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Transcend 512GB Thunderbolt Solid State Drive StoreJet 500 for MAC (TS512GSJM500)
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- HFS+ pre-formatted for MAC
- USB 3.0 interface + Thunderbolt Interface
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Exclusively for your Mac, Transcend's StoreJet for Mac SJM 500 Portable Solid State Drive provides immense storage space and offers superior data transfer speeds.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
My specific application is an iMac, mid-2014, baseline (1.4Ghz i5). I realized very quickly after getting this computer that, despite the pokey processor and graphics on this machine, the most limiting bottleneck by far was actually the 5400-rpm HDD. I didn't feel like cracking open my iMac, so I decided to just make an external boot drive (my iMac is stationary, anyways). I wanted to try a few options, so I got this drive as well as a Samsung 500GB 850 EVO 2.5" SSD with a USB to SATA III adapter (w/ UASP). My original write/read speeds on the internal spinner were 75/76 MB/s. This thunderbolt drive boosted those speeds to 301/382 MB/s, which I was quite happy with until I tried the EVO through USB 3.0. The speeds on the EVO were 386/422 MB/s. That, and it has twice the capacity, and cost about $50 less. So, DO NOT buy this drive if you have USB 3.0.
Gorgeous. Sleek. Silver and awesome. Elegant.
But just not as "super duper fast" as I expected a Thunderbolt-connected SSD drive to be.
I have attached photos of the disk speed benchmarks. The first is the internal 256GB SSD drive inside my late 2013 15" rMBP. The second is the screen shot for this drive, the Transcend 256GB Thunderbolt SSD SJM500 drive.
As you can see, the internal drive scored 617 MB/s on writes and 715 MB/s on reads.
This drive, connected to the Thunderbolt port on my rMBP, scored only 291 MB/s on writes, and 384 MB/s on reads.
I'm not sure how that compares to other externally connected Thunderbolt SSDs, as I am not a millionaire and cannot afford to buy a bunch of them for testing.
But in my mind, I expected the speeds to be closer. I love this drive, but just wish it were a tad faster, thus the 4 stars.
The drive looks quite nice, feels solid when held in my hand and was already formatted with OS X. I plugged it in using the included thunderbolt cable and did some testing. It was much faster than my older usb 3 solid state drive but did not approach what I thought should be its speed based on the thunderbolt standards. Out of curiosity I loaded up the (free) Black Magic speed test and did some testing of all of my external drives as well as the internal ssd in my Mini and the results surprised me. All speeds are in MB/s using the 5GB stress setting in Black Magic. See below the data for an more detailed explanation as to what these speeds represent.
Device Read Speed/ Write Speed
Internal ssd: 715/734
usb 3 ssd: 267/ 240
Transcend 1: 419/299
Transcend 2: 384/299
usb 3 drive: 69/66
Internal ssd is the built-in ssd in the Mac Mini
usb 3 ssd is an internal ssd placed into a usb 3 enclosure
Transcend 1 is this Transcend drive connected using the usb 3 connection
Transcend 2 is this Transcend drive connected using the thunderbolt connection
usb 3 drive is a new physical usb 3 drive (as compared to an ssd)
There are several very surprising results, at least to me:
The usb 3 connection on the Transcend drive is noticeably faster than the thunderbolt connection for writing and about the same for reading.
The read speed for both is faster than the write speed (that is to be expected) but the write speed for the Mini's internal ssd is faster than the read speed (and that was not what I expected).
This drive is much faster than the sold state drive I placed into a usb 3 enclosure.
This drive is very much faster than my physical 1TB drive.
So, while I think this is a very good solid state drive and I am happy with it, I currently am using it with usb 3 and not thunderbolt. What I have not done is compare is compare the speeds of this commercial drive with another 256GB commercial sold state drive. It may be that this drive is over-priced but, without a second sold state drive to use for comparison, I can not judge that. And I should also mention that this drive does not run hot as others have noted. Perhaps it is because it is used only to hold photos and thus only in use when I am editing photos, but I have not at any time seen this drive heat up.