External SSD?

Serious_ScrubSerious_Scrub Registered User regular
Has anyone tried running an SSD through Firewire 800/USB 3.0/Thunderbolt? I would imagine that various latencies and overheads would make this a Bad Idea, but will it feel perceptively faster than an internal 2.5'' HDD? Yes, it would make a lot more sense to swap the HDD and SSD around, but I'm interested in knowing practical this is.

Serious_Scrub on

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    There's no reason to do an external SSD I would think.

    The benefit of SSD is faster write/reads which is beneficial for running programs and your OS. Not exactly beneficial to store word documents or videos on.

    They are functionally equivalent of any HDD though. eSATA would be the best method.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • Serious_ScrubSerious_Scrub Registered User regular
    My potential use case here would be to use a spare previous gen intel 80GB SSD, that I bought on impulse, to store a few games which otherwise wouldn't fit on a laptop's internal SSD. Since USB 3.0 supposedly has lower overhead and higher throughput than USB 2 (not that it says much), I figured somebody has to have tried it.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Are you sure it's USB3? You could potentially see benefits. If it's USB2, no reason to bother using SSD on that. Not sure of the specs on the other two though.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • Serious_ScrubSerious_Scrub Registered User regular
    Well, some more searching dug up this article
    http://www.storagereview.com/thunderbolt_storage_with_any_hard_drive_or_ssd

    Looks like USB 3.0 (or at least the sata->usb drive controller) is still pretty slow. Thunderbolt seems like it's pretty close to internal speeds, but for the cost of the adapter and cable, I might as well get a larger SSD.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah looks like $100, at least.

    Do some mac laptops come with eSata though?

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • punkpunk Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    USB 3.0 will theoretically hit speeds on par with your standard/performance SSD, assuming USB 3.0's max bandwidth is about 625MB/s and you have an SSD that's ~500MB/s read/write. Thunderbolt is way, way overpriced currently unless you're into some serious (i.e. professional) levels of external storage, or you're super-nerd with a ton of money to burn. But God damn, those benchmarks for 3.0 are awful. That warrants some additional research.

    Those Seagate docks are nice...they're just a SATA data and power port on a dock module. Great concept, but kind of a bummer because they're 1:1 - Seagate doesn't seem to have any multi-drive externals; a single 7200RPM drive would be a wash.

    USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 would be a waste on an SSD, stick to eSATA, USB 3.0 or TB.

    punk on
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