Recommend External Enclosure for PCIe Flash Storage from nMP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by OldCodger73, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. OldCodger73 macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2013
    Seattle area
    Can someone recommend an external enclosure for the PCIe flash storage that I replaced from my nMP (2013)?

  2. violst macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2012
  3. andycho7 macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2013
    Don't buy that Envoy Pro enclosure just yet.

    I just want to share my frustrating experience with OWC.

    I have purchased the new Envoy Pro enclosure right when they were released (for about $130-ish), that's supposed to utilize the Apple's PCI-e based SSDs as an external drive. As soon as I got it, I installed it right away and only to find out that it doesn't work.

    I have an PCI-e SSD pulled out of Mid-2013 Macbook Air (256GB Toshiba), and I have verified that this SSD is not faulty with my Macbook Air that I pulled it out of AND my 13 inch rMBP. On both machines it worked just fine.

    So I contacted OWC customer service and each time I say something, rep takes the longest time to reply back. I told her my situation, how I've tried this enclosure on different computers and whatnot and she said she needs to "verify" if my SSD is compatible with their enclosure, which took her 10 minutes to find out (rolleyes).

    Later she said looks like the unit is faulty, so ship it back to OWC for RMA. I asked if any pre-paid shipping label is provided, and she said I have to pay for the shipping. Are you kidding me? I said I will not pay for shipping for something that's not my fault. Then she said "allow me to look into that" which took her another while, then she comes back with the shipping label, which should have been like this from the first place.

    So anyway, I got the "supposedly repaired" unit back today and guess what. It's having the EXACT same issue, meaning it's not working. I tested it on my iMac, rMBP, and even my Windows PC and they all didn't work. Exception of Windows machine, which was able to recognize at least, but it wouldn't even format because it says that the "device is not ready". I have tried the cable that comes with the product (USB 3.0), another USB 3.0 cable and USB 2.0 cable and all same result.

    I'd say don't buy this product, or at least there's a known source proving that it works with Apple's SSD. I searched all over Google for this and yet no reviews or information can be found anywhere.
  4. BurgDog macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2012
    I bought the unit from OWC two weeks ago to use with the 251GB drive I removed and replaced with a 1TB drive in my nMP. I plugged it into one of the USB3 ports on the nMP and was able to boot my old system and use it with no problems. So far I have had absolutely no problems with the Envoy Pro and my old 251GB drive. Of course, long term, TRIM won't work and the Apple SSDs probably need it but everything is fine for now for me.
  5. OldCodger73 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2013
    Seattle area
    I ended up going the OWC Envoy Pro route also even though there seems to be mixed feelings about OWC. The PCIe drive from my nMP was easy to install, the drive was recognized and I was able to boot from it. As for long term readability, here's hoping.
  6. IowaLynn macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2015
  7. BurgDog macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2012
    It won't work with Mac Pro 2013 internal SSD. Need the Envoy Pro described earlier in this thread.
  8. violst macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2012
    Sorry to hear it, that sounds like a crappy experience.

    Its frustrating how bad so many companies customer service is getting.

    I called ebay customer service because my fathers Mac mini stopped working with their upload picture service.

    The customer service guy was a complete idiot, I couldn't believe what he was telling me, I thought it was a joke at first!! these companies just don't seem to care about the consumer and hire qualified costumer service rep to help resolve a problem in a informed and courteous way!
  9. andycho7, Apr 21, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015

    andycho7 macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2013
    Little Update...

    So after 2 more return/replacement units, it finally came down to a conclusion that the Envoy Pro enclosure is NOT compatible with certain PCI-E SSD blades from MacBooks. OWC totally failed to mention the following information, which is kind of a big deal.

    I have tried 3 brands of PCI-E SSD blades (SanDisk, Samsung, Toshiba) with all same capacity of 256GB (with exception of Toshiba, which was 128GB). Enclosure will NOT work with SanDisk SSD, regardless what I do. I have tried to format the drive in every possible way in Windows, OS X, and Linux but it just simply refuse to work.

    Here's two things that's funny. First, SanDisk SSD is completely functional, as I can swap it to my 2013 MBA's and 2014 rMBP and it boots and works just fine.
    Second, while I was chatting with the customer representative online, the person mentioned that "not all SSD's are compatible with this enclosure". Well ok that would've been helpful to know BEFORE purchasing.

    Bottom line: Know what manufacture your SSD is and MAKE SURE to do enough research that it's compatible. In my case, my SanDisk SSD did not work with 3 Envoy Pro units, which is safe enough to conclude that the Envoy Pro is just simply not compatible with the SanDisk SSDs.

    Last note: The speed of this drive is quite disappointing too. I am only get low 200's for write and mid-to-high 200's for read, which is literally about half the performance of what this drive is actually capable for (FYI I did the speed test on both working drives and they were the same). I've heard and seen other SATA based external USB 3.0 drives being faster than this. I'm thinking it's the controller of the Envoy Pro that can't utilize the more available horsepower of PCI-E drives. Either way, overpriced product that can't properly utilize its potential.

    Hope this can help someone.
  10. jw2002 macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2008
    I purchased OWC's 1TB Aura SSD, and it came included with an Envoy Pro. That made transferring the volume from the original to the new a snap, and now I have a moderately useful 250 GB removable drive.
  11. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    Would like to get this, as I have the 256GB blade from a stock nMP sitting here doing nothing, but
    A. It seems rather pricey for a USB 3.0 enclosure and
    B. It's not Thunderbolt.

    The drive would have native TRIM support had it been a thunderbolt enclosure instead (assuming you're using an Apple OEM drive), and I figure speeds would be much faster too. I'd actually pay $130 for this enclosure if it were TB.
  12. swamyg1 macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007
    It's one year later and I stumbled across this thread, I'm looking for an external PCI SSD enclosure as well. I just want the enclosure. The Transcend JetDrive is available but it comes with SSD's so the price is prohibitively high.

    Are there still no options for this? Could somebody chime in?
  13. refields macrumors newbie


    Sep 4, 2017
    Hi Any luck finding an enclosure? My Macbook pro (RETINA, 13-INCH, MID 2014) went and I need to extract the data off the drive. Was hoping to find a cheaper option than the $99 Envoy.


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