Nice Bus-Powered External Hard Drive Enclosures

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by cazzette, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. cazzette macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2013
    Hi all,

    Can anyone recommend any nice bus-powered external hard drive enclosures? I will supply my own hard drive. It needs to support USB 3.0. Having Firewire is a plus but not necessary. I'd love to get a clean aluminum enclosure. I don't mind paying a little bit more for a quality/solid enclosure.

    The closest thing I can find is OWC's Elite Pro Mini but their logo is conspicuous for me.


  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "Can anyone recommend any nice bus-powered external hard drive enclosures? I will supply my own hard drive."

    Just a word of warning…

    Whether a "bus-powered" enclosure can handle a given drive (that is to say, get it spinning and mounted on the desktop) is as much a factor of the drive as it is of the enclosure.

    An enclosure that may work with bus power for one drive, may NOT work with a different drive.

    In such cases, you may need either:
    1. A "Y-cable" to connect to two ports on the Mac to "boost" the bus power to a level sufficient to get the drive spinning and mounted, or
    2. An external power source (i.e., power block) and connecting cable.

    Just be aware of such things before you buy….
  3. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    I got this one for pretty cheap. It is an aluminum enclosure with a plastic end cap where the USB 3.0 plug is. Its worked great for me so far. You are probably going to have to spend more on a drive if you want it to match the mac styling. Depending on the price it may be cheaper to buy the OWC drive with a HDD already installed because the standalone enclosures are fairly expensive. To my knowledge OWC drives are legitimate.
  4. Giuly, Feb 6, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014

    Giuly macrumors 68040


  5. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
  6. Giuly macrumors 68040


    The LaCie Rugged disk has an internal SATA 3GBit/s connection, the Akitio is the only one with a SATA 6GBit/s chipset - according to Intel's list of certified Thunderbolt devices. And as USB 3.0 tops out at 5GBit/s, the Akitio is the fastest bus-powered 2.5" enclosure in existence.
  7. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003

    The current SSD version has 6Gbit connection. See specs at

    Best to check facts before making counter claims. :D

    Also, there is quite a bit of difference when looking at simply the interface speeds. See other reports here regarding benchmark performance of various SSD configurations.

    You are partially correct:
    USB 3.0 is 5Gbps
    SATA III is 6Gbps
    Thunderbolt is dual 10Gbps
  8. Giuly, Feb 7, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040


    Maybe that's the internal SSDs fault, though. But if you've seen benchmarks with an upgraded SSD in the Rugged disk, let me know.
  9. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    Post the Akitio using the Black Magic Design benchmark?
  10. TheBoojum macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2012
    Anecdotal - Akitio Neutrino Thunderbolt SSD 512GB

    My company bought me of these. It worked intermittently from the start and now (2 months) fails to mount altogether. I'm going through the support process to get a replacement.

    Note: we bought 4 of these at the same time. So we have a 25% failure rate.

    YMMV but I'm unhappy.
  11. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    The Oyen MiniPro seems to work pretty well for me on USB 3.0 (has ASMedia 1053e controller with UASP):

    You can get it in several configurations:,electronics,245

    I also like the LaCie "Rugged" with both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ... and it boots Windows on a Mac.
  12. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    I picked up one of these $22 2.5-Inch USB 3.0 External SATA III SSD Hard Drive Enclosure with UASP based on recommendations here a couple months ago. I put an SSD into it and even my most power challenged devices can easily power it and its blazing fast. Important to look for UASP in an enclosure.

    Not aluminum but is inconspicuous and has a solid quality feel.

    Wait, this thread is over a year old....

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