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mossme89

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 2, 2009
596
131
Have a Mid-2014 MBP which is great except it has a 250GB SSD and I'm always running out of space. So I'm looking for external storage to use for my Final Cut libraries (which can get quite big and use up all my space). Also for Parallels VMs. I want something fast enough to run the VMs off of.

So what are my options? Should I be looking at Thunderbolt 2 devices or USB 3.0? I get that Thunderbolt has a higher maximum speed but since hard disks are limited by the physical spinning to around 250MB/s and flash memory tops out around 600 MB/s, idk if it's worth it.

My SSD reads/writes at 550MB/s or so. If I can get 300MB/s out of an external drive, I will be happy.

Storage size should be at least 500 GB.
 

New_Mac_Smell

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2016
1,931
1,552
Shanghai
If price is the concern then go with USB-3. TB is by all means faster but it's geared towards professional use, for most people the increase in speed is not worth it. A Samsung T5 would do nicely for you https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-T5-Portable-SSD-MU-PA1T0B/dp/B073H552FJ, that'll be one of the best speed/price and suitable for backups or external storage. If you are running apps or OS from it then a TB is usually a better option. If that's still a little higher then you should be able to get a Samsung T3 for a better price.
 

mossme89

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 2, 2009
596
131
If price is the concern then go with USB-3. TB is by all means faster but it's geared towards professional use, for most people the increase in speed is not worth it. A Samsung T5 would do nicely for you https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-T5-Portable-SSD-MU-PA1T0B/dp/B073H552FJ, that'll be one of the best speed/price and suitable for backups or external storage. If you are running apps or OS from it then a TB is usually a better option. If that's still a little higher then you should be able to get a Samsung T3 for a better price.
Nice. So if that gets 450MB/s or so in real-world usage on USB 3.1 (which has a 1250 MB/s max), what speeds might I get using USB 3.0 (650 MB/s max)? I'm sure it'll be less because of overhead, just not sure how much less.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,308
12,433
Samsung t5 -- quick easy solution.

Should give you reads of at least 430mbps, and writes 300-350mbps.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,729
2,153
To be honest in most use cases sustained read/write speeds mean very little it is the complete lack of head seek time and huge IOPs that make SSD’s so good compared to an HDD.

Yeah a T5 or T3 is the easiest solution, but any usb 3 connected external ssd will be absolutely fine for all your needs.
 

satinsilverem2

macrumors 6502a
Nov 12, 2013
930
454
Richmond, VA
Im also looking for more space for editing as my OWC Elite Pro Dual TB is almost full (4TB). Im leaning towards either the WD My Book duo which will do 320-360 MB/s in RAID 0 or a WD My Book Pro and that will do around around the same but with faster drives and it utilizes a TB 2 connection. For smaller projects that are under 500GB I use a 500GB 850 EVO in a Satechi 3.1 gen 2 enclosure that gives me right at 500MB/s read and write.

My Book Duo
https://www.amazon.com/Western-Digi...F8&qid=1511801352&sr=8-1&keywords=my+book+duo

My Book Pro
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YY3XHTA/ref=twister_B00ZCS42ZE?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
 
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ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,158
Nice. So if that gets 450MB/s or so in real-world usage on USB 3.1 (which has a 1250 MB/s max), what speeds might I get using USB 3.0 (650 MB/s max)? I'm sure it'll be less because of overhead, just not sure how much less.

With USB 3.1 gen 1 (which is what your computer supports), 375-425 MB/s is a pretty reasonable expectation for a good SSD like the Samsung 850 EVO or T5 IMO. (The T5 will benchmark closer to 500-ish MB/s when using a USB 3.1 gen 2 connection.) This will run a VM like a champ. With that said, IMO these products shine the most when copying many smaller files.

Another option is upgrading the internal SSD.
 

mossme89

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 2, 2009
596
131
I wanted to update. I got a T5 which is awesome. It's smaller than a credit card in size, which I did not expect and was pleasantly surprised by. Considering it's marketed as an "external SSD" I expected it to be the size of a 2.5" SSD drive. It's the size of a pack of gum.

I have it partitioned as 200GB APFS and 300GB NTFS.

Speed is pretty stinkin good over USB 3.0.

uN7L7SQ.png


Thank you all for the recommendation. Very happy with the purchase. I've moved my Final Cut libraries over to it and noticed no real-world drop in performance.
 

jerryk

macrumors 604
Nov 3, 2011
7,418
4,206
SF Bay Area
I wanted to update. I got a T5 which is awesome. It's smaller than a credit card in size, which I did not expect and was pleasantly surprised by. Considering it's marketed as an "external SSD" I expected it to be the size of a 2.5" SSD drive. It's the size of a pack of gum.

Any SSD is built on chip packages. They arrange them on a board in a way that works best for the need. They arrange the ones in a 2 1/2 drive to fit in that package so you can screw them into the 2 1/2 disk mount. But, they really don't need all that space, so that is why the T3 and T5s are smaller. And the drive could be even smaller if not for the space required to the USB connector and associated circuitry. Good times in the drive space.

And glad the drive is working well for you. I love my T3 and T5s.
 
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ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,158
Any SSD is built on chip packages. They arrange them on a board in a way that works best for the need. They arrange the ones in a 2 1/2 drive to fit in that package so you can screw them into the 2 1/2 disk mount. But, they really don't need all that space, so that is why the T3 and T5s are smaller. And the drive could be even smaller if not for the space required to the USB connector and associated circuitry. Good times in the drive space.

And glad the drive is working well for you. I love my T3 and T5s.

To elaborate on that, here's what 3D NAND has done for us

DSC06202.JPG


With earlier planar NAND (that used a larger manufacturing process as well), there literally was not sufficient room inside the 2.5-inch internal enclosure casings to even get to higher capacities. It's amazing how rapidly this occurred. Samsung is now fitting 16 TB inside what, like 5 years ago, may have held 1 TB!!!

https://www.pcper.com/reviews/Stora...d-RAPID-Review-VNAND-Goes-TLC/Internals-Testi
 

mossme89

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 2, 2009
596
131
To elaborate on that, here's what 3D NAND has done for us

DSC06202.JPG


With earlier planar NAND (that used a larger manufacturing process as well), there literally was not sufficient room inside the 2.5-inch internal enclosure casings to even get to higher capacities. It's amazing how rapidly this occurred. Samsung is now fitting 16 TB inside what, like 5 years ago, may have held 1 TB!!!

https://www.pcper.com/reviews/Stora...d-RAPID-Review-VNAND-Goes-TLC/Internals-Testi
It seems like the line between external hard drive (SSD) and flash drive is blurring. Soon all external SSD's will be the size of flash drives.
 

maerz001

macrumors 68020
Nov 2, 2010
2,396
2,284
To elaborate on that, here's what 3D NAND has done for us

DSC06202.JPG


With earlier planar NAND (that used a larger manufacturing process as well), there literally was not sufficient room inside the 2.5-inch internal enclosure casings to even get to higher capacities. It's amazing how rapidly this occurred. Samsung is now fitting 16 TB inside what, like 5 years ago, may have held 1 TB!!!

https://www.pcper.com/reviews/Stora...d-RAPID-Review-VNAND-Goes-TLC/Internals-Testi
Reminds me of this fake SSDs from china :)

00f63d6s.jpg
 

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,158
It seems like the line between external hard drive (SSD) and flash drive is blurring. Soon all external SSD's will be the size of flash drives.

[Disclaimer - I am far from an expert in this field.]

In some ways, I think the line is blurring in that the physical space required to house the NAND has decreased so much...but what still tends to differentiate flash drives and SSDs (beyond the NAND quality) is the controller itself. IMO there is more variance among USB flash drives than there is SATA SSDs.

I've noticed that most flash drives are characterized by relatively good read speeds and fair-to-not-good write speeds. Generally, their random write speeds are where they seem to suffer the most, with many being absolutely pathetic.

This is a mid-level SanDisk with reasonably good performance for an average flash drive:
Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 8.03.29 PM.jpg

There are a few exceptions, such as the Corsair Voyager GTX flash drive, which uses a combination of MLC NAND and an actual SSD controller. Consequently, it is much larger than most flash drives, can produce more heat during intensive usage, and is more expensive. (It will outperform some very low end SSDs.)

This is the Voyager GTX:
(it's not a completely fair comparison considering the Corsair is 256 GB but the SanDisk only 128)
Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 7.47.34 PM.jpg

The real-world differences between the two above flash drives corresponding to the benchmarks are striking...at least to me and for my own usage. In my own data transfer test, the Corsair completes the test in about 1/8th the time of the SanDisk. Compared to some lower end flash drives, the difference can be even greater.
 
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leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,171
18,997
I am using a T5 to with a bootable Windows installation for occasional gaming, the performance is very good. Its a really nice little drive :)
 

mossme89

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 2, 2009
596
131
The speed of the SSD actually has made me reconsider upgrading my internal SSD. My model is technically possible to upgrade the SSD but you need a professional to do it because it’s soldered and that’s expensive.

I don’t notice much of a speed difference between my internal and external SSD’s.

Now the only thing to do is find a good case. I don’t think they make any cases with little pouches to put attached USB devices in, do they?
[doublepost=1513469013][/doublepost]
I am using a T5 to with a bootable Windows installation for occasional gaming, the performance is very good. Its a really nice little drive :)
Random question but have you noticed the fans working super hard & the macbook getting hit on Bootcamp Windows?

My 2008 unibody and my 2011 i7 MBP’s had this issue where i guess the drivers weren’t that good for Bootcamp, but the fans would always be at 100% and it would get HOT. And of course the battery life would be crap because of this. I wonder if Apple has fixed this.
 

mossme89

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 2, 2009
596
131
I just want to post an update. The little drive still working awesome. I move my VM‘s to it, which were taking up a lot of space. They run very smoothly, with no difference between the usb drive and my internal SSD in performance.


I am still very happy with my purchase, although I do wish I got the terabyte instead of the 500. So I would highly recommend this to anyone running low on space, instead of a costly internal update.
 
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