External Desktop SSDs

I just purchased the base level Mac Studio but have almost a terabyte of photos and videos that I need to put on external drive. What are the best external SSDs out there?

I like the Samsung T7 SSD’s, and they’re on sale at Amazon right now.


Don’t know about “the best” but I’ve had good success with the Samsung T-series and the SanDisk Extreme Go series. For the past 5 years I’ve standardized on SanDisk because I get them at Costco when on-sale. I have five aged 2-5 years and haven’t had a failure yet. :grinning:

I’m sure there are faster ones out there but so far, I’m good.

I purchased a 2TB external SSD from OWC last year which I’ve been very happy with.

I’ve used both Samsung and Crucial SSDs and have been happy with them

I’ve a Crucial drive that I had in 2010 MacPro for at least five years and probably more that is still working just fine in an external enclosure with my Mac Studio.

Good luck with whatever you decide on.

1 Like

I have a Samsung T7 velcroed to the back of my iMac right now for my pc games.


+1 for Samsung T-7

Sounds like the Samsung is the way to go, if that’s what everyone seems to be recommending. I have two of them already so that will save me some money. Thanks for there help everyone.

1 Like

I really like OWC. I’ve used them for two decades, for all kinds of purchases and they never try to upsell me, and have saved me time and money. I’d call them, tell them you want it for photos, and see what they suggest.


I tend to just buy whatever @DEVONtech_Jim recommends :grimacing:

A slightly more helpful answer is that I like that much of Jim’s recommendation is about how/when they fail. Most external drives work and known brands are speedy, the important question how frequently do they fail, do you get any hints beforehand that it’s about to happen, and is there any way to save the data after something has gone wrong?

A lot of this thread went off into backups, but has some useful bits I refer to: Recommendations for External Hard Drive - #2 by BLUEFROG - Miscellaneous - DEVONtechnologies Community

I personally have been using two WD 2TB Elements drives for a few years now. I have only one complaint, but I don’t really put them through their paces so I’m not a good tester (they don’t get thrown in bags or moved about, and I only use them for backups). My one complaint is that I personally in my quiet office find their noise irritating (but seriously they’re quiet, it’s just Macs are quieter!). I don’t leave them plugged in because of this.

It’s not what we’re talking about, but I just want to mention flash drives. I’ve been using this SanDisk 64GB flash drive for 5 years according to Amazon, and it’s still going strong! I use it for all sorts of things and it does get put in pockets etc. Most recently I used it a couple of weeks ago for restoring my Mac files after I did a full wipe of my MBP. And every time I use it I take a little delight in how tiny it is for holding 64GB. I remember when a big USB stick was 500MB!

Edited to add: just noticed how much the SanDisk flash drive costs (<$10). I also remember when a good flash drive would set you back $50+. How times have changed!!

1 Like

I also have / love my Crucial X8 Portable SSD. It’s my Time Machine drive.

I’m considering getting another for extra storage

1 Like

I also have the X8 in use as my daily Time Machine drive – it’s cheap and cheerful (fast, too!). I bought a Samsung T7 Shield for my partner’s MBA, and she’s very happy with it (it’s fast enough to work well with image and video, she tells me – she does a little on the fly editing, but is not a power user).

I think you can’t really go wrong with most of these well-regarded commercial SSDs – unless you have more bespoke requirements. Of course make sure that the external storage solution is itself robustly backed up. (We back up internal and external drives to 1) yet another spinning drive via Time-Machine; and 2) selected folders via Arq to Dropbox).

Thanks for pointing out that they’re on sale right now. I just checked and the first generation 2TB model is on for 45% off in Canada! (Bought 2)

I just spotted this thread. If you want the fastest external SSD it will need a Thunderbolt interface and not just USB-C. Note that the SanDisk Extreme (which I use) are not Thunderbolt and are limited to 1000 MB/s transfer. It looks like the same is true for the Samsung T7 and Crucial SSD. The OWC Envoy Pro FX has a Thunderbolt interface and will be twice as fast, albeit at twice the price. But if you want performance you’ve got to pay the price.

I’d like to replace the spinning hard drive I use for Time Machine with an SSD. The 2014 Mac mini that it will be connected to claims a USB 3.0 Bus and hasn’t heard of the USB-C connector. I’m guessing that buying the fastest SSD would be a waste of money and that I should probably buy one of the still available, older, lower-spec, SSD drives?

I’m not Tom, but if it’s just for TimeMachine backups I wouldn’t be overly worried over transfer speed unless you’re working with enormous files that change frequently and are in the scope of your backup.


Has anyone used one of these Setachi hubs for their Mac Mini? It looks like the one with an SSD enclosure can be used with the Studio.

Velcro > Duct Tape…