Resolved Question about External SSDs and Gaming

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by BigMcGuire, May 10, 2018.

  1. BigMcGuire, May 10, 2018
    Last edited: May 10, 2018

    BigMcGuire Contributor


    Jan 10, 2012
    I have a 500GB Samsung EVO 850 in a powered USB 3.1 adapter connected to my 2017 Macbook Pro via an Anker (link below) USB 3.1 to USB C adapter. According to BlackMagic Disk Speed Test I can get about 395mb/sec read/write. This of course is nowhere near the 1906 mb/sec write and 2603 mb/sec read of the internal SSD on my MacBook Pro.

    Do ya'll think that 395mb/sec write and 411mb/sec read is acceptable for most games? I'm not a serious gamer and used to be a WoW player back in the day (BC, WOTLK, CATA, etc...) so I don't mind a slight load delay difference.

    Seems like 395mb/sec is a bit slow too... USB 3.1 should be a bit faster, no? I noticed using a non powered USB 3.1 hd enclosure, I get like 250mb/sec read/write vs 395mb/sec.

    When I get home I'll try my other USB 3.1 to USB C adapters (AmazonBasics) to see if it isn't my Anker adapter (though it says 6gbps) - -----

    Should I get one of these?
  2. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Those speeds are inline with what you should be seeing. USB-C isn't the bottleneck, it's the SATA interface on the drive. If you want faster you will need to use an NVMe SSD like from OWC...they are very very expensive. You won't see much improvement in gaming, just a lighter wallet.
  3. aevan macrumors 68030


    Feb 5, 2015
    400Mbps is not acceptable for most games. It is acceptable for ALL games :)

    You don’t need more for gaming, really.

    You can play games from MUCH slower HDD drives. Consoles have much slower HDD drives. The main reason for getting faster SSDs is for disk intensive apps, like video production and apps that use large swap files. Games use drives just to load content into RAM, and the benefits of faster SSDs (compared to the Samsung EVO) here measure in a second or two less during loading.

    Btw, I have the same Samsung EVO hooked up to my iMac 5K via Thunderbolt 2 and all games work fine, unsuprisingly.

    Also, 400Mbps is not slow for an EVO SSD.
  4. BigMcGuire thread starter Contributor


    Jan 10, 2012
    Awesome - thank you very much :).
    --- Post Merged, May 10, 2018 ---
    Thank you as well! :)
  5. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    I think you will be fine.

    I know someone that uses an external USB3.0 SSD on the USB2 on his old iMac for gaming. He said he saw a huge improvement over the internal HDD.

    As for WoW, I stopped playing two years ago, but the load speeds on my Late 2012 iMac with a Fusion Drive was similar to my Mac Pro 1,1 with a cheap SSD as the boot drive. I can't remember the speed of the SSD in the Mac Pro, but it was probably around 400Mbps.

    The load screens would only last a few seconds usually. Actually, the newer Fusion Drive was slower than the SSD when loading an area that I did not go to in a while.

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