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

MIDIBoss

Weaksauce
Joined
Aug 5, 2017
Messages
125
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
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
13
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/
 

lilfiend

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Messages
6,673
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.
nrYQc8l.png[img]
 

MIDIBoss

Weaksauce
Joined
Aug 5, 2017
Messages
125
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.
nrYQc8l.png[img]


Thank you for that info Frank Bello!

M
 

brentsg

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 8, 2003
Messages
1,746
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.
 

Pandur

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 4, 2000
Messages
325
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.
 

/dev/null

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 31, 2001
Messages
15,190
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
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).
 

Schmeisser

n00b
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
35
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