compared to what Apple charges for their own 1TB drive!).

    New questions:

    1) would this drive be bootable (in case of emergency, let's say) on a new iMac running 10.14 / 10.15?
    2) would this drive work and/or be bootable on a 2015 MacBook Pro running 10.14 / 10.15?

    Thanks!
    --- Post Merged, Jul 31, 2019 ---
    Switching from a 2009 MP to a 2019 iMac...
     
  13. ruslan120 macrumors 6502

    ruslan120

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    #15
    1. Yes over USB C
    2. Yes over USB 3.0

    The Sabrents come with a cable that does both so you’re good on the front :) I think they’re cheaper than the 970’s because even though they’re both NVMe, the Samsungs have faster flash chips and faster controllers. I would guess the Sabrents max our around 800MB’s even on TB3.
     
  14. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #16
    A 2009 MP, like mine, is perfectly capable of faster that SATA 2. A $30 PCIe USB3 card connects my external devices.

    But I believe the OP was asking about a drive/enclosure he could connect to a a (presumably newer) iMac.
     
  15. mikehalloran, Jul 31, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019

    mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    #17
    I missed the Mac Pro part — this being the iMac board.

    External for that 2009 is fast only over NVMe mounted on a PCIe card inside (inexpensive) or eSATA externally in a PCIe /TB housing — Not cheap!

    NVMe based drive is fast only over Thunderbolt 2 for a 2015 MBP. Anyone priced one lately? Spoiler alert — you aren’t going to like it.

    I don’t know of any housing for an NVMe blade that works for both.

    With a SATA III SSD, that’s different. You can get an eSATA/USB3 dock or housing under $40 that would work on either — or just go USB 3. Speed is not an issue as the SSD is slower than SATA or USB 3. The reason to consider eSATA for the MP is that you can enable TRIM, not supported over USB anything on a Mac.
     
  16. Loa thread starter macrumors 68000

    Loa

    Joined:
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    #18
    Great! That's really a lot less expensive than I feared.
     
  17. Loa thread starter macrumors 68000

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
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    #19
    Could you tell me the model of that card?
     
  18. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #20
    OP wrote:
    "So my combo on post #3 would work then."

    It would work, yes.
    BUT... spending extra for the high-speed Samsung will be a considerable waste of $$$, because the USB3.1 gen2 enclosure is limited to a maximum of 1000mbps.

    I'm in the process of putting together a "USB3.1 gen2" drive myself. I have the enclosure and just ordered the drive yesterday.

    The enclosures (USB3.1 gen2 that accepts an nvme drive) seem to be all the same in terms of the speeds they can output. Again, the "speed limit" is 1000mbps.

    nvme drives, however, can vary somewhat.
    The fastest (like the Samsung) are considerably more expensive, and again, they will give NO "performance benefit" for the higher price in a USB3.1 gen2 enclosure.

    I "bought for price".
    I picked a 500gb Crucial nvme SSD:
    https://www.amazon.com/Crucial-500G...+nvme+m.2&qid=1550413985&s=electronics&sr=1-6

    Just $60 and it should "do the job" nicely.
     
  19. kohlson, Aug 1, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019

    kohlson macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #21
    Inateck KT-4004
    For occasional use, it suits me fine. More demanding use? Consider the models recommended in the USB3 PCIe card sticky in the Mac Pro forum. They're not a lot more.

    To add to @Fishrrman 's good advice, there are several NVME SSDs that can do the job for less than the Samsung. Samsung makes top-of-the-line products in terms of performance and reliability. But if you want something that's good/less expensive and will still max out a 1000MBps interface (USB3.1), you may also want to consider the HP EX920 (which I use and like) or an Inland Pro model. Both of these are mentioned in the NVME sticky on the Mac Pro forum.
     
  20. TVreporter macrumors 6502

    TVreporter

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    Mar 11, 2012
    Location:
    Near Toronto
    #22
    Nice find - what enclosure are you using
     
  21. Loa thread starter macrumors 68000

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #23
    Since I abandoned the thought of faster than 1000MB/s, I've also been looking around for "slower" drives. The cheapest 2TB I found was a Intel 660p M.2 2280 2TB NVMe.

    From what I could gather, it's the cheapest 2TB m.2 drive I can find. It should work, right?
     
  22. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #24
    It should work.
    toms hardware.com has an excellent reviewer's guide, as does anandtech.com. The Intel 660has its pros and cons, like all others. But as an external device with relatively light use, should be fine.
     
  23. TVreporter, Aug 7, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019

    TVreporter macrumors 6502

    TVreporter

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Location:
    Near Toronto
    #25
    Can you tell us what enclosure you are using? Is it successful? Saw a review of the SSD and said it wasn’t compatible with Mojave
     

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27 July 30, 2019