(Survey) Which Flush SD Adapter for MacBook Pro Retina 2013+?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Hack5190, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. Hack5190, Jan 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017

    Hack5190 macrumors 6502a

    Hack5190

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    #1
    There are a wide range of flush SD cards / adapters on the market. Some with built in storage, others where the buyer supplies a microSD card. After buying a BaseQi adapter (review here) my search for a good unit continues. Possible options include:

    Flush microSD adapter

    Built in storage

    If you have experience with any of these or another brand please share that experience for the benefit of all forum users.
     
  2. krazirob macrumors member

    krazirob

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  3. Hack5190, Jan 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017

    Hack5190 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hack5190

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    #5
    Since there has been no feedback on any of these unit's (or others) I read through the reviews on Amazon and New Egg. The result, there is no conclusive winner. Most of the reviews simply state "it works", "broke in X weeks" or "doesn't fit a XXX model".

    Today I tested a SanDisk micro SD adapter against the Samsung adapter (in my post here). The results were very close so I ordered a generic MicroSD Adapter from (eBay) to test the performance of a $3.50 (US) unit :D.

    There are no electronics or other electrical components in these adapters, just direct connections from pins to pins. Therefore I have to presume that performance issues with the BaseQi were the result of inferior material and / or construction.

    Here is a photo of the inside from the Samsung micro SD adapter.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    None, of course. Leaving one of those plugged in prohibits deep sleep.
     
  5. Hack5190 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hack5190

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    #7
    That's not an issue if you use a utility such as Jettison. It provides auto un-mounting & mounting of SD's.

    I've been running this utility for a month and my MacBook does enter deep sleep.
     
  6. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    I found Jettison to be completely unreliable, but that's just me. I can respect that it appears to work for you.
     
  7. Hack5190 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hack5190

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    #9
    Received the eBay adapter today. Speed results (link in post #1) are close to the free Samsung adapter and much better than the BaseQi in both read & write.

    [​IMG]

    Because it was not made specifically for the MacBook Pro Retina 2013+ it's a bit long (photo below).

    [​IMG]
     
  8. ZapNZs, Jan 25, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

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    #10
    I've used the Nifty with a Samsung PRO as well as the Transcend, although on 15-inch. The Nifty is the Ferrari of these products...it's fit and finish is outstanding. How well it works depends on the card you choose. I would recommend Transcend or Samsung higher end models, because both makers use MLC NAND on their premium products (versus TLC, which is mostly garbage, and commonly equates to high read speeds but terrible write speeds for SD cards, with perhaps the exception being the Samsung EVO.)

    The Transcend with built-in storage also uses premium MLC NAND. It's well made and has very good write speeds. Transcend has really become the quality maker that doesn't get near the attention they deserve.

    With my Nifty + a 64GB Samsung PRO, the read and write speeds are comparable to a WD Black 7500 RPM HDD (around 100 MB/s both read and write). So it is fast enough to run virtual machines off of. The Transcend has slightly slower write speeds, but is plenty capable of this as well. Both could run a standalone OS with performance that is superior to most HDDs, IMO.

    This card is, IMO, on a quality level comparable to the Samsung 850 PRO and 950 PRO MLC SSDs. I have several of the previous gen 64GB versions and with one I must have written close to a PB of data.
    http://www.samsung.com/us/computing...ro-128gb-memory-card-w-adapter-mb-md128da-am/

    This Transcend gets very little mainstream attention, but its quality is comparable to the Samsung IMO. It uses MLC NAND which I believe is made by Micron. I find Transcend MLC flash drives, SSDs, and USB drives are also more affordable than other Makers of comparable quality. In many cases, they are priced not much more than inferior TLC alternatives.
    https://www.transcend-info.com/Products/No-697

    Both the Samsung and Transcend are reliable enough to be used as secondary hard disks, IMO.

    I would also advise avoiding most Sandisk products. Sandisk will not disclose which products use MLC and which use TLC, which says something in and of itself (given if a Maker uses MLC that is something to brag about.)
     
  9. Ovedius macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

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    #11
    This is a great thread, in-depth and informative.
     
  10. Hack5190, Jan 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017

    Hack5190 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hack5190

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    #12
    @ZapNZs thanks for the information. You raise a very valid point about the differences in memory cards. That was considered in my testing and why I used the same Samsung MicroSDXC EVO Select Memory Card (http://www.samsung.com/us/computing/memory-storage/memory-cards/mb-me256da-am-mb-me256da-am/) for each test.

    I'm not planning to host VM's or anything that requires speed beyond what my Samsung test card & stock adapter deliver. In the same respect I'm not willing to take a hit on performance just to shorten the adapter.

    Searching it looks like the best place to buy "the Ferrari" of adapters is direct from Nifty. The 2 Amazon sellers of the MiniDrive R15 (the model I need :D) are both higher priced and outside the US. Plus Nifty offers a "30-day, no-questions-asked return policy" if bought direct from them. Looks like it's time to get out the credit card.....
     
  11. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

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    #13

    I got mine from Nifty. IIRC they included a free bare bones 4gb microSD card. 2017-01-26 11.41.27.jpg 2017-01-26 11.42.20.jpg 2017-01-26 11.42.24.jpg 2017-01-26 11.43.25.jpg
     
  12. Hack5190 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hack5190

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    #14
    Just ordered a Nifty MiniDrive R15. More to come upon receipt . . . .
     
  13. Hack5190 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Hack5190

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    #15
    Happy to report that the Nifty MiniDrive arrived today. Short story, I'm happy and plan on keeping it (thanks for your input @ZapNZs).

    Longer story, the Read speed is better than the free Samsung adapter and the eBay china adapter. Write speed is slower than the both of the other adapters, but acceptable.

    [​IMG]
     

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