ThunderBolt External SSD Drives For Mac

ThunderBolt technology and flash-memory based SSD external drives are a perfect match for the impressive data transfer rates of Intel and Apple's ThunderBolt ports.


Solid-State external drive technology using ThunderBolt utterly redefines the performance of Mac external hard drive storage. With 1st generation 10GBps peak speeds on each of it's dual channels - and 20GBps speed potential on Apple ThunderBolt 2 enabled computers, flash memory drives are really the best technology currently available to even begin to exploit all the bandwidth that the ThunderBolt interface offers.

If you own a Mac with internal SSD or have upgraded your Macintosh desktop or MacBook laptop to a solid-state drive, pairing it with one of these portable SSD ThunderBolt backup solutions will let you experience the fastest file copies and OSX TimeMachine backups ever!

Portable ThunderBolt SSD Backup Drives


Portable ThunderBolt SSD USB3+ThunderBolt SSD External ThunderBolt SSD
Akitio Neutrino Drive

120GB SSD ThunderBolt
External SSD For Mac

256GB USB3 + TBolt SSD
Oyen Digital SSD

256GB For Around $299


The above single-module SSD drives are some of the most-affordable solid-state backup solutions for Mac yet. With recent price drops on solid-state drives, reasonably affordable SSD ThunderBolt backups are now possible starting around $200 USD.

ThunderBolt RAID SSD Drive


The Little Big Disk LaCie 240GB Thunderbolt SSD uses a pair of 120GB solid-state drive modules in a striped RAID 0 configuration to maximize the sheer speed of a ThunderBolt interface. They also offer a 1 TERABYTE SSD solution using dual 512GB Intel SSD modules. Unlike the lower-end, single-port consumer SSD drives featured above, this LaCie drive features dual, daisy-chain ThunderBolt ports on the rear for connection with other TBolt peripherals and displays.

*NEW* Akitio ThunderBolt RAID

256/512 Dual-Drive Versions


Akitio is proving to be an agressive new player in the ThunderBolt market, rapidly expanding it's line of ThunderBolt accessories and drives faster than others. Their now shipping a diminutive dual RAID SSD drive solution (based on tiny mSATA SSD modules) with integrated cable that fits in the palm of your hand - at reasonable per-gigabyte pricing right out of the gate.

The evolution of the Serial-ATA drive interface specification to SATA III has been crucial for SSD ThunderBolt drives achieving peak Read and Write speeds. The 6GBps SATA III spec doubled the previously dominant 3GBps SATA II drive specification. So the latest crop of SATA 3 SSD drives are able to easily meet the demands of ThunderBolt. The timing is perfect. The newest solid-state drives are capable of transferring data (both Reads and Writes) faster than the SATA II spec allows. ThunderBolt SSD drive makers are leveraging the performance of recently introduced SATA III flash memory drives from OCZ, Intel, Crucial, Samsung, SanDisk and others. To truly get the most benefit of an Apple ThunderBolt SSD external drive - you idally need to have a fast SSD in your MacBook or Macintosh desktop system to match an external ThunderBolt port drive's capabilities.

ThunderBolt 2 SSD Drive Options


1TB ThunderBolt 2 RAID

Dual PCIe SSD Modules

We're beginning to see the first 2nd-generation ThunderBolt 2 backup drives hit the market. As was the case when Apple introduced the interface on the Mac, Promise Technologies was the first to market with ANY sort of ThunderBolt storage solution. It was a 4 to 8 multi-drive RAID array and target to and priced for the professional and enterprise market. LaCie was the second to enter the space with a similarly pricey dual solid-state RAID array. Fast forward to 2014, and with the arrivial of ThunderBolt2 on the Mac Pro (and later MacBook Retina Pro models) once again, Promise is the first to market with a shipping ThunderBolt 2 solution, and LaCie now shipping it's next-generation PCIe-based SSD dual module ThunderBolt 2 SSD RAID solution. LaCie has also shipped additional ThunderBolt 2 hard drive arrays.

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