TB3 NVMe enclosure

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by nampramos, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. nampramos, Dec 2, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018

    nampramos macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #1
    Could anyone please suggest a goood enclosure for a single NVMe stick?

    My mini with 256GB will soon arrive and I’m thinking of getting either 512GB or 1TB external storage via TB3.

    The X5 is way too expensive compared to the NVMe sticks of the same capacity.

    If there’s still no affordable enclosures then I guess my second option would be USB3.1 type 2.


    Thank you.

    Edit: I’d like to add that random read speeds are very important to my use case.
     
  2. Synchro3, Dec 2, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018

    Synchro3 macrumors 68000

    Synchro3

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
  3. nampramos thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #3
    Thank you. I’m not interested in booting from the external drive but appreciate the reminder.

    Is there still such a steep difference between 3.1 enclosures vs TB3? Prices are 4-5x more expensive.
     
  4. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #4
    Yes.
    I’m looking at wavlink or plugable. Enclosure if you sell the drive is ~100ish then
     
  5. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
    Location:
    Thailand
    #5
    4x the potential bandwidth difference.

    USB3.1-Gen2 is 10Gbit max, which is best-case scenario, 1.25GB/sec transfer.
    TB3 is 40Gbit max, which is best case scenario 5GB/sec transfer.

    But, it also depends what you pair it with. Lots of cheap NVMe SSD's max out at ~550MB/sec read/write so it's pointless putting them in a TB3 case.

    I just (over the weekend) ordered a USB 3.1-Gen2 (not much choice for TB3 here in sunny Thailand) and an ADATA NVMe. I basically looked at what was available (from a single retailer, I'm not going to futz around too much over this) that would meet or exceed the USB bandwidth limit without wasting money on heaps of extra bandwidth I can't use.

    What I ended up with is a ADATA 512GB XPG SX6000 Pro, Read is 2100MB, Write is 1400MB. Cheaper than that one, and they were sub-1GB/sec speeds which would likely become the bottleneck.

    Like you, I'm not intending to boot from this - it's a faster (and smaller) replacement for my "take all my work with me" drive to use between this 2018 Mac mini and a 2018 MBP15. Currently I'm using a SATA SSD in a 2.5" case, so hopefully this will be a decent speed boost over that.
     
  6. nampramos thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #6
    Let me know how it works out for you and what speeds you’re getting out of that. I’m especially interested in the random read speeds.

    Sequential write and read is already so fast, even at 3.1 gen 2, that unless you’re moving TB of data on a regular basis, it doesn’t really make that much of a difference. 5 sec transfer vs 20 sec transfer is 4x quicker, but I sure can wait 20 sec and pocket the price difference.

    On the other hand, random access speeds are a totally different story and I’ve seen many benchmarks where drives do 2000-2500MB/s on sequencial access and then drop to 25-50MB/s on random.
     
  7. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
    Location:
    Thailand
    #7
    I'll run the standard BlackMagic disk tester on it, I think I have the AJA test installed too? If there's something else specific you'd like me to run either reply with it or message me directly. Both the case and drive are listed as '1-3 days' for availability (and then it needs to ship to me from the retailer) so I should have it late this week sometime.
     
  8. nampramos thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #8
    That should be fine and give an ideia of how it can perform. Thank you!
     
  9. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #9
  10. nampramos thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #10
    I’m only looking for an enclosure and will be getting the drive myself. On that link it is odd that sometimes it mentions the 960 while other times the 970.

    If you end up getting one please do a report.
     
  11. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
    Location:
    Thailand
    #11
    OK, so my new stuff arrived.

    I've spent a lot of time this evening futzing around, because either these devices, or the cables, or the Mac mini are very particular about working together, and I think it's power related. If I have two bus-powered devices (e.g. two SSDs or an SSD an a TB3 to Dual DisplayPort adapter) on the same 'pair' of TB3 ports, invariably one of the SSDs fails in some way.

    With the SATA SSD, it will mount, but then experience issues in operation (more so writes than reads, it seems), and eventually macOS will report it was disconnected.

    With the new NVMe SSD, it won't even appear if it's on a pair with another bus powered device.

    Anyway - so the NVMe in the USB-C case works pretty well - 700+ MB/sec write, just under 1GB/sec read.

    Screen Shot 2018-12-08 at 22.54.14.png Screen Shot 2018-12-09 at 00.42.53.png

    I'm copying my work drive (the SATA SSD) to it now using rsync, I'll try using it for work stuff (the taxing part is the VMs) for a few days and report back any issues I find.

    One thing I have noticed, which may just be an oddity of macOS/System Information.app reporting: It appears in the USB tree with the following two lines:

    This is what originally made me think the issues I saw are power related. If anyone has any input/suggestions about this (including "that's a fault, send it back" or "that's just how much juice an m.2 uses") I'd love to hear what you have to say.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #12
    I ordered the Leidian from aliexpress, I'm not really happy with handicapping a nVME drive with USB.
     

Share This Page

11 December 2, 2018