1TB Thunderbolt SSD

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mcasan, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    I just ordered two Buffalo Thunderbolt USB 3 drives. They are 500GB and seem to be on close out for $138 at Staples. The Buffalo units come with a Thunderbolt cable. With Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSDs now below $500, I can put the SSD into the Buffalo enclosure and have a SSD with Thunderbolt cable for less than $600.
     
  2. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    The Buffalo throughput on TB was not impressive. So I am returning the Buffalo units. Since there do not seem to be any commercial 1TB SSDs available on USB 3 or TB, I went with plan B. I ordered two Western Digital My Passport Pro 2TB units. The units have two 1TB drives inside that you can setup for RAID 0 (default), RAID 1, or JBOD. RAID 1 will give a total of 2TB with a read/write of around 200Mbps. RAID 1 will give 1TB capacity but mirrored for higher availability if one disk dies.

    My use case is for these units to be backup during multiple week photo shooting trips. They will not be part of any daily workflow. With some shoot locations you don't have AC power for a laptop or external drive. So I want to download the cards and do the backup ASAP. The RAID o speed should allow for quick backups.
     
  3. Jacquesass

    Jacquesass Mu-43 Regular

    55
    Feb 17, 2014
    You could also try putting together your own TB SSD using the following:

    1) Seagate Thunderbolt adapter (includes a TB cable):
    http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Backup-Portable-Thunderbolt-Adapter/dp/B009HQCARY/ref=dp_ob_title_ce

    2) StarTech USM enclosure (compatible with the Seagate GoFlex/Backup Plus adapters, also includes a USB3 adapter):
    http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-...UTF8&qid=1398545569&sr=1-2&keywords=usm+usb+3

    3) SSD of your choosing - but the Samsung 840 Evo is your current best choice.

    Using the Seagate adapter approaches the native SATA speed of the SSD. Another (sleeker) option is OWC's new Mercury On-The-Go enclosure, but a) they aren't selling it as an empty enclosure yet, and b) it doesn't let you switch to USB3 if you need to.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MOTGTBH5T1.0/
     
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Any numbers? Was it worse than USB 3?
     
  5. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    Around 30 on USB 3 and 90 on TB. Slower than I want for field backups.
     
  6. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    Ouch!! What an absolutely terrible enclosure! I recently upgraded one of my msata SSDs from 480gb to 1TB. That left me with a spare 480gb msata. So I bought an external usb3 msata enclosure. I bought the best reviewed one I could find which was....

    http://www.mydigitaldiscount.com/my...3.0-msata-ssd-enclosure-adapter-mdms-bp-usb3/

    As you can see it is not expensive. However do be careful buy this type of enclosure as performance does vary and until recently was not very good. As you can see the enclosure is pretty small as well

    myssd-1.

    Now the performance of this enclosure is extremely impressive. Here are the ATTO and CrystalDisk tests for my msata SSD as an internal msata drive on my laptop.

    Clipboard_Image_63_.

    And here is the performance as an external drive via usb 3. There really isnt much difference - ATTO read speeds are noticeably slower but that is because it is maxing out the USB 3 connection.

    Clipboard_Image_67_.

    Even more impressive is that if I do my own test (writing 800 photos to disk) the USB 3 connection is actually 20% faster than an internal to internal msata transfer. Now Samsung make a 1TB msata SSD for a little over US$500 which gives you a large and very fast hard drive.

    Here is another product that I own (I own 2) which is certainly the fastest USB 3 stick on the planet.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226459

    Here is an ATTO test of it on my laptop.

    Clipboard_Image_60_1.

    Again it is pretty close to maxing out usb3 on both read (and more impressively write). And again transfer rates from an internal SSD are actually faster than I get with transfer from one internal msata to another (although read times are not as fast.)

    Now of course TB is theoretically faster than USB 3 (max is twice the speed). But I am not sure you it is easy to take advantage of this speed especially as using standard sata drives (without RAID) as USB 3 at least comes close to matching their performance.
     
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Okay, thanks. FWIW, 90MB/s is around the max. transfer rate for a 5400RPM 2.5" SATA HDD. Short of swapping it out with an SSD, you're not going to do significantly better than that in a 2.5" form factor.

    The enclosure isn't necessarily the issue. A 2.5" SATA HDD is simply not in the same class as any half-decent SSD for sustained transfers. I've got a 500GB 7200RPM 2.5" SATA HDD mounted internally and it's still not good for more than 110MB/s or so max.
     
  8. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    Well that could explain it I suppose although his original post talked about putting a Samsumg 1TB SSD into the enclosure.

    Also I would point out that enclosures do vary an enormous amount as do USB 3 sticks. Sticking an SSD into an enclosure doesnt guarantee you fast speeds. He still has a lousy enclosure on the basis that there is absolutely no reason that his usb 3 speeds should be lower than his TB speeds as the connection is not the bottle neck.
     
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I don't believe he mentioned doing the swap though. It's not actually designed to be user swappable and once you futz with the double-sided tape holding the unit together, I'd assume all bets are off.

    I've got a cheap $10 USB 3 enclosure that does just as well as eSATA. These chipsets are pretty standard at this point. It's possible the Buffalo is a real turkey, but 30MB/s sounds more like a driver or host-port issue (in fact 30MB/s sounds like it was probably running off of USB 2).
     
  10. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    While this might be generally true for conventional hard drives it is not true of SSDs in external enclosures. Even a year ago - before UASP and the latest Sandforce controllers - you would typically only get about half the performance of n SSD connected via USB3 compared to an internal SSD hard drive.
     
  11. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    My plan B is to go for a Transcend 720 960GB SSD to replace the standard 768GB SSD. The 768GB SSD will then become an external SSD via the Transcend USB enclosure. The 768 GB SSD would only be used for backups during field trips. Whenever I purchase a new rMBP (2015 or 2016), I would swap the SSDs so that 960GB SSD would be a backup for the new rMBP which would have an internal SSD of 1TB or larger.

    Once I get the Transcend SSD I will do some disk speed tests before and after. This should happen before the end of May.

    http://www.transcend-info.com/apple/jetdrive/
     
  12. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    You can now order the 720 960GB Jetdrive at Amazon. It is $599. :eek:

    But for folks who have mid 2012 to late 2013 rMBPs with the SATA based SSDs, this give you the option of a large internal SSD without having to move to a new rMBP. Also any current SSD can become an external SSD with the provided enclosure.

    I will use the upgrade to provide plenty of storage for multiple week photo trips. When I move the current 768GB SDD into the enclosure it should be enough to do a full rMBP backup. If not, I will at least be able to backup my photos...the purpose of the trip. When I am ready to purchase a new rMBP (with an internal SSD of at least 1TB) I will put the 768GB SSD back into my 2012 rMBP and sell it. Then the 960GB SSD would become the backup for the new rMBP.
     
  13. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I guess I don't understand why one would use an SSD for backup or photo storage. These aren't performance critical applications (even for Lightroom, an SSD is only helpful for the catalog and previews - the images are fine anywhere). For $70 you can get a 1TB 2.5" HDD and USB 3.0 enclosure, that'll store whatever you need without any complications.
     
  14. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    There are several 1TB external solutions for ThunderBolt using an SSD.

    LaCie makes the Little Big Disk in a dual SSD format for 1 TB total. It works well and is fast.

    You can get a single 1 TB 2.5 drive from OWC. I have used that one as well and it works well.
     
  15. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    819
    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    Ron
    I'm not as up on this type of thing as I am with others. Can I buy any HDD and an enclosure and then have an external drive?
     
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    That's what I did, although at this point it looks like it's actually cheaper to buy one that already comes with an enclosure.
     
  17. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    My use case requirements for a field backup/storage expansion product are:

    • Fast backups in the field. The external drive would not be used at my home where I have LaCie TB drives for main libraries and those TBs of files are backed up.
    • No spinning disks to crash. SSD only.
    • Increased rMBP internal storage from 768GB to ~1TB (960GB is close enough).

    The Transcend JetDrive addresses my requirements very nicely. I will post performance reports when I get it installed at the end of May, if anyone cares to know more.
     
  18. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    I have gone with plan B. Ordered Samsung EVO 840 1TB SSD from eBay and save considerably compared to the Transcend SSD aimed at use inside the Macbook. I should be about to use the Samsung SSD as external field backup for years. Ordered Inateck USB 3 enclosure that does UASP. I hope to get read/write speeds in the 400MBs+ range, close to the same as the internal SATA-based SSD. This should give me quick field backups, and restore capabilities if needed, without the risks of crashing a spinning hard disk. I will put a boot/OS partition on it and use the other partition for Time Machine backups in the field. I can move the Samsung SSD to a TB or USB 3.1 enclosure next year if needed. I hope the 2015 MacBooks have USB 3.1 as it doubles the USB 3.0 speed.
     
  19. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    When I tested the internet SSD on my 2012 Retina Mackbook Pro, the SSD read/write speeds were in the 400MBs+ range.

    This morning I put a Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD on a dumb USB3 USB3-SATA cable and tested it. The read/write speeds where in the 200MBs range.

    Then I put the SSD into an Inateck FEU3NS-1E enclosure ($18 at Amazon). That enclosure does UASP. The read/write speeds are in the 400MBs+ range and very similar to the internal SSD. So for a SATA-based SSD, a USB3 connection using UASP may be fast enough to avoid a transport bottleneck. Once SSDs move to PCI-e, we will need USB 3.1 or Thunderbolt to avoid transport bottlenecks.
     

    Attached Files: