With the Mini Neo, a SATA III based M.2 SSD module is used for reasonably speedy transfers, but expect other products incorporating PCIe NVMe flash modules to deliver even higher data transfer speeds approaching 1000MBps to reach the market soon.
Tags: USB-C storage hub, USB-C-SSD dock, USB-C hub with SSD
There's a handful of widely available NVMe PCIe SSD Thunderbolt 3 enclosures available. With portable 40Gbps Thunderbolt enclosure prices hovering in the $110-$130 range, a DIY Thunderbolt 3 enclosure w/SSD costs more than complete off-the-shelf half-terabyte external TB3 backup drives like the 512GB Patriot Evlvr or the 512GB VisionTek do!
By the time you add a DIY M.2 PCIe SSD module - even one of the cheapest NVMe SSD's out there -- to an enclosure, your total cost inches closer to the $200 range. Just doesn't make much economic sense to cobble your own solid-state Mac backup drive until Thunderbolt 3 enclosure prices drop further.
The Thunderbolt 3 port friendly USB3.1 Gen2 10Gbps external case for Mac accepts 2230 2242 2260 2280 millimeter length NVMe PCIe SSD of your choosing. It supports capacities up to 2TB solid-state flash memory modules.
We still haven't seen a true Thunderbolt 3 flash memory drive enclosure like this one with a native TB3 chipset. In the meantime, USB-C will be fast enough. Using USB-C protocol on an Apple Mac, this drive is capable of Read/Writes up into the 1000MBps range, fully maxing out the 10Gbps bandwidth of its USB 3.1 Gen 2 connection.
Based on NVMe solid-state flash memory modules, the drive is capable of speeds up to 2800MBps connected via Thunderbolt 3, or up to 950MBps on a Gen 2 USB 3.1 USB-C port leveraging the full potential of either type of connection. For modern Mac users, the drive's single port will connect at Thunderbolt 3 speeds when directly connected to a newer MacBook, iMac, Mac mini or Mac Pro. But it will also work at various USB speeds if connected to, say, a slower USB-C hub. With proper cable or adapter on older Macs, it can even connect to rectangular USB 2.0/3.0 Type-A ports and still work.
Unike 'combo' drives with multiple interfaces on the back, a SINGLE port on the SSD Pro detects the optimal protocol when plugged into a Type-C computer port. As such the SSD Pro from LaCie is the most versatile external SSD drive currently available thanks to it's advanced Titan Ridge Thunderbolt controller circuitry.
One example of a new wave of very-affordable SSD Thunderbolt 3 drives for your Mac desktop or MacBook laptop is this VisionTek solid state drive with reasonably snappy performance at an insanely great price point.
Depending on whether you intend to use this drive for cross-platform use or not, you may want to reformat the external SSD for MacOS upon arrival. Note that many new Intel PC's running Windows 10 now include Thunderbolt 3 ports as well, so expect broad market compatibility to help drive the price of Thunderbolt3 peripherals down to commodity price points.