SSD Thunderbolt for MacBook Pro (2013)

Old Timer

Active Member
Does anyone know of an SSD I can run from my MacBook Pro's (late 2013) thunderbolt connector. I see I can get Samsung SSDs for USB 2 and USB 3, but there doesn't seem to be much for thunderbolt.

I know about the Blackmagic multidock but this is kind of expensive. Is there a cheaper option I'm missing? I've spent the last hour looking online and nothing is popping up.

Currently both my USB connectors are in use and I have a 7,200 drive connected to the thunderbolt. The drive struggles with the orchestral libraries and I'm figuring an SSD would improve matters, but I'd like to use the thunderbolt if I can.

Any thoughts/advice would be, as ever, appreciated.

Yours, Old Timer.
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
Does anyone know of an SSD I can run from my MacBook Pro's (late 2013) thunderbolt connector. I see I can get Samsung SSDs for USB 2 and USB 3, but there doesn't seem to be much for thunderbolt.

I know about the Blackmagic multidock but this is kind of expensive. Is there a cheaper option I'm missing? I've spent the last hour looking online and nothing is popping up.

Currently both my USB connectors are in use and I have a 7,200 drive connected to the thunderbolt. The drive struggles with the orchestral libraries and I'm figuring an SSD would improve matters, but I'd like to use the thunderbolt if I can.

Any thoughts/advice would be, as ever, appreciated.

Yours, Old Timer.
Transcend, Lacie, Buffalo, G-technology

Ive already burned through a few buffalo SSDs. I find that SSDs eventually will die on you, and buying portable drives is a waste of money. Akitio used to have a really small RAID enclosure that could fit two SSDs in it. I believe they've updated it and added HDMI but removed the ability to daisy chain. If you're looking for another alternative, you can just buy an SSD, and use a thunderbolt enclosure. at least that way, if the drive dies on you, you can just buy another SSD and swap it out.
 
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OP
Old Timer

Old Timer

Active Member
Thanks for your reply chocobitz825. I had another thought. Could I get a USB hub (like this, ) and just plug the SSD into that. Would it work do you think?
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
Thanks for your reply chocobitz825. I had another thought. Could I get a USB hub (like this, ) and just plug the SSD into that. Would it work do you think?

There are a few things to consider. An SSD will be faster than a disk drive, period. However if you want to get the best out of those speeds, the type of connection is everything.




If I recall correctly, a 2013 MacBook has Thunderbolt 2 ports, which means you're getting the second best speed potential available. Thunderbolt 2 is still faster than all USB options right now. There are many Thunderbolt 2 Hubs available that will let you plug in HDMI devices, usb devices, etc., and daisy chain thunderbolt devices, but if you plug a USB SSD device into a thunderbolt 2 hub's USB port you'll be restricted to USB speeds.

Ideally you would want a thunderbolt 2 SSD drive connected directly to your MacBook for the best speeds. Second best option is to daisy chain a Thunderbolt SSD through a thunderbolt hub. If you go the SSD route, really you'll see speed improvements no matter what, but it will be a waste considering the cost and overall potential of SSD Drives if you only use a USB-based SSD.
 

Symfoniq

Senior Member
Unless the external SSD uses a PCIe/NVMe interface rather than SATA, you’re not going to see any benefit from Thunderbolt over USB 3. USB 3 is entirely capable of handling the bandwidth of external SATA SSDs, at lower cost than Thunderbolt enclosures. Personally, for sample library usage, I’d just buy a Samsung T5 and be done with it.

As for SSD longevity, the only SSD I’ve ever killed was a crappy off-brand with a SandForce controller. All my Samsung and Intel SSDs have been reliable, some of them for many years now.
 
OP
Old Timer

Old Timer

Active Member
Unless the external SSD uses a PCIe/NVMe interface rather than SATA, you’re not going to see any benefit from Thunderbolt over USB 3. USB 3 is entirely capable of handling the bandwidth of external SATA SSDs, at lower cost than Thunderbolt enclosures. Personally, for sample library usage, I’d just buy a Samsung T5 and be done with it.

As for SSD longevity, the only SSD I’ve ever killed was a crappy off-brand with a SandForce controller. All my Samsung and Intel SSDs have been reliable, some of them for many years now.
Hi - do you think it would work okay with a USB hub?