Hardware

Cheap and Fast USB-C SSD Drives For Mac

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 10.45.20 AMThe future of Mac – and PC – interfaces is headed towards the single, unifying Type-C connector for the majority of computer peripherals via a 40Gbps ThunderBolt 3 or a 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen2 Port. As more Apple and other computers embrace this standard, we’re seeing the market split between expensive and fast, high-bandwidth peripherals that NEED Thunderbolt 3’s transfer rates, and far more affordable USB-C devices that are ‘fast enough’ for many consumers. Case in point: Cheap, Fast SSD USB-C drive options galore.

Off the shelf USB-C SSD Mac backup drives are downright cheap compared to their Thunderbolt counterparts. For do it yourselfers, you can cobble your own DIY SSD USB-C drive with either dirt cheap SATA III SSD drives and a USB 3.1 enclosure. For speed freaks, your best ultra-fast but cheap option is a USB 3.1 SSD enclosure that supports PCIe NVMe SSD blade modules which will perform about 30% faster than SATA SSD drive options.

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Hardware

Cheap ThunderBolt 3 External SSD Drives? They’re Coming

Screen Shot 2018-03-01 at 10.03.23 AMThe notion of ‘Cheap’ and ‘Thunderbolt’ being used in the same sentence is rare. The cost of licensing Thunderbolt chipsets has always imposed a price premium on any Thunderbolt peripheral. But maybe that’s going to change as Thunderbolt3 moves to become the ONE De-Facto interface to connect any device whether it’s TBolt or USB using a Type-C connector.

Thanks to the collapsing costs of solid state flash memory, Thunderbolt3 external SSD drive options are reaching affordability for the average Mac computer user. Using NVMe PCIe SSD blade modules, they have the capacity to perform well over 4 TIMES FASTER than SATA III SSD’s which hit the limits of the SATA technology.

Players like Plugable, Cable Matters and OWC are vying for the cheap Thunderbolt3 SSD drive space with pricing under $400 for 480Gb models and under $300 for 240GB SSD drives At the high-end, OWC and LaCie are still targeting high-end, high-speed products ranging from $999 to $1999 with multi-blade screaming fast TBolt3 solutions that only well-heeled businesses can afford.

For ‘The Rest Of Us’ with a new MacBook, iMac or other  – A far more affordable and quite speedy Mac USB-C drive for TimeMachine backups might be a better, cheaper choice.