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Old 07-23-2017, 10:24 AM
propower propower is offline
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Default External Samsung M.2 drive for 2017 iMac - doable?

I am looking at the alternative ways to add fast storage to a 2017 iMac. Now that we have TB3 ports I am looking at the trade off of -

$700 upgrade for 1TB internal PCIe SSD
vs
~$800 Akitio TB3 PCIe cage with Samsung 1TB 960 EVO (or similar - maybe 2TB)
vs
~$400 simple SSD in a USB3 box

Speed difference would be huge for the external PCIe - but does it work well with Macs? Is it bootable?
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Last edited by propower; 07-23-2017 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:13 AM
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JCBigler JCBigler is offline
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Default Re: External Samsung M.2 drive for 2017 iMac - doable?

You won't get anywhere near the throughput that is possible with the Samsung Evo 960 by using an external interface. Save your money and buy a Samsung 850 Pro, which will still have a throughput several times faster than what you will need for even the largest recording sessions.
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:32 AM
Sardi Sardi is offline
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Default External Samsung M.2 drive for 2017 iMac - doable?

Well technically that's not true. USB 3.1 or TB3 has much more throughput than an SSD drive needs and would be perfect for the M2 drives.

The problem is I'm yet to come across a USB C case that support NVMe drives.


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Old 07-23-2017, 12:03 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: External Samsung M.2 drive for 2017 iMac - doable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sardi View Post
Well technically that's not true. USB 3.1 or TB3 has much more throughput than an SSD drive needs and would be perfect for the M2 drives.

The problem is I'm yet to come across a USB C case that support NVMe drives.


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Thunderbolt 3 has exactly the throughput that a modern 4 x PCIe 3.0 NVMe drive needs, as 4 x PCIe 3.0 lanes is exactly what the other side of the Thunderbolt 3 chipset provides to the peripheral.

The 960 Evo on an adapter card in a PCIe expansion chassis sure is one way to get fast M.2 NVMe storage connected today. A bit cumbersome, and not likely what lots of people will want to do, but OTOH the cooling provided by many of those chassis will help avoid thermal throttling of those drives, you likely don't want to put a high-performance NVMe M.2 drive in a small enclosure--and if you really care about performance with these drives, you will care about thermal throttling.

I'd be more interested in seeing more new generation NVMe based external Thunderbolt 3 drives from vendors that come with good integrated thermal design. Early drives like that include the Sonnet Fusion http://www.sonnettech.com/product/fu...lashdrive.html (Good luck trying to work out if that drive is still available. Also stupid product naming given Apple's use of "Fusion drive". I'm not sure if/what Sonnet think at times). Another expensive choice is the LaCie Bolt 3 (IMNSHO the design with dual M.2 cards is a mistake--I'm much more interested in seeing product able to ride the commodity M.2 performance curve, with single large fast PCIe 3 x 4 lane M.2 cards stuffed into a single Thunderbolt 3 enclosure and the end-user having the choice of daisy chaining them for lower-performance or running them off separate buses/host side Thunderbolt chipsets for higher performance. And oh the price (and external power supply?)).

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 07-23-2017 at 12:30 PM.
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