I'm planing to get an SSD(500GB) probably Samsung EVO or Corsair(LS,LX,GT) & seagate thunderbolt adapter for my macbook pros' 2011 and 2013 Retina.

⌘ - I've already upgraded my 2011 MBP with Samsung EVO 250GB and it's performance is fantastic.

So here's my question - Using SSD externally with thunderbolt worth it? both in terms of money and speed.

My basic purpose of getting SSD for external use -

  1. Keep all my data (mostly movies), don't like keeping them on my laptop to eat space.
  2. I travel a lot and never liked carrying those bulky Seagate goflex external hard drives, I'm more of a go bare 2.5 HDD guy because they are thin and small, unfortunately mechanical HDD's are fragile but SSD's aren't, they are already in a metal casing so all i need is an adapter to connect.

So should I go and get an SSD with thunderbolt adapter, will it deliver the same speed as the it delivers when placed internally? I'm open to getting an USB 3.0 adapter too (just to keep the cost low).

I'm aware of Lacie rugged thunderbolt SSD drive, honestly I don't like its life boat design. too bulky fatso! - - the max i want to use on SSD is a Silicon skin.

So please do consider those bold face points while replying. thanks. It's my first post here.

  • Welcome to Stack Exchange Ask Different! I asked myself the same question a few months ago and went with an external LaCie Rugged SSD w/Thunderbolt for my MB Air and home iMac. I partitioned it so half was a Time Machine backup, and the other half for files I need whilst traveling, movies, iTunes music, games, etc. Time Machine ops from SSD <> SSD are blindingly fast, and games load very quickly. I like the rugged housing because I am a klutz. USB 3 can be extremely quick as well, but I fill my USB ports with other tools (Gig ethernet adaptor, wired keyboard, etc.)
    – IconDaemon
    Jul 29, 2014 at 13:43
  • I only read about a MBP 2011, does your computer have a USB 3 connection? Jul 29, 2014 at 19:30
  • Hey guys thanks for replying. I finally went and got the seagate thunderbolt adapter and Samsung EVO 250GB SSD. I don't use the SSD in any enclosure, all I do is connect it to the adapter and enjoy. But retina and 2011 works great. I'm getting read speed around 400-500.
    – Abhilash
    Sep 7, 2014 at 19:36

2 Answers 2


i've looked at external SSD's for my mac as well. they seem to be pretty pricey for their purpose. Regards the speed, thunderbolt delivers about 10Gb/s which is plenty. it seems at least as fast as an internal SSD, and a heck a lot faster than USB 3.0. If you have to absolutley get an external SSD, get one that supports thunderbolt, or even better to get one that supports thunderbolt 2.0.


I have a Samsung 540 EVO 1TB drive running with a Seagate Thunderbolt adapter - and the performance is stunning. Way faster than USB3. The Thunderbolt SSD option is very nice for loading and entire OS and using it on different machines.

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