During my recent trip to the states I was hoping to pick up an external Thunderbolt SSD to use as an audio/samples drive for my Macbook air and home iMac.
Unfortunately, I found out my older MB Air doesn’t support Thunderbolt (despite having the right connection – it’s only a display out. Newer airs are OK though). I could have bought a USB SSD but I’d miss out on the speed I’d get from using my iMac Thunderbolt connection .
So, after some research, here was my solution:
I already had a USB Seagate Slim. This drive is made of two parts – the drive itself and the USB interface that pops on the end of the drive. You can buy different interaces - USB 3, Firewire and now, Thunderbolt.
Next I bought the portable Thunderbolt adaptor for £62 at B&H.
That meant I had a drive that I could use with the MB Air using the USB and the iMac using Thunderbolt.
That wasn’t really going to make a huge difference speed wise on the iMac though as although Thunderbolt is fast, the drive was still old school.
The clever bit is that 2.5″ internal SSD’s fit straight onto the Seagate Thunderbolt adaptor (as it’s a SATA connection I think) and they are far cheaper without their posh casings. Less protected – yes, but if you’re careful…
So, I then bought an 256 GB Crucial Internal SSD for £126, again from B&H.
That then meant I had..
- An SSD drive via thunderbolt for my iMac for less than £200 / $320. Half the price of the Elgato
- That same drive could then be used with the older Macbook Air using the USB adaptor from the original Slim drive
Many thanks to Mr OP-1 for helping hard drives look slightly more interesting.