Thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVMe SSD Enclosures

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by oreggero, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. oreggero macrumors newbie

    May 27, 2016
    Since I am owning a great new MacBook Pro, I have been searching the web for a worthy external storage to go with it.

    So far, I only know of stationary Thunderbolt 3 drives (mainly in the form of full-size PCIe boxes with NVMe SSDs in them or large RAID systems that weigh upwards of 5 kg), but I am wondering, whether there's such a thing as an M.2 NVMe SSD enclosure that uses Thunderbolt 3 to connect to the computer.
    I could not find anything like that up until now, with the closest match being a bulky M.2 enclosure from Sonnet that is called a "Windows Edition" (probably due to an incompatible TB3 chipset, I guess).

    On the other hand, there are some cheap USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C enclosures on Amazon, that can house an M.2 SATA SSD, which will not get you the highest transfer speeds possible (in fact, they are pretty limited at the 480 MB/s that USB 3.1 Gen1 supports), with NVMe and Thunderbolt being able to transfer data much faster (theoretically 5 GB/s, but at this point in time the highest rates I could find for desktop drives were about 2400 MB/s).
    And last but not least there are the Glyph Atom (RAID) SSDs, which get closer (~800 MB/s) to the speed I desire, but still use USB 3.1 Gen2, and they are rather expensive at 1 TB at ~ $ 420. (usual prices for M.2 NVMe SSDs range from 450 to 600 bucks and they are way faster at ~1600 to 3200 MB/s read speed).

    So my question is: Did I miss something, or are there just no portable Thunderbolt 3 external SSDs/SSD enclosures?
  2. anson42 macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    I was looking for a TB3 M.2 NVMe RAID solution and the only thing I could find that didn't terminate in a SATA interface — like what's the point of that — is a product like this:

    an outboard PCIe expansion box connected via TB3 that can house a PCIe-based M.2 SSD controller. There doesn't seem to be a ton of those either at this point but they are starting to pop up. I don't follow PC hardware releases but Sonnet's web site has a compatibility matrix that is somewhat revealing of the available Mac-compatible controllers out there:

    I suspect a small outboard enclosures for dual or quad M.2 SSD RAID with a TB3 interface are imminent from various hardware makers. The SATA-based SSDs are ok if you need the 2.5" form factor but no longer adequate for speed demons.
  3. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Look at the video review. Ace sure you see on YouTube to use a hack for unsupported TB3 devices.
  4. KarthikUnboxed macrumors newbie


    Aug 24, 2017
    --- Post Merged, Aug 24, 2017 ---
    Have you looked into AtomRAID SSD by Glyph?

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