Apple Compatible SSD Reviews and News

3 Cheap Thunderbolt 3 SSD Blade Drives For New Macs

It's hard to use the word 'cheap' and 'Thunderbolt' in the same sentence sometimes, The cost of licensing Intel's TBolt chipset has always added a price premium far exceeding comparable computer products in the USB space. Here however, we're seeing next-generation Mac compatible Thunderbolt 3 SSD blade drives using PCIe NVMe modules offering unprecedented data Read speeds at reasonably affordable prices.

NekTeck Thunderbolt3 SSD Drive

NekTeck SSD External Thunderbolt 3 Blade

480GB Data Storage - 7" Integrated Cable


As we slowly transition away from standard 3.5" and 2.5" laptop drive form factors, 'blade' SSD's using small solid-state PCIe flash modules are clearly the future of Apple storage technology. As such, expect many USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 SSD storage peripherals for Mac to be quite small and compact - yet deliver mind blowing data transfer rates running natively on 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 protocols.

Cable Matters Thunderbolt3 SSD Drive

CableMatters External Thunderbolt 3 Blade SSD

480GB Storage - Integrated 7 Inch Cable


We currently have 3 widely available and relatively cheap SSD Thunderbolt 3 blade drives on the market which all share the same OEM manufacturer and design, but are simply rebranded with Plugable, CableMatters, and NekTeck logos. All offer Read Speeds exceeding 2200 MB/sec and Write speeds around 1400 MB/sec under typical use. All are currently available just under $400 USD for a 480GB drive.

Plugable Thunderbolt3 SSD Drive

Plugable External Thunderbolt 3 SSD Blade

480GB Capacity - 7" Integrated Type-C Cable


Note: These are Thunderbolt 3 NATIVE drives suitable only for the most recent MacBook Pro and iMac Pro era machines with 40Gbps Type-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. They do not operate in 10Gbps USB-C mode as other Type-C peripherals might on a TBolt3 port. And since the short 7 inch integrated cable isn't removable and there aren't dual pass-through TBolt3 ports - they're only usable directly connected to your Mac or as the last device in a Thunderbolt daisy-chain.