Best Thunderbolt 3 External Mac SSD Drives In 2022

External Thunderbolt Disk Drive
This year's Best Thunderbolt 3 SSD drives for Mac nominations was an easy task. As powerful as Thunderbolt technology is, the vast majority of Apple computer users are simply opting for incredibly fast but far cheaper 10GBps USB 3.2 USB-C SSD backup drives. Most don't have the need for, nor are willing to pay for the extra speed and ooomph! a 40GBps Thunderbolt 3 solid-state drive can provide.

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,

Sabrent Rocket 1 Terabyte TBolt 3 SSD

Best Bang For The Buck

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.

Lacie 1 Terabyte TBolt 3 SSD

Thank gawd it isn't wrapped in that ugly ORANGE silicone shock protector

OWC Envoy Pro FX 1TB Thunderbolt 3 USB and 3.2 SSD $299

OWC 1 Terabyte TBolt 3 SSD

Super-Cooling Heatsink Fin Enclosure For Reliability

Fantom Extreme 1TB Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.2 Support $299

Fantom Extreme 1 Terabyte TBolt 3 SSD

5-Year Warranty.

TEKQ Lowest-price matching Sabrent, but chipset is Thunderbolt 3-Only $219

TEKQ 1 Terabyte TBolt 3 SSD

Cheap but has TBolt 3-only chipset

G-Drive (Sandisk Pro) is holding out with their stylish but Thunderbolt 3-Only chipset. $319

G-Drive 1 Terabyte TBolt 3 SSD

Needs newer chipset, but the case design is the most stylish

Archgon 1TB Thunderbolt 3-Only SSD $299

Archgon 1 Terabyte TBolt 3 SSD

Good heat dissipating aluminum enclosure

Plugable 1TB Thunderbolt-3 Only SSD $349

Plugable 1TB TBolt 3 SSD

Not price competitive at ll as a Thunderbolt 3-Only drive

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