ssd in an external enclosure? which enclosure?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by danpass, May 20, 2012.

  1. danpass, May 20, 2012
    Last edited: May 20, 2012

    danpass macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2009
    Miami, FL
    Looking at the $100 - $200 internal SSDs on newegg and considering putting one in an external enclosure for use with an MBP/MBA/whatever so I figure that means an USB enclosure.

    Any specific hardware recommendations for the SSD and enclosure?

    I had an hdd laptop drive once in an enclosure but it didn't last. I only dropped it once and apparently that was enough.



    I'm looking for something to back up 32gb sd card videos

    I'm thinking:

    Primarily as portable backup. SD video and RAW photos will be backed up to Air and a separate drive for even further redundancy.
  2. Lance-AR macrumors 6502

    May 7, 2012
    Little Rock, AR
    Current MAC products only support USB 2.0. You may want to consider the flexibility of USB vs performance of Thunderbolt.
  3. DollaTwentyFive macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2010
    Parts Unknown
    If you go MBP, why not an SSD in place of the HDD and then move the HDD into an optibay drive. No worries about dropping an external enclosure then and you can run the OS on the SSD for some extra speed.
  4. macrominnie macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2010
    I agree with this point. The premium price of an SSD buys only more drop resistance as an external drive. As an internal drive, an SSD is an excellent upgrade for any HDD notebook.

    If you need small to moderate external storage, what about one or a few USB 3.0 flash drives ? These 32 GB USB 3.0 flash drives, on a per gigabyte basis, are comparably priced to 100 GB to 200 GB SSD’s. Three 32 GB (USB 3.0 ) flash drives are a little less convenient than one 100 GB external, but they’re small & useful in their own way.

    Buying one is a cheap experiment. The low end but well reviewed USB 3.0 flash drives are in the $30 range. (The 32 GB ones have a better price per GB than the 16 or 64 GB.) Check newegg, amazon or other places for ones with good reviews.

    If you go the external SSD route, you’ll have to chose between better speed now (USB2 & FW400/800) or future proofing (USB 3.0 enclosure) better speed when USB 3.0 Macs appear). USB 3.0 plus FW 2.5” combo enclosures are hard to find (if there are any). For either enclosure type with an SSD, just get something inexpensive but reputable.

    For FW combo, you might look at the Macally PHRS250CC. For a step up in price but slightly more refined, you can check out Mercury Elite Pro Mini from OWC, TransIntl ProStor725, or its equivalents from G-Tech or Wiebetech. There are many decent USB 3.0 2.5” enclosures. Here’s one: OWC Express 2.5" Portable USB 3.0 Enclosure for SATA NoteBook HDs.

    You might getting much of the drop resistance you want by going with the more recent 2.5” HDD’s with Shockguard (or its equivalent), plus a protective enclosure, like the Lacie Rugged or the Wiebetech ToughTech mini-Q. That would give large portable storage with relative protection.

    If money is no object (then why are you posting this question?), an external Thunderbolt enclosure will take more advantage of SSD speed. They are very expensive but you’ll get the Thunderbolt advantage. Just drop $850 on the LaCie Little Big Disk (LBD) Thunderbolt SSD. And if that’s a comfortable neighborhood, might as well order a top of the line 2012 MBP when they’re released.
  5. mmomega macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    Yeah, things with tiny moving parts do not like to be dropped.:)

    I'd suggest maybe an external with USB2/3 + another interface type, whether it be FW or eSata.

    You may end up with a Thunderbolt hub with additional interfaces so I'd suggest leaving your options somewhat open.
  6. danpass thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2009
    Miami, FL
  7. macrominnie macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2010
    I've always had good luck with both Crucial and Vantec products. These seem like good choices.

    Keep in mind that USB 2.0 bus powered externals can be trickier (depending on notebook) than Firewire bus powered mode. The Vantec reviews for the enclosure mention needing a Y cable and 2 USB ports.

    Since this is not a high performance SSD application, any good one should do. Though I like newegg, the Crucial SSD mentioned here is $25 less at Amazon, as of today. Check the deal sites if you might need larger capacity. 256 GB Crucial SSD & other brands are running about 60 to 70 $ more.

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