Drives | MacGizmoGuy : Essential Mac Accessories

Best USB 3.2 SSD Time Machine Mac Backup Drive Options

Shopping for the best Mac compatible USB 3.2 solid state SSD backup drive for Apple Time Machine or other data files? Leveraging the current 10GB/s USB bandwidth of a Thunderbolt / USB-C port on modern Macs, NVMe SSD storage is your best option to completely fill it's pipeline and deliver painless and FAST file transfers at an affordable price. Seriously, for 90% of Macintosh users, Thunderbolt 4 / 3 SSD storage devices may be total overkill and far more expensive.

Cheap and Fast 500GB LaCie USB 3.2 SSD For Mac

Comes with Short USB-C to USB-C Cable

Here's a link to another great choice in a USB 3.2 SSD backup drive for your Mac. Be careful choosing a drive: Some still use 6GB/s SATA SSD modules which deliver half the performance and Read/Write speeds that those using a NVMe / PCIe module can. Be sure in product descriptions it states peak transfer rates in the 800 to 1050 MBps range and not just 400-500 MBps range. You'll spit through your Apple Time machine backups, drive cloning sessions or file copies in far less time. It's worth just a coupla bucks more for NVMe PCIe SSD modules inside.

NOW SHIPPING! Mac Thunderbolt 4 USB4 Compatible SSD Drive Enclosure

Apple Compatible Thunderbolt 4 SSD Drive Enclosure
The wait for a cutting edge Apple compatible Thunderbolt 4 DIY SSD drive enclosure is over! Using the latest cutting-edge Thunderbolt drive controller chipset it delivers recent Thunderbolt 4 equipped M1 Mac buyers the ultimate choose-your-own SSD m.2 module, build-it-yourself in 2 minutes Thunderbolt4 NVMe SSD blade drive enclosure that's certified ready for the Thunderbolt 4 USB4 future - and compatible with the Thunderbolt 3 USB3 past.

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DIY Intel Certified Thunderbolt 4 & USB4 NVMMe SSD Enclosure

Up To 2800MBps : Includes Type-C Thunderbolt & USB Cables

The M.2 Enclosure support up to 2TB 2280 M.2 NVMe SSD modules of your choosing. Check with manufacturer for SSD blade modules they recommend for the best performance and cool operation. The WD Black SN750 and rip-snortin' Samsung 980 Pro seem to be the best choices. This Thunderbolt enclosure supports Mac, Windows, and Linux systems. It's also Thunderbolt 3 compatible and supports dual interfaces for universal compatibility. Supports Thunderbolt 3 & 4, backwards compatible with USB3.2X2, USB3.1, USB3.0 for Macs dating back to 2012.

Benchmark Proven! FASTEST USB-C Flash Drive For Macs. Period.

The ultra-fast Thunderbolt keychain flash drive market never really happened because the cost of Thunderbolt chipsets and licensing made them cost prohibitive. But over on the USB side, thinks are getting interesting as too often pokey thumb drives are performing like modern USB SSD drives thanks to cheaper, smarter controllers and ever-denser flash chips. Here's the standout leader of some of the faster SuperSpeed USB 3.2 keychain style drives on the market.

Fastest Flash Drive Ever!
Kingston NVMe SSD Keychain Drive

Extreme 1000MB/s Performance : Thunderbolt 3 USB-C Connector

The newest generation of Type-C keychain drives have begun using SSD caliber NVMe flash modules and sophisticated PCIe controllers yielding external USB-C SSD backup drive performance in an ultra-slim thumb drive form factor. Kingston's DataTraveler Max delivers up to 1000MB/s read speeds, in capacities up to 1 Terabyte making it the FASTEST Thunderbolt compatible flash drive on a stick -- ever!

Best Thunderbolt 4 Compatible Mac SSD Backup Drives

Apple Thunderbolt 4 Peripherals
Shopping for future-proof Thunderbolt solid state drive for your new Apple Thunderbolt 4 equipped MacBook, Mac Studio, or Mac Mini? The best Thunderbolt 4 compatible external SSD's need to incorporate Intel's latest Titan Ridge TBolt chipsets to assure current and future interoperability. Fortunately a handful of the best Thunderbolt 3 SSD's are already using the Intel chipset to operate now as Thunderbolt 3 - USB 3.2 drives, but are ready for the Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 future. Until this new chipset, many drives on the market are Thunderbolt 3-ONLY and can't be used on other computers only having 10GBps USB-C speed ports.

Below are a few recommended drives with the new chipset that will work great on your current Macintosh - and well into the Thunderbolt 4 future:

Low-Cost Sabrent Rocket XTRM-Q SSD with Thunderbolt 4-Ready chipset:

Sabrent Rocket TBolt 4 Compatible SSD

Best Bang For The Buck

Best-Selling LaCie's Rugged Pro Thunderbolt 4-Ready SSD:

Lacie TBolt 4 Compatible SSD

Tiny Thunderbolt 4 SSD Drive

Stylish Metal OWC Envoy Pro FX Thunderbolt 4-Ready SSD:

OWC TBolt 4 Compatible SSD

Super-Cooling Heatsink Enclosure

Solid-State Fantom Extreme Thunderbolt 4-Ready SSD:

Fantom Extreme TBolt 4 Compatible SSD

5-Year Warranty.

Any of the above portable backup drives are a safe choice to leverage Apple's current generation of high speed ports, and continue to work well as Mac Thunderbolt 4 - USB4 device connectivity evolves.

Mac DIY : Build A Cheap Thunderbolt 3 SSD Backup Drive

Cheap DIY Mac Backup Drive
With a surprisingly affordable Thunderbolt 3 SSD drive enclosure finally on the market, you can build your own customized version of the cheapest DIY Thunderbolt SSD backup drive possible. Needing only a tiny screwdriver, a few minutes to install the SSD blade are all that's needed. A quick format with Apple's Disk Utility and you're

Pair the low-cost Thunderbolt 3 enclosure with what are becoming very cheap M.2 NVMe PCIe 2280 SSD modules. Extremely high performance Time Machine backups and data transfers to and from your Macintosh are possible.

Cheap Thunderbolt 3 NVMe SSD Enclosure

Heat Dissipating Aluminum Case w/Integrated Cable

For barely over $100 total you could have a modest but rip-snortin' 256GB Thunderbolt 3 Mac backup drive. Just pair OWC's Envoy Thunderbolt 3 solid-state drive enclosure with any M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe SSD blade that your heart or your wallet desires.

Cheap 512GB Silicon Power NVMe SSD

Reads to 2,200MB/s and Writes to 1,600MBps

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Thunderbolt 3 and 4 Compatible Flash Drive For Mac

Shopping for a fast flash drive for Thunderbolt 3 MacBook, iMac, Mac mini or Pro? With both a Type-A and Type-C retractable dual ended plugs on the drive you can use this flash memory drive with either USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 ports on newer Macs, or slide it on USB 2.0 / 3.0 ports on older Macintosh laptop or desktop computers.

FASTEST Keychain Flash Drive Ever Made!

Kingston Data Traveler Max

Native USB-C Plug For Newer Thunderbolt 3 & 4 Macs
SSD Caliber 1000MBps Reads/Writes

Above, Kingston's new keychain drive benchmarks faster than any other. Ideal for modern Macs with Type-C Thunderbolt ports. Below, a slower but still respectably performing switchable Dual-Plug thumb drive for USB-A or USB-C Apple backups.

USB-C (& A) Ultra-Fast Flash Drive

Data Read Speeds Up To 550MBps

Though not a fully native chipset Thunderbolt 3 flash drive, this solid-state USB thumb drive is FAST -- About as fast as a full-blown SATA III SSD drive with Read speeds up in the 500MB/s range. It's slim form factor makes it highly portable.

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Cheap ThunderBolt RAID Drive From Western Digital

It's hard to use the words ThunderBolt and cheap in the same sentence, at least in terms of cost per gigabyte. However, Western Digital's pushing the envelope with a laptop size portable ThunderBolt RAID drive available in 2GB or 4GB configurations with it's My PassPort Pro drive series.

Portable ThunderBolt RAID Drive

Dual 2.5" Drive Modules

Utilizing two 2.5" laptop size hard drives in a portable enclosure with integrated ThunderBolt cable, WD is delivering a portable ThunderBolt hard drive with excellent HDD performance up to 233Mbps using spinning platter mechanisms. The drive can be configured as Striped RAID 0, Mirrored RAID 1, or as JBOD for dual independent drives. Although SSD prices have come down precipitously in the past year, 2 and 4TB solid-state drive capacities still aren't affordable for most.

In a Striped RAID 0 configuration, 233Mbps significantly outperforms any single HDD solution and approaches the data transfer speeds a much lower capacity single SSD flash memory drive would provide at these price points. Perhaps Western Digital will release a solid-state flash memory ThunderBolt SSD RAID drive in a future revision.

Best SSD For Mac Drive Replacement

Mac Compatible SSD The Fastest Mac SSD Drive Upgrade is Samsung's 840 series SSD with state of the art controller and NAND flash memory. For many MacBooks and Mac mini's made in the last 5 years, and especially for newer Apple computers you ideally want a 7mm or 9mm low-profile form-factor module. A laptop size 2.5" SATA III SSD solid-state flash memory drive is an excellent option to breathe new life in an aging Mac laptop or desktop system. Samsung delivers one of the best SSD's for Mac drive swaps ever, with record-setting data transfer rates at a very reasonable cost per gigabyte.

For Macintosh models such as the iMac or Mac Pro towers which use standard 3.5" SATA drives, a drive converter like the IcyDock can convert a laptop SSD to a full size desktop drive in seconds. Just plop the best Mac compatible 2.5" SSD you can afford {from OCZ, Samsung, Sandisk, Kingston or others) into the case and close the cover. It's that simple. OWC's drive adapter sled is another good option.

Visit to learn more about various options to turbo-charge an older Mac's performance.

Cheap USB 3 Backup Drive For MacBook

Low-Cost USB 3.0 Mac Backup Drive : More affordable than ever, laptop drive prices have become ridiculously cheap and capacities up to 2 Terabytes are now possible in a 2.5" laptop backup drive mechanism. Western-Digital continues to deliver the #1 best-selling Apple backup drive in it's Passport series which also offers a few red, blue, silver and black color options for those who might want a bit more eye-candy in their backup solution. These days many Apple laptop backup products start around $55 - quite affordable for this must-have Mac accessory.

The transition from USB 2.0 to SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interfaces on newly released storage products has been swift and (unlike ThunderBolt) hasn't added one cent to the cost of manufacturing a drive that's USB3 capable - and still backward compatible with legacy USB 2.0 and even 1.x computers. Although the latency of a mechanical storage device is still a peak performance bottleneck, at least USB 3 offers other technical advantages for less CPU intensive and more efficient bi-directional data transfers, more current to power the drive via USB, and more intelligent power management from a MacBook's usable battery life.

Although Western-Digital, Seagate, LaCie and others offer 'Mac-Specific' models of external backup drives for Apple users, usually they're priced at a $10-or-more premium when all you really need to do when you get the drive is simply reformat it from Windows to Mac OSX. That can be done with Apple's Disk Utility in less than 1 minute to make it optimal for Mac file transfers and data backups.

For some other Apple desktop and MacBook external USB 3.0 backup drive options visit for a sampling of Mac compatible data storage solutions.