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Samsung T5/X5 & Equivalents

F-Train

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chabig

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Sep 6, 2002
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I don't think so. A 500GB T5 cost $100 and is the size of a credit card.
 
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Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
Personally, I much prefer to go with the off-the-shelf solution and spend a little more and get an external SSD drive that is already properly encased in a sturdy, well-constructed enclosure rather than fooling around with "cobbling something together" myself. I have been very pleased over the years with Samsung's T series (T1, T3 and T5) and not too long ago bought the Thunderbolt 3 X5, which is very speedy indeed. These are sleek, slim and fast devices which are terrific for use both at home and on the road. My days of tinkering with things have long passed. In answer to the question, though, I have seen comments in various places about OWC and what they offer.
 
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Stephen.R

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Nov 2, 2018
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Having tried the 'build it yourself' option (using USB3.1-Gen2, not even TB3) with an M.2 NVMe, I've now organised a warranty return on the cases, and will be ordering an Envoy Pro EX from OWC (and a Thunderbay for the various SSD's I accumulated during testing of the USB cases) shortly.

Unless you're in it for the tinkering, rather than needing reliable tools for your work, I don't think stuff like this is worth it to DIY.
 
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shinji

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Mar 18, 2007
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Having tried the 'build it yourself' option (using USB3.1-Gen2, not even TB3) with an M.2 NVMe, I've now organised a warranty return on the cases, and will be ordering an Envoy Pro EX from OWC (and a Thunderbay for the various SSD's I accumulated during testing of the USB cases) shortly.

Unless you're in it for the tinkering, rather than needing reliable tools for your work, I don't think stuff like this is worth it to DIY.

What was wrong with the enclosures?
 
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jnachbar

macrumors member
Nov 30, 2010
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I played around with ideas on this as well. Since I didn't need super small portability, I went with a USB 3.2 Gen 2 2-bay RAID enclosure and a couple of 500GB 2.5" SSDs in RAID 0. Totaled about $170 for 1TB in total.

Enclosure: Cable Matters USB 3.1 Gen 2 Dual Bay 2.5" (looks currently unavailable on amazon)
2.5 SSD: 2 Crucial MX500 500GB SATA 2.5 (Can really get any 2 SATA SSDs you're comfortable with)

Total 1TB in RAID 0, a little faster and a little cheaper than the T5 1TB. I'm getting Write 733 MB/s and Read 890 MB/s. It is a little bigger of course, my 2018 mini is on my desk, but it is still pretty small. And I know I'm taking a chance on the durability of the the enclosure, but so far very happy with it...
 
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Stephen.R

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What was wrong with the enclosures?
The SATA case will just disconnect randomly, or it hangs on writes and then disconnects.

The m.2 case often doesn’t mount at all - once it does it’s only a matter of time before it gets “stuck” and hangs the same -
I/O freezes and the activity light goes bonkers.

Best guess from the distributor is a compatibility/spec issue in the 10Gbit USB controllers in the devices.
 
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Dr. Stealth

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2004
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I bought the 500GB version of the X5 for $300.00 and replaced the SSD with a 970 EVO 2TB ($540.00). I was able to sell the new original 500GB NVMe SSD for $100.00.

So I ended up with a 2TB X5 for a total cost of $740.00. A substantial savings of $460.00.

The SSD swap was very simple and took maybe 15 minutes.

X5.jpg
 
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F-Train

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Apr 22, 2015
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I bought the 500GB version of the X5 for $300.00 and replaced the SSD with a 970 EVO 2TB ($540.00). I was able to sell the new original 500GB NVMe SSD for $100.00.

So I ended up with a 2TB X5 for a total cost of $740.00. A substantial savings of $460.00.

The SSD swap was very simple and took maybe 15 minutes.

Thanks. Prices have come down since you did that. The 500GB X5 is currently US$250. The best price that I can find on the 2TB SSD is $500 (B&H, on sale until Saturday). The 2TB X5 is $1000. So it appears that the current saving, with the SSD on sale, would be $250, plus ~$100 on selling the original SSD.
 
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Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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One could buy a USB3.1 gen2 nvme enclosure like this for $30:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/123364120434
(note that this is sold and ships from Hong Kong)

Then, buy a bare nvme drive (whatever size you wish).

Then, put the two together, and... have a drive that will run at roughly 800-850mbps (reads). Maybe even a little more.

When the cost of thunderbolt3 nvme enclosures comes down, you could take the nvme drive, put it into the replacement enclosure, and go faster!
 
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Stephen.R

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Nov 2, 2018
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note that this is sold and ships from Hong Kong

My advice is to avoid cheap Chinese USB devices like day-old egg salad.

I’m in the process of returning the ones I bought (which at least have a brand name and warranty) because they’re not reliable.

I can’t imagine what sort of quality you’ll get from a generic/no-name item sold on eBay.
 
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Ploki

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Jan 21, 2008
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I bought Leidian TB3 enclosure from aliexpress and it works perfectly! but it was 99$ on Ali. Same board as TekQ Rapid.
 
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F-Train

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I bought Leidian TB3 enclosure from aliexpress and it works perfectly! but it was 99$ on Ali. Same board as TekQ Rapid.

As I understand it, the Leiden enclosure now sells for US$148: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/JEY...VME-TO-TYPE-C-aluminium-TYPE/32952100894.html

Last July, AnandTech published an article about purchasing an off-the-shelf 240GB TEKQ Rapide and replacing the SSD with a 1TB SSD. It's the same approach as that taken in post #10: https://www.anandtech.com/show/1303...-with-the-tekq-rapide-and-sandisk-extreme-pro
 
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F-Train

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Apr 22, 2015
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Western Digital's 1TB USB 3.1 Gen. 2 SSD (My Passport) is currently available from B&H for US$180. Just ordered one. This is easily the lowest price that I've seen. Currently, the next lowest appears to be Samsung's 1TB T5 at $220 from Amazon, $228 from B&H.

Perhaps also worth noting that Samsung and WD are currently rolling out somewhat enhanced versions of their NVMe M.2 SSDs as the 970 EVO Plus and WD Black SN750 respectively. Looks like the price of 1TB for either will be $250. The 2TB versions won't be available until April.
 
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treekram

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Nov 9, 2015
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It should be noted that if an external SSD has a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface, but has a SATA3 SSD inside, it won't have Gen 2 performance (10Gbps). If you have a SATA3 SSD inside with a SATA-USB Gen 2 bridge chip, then you can possibly get something approaching 6Gbps (SATA3 max). Now with a fast SSD, that will be better than using a SATA-USB Gen 1 bridge chip, which will be limited to 5Gbps (USB 3.0/USB 3.1 Gen 1 max). So there could be a performance advantage to a USB 3.1 Gen 2 external SSD.

The SanDisk Extreme 900 external SSD uses 2 SATA3 SSD's in a RAID configuration to get something between Gen 1 and Gen 2 performance - definitely faster than external SSD's which use a single SATA3 SSD with a SATA-Gen 2 bridge, but not close to the full Gen 2 speed.

I'm not surprised that there are some difficulties currently with NVMe in a USB Gen 2 enclosure. Does anybody know if a big-name vendor sells an external SSD like this? If you use a 2018 Mini or any Mac with TB3 and have a NVMe drive, I would just go with a TB3 enclosure.

I've ordered a 500GB Crucial MX500 m.2 ($57) with an Inateck FE2012N enclosure ($16). This uses a Gen 1 SATA-USB bridge, so the performance won't be great but I was looking for something compact to hold media for my 2018 MBP so I don't really need blazing performance. The total volume is 30% larger than the Samsung T5, but that difference is really due to the height of the enclosure. The amount of width of a table (or other surface) that you need to fit the Inateck enclosure and the laptop is less than what you need for the T5 so I like that. The components are also modular. If Inateck or somebody else makes a good cheap enclosure with a Gen 2 bridge, I can upgrade that way (more for experimentation rather than performance at this point) or if I buy something else altogether, I can use the MX500 in my non-Mac computer which takes a m.2 SATA SSD (has slots for 2 m.2 drives).
 
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F-Train

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It should be noted that if an external SSD has a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface, but has a SATA3 SSD inside, it won't have Gen 2 performance (10Gbps). If you have a SATA3 SSD inside with a SATA-USB Gen 2 bridge chip, then you can possibly get something approaching 6Gbps (SATA3 max). Now with a fast SSD, that will be better than using a SATA-USB Gen 1 bridge chip, which will be limited to 5Gbps (USB 3.0/USB 3.1 Gen 1 max). So there could be a performance advantage to a USB 3.1 Gen 2 external SSD.

Whatever theoretical interest this has, it misses what is actually going on in the market. There are several brands - Samsung, Glyph, G-Technology, WD, Lacie, SanDisk, Seagate - competing in the portable USB 3.1, Gen. 2 SSD space. This is a speed test result from my Samsung T5 500GB, but all of these products are similar in performance, which is plenty fast enough for most purposes.

The main differentiator, unless one is concerned with ruggedness and water resistance, is price. I went with WD instead of Samsung on this purchase because the WD is on sale for $40 less. It is probably impossible to put together a 1TB drive oneself for $180.

Uniquely, Glyph makes a 1TB RAID 0 version (2x500GB) that has speeds of about 800MB/s, but it is larger in size and $300. For $120 less in a size that fits easily in a shirt pocket, the WD at 500MB/s is just fine for my purposes.


samsung.png



This recent (December) video is worth watching to get up to speed on what is actually happening, including on manufacturer/brand overlap. At B&H yesterday, I examined the G-Technology R-Series drive as well as all of the drives in this video. My own view on enclosure build quality is that the G-Tech and Glyph stand out (and are more expensive), but that there isn't much to choose between the rest.

 
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F-Train

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Maybe we're about to see some competition on 1TB USB 3.1, Gen. 2 prices. Just received this e-mail from B&H on the G-Tech R-Series 1TB drive mentioned in the post just above. Still $36 more than the WD, but down quite a bit:

Screenshot 2019-02-01 at 3.21.55 PM.png
 
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treekram

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Whatever theoretical interest this has, it misses what is actually going on in the market. There are several brands - Samsung, Glyph, G-Technology, WD, Lacie, SanDisk, Seagate - competing in the portable USB 3.1, Gen. 2 SSD space. This is a speed test result from my Samsung T5 500GB, but all of these products are similar in performance, which is plenty fast enough for most purposes.

The main differentiator, unless one is concerned with ruggedness and water resistance, is price. I went with WD instead of Samsung on this purchase because the WD is on sale for $40 less. It is probably impossible to put together a 1TB drive oneself for $180.

The point I was trying to make is that if you buy a cheaper external USB 3.1 Gen 2 SSD (WD Passport, Samsung T5, regular SanDisk Extreme - not the 900) with the expectation of getting close to 1Tbps performance, that won't happen and I gave an explanation of why that is. If you buy one of these drives with the expectation of the performance that you posted, then you'll be happy, provided you got it at a good price.

I find that SanDisk/WD is a bit opaque if you're trying to figure out exactly what specific parts they use in their SSD's. But it appears (again, this is not certain, just educated guesses that people make because of the way SanDisk/WD operate) that both the My Passport and the WD Blue SSD's derive from the same technology and for 1TB, Amazon sells the m.2 version for $135. They also sell m2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 enclosures for under $25. Anandtech believes the WD Passport uses an ASM1351 SATA bridge chip and an ASM1543 Type-C switch - I haven't searched to see if you can get enclosures with this combination but ASM doesn't sell just to WD. Now, if one wants to avoid the hassle of doing the research and putting together something like this on their own, that's a perfectly understandable decision.
 
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F-Train

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The point I was trying to make is that if you buy a cheaper external USB 3.1 Gen 2 SSD (WD Passport, Samsung T5, regular SanDisk Extreme - not the 900) with the expectation of getting close to 1Tbps performance, that won't happen and I gave an explanation of why that is. If you buy one of these drives with the expectation of the performance that you posted, then you'll be happy, provided you got it at a good price.

...

Now, if one wants to avoid the hassle of doing the research and putting together something like this on their own, that's a perfectly understandable decision.

Speaking of research, according to AnandTech as well as other sources, the SanDisk Extreme 900 that you keep talking about is in fact a RAID 0 drive. So is the Glyph Atom RAID (see post 19), which consists of two of its 500GB USB 3.1, Gen. 2 Atom drives. The main differences are that the Glyph, at US$300, is $180 cheaper than the now ageing 960GB SanDisk, and apparently performs somewhat better on speed tests.

It would be great if you could point to actual components that, if put together, are known to result in the kind of faster product that you are talking about. That is what others have done in this thread with respect to NVMe M.2 drives. Or even if you could point to an actual off-the-shelf product. At the moment, what you are saying might be of theoretical interest, but it appears to be unrelated to anything real.
 
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treekram

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Nov 9, 2015
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Speaking of research, according to AnandTech as well as other sources, the SanDisk Extreme 900 that you keep talking about is in fact a RAID 0 drive. So is the Glyph Atom Raid (see post 19), which consists of two of its 500GB USB 3.1, Gen. 2 Atom drives. The main differences are that the Glyph, at US$300, is $180 cheaper than the now three year old 960GB SanDisk, and apparently performs somewhat better on speed tests.

It would be great if you could point to actual components that, if put together, are known to result in the kind of faster product that you are talking about. That is what others have done in this thread with respect to NVMe M.2 drives. Or even if you could point to an actual off-the-shelf product. At the moment, what you are saying is perhaps of theoretical interest, but unrelated to anything real.

If you look at my post #18, I mention that the SanDisk Extreme 900 consists of 2 SATA SSD's in a RAID configuration.

I think that you believe my explanation is "theoretical" because it doesn't or wouldn't have helped in your specific situation where price is obviously a bigger consideration than getting to that Gen 2 performance. That's fair, but I was really addressing other people that may read this thread and see the USB 3.1 Gen 2 spec and expect 10Gbps speeds from the typical Gen 2 (Samsung T5, WD My Passport, etc.) external SSD. You didn't, but if you're on these forums with any regularity or on any other type of website where people post their experiences, you know that's going to happen.

As to getting close to the 10Gbps Gen 2 level, I really don't like the RAID approach but post #6 is from somebody who did this for $170 for 1TB by buying an enclosure (although the specific product may no longer be available). Using a NVMe drive in a USB 3.1 Gen 2 enclosure may at some point be viable (post #4 mentioned issues with multiple enclosures). These enclosures seem to go for $40-$60 on Amazon. You can get a 1TB NVMe Crucial P1 SSD for $145 at Amazon so if an enclosure actually worked at near 10Gbs, the price isn't that far off from the external SSD's which use SATA drives although one really needs to understand the issues with the QLC technology currently used in SSD's like the P1 (there's a reason why it's so much cheaper than something like a Samsung 970 Evo). Going the TB3 route with something like a Samsung Evo 970 is $250 (1TB) plus whatever the enclosure costs (probably at least $150). But the performance is going to be significantly better than USB 3.1 Gen 2 (probably at least 2x faster than the fastest Gen 2 external SSD). And as I mentioned before, it shouldn't be a big issue to put together something comparable to the My Passport at a comparable price.
 
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Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
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I noticed yesterday that the Patriot EVLVR 1TB thunderbolt SSD hit $299 and is sitting on the shelf at Frys. And the 512GB might be at $199.

Running the older slower speeds at 1600 read and 1000 write.
 
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