But here you have the Market Leader, the pretty much uncontested top of the Benchmark-Winner's heap: Samsung's Recent EVO Series - the SATA III 860 EVO as your optimal choice for a MacBook laptop or Mac desktop SSD upgrade - or for use in a Mac compatible external Thunderbolt or USB 3.0/3.1 DIY backup drive you can assemble in minutes.
There are also mSATA (below) and M.2 (above) form-factor 860 EVO SSD blades for those who want to build a compact 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen2 USB-C or 5Gbps USB 3.0 external backup drive for MacOS, TimeMachine or other Mac file storage needs. All pretty much MAX-OUT the full bandwidth of 6Gbps SATA III interface. For better Read/Write performance you have to make the leap to PCIe interface NVMe drives featured elsewhere on this site.
For the extra 10 or 20 bucks of the Samsung drives over other brands, you'll get peak Read / Write speeds, mature firmware, highly efficient mapping and management of memory cells and a long 5 year warranty to reassure buyers they made the best choice. Simply stated, forget the rest, buy the best. You won't regret it.
NekTeck Thunderbolt3 SSD Drive
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
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
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.
Many USB-C interface drives ship with both Type-A and Type-C cables for use on Apple computers old and new. When connected to a standard Type-A USB 3.0 port they'll operate with a maximum 5Gbps of available bandwidth. Depending on the SSD drive it may still perform identically.
A single SATA SSD is a fine match for USB 3.0 speeds. A dual SATA SSD RAID drive array is a somewhat better match for 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 bandwidth. It's only when you move into PCIe SSD modules or high-end multi-SSD drive arrays that you're best-off considering 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 or 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 storage solutions.
Honestly, unless you're a speed freak or have money to burn, the vast majority of Mac users just want affordable solutions that seem 'fast enough' for their computing needs - and fast and cheap USB 3.1 SSD external drives fit the bill perfectly.
It's Pro users - especially heavy video editing tasks that need and want high-performance, high-end storage solutions. Even then, they lean towards HDD hard drive arrays with huge multi-terabyle storage capacities to meet their needs. SSD-based arrays are only right when there's a massive budget available and storage needs are more modest - such as in music editing studios where file sizes aren't on the order of insane like 4K and 5K Ultra-HD video can be.
These solid-state drives on a card are somewhat like the insides of a conventional 2.5" laptop SSD drive - without the surrounding plastic casing. They also have a pin-edge connector like a tiny PCI card. These readily available off the shelf modules are now being placed in equally tiny drive enclosures for use as backup drives. Several manufacturers have now started shipping mini mSATA USB 3.0 external "pocket" drives.
USB 3.0 Pocket Drive
64-128-256 GB Sizes
You can even build your own mSATA SSD external backup drive with a low-cost USB 3.0 enclosure and pair it with the mSATA solid-state drive module of your choosing from Kingston, Crucial, Samsung, or others. Use Apple's Drive Utility to reformat it for Mac OSX and you've got a great portable Mac SSD drive a fraction of the size of most that's easier to travel with.
MyDigitalSSD mSATA Enclosure
USB 3.0 Case + Cable
Sure, a USB Thumb Drive might be even smaller. But they don't have anywhere near the sophisticated drive controller chips and Read / Write speeds that an mSATA drive has to offer.
Are you still deciding which brand or model of 2.5" SSD drive is best for your Macintosh system upgrade? For Mac personal computer consumers evaluating a solid-state hard drive swap or replacement in a MacBook laptop or Macintosh desktop computer, the options aren't always overwhelmingly straightforward. Thoroughly nerdy and geeky computer individuals could very well spend hours or days pouring over technical specs and benchmark conclusions to choose the most ideal and speediest solid-state disks. But you don't have to engage in in this on your own, since someone has previously done the heavy bench testing. There's actually only a handful of companies delivering cutting edge SSD drive technological advances. You can't go wrong by opting for any of the latest SATA III SSD offerings sold by any of the major manufacturers. Nevertheless, here's our primary choice for an Apple Mac compatible SSD from Samsung's consumer drive family:
Samsung EVO SSD
7mm Capacity To 1 TB
Samsung has recently given OCZ Technologies in the consumer market a serious run for the money. Once only an OEM supplier, they've now become the SSD technology price/performance leader. Their high-end solid-state drives are using their own advanced NAND flash memory chip modules they manufacture themselves. They also incorporate cutting edge controller chipsets along with their own custom developed firmware, Samsung's solid-state offerings are now top-sellers in the industry. At this time the EVO family of SSD drives consistently perform near the very top of benchmark result charts. This insane level of performance is cheaper than ever! Industry-wide price pressure and rising capacities of SSDs are bringing 512GB and 1TB options at the lowest cost per Gigabyte we've ever witnessed. For Apple computer users searching for a 2.5" SATA III device, the Samsung SSD drive line is a first-class choice for upgrading the hard disk in your Apple Mac Mini or MacBook Pro. With an optional full-size drive adapter bracket or converter, they're suitable for use in Mac Pro or iMac full size 3.5 inch drive openings too. They're also a terrific option for DIY SSD drive choice for use in USB 3.0 or ThunderBolt enclosure or drive dock of your choice.
Pondering which model or brand of SSD is right for your Macintosh computer system? For Mac owners pondering a solid-state hard drive enhancement for their MacBook notebook or Macintosh desktop computer, the choices are overwhelmingly simple. Geeky and nerdy computer types may spend days and hours pouring over technological specifications and benchmarks of the best and swiftest solid-state flash memory drive. But you really don't necessarily need to perform that, since tech labs have already done it for you. There are essentially only a few of brands advancing leading edge SSD drive technology and you honestly can not err by simply deciding on one of the latest SSD drives coming from any of the major brands. That being said, here's our top favorite for an Apple Mac compatible SSD from OCZ's drive lineup:
OCZ Vector SSD
7mm Capacities To 480GB
OCZ has long been the most notable brand and technology leader in high-performance SSD drives. Utilizing increasingly denser NAND flash memory chips, leading edge controller and data interface chips along with highly developed custom firmware, OCZ's solid-state drives have traditionally lead the industry and place high in benchmarks. At this time, the Vertex family of SSD's drives continually perform at the top of benchmark result charts. This impressive level of performance doesn't have to cost a lot, radical price drops and increasing capacities of SSDs up to 1 Terabyte have brought on ever lower costs per GB. For Mac consumers in the market for a 2.5" SATA III upgrade, the OCZ SSD drive line is an excellent choice for modernizing the disk drive in your Apple Mac Mini or MacBook portable. Using a full-size drive bracket or adapter, they're also suitable for iMac or Macintosh Pro 3.5 inch full-size drive openings. OCZ drives are also an excellent choice for a Do-It-Yourself SSD external drive for use in the ThunderBolt or SuperSpeed USB 3.0 enclosure or drive docking station of your choice.
Are you unsure of which model or brand of SSD drive is best for your Apple Mac computer system? For Mac computer owners pondering a solid-state drive update for their MacBook laptop or Macintosh desktop computer, the options are overwhelmingly uncomplicated. Seriously geeky and nerdy technology folk could very well spend days and hours deciphering electronic specifications and benchmark conclusions of the outstanding and swiftest solid-state disks. However, you really don't necessarily have to do any of it your own, due to the fact that someone's have actually done the lab testing for you. There are really only a handful of brands advancing cutting edge SSD drive technologies and you honestly cannot go wrong by deciding on any of the most recent SSD offerings coming from any of the top-tier suppliers. Having said that, this is our principal favorite for a Mac compatible SSD coming from SanDisk's drive catalog:
Sandisk Extreme II SSD
Capacities To 480GB
SanDisk (a division of Micron Technologies) has long been an innovator in top-performing flash memory devices and SD cards. It was a natural evolution for them to enter the SSD market. Taking advantage of increasingly denser NAND flash chips, cutting edge drive controller chipsets, and along with intelligent firmware, SanDisk solid-state drives put their performance solidly in the Top-5 brands. Currently their 3rd-generation of the EXTREME SanDisk SSD's drives reliably perform near the top of most benchmark result charts. This impressive level of performance doesn't need to cost you a premium. Industry-wide price drops and expanding capacities of SSDs of up to one Terabyte have brought us the lowest prices per Gig ever. For Macintosh users shopping for a two and a half-inch 6GBps SATA III SSD, the SanDisk drive line is a fantastic option for replacing the hard disk drive in your Apple Mac Mini or MacBook portable. With a full-size drive bracket or adapter, they're appropriate replacements for iMac or Macintosh Pro 3.5 inch full-size drive openings too. They're also an excellent choice for DIY external SSD backup drives when placed in a USB 3 SuperSpeed or ThunderBolt case or drive docking station you prefer..
Wondering which brand or model of SSD drive is optimal for your Apple Mac computer system? For Mac computer individuals mulling over a solid-state hard drive enhancement for MacBook notebook or Macintosh computer system computer, the choices are overwhelmingly straightforward. Really geeky and nerdy computer individuals might spend hours or days deciphering technological specs and benchmark conclusions of the outstanding and fastest solid-state drives. However, you don't actually need to do that yourself, since tech labs have already done it for you. There are really only a small number of firms accelerating state-of-the-art SSD drive technological advances and you really could hardly go very wrong by opting for any of the newest SSD drives sold by any of the major companies. That being said, here's our primary choice for a Mac compatible SSD from Kingston's drive lineup:
Kingston HyperX SSD
9mm Capacity To 480GB
An established player in the industry it seems Kingston Digital's strengths are in brand recognition and distribution channels. It's our impression they rebrand other OEM's solid-state drives. Kingston solid-state drives are often available in bundles with data transfer cables, software and mounting brackets for easy system upgrades. Presently their HyperX and SSDNow class of SSD drives consistently perform well in benchmark result graphs. This impressive level of performance does not have to cost a lot, extreme price cuts and raising capacities of SSDs nearing 1 Terabyte have brought about the lowest cost per Gigabyte we've ever seen. For Mac owners searching for a two and a half-inch SATA III SSD module Kingston drive line is a fantastic option for upgrading the hard disk in your Apple Mac Mini or MacBook notebook. With a full-size drive bracket or converter, they're suitable for Mac Pro or iMac full size 3.5 inch drive slots too. They're also a value-concious choice for DIY SSD drive choice for USB 3.0 or ThunderBolt drive dock or enclosure of your choice.