OWC Neptune SSD

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by chiefsilverback, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. chiefsilverback macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2011
    I want to put a 500GB SSD in a USB3.0 enclosure to use as a 'high speed' volume for my Photos library. I was planning on an OWC Mercury Elite Pro and an Electra 6G SSD, when I noticed their $70 cheaper Neptune drive. I asked their live chat what the differences are between the two SSDs and they told me that the firmware in the Neptune is designed for internal use and is not reliable in an external enclosure.

    Does that sound right? Surely a drive is completely agnostic to where it's installed. Has anyone got any experience using the Neptune SSD in an external enclosure?
  2. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    That sounds a little funny to me. Historically, I've noticed that cheaper SSDs are generally offered by using lower tier NAND, NAND that is more cost efficient based on newer generational advancements, less expensive casing materials, and/or less expensive controllers. My guess would be that the Electra uses MLC NAND where as the Neptune uses TLC.

    IIRC, the Electra still uses the far inferior SandForce controller. It is priced almost as high as the Samsung 850 PRO (the benchmark of all SATA SSDs) - and it isn't just that the 850 PRO is better, but it is comically better in every possible way. I would considering something else over the Electra because of its pricing relative to what you get. YMMV.
  3. chiefsilverback thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2011
    Right now the 500GB Electra 6G is $220 whilst the Samsung is $150. The 240GB Electra 6G Pro is $250ish I think. I was actually looking at the 850 PRO as an alternative.
  4. ZapNZs, Sep 20, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    The $150 pricing is probably on the 850 EVO, as the 500 GB 850 PRO tends to sell around $225-240. The EVO is 3D TLC NAND, where as the PRO is 3D MLC NAND. Both are outstanding drives with insanely high write endurance limits and the best working speeds in the industry. I'd take either over any of the OWC offerings in a heartbeat, personally.

    The SanDisk Extreme PRO is another class-leading MLC SSD that, while recently discontinued, can still sometimes be found from retailers. I use these and the 850 PROs extensively and am very satisfied with how they hold up. Both have 10 year warranties, which I consider to be a nice benefit considering I am still using some SSDs from 2010, so a 10 year service life with these drives for me isn't out of the question.
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    IMO, I have read plenty of tech reviews of SATA III SSDs. I've installed plenty of SSDs in enclosures, PCs and Mac Minis. My opinion is to install a Samsung 850 Pro in a PC/Mac when that SSD will be the OS drive - they're in all 9 of my 2012 Mini Servers now, and to install an 850 EVO for storage-related options. I've installed 850 EVO drives in my RAID 0 video ingest servers and my cheap external enclosures - too many tech rags have offered something like "why use any other SSD?" when comparing an SSD to an 850 EVO. The EVO has been on sale lately pretty much everywhere, likely because Samsung will be offering a NAND upgrade (like the T3-to-T5 update).

    In the vein of what ZapNZs offered, the 850 Pro is IMO the best OS-based SATA III SSD - but I bought mine before the market spiked - and the EVO is IMO the best storage-focused SATA III SSD, period. Putting more money into a Pro over an EVO for a non-OS option is a waste of money, this coming from a 850 Pro user (they're in all 9 of my work Mini Servers and all of my company's PCs - as the OS drive) who gets a deal from my storage vendor on HD and SSD units.

    My last 850 EVO setups were 500GB drives bought from Best Buy (same prices as Amazon and B&H Photo) @$140 and installed in $15 VANTEC NexStar USB 3.1 Gen2 enclosures purchase from Fry's. Speedy, cheap, fairly rugged options. QED. I'd buy this combo again if I need more storage options, in a heartbeat. Don't spend more on an 850 Pro, if you're not going to use that SSD in a computer - I paid between $165 and $179 on my 512GB Pro SSDs earlier this year, before the spike in prices earlier this year.
  6. chiefsilverback thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2011
    It was the EVO at the $150 price.

    I decided to grab a 500GB EVO and a $10 Sabrent enclosure. Once OWC update their single drive Mercury Elite Pro enclosure to support USB3.1 I'll drop the cash on one, as they do look nice in a row on my desk!

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5 September 20, 2017