Future ready and compatible with Thunderbolt 3 era Mac's and MacBooks - This DIY Thunderbolt 4 SSD case's universal drive controller chipset delivers comprehensive compatibility. Supports Thunderbolt 3/4 Macs, is backwards compatible with USB3.2X2, USB3.1, USB3.0 (at slower speeds). Note To Luddites: It doesn't support USB2.0 connectivity with long obsolete Macintosh computers. Check it out!
This retractable Type-C USB 3.2 Gen2 keychain drive from Kingston blew away other benchmarks at sever tech testing sites. A sophisticated SSD caliber controller in the Kingston DataTraveler Max nearly approaches the edge of becoming the 1st almost Thunderbolt 3 flash drive level of performance. Need speed on the cheap? The 256GB version is less than 50 bucks, 512GB and 1TB versions are also available
I've tracked the Mac compatible Thunderbolt 3 solid-state drive market, it struggles and fails to take dominance. I've seen major brands enter with a product, then discontinue their Thunderbolt 3 drive a year later. It seems that next-generation USB 4 is going to eventually crush Thunderbolt slowly, much like what happened with Apple's FireWire a decade ago. Below are the only 8 TBolt 3 external SSD's I could find listed on Amazon after hours of searching and scouring their listings.
What that leaves us is only the most known and entrenched players like LaCie, OWC and GTech are holding turf while lesser brands slug it out. What's surprising is Sabrent delivering the cheapest 1TB Thunderbolt 3 SDD drive and does it using the latest chipset. It supports both 40 GBps Thunderbolt 3 or 10GBps USB 3.2 Type-C connectivity for assured cross-platform compatibility now, and into the Thunderbolt 4 / USB4 future.
The Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q 1TB SSD with Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.2 chipset $219 USD. Speeds up to 2700 MB/s in Thunderbolt 3 Mode or up to 900 MB/s in USB 3.2 Mode,
Major Brand, Highest Price: LaCie's Rugged Pro Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C drive that supports either TBolt3 or USB 3.2 protocols. Wins the least bang for the buck award at $349.
OWC Envoy Pro FX 1TB Thunderbolt 3 USB and 3.2 SSD $299
Fantom Extreme 1TB Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.2 Support $299
TEKQ Lowest-price matching Sabrent, but chipset is Thunderbolt 3-Only $219
G-Drive (Sandisk Pro) is holding out with their stylish but Thunderbolt 3-Only chipset. $319
Archgon 1TB Thunderbolt 3-Only SSD $299
Plugable 1TB Thunderbolt-3 Only SSD $349
Tags: cheap mac external ssd, thunderbolt 3 ssd for mac, apple compatible thunderbolt 3 drive, mac thunderbolt 3 ssd, cheapest ssd, cheap thunderbolt 3 drive
The majority of drives introduced since Thunderbolt 3's debut have been Thunderbolt 3-ONLY drives that didn't function at all on USB-C ports. But that's changed now with Intel's new chipset. Yes the drives run slower under USB 3.2 at 10GBps, but they're more versatile when you need to use them on modern computers with or without Thunderbolt.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The Sabrent Rocket 1TB Thunderbolt 3 SSD is the BEST DEAL so far this year: Lowest Cost. High Performance, Maximum Versatility. Period.
Pair OWC's cheap Thunderbolt 3 enclosure with a compatible M.2 NVMe SSD blade from Silicon Power. They're a major name in the solid-state drive business known for extremely competitive pricing. For well under $50 you can buy a half a Terabyte of insanely fast storage to put in OWC's affordable Thunderbolt 3 enclosure.
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Offering Read speeds up to 1600Mbps and 1100Mbps Writes, the Archigon Silver Thunderbolt 3 SSD isn't quite as fast as some competitor's PCIe SSD blade products that cost significantly more. So there's the tradeoff: A cheap Thunderbolt 3 SSD that's more than 'fast enough', or far more expensive ones that deliver proportionately higher speeds at higher prices.
Licensing Intel's Thunderbolt 3 chipset inflates the cost of computer peripherals significantly more than a dirt-cheap USB 3.0 / 3.1 chipset does. But Thunderbolt 3 is taking hold far beyond the Mac into the Windows PC world with unprecedented adoption and deployment. The economies of scale with make cheap Thunderbolt 3 storage and devices a reality sooner than you think.