MBP external enclosure/drive speed question...

JXMX

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 27, 2019
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I have an early 2015 MBP, it has thunderbolt 2 (20 Gbps) and USB 3 (5 Gpbs) ports. I have a 2.5" ssd drive that I'd like to put into an external enclosure for use with this MBP. Where is the speed bottleneck? would a USB 3 enclosure be okay, or am losing speed by not taking advantage of the thunderbolt connection?

And any enclosures that you like?

thank you.
 

JXMX

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 27, 2019
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Thanks, it’s currently mounted in a 2011 MBP and I just ran BlackMagic... and it’s pretty darn slow.
 

JXMX

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 27, 2019
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I don’t think it was that fast. It’s a Samsung 840. I guess the speed may be hindered by the 2011 MBP. I can check again tomorrow and let you know.
 

junkw

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2010
267
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googled it, seems that some MBP 2011 were 3GB/s so yeah it's would be slower
and I did not verify if the cpu had AES-NI instructions, so it would be slower if filevault is enabled on the drive
- - Post merged: - -

I don't think buying a TB2 enclosure would be viable so i guess your only option would be to buy a macbook with USB-C port and a USB-C enclosure with a NVME drive inside
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,614
5,754
You need a USB3 enclosure that supports "UASP" (USB attached SCSI protocol).
Most all of them sold now have this, or at least claim to have it.

With an enclosure that supports UASP, a 2.5" SATA SSD should give you reads around 430MBps and writes in the 330-350MBps range.

Here's one that looks like it could do the job:
https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-Tool-free-Enclosure-Optimized-EC-UASP/dp/B00OJ3UJ2S/ref=sr_1_2?crid=366AR3NBGLG1H&keywords=sabrent+usb3+enclosure&qid=1575242866&sprefix=sabrent+usb3,aps,144&sr=8-2

Although nowhere near as fast as the internal SSD on a MBP, it will still be "quite snappy enough" for file storage, or even as a cloned bootable backup.
 

JXMX

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 27, 2019
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Yes FileVault is enabled. I wasn’t even considering that.

SCSI.. I haven't seen that acronym in awhile.

I have a Silicon Power NVMe 512Gb ssd arriving on Thursday for an early 2015 MBP (new to me that just arrived yesterday). Hoping that goes well. It seems to be in good shape and I was able to upgrade it to Catalina with no problems. So I'm hoping this plus the new drives will last for the next couple years.

Thanks for the links and other info too.
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 68030
Sep 19, 2012
2,786
1,353
I need a 4TB Thunderbolt 3 External. Anyone got any recs?
If SSD, do you need close to ~500MB/s or ~1000MB/s+?

Plenty of options for ~500MB/s and would consider a 2.5" SATA SSD in an enclosure for best cost or else the VectoTech is the popular recommendation for large capacity SSD. The Samsung T5 style should have a 4TB available next year.

At ~1000MB/s+, you're really looking at NVMe only. For 4TB, it would need to be 2x 2TB's or 4x 1TB's in a RAID until new 4TB models come out next year. (Most would be 4x 1TB's in RAID for 4TB at a decent cost.) Look at Highpoint RocketStor 6661A-NVMe (RS6661A-NVME), OWC Express 4M2 (TB3EX4M2SL), or Netstor Thunderbolt 3 Four-Slot (NA622TB3) for Thunderbolt-based. Something like the GLOTRENDS 2-Bay M.2 to USB C if you're looking for smaller (and cheaper) solutions via USB-C.
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 68030
Sep 19, 2012
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I need a 4TB Thunderbolt 3 External. Anyone got any recs?
Unsure about 100% macOS compatibility, but this 4TB NVMe is now shipping:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZQSDQDB

It is one of the only 4TB single NVMe blades available on the market right now. Put it into a single blade enclosure and you'd fulfill your requirements.

The Samsung X5 NVMe external 4TB model will not ship until next year (at the earliest).
 

junkw

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2010
267
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also depends on the sustained write speed.
some drives drop to low write speed after x GB transferred
 

Sirmausalot

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2007
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It's unlikely you could saturate a USB3 with an SSD and any normal file unless it is SSD RAID running some 8K footage or something.
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 68030
Sep 19, 2012
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I don't need super fast read/speeds, just enough for watching 1080p movies over TB3, and streaming FLAC audio.
You’re more than fine with the old standard USB 3 enclosures with a SATA based SSD for this. Unless using some really obscure codecs, you do not need TB3 for that bandwidth/usage.

An Orico adapter like this:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M08LCXW

With a SATA SSD like this:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0781Z7Y3S

Is probably about as cheap as you’re going to get for 4TB SSD.

Honestly, most regular spinning HDDs can handle this bandwidth for this need for a lot less cost.
 

mrjohnnyglass

macrumors member
Aug 4, 2012
98
87
You’re more than fine with the old standard USB 3 enclosures with a SATA based SSD for this. Unless using some really obscure codecs, you do not need TB3 for that bandwidth/usage.

An Orico adapter like this:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M08LCXW

With a SATA SSD like this:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0781Z7Y3S

Is probably about as cheap as you’re going to get for 4TB SSD.

Honestly, most regular spinning HDDs can handle this bandwidth for this need for a lot less cost.
I figured I'd be fine with a USB3 and a SSD, but if I'm spending the money, I'd rather not have a dongle. At least USB-C.