Nekteck 480GB PCI-E SSD with 201
Almost Everything on Apple's current shipping Mac line has a Thunderbolt 3 port. While these ports can be used for USB 3.1 Type C drives, if you have the ability to attach faster storage, it may be worth it.
Before we dive deep into the performance, Nekteck 480GB Thunderbolt 3 SSD is testing a 480GB model, with a permanently attached Thunderbolt 3 wire that sells for $ 299. On the product page of the drive, the manufacturer claims that Nekteck provides up to 2300 megabytes per second read speed and 1400 megabytes per second write speed. More about it a little, though.
The enclosure is designed to prevent casual media removal. For Disk Utility, it identifies it as PCI-E storage. Nekteck is properly identified as a supplier in the MacOS System Report.
And we'll say this right away. We are not big fans of the permanently wired cable. While we are confident that Nekteck Customer Support will handle this by breaking a call we had with them asking for it, a connected Thunderbolt 3 connection will give us greater meaning from a user perspective.
Speed and heat
For the most part, denied announced specifications in the ballpark. We routinely view 2250 MB / sec and 1171 MB / sec of timed data transfers, as well as the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test. This is refreshing in a driving industry that routinely exceeds and delivers.
In an artificial long test that used almost the entire capacity of the drive, the heat was a small problem. In an office at 20C, 100GB bits of data wrote for about an hour continuous writing speeds at 800MB / sec, with read speeds which dropped to 2100MB / sec. These are not deal-breakers, but, and still more than enough to use the drive for ProRes 422, or 10-but video workflows.
The Nekteck Thunderbolt 3 SSD is not much bigger than an iPhone
Under normal usage patterns, the cabinet will never be more hot for touch, but it will be hot if you hammer it for a long time. A contactless infrared thermometer reported temperatures on the enclosure surface of 28C after 15 minutes of continuous writing and reading, and it hit 36C after two hours. This is relative to 39C that the upper row of keys in an i9 MacBook Pro may burden.
Solid product but not for everyone
Nekteck has been in business since 2014, and is more known for mobile accessories than Thunderbolt 3 drives. The company has only a handful of Thunderbolt 3 products, including a dock, a dual-display adapter, some cables of different lengths, and this drive.
We had already bought some USB 3.1 Type C drives for personal use before we saw the drive, so when the opportunity turned out to evaluate the drive, we decided to take the opportunity. We are glad we did.
However, as with most high-speed Thunderbolt 3 drives, the cost per GB is not low. During the holiday weekend, we saw the first SATA 3 1TB SSD with sub- $ 100 with other models routinely at the $ 150 price point. This is clear, but ignores speed and minus "doorbuster" sales, the former of $ 0.15 per GB plus any cabinet costs is below the $ 1.60 per GB that the Nekteck device delivers.
How much extra speed is worth is an exercise that the reader has already done once when you decide to buy flash storage from Apple for about $ 1 premium per GB over 128GB already included. Having said that, the Mac mini for $ 799 without storage upgrade beyond 128 GB, plus $ 299 for the Nekteck drive, gives you 640 GB of total storage, for a total of $ 100 less.
Also, getting the drive to work on an older Thunderbolt machine is an additional cost. Apple's adapter is a two-way Thunderbolt 3 male to Thunderbolt 2 female one. To make this connect, use a Thunderbolt 3 dock, adapted down to Thunderbolt 2, with the Nekteck drive connected downstream of the dock. If this is your workflow, you should only consider getting a USB 3.0 type A cabinet for a SATA 3 SSD and offer speed for universal compatibility and a cheaper drive.
If you are looking for solid performance and fast external storage especially for newer devices. For the not so much money, AppleInsider Nekteck Thunderbolt recommends the 3 480GB drive and gives it a 4 of 5 with the only real device like the permanent and short cable.