One of my regrets was purchasing a 128Gb capacity Macbook Pro. I never realised that I would eat through my storage capacity so quickly and am now struggling to manage whatever is left. I initially tried expanding my storage capacity using a Transcend JetDrive (an additional 128Gb capacity) but its transfer speed is so slow. I can’t use it to edit my media files which include RAW files from my camera and videos.
Alternative Expansion Options
- I searched online for alternatives, there were some which include buying an OEM SSD from eBay whilst running the risk that it is from China and it may not work but that option was very expensive. It costs >RM2000 to expand my current storage to 500Gb. This option proved to provide the fastest transfer speed.
- Another option is to purchase OWC’s latest Aura drives. A 480Gb drive kit would set you back USD$399 and the drive doesn’t perform as fast as Apple’s own SSD (which boasts of >1000MB/s). The Aura drives in reviews only managed to clock up to around >700MB/s).
- The cheapest option I could find, getting an external SSD drive with either a USB 3 or Thunderbolt interface to ensure high-speed transfer. I went with the Samsung Portable SSD T3 model with 500Gb capacity.
I have absolutely no regrets purchasing it. First of all, the drive is so small and so light that I can barely feel its presence. Definitely a very portable device and yet, so thin and light.
I am truly amazed by how much technology has advanced, this will definitely stay with me in my work bag as well as on my travels. The best part is that because it is an SSD, I don’t have to worry about dropping it.
Look how thin it is in the image above! That is my camera lens cap for the Canon 24-105mm F4 on the very right.
Real World Performance
What led me to select this device is due to the performance benchmarked on the drive. Some tech reviewers have managed to get a decent result. It isn’t the best in the market but in terms of price and it’s portability, I can’t fault it at all.
In order for me to also test it out, I didn’t run any scientific benchmarks because most of that have already been covered extensively by AnandTech, but what I did was to try editing the photos I took off the Samsung Portable SSD T3 directly on the drive. I loaded the camera RAW files into the drive and then opened up Lightroom CC and edited them directly.
In edit mode, there was a very slight lag at times but compared to other drives which I used it is a lot faster, especially when comparing it with my Transcend JetDrive.
Overall the Samsung Portable SSD T3 meets my needs very well. It feels rugged and even if it doesn’t, I can always just paste a layer of bubble wrap over it to ensure “extra” protection. Is it better than the internal storage? No, always buy a Macbook Pro with a minimum of 256Gb of storage space if you have to work with media or even do programming with Xcode. To me, this will always be a temporary solution for my backup needs.
The problem? It isn’t officially available in Malaysia yet. I had to set up a [WTB] thread on the Lowyat forums and after a couple of months later, a nice gentleman who saw my thread brought a Samsung T3 back from Germany and sold it to me. Cheers buddy!