Recommend a Thunderbolt and USB 3 External Enclosure

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by kapalua12, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. kapalua12 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 20, 2010
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    United States
    #1
    Can anyone suggest, with links if possible, a Thunderbolt external enclosure that that would compliment my new iMac?

    I want to put an SSD in it and run it through the TB port.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Giuly, Apr 4, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #2
  3. kapalua12 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Thanks, I wonder how many forum members have the 1 TB SSD LaCie Little Big Disk as it's beautiful but so costly. But then I have a few SSD raid 0 systems I've set up that cost a bundle also and are worth every penny.
     
  4. g4cube, Apr 4, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013

    g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #4
    There are a bunch of LaCie Little Big Disk refurbs at MacMall for $219. These are the HDD versions.

    I've got the older HDD version as well as the new 1TB SSD version, and indeed, the SSD version is quite speedy.

    Attached is a screenshot of the Blackmagic Speedtest run on the LaCie on an MBP Retina i7 w/internal 512GB SSD, and the LaCie 1TB SSD attached externally to one of the Thunderbolt ports
     

    Attached Files:

  5. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #5
    If you want just a TB enclosure to put your own drive in then the Drobo 5d is the only one that is driveless. Otherwise you will have to pull the drives out (LaCie for example) or use the LaCie esata hub but that is only sata 2 so you may not realise full SSD speeds on it.

    Seagate makes a 2.5" TB drive you could put an SSD in if you pull it apart.

    If you want SSD with TB you will have to buy it ready made generally. TB is not as readily available like USB 3 is when it come to DIY enclosures.
     
  6. kapalua12 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    How silent is the LaCie 1TB SSD Little Big Disk device? Does it have an internal fan and if so is it (almost) silent?

    Do you know which brand and model SSD this device has? Samsung SSD Pro? Vertex 4? etc.
     
  7. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #7
    There is a fan inside. I can hear it, but it is not objectionable to me.

    Inside are 2 Micron 512GB C400 SSD devices, operating at SATA III speeds. The C400 is the OEM variation of the consumer Micron M4.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    If it's just a single SSD that you want to connect and run, you can get speeds that will be the near-equivalent of Thunderbolt by using a properly-designed USB3/SATA enclosure (or docking station) instead.

    Considerably cheaper, too.

    You should look for a USB3 enclosure/dock with these controller chips:
    ASMedia 1051e
    or
    ASMedia 1053

    Either will support a new standard called UASP (SCSI protocol over USB). This seems to bypass earlier limitations that USB1.1 and USB2 had -- using too many CPU cycles.

    Didn't BareFeats test a Firmtek USB3 enclosure, and get speeds _faster than_ Thunderbolt, using USB3 instead? (Aside: the Firmtek enclosure is expensive @ $99, whereas "regular" USB3 enclosures/docks generally run about $30 or less.)
     
  9. kapalua12 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Can you please post links to those recommended enclosures?

    Thanks.
     
  10. thedeske macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 17, 2013
    #11
    Yes, and the Caldigit AV Pro is even better, but you can't get just the enclosure. Too Bad, I'd love to tinker with a set of their trays.
     
  11. kapalua12 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    While I am interested in this drive I have some concerns about the older technology SSD's inside.

    What concerns me about this drive is the SSD's it's using are at least 2 year old SSD technology as far as I can determine which will limit the lifespan of the SSD's and also decrease effectiveness of internal maintenance functions like Trim, wear leveling and garbage collection.

    Also, speed ratings are not as good as current state of the art SSD's like the Samsung Pro 840 or Vertex 4's, etc. Comments? Am I interpreting things correctly here?
     
  12. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #13
    Except you cannot purchase a drive empty, or with these newer drives.

    All you can do is purchase is a configured drive, and if you wish to use those SSD devices, you would need to swap out the older drives and replace them with the newer drives.

    Consider this, every year, newer devices are made available - sometimes even faster and less expensive.

    You can wait forever to make a decision, as there will always be something newer just around the corner. Or you can make a purchase based on what you know and need today.

    For example, Micron/Crucial have just announced the new C500 series that offers up to a 960GB capacity at around $600. A single drive with phenomenal capacity at an excellent price. On the other hand, it is a "version 1" with new controller, and new flash chips inside. See the Anandtech.com review published last week.
     

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