Thread: Nvme Enclosures

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    Nvme Enclosures
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    Senior Member Peter C.'s Avatar
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    I’ve been recently been researching adding an external ssd nvme connected via usb c to my new mac mini. I found it actually more complex than I was anticipating. There three or more versions of usb 3.1 (gen 1, gen 2, thunderbolt 3). Many of the faster thunderbolt devices aren’t backward compatible. The nvme enclosures vary widely in performance, quality, price and dependability. After reading the reviews you can be left disconcerted with issues such random disconnecting, bad performance, even over heating and claims of damaging the drive. The advantage of using an enclosure you can get exceptional speed and pick the nvme you want. The other option is to purchase a prebuilt drive and not have to concern yourself with any of these issues and in some instances it can cost the same.

    Thunderbolt (40gbps)
    $68 OWC https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/envo.../thunderbolt-3
    $90 Sabrent https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FT59SB6...FbW5VHWAV?th=1
    $110 Avolusion https://www.amazon.com/Avolusion-SSD.../dp/B085T57STT
    $139 Fledging Shell (with fan) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QY9V2KM...ing=UTF8&psc=1
    $170 Orico https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082KFB5TL..._nSOXFbF9B3VKR

    USB 3.1 (10gbps)
    $20 Orico https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08G14NBCS...ing=UTF8&psc=1
    $46 Sabrent https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K4TZQ7D..._4IOXFbW5VHWAV


    $279 - SAMSUNG T7 2TB - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0874Y5XFG...bD1FX8JX?psc=1
    Last edited by Peter C.; 12-02-2020 at 08:57 AM.


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    What's the point if you're not going to obtain the native R/W speeds of the NVMe?


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    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    I'd be interested to see your links


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    These are much cheaper than I remember them being (especially now with 'holiday savings')...so they are cost effective if the enclosure is TB3/4 and works well.


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    For pure Thunderbolt 3 external drives, I've had a mixed bag. The G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE Mobile Pro SSD Thunderbolt 3s is very fast, and while pricey, isn't as expensive as other Thunderbolt 3 drives that utilize NVMe.

    Fast, but unfortunately it repeatedly dropped connection. I returned it. I replaced it with a Glyph Atom Pro 500GB External NVMe SSD Thunderbolt 3 drive. No dropped connections, no thermal throttling to reduce drive speed with long transfers. And no speed hits as the drive filled up.

    AJA Test shows 2217 MB write and 2387 read. Black Magic shows 1100 MB write and 2450 read. But it's pricier at $249.00 for 500GB drive and enclosure
    Last edited by David Saraceno; 12-01-2020 at 03:34 PM.
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    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Saraceno View Post
    For pure Thunderbolt 3 external drives, I've had a mixed bag. The G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE Mobile Pro SSD Thunderbolt 3s is very fast, and while pricey, isn't as expensive as other Thunderbolt 3 drives that utilize NVMe.

    Fast, but unfortunately it repeatedly dropped connection. I returned it. I replaced it with a Glyph Atom Pro 500GB External NVMe SSD Thunderbolt 3 drive. No dropped connections, no thermal throttling to reduce drive speed with long transfers. And no speed hits as the drive filled up.

    AJA Test shows 2217 MB write and 2387 read. Black Magic shows 1100 MB write and 2450 read. But it's pricier at $249.00 for 256GB drive and enclosure
    I have no idea if it matches the stability of the 500GB, but the Glyph atom pro 2TB is on sale for $550 now - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...m_pro_2tb.html
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    Senior Member Peter C.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahalpert View Post
    I'd be interested to see your links
    added to my first post
    Last edited by Peter C.; 12-02-2020 at 08:13 AM.


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    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    very interesting... considering the compatibility/reliability issues, I'm feeling like I might go with an all-in-one enclosure/drive product since the goal is to optimize performance

    ...man those speeds are bats*%t crazy. i just ran BM disk speed test on my MBP and I'm getting about 2000MB/s write 2200 MB/s read. to get faster than that with an external drive is fantastic.


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    Senior Member Peter C.'s Avatar
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    Yeah the T7 2tb is $249 and 900mbs which is probably good enough for 4k.

    To get better performance the enclosures get expensive. 2Tb nvme are around $250 + the enclosure. So there’s no cost savings


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    I have two of these: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...table_ssd.html

    And two of the non-Pro version: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...0_2tb_ssd.html

    They're fine. I use them to take projects on the go to edit on the road. They work fine for that. The Pros give real-world around 1500MB/s and the non-Pro is around 400MB/s real-world.

    My main edit drive is an OWC Express 4M2 with four HP 2TB NVMe drives. While it's limited by Thunderbolt's PCIe bandwidth, it still easily cracks 2000MB/s and is very very very fast in use. That setup cost me about $1100.

    I run it in RAID 0, but it gets backed up four times a day to a local 12TB disk. If I had to, I could edit off of the 12TB until a replacement SSD stick came in. The SSD RAID is also covered by Time Machine on my NAS, so I'm pretty confident with striping to get the extra capacity and performance.

    Anything on the edit RAID that hasn't been accessed in three months gets auto-copied to an archive drive on my NAS (10GbE) and flagged with an orange tab in Finder. I'll take a look, verify it copied correctly and then usually dump it... so I don't generally get very full on the SSD RAID.
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