Cheapest way to get a really fast cross-platform external SSD?

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by MIDIBoss, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. MIDIBoss

    MIDIBoss [H]Lite

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    Howdy folks,

    What's the cheapest way to get an external hard SSD drive? I am assuming that it would be buying a SataIII SSD and putting it into a USB enclosure. Would the USB enclosure slow it down a lot? Is there a better option? I need something really fast for tansferring large audio work files (Pro Tools, etc.) between my systems and don't want to spend as much as buying a regular SSD external would cost. Is there any huge speed difference between the most expensive SATA III SSD's and the cheap(er) ones?

    Also, I have a little 32gb thumb drive that my Mac and my Windows 10 computers can both read. This is super handy for transferring small files between the two machines. Is there a way I can setup an external SSD to run that way? I don't really understand why the thumb drive works that way because I thought Windows/Mac were two different formatting processes, but curious if anyone here would know!

    Thanks,
    M
     
  2. Frank Bello

    Frank Bello n00bie

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    A SATA SSD in an external enclosure works fine. I have a Silverstone USB 3.1 tool-less enclosure, cost about £25. Works fine with a MacBook Pro or a windows PC. Put in a SATA SSD, no config, away you go. The limiting factor is the SATA interface (and probably the drive itself), not the USB 3.1.

    However - you asked for "cheapest" and "really fast". One of those has to give. If you want "really fast", you could take a look at the Glyph Atom Raid. Never used it but Gpyph claim a transfer rate of up to 860MB/sec. It's a RAID 0 array of two M.2 sticks, with a Thunderbolt3/USB-C external interface. https://www.glyphtech.com/product/atom-raid-ssd. It's definitely not in the "cheapest" category though.

    Your 32GB thumb drive works because the Mac can read/write some of the Windows formats (Windows 10 doesn't support journaled HFS+ natively, but there are some utilities that can do it: https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/how-t...hfs-drives-in-windows-for-free-image-3369574/). Mostly, people use one of the formats that are common to both; there are probably loads of web pages on this topic - e.g. http://osxdaily.com/2012/04/22/format-drive-mac-pc-compatible/.
    If you want to be bold, you can ttry the "experimental" NTFS write feature in MacOS. https://www.techrepublic.com/article/pro-tip-enable-ntfs-write-support-natively-for-os-x/
     
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  3. lilfiend

    lilfiend [H]ardness Supreme

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    You can make a cheap/quick external ssd with the following and formatting it exfat or fat32. Though fat32 max's out at 4gb file sizes.

    https://www.amazon.com/Silicon-Power-Endurance-Free-download-SP060GBSS3S60S25AE
    https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-2-5-inches-SATA-Drive-Enclosure/dp/B01N5RLG2C

    I use this setup for a faster flash drive. You can get better speeds if you spend more money on a better ssd or use a usb 3.1/type c nvme enclosure and an nvme ssd but idk how fast you want and that gets into more $$$.


    These are the speeds I see with the above combo. Much faster than my 64gb flash drive.
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. MIDIBoss

    MIDIBoss [H]Lite

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    Thank you for that info Frank Bello!

    M
     
  5. brentsg

    brentsg [H]ard|Gawd

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    I used an external Thunderbolt SSD to great effect, but you need to ensure your PC has a Thunderbolt port. It's not difficult if you plan for it, and it won't bottleneck your drive.
     
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  6. Pandur

    Pandur Limp Gawd

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    You can also find msata/m.2 ssd usb 3.0 enclosures if you got any of those laying around. And the bonus is they're smaller than the 2.5" options.
     
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  7. /dev/null

    /dev/null [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Fastest way is buying 2 10Gbit Mellanox Connectx-2 cards for $20 each and a DAC cable for maybe $10-$20 (assuming the machines are within a few feet of each other).
     
  8. Schmeisser

    Schmeisser n00bie

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    I think this option would be the best. Thunderbolt 3 should give you up to 40 Ggps speed (I have never tested it myself, but I have seend some results.
    The following article could help to choose: https://www.computershopper.com/feature/2017-guide-the-best-external-ssds