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I am looking for a portable external drive for my 2019 Macbook Pro. I would like one that is SSD, plug and play (so that I don't have to reformat), 2 TB and USB-C connectivity. Any suggestions?
 
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The one that I had the opportunity to use myself was Samsung T5 Portable SSD. Seems to tick all your boxes. It's small and works quite fast. Not sure if they still make it but you should be able to find it in shops.
 
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I am looking for a portable external drive for my 2019 Macbook Pro. I would like one that is SSD, plug and play (so that I don't have to reformat), 2 TB and USB-C connectivity. Any suggestions?
Depending on your budget, and on your demand for speed, you have a range of choices. For stock external SSDs, I would recommend the 2-terabyte Samsung T7. There’s also the T7 Shield, newer and reputedly has better shock protection but I’m afraid the “shield” case can hinder heat dissipation, which is an issue with NVMe SSDs. They cost around $115 and $120, respectively. I helped a client set up her T7 recently and we discovered that Samsung formats some of their T7s for PCs, and took a bit more work to set up for Mac.

They perform at about a fourth the speed of Apple’s built-in SSDs, but “fast enough” for most occasions. But if you want speeds between 60% to 90% of the Mac’s built-in SSD, you have to build your own, which involves a separate external NVMe SSD module and case. I did a great deal of research into this and the only external case I can recommend is the Acasis which sells for about $140 presently. As for the SSD itself, I would say go with the 2-terabyte Samsung 990 PRO (about $170), which is what I have, or the 2-terabyte Western Digital SN850X (about $150). Right now I have my eye on the 4-terabyte WD SN850X at around $400. When the price comes down enough I will surely do the upgrade. Sabrent also has the 8-terabyte unit now, but I don’t trust the brand. I will only go with Samsung or WD.

So there! I hope there are enough choices for you to make a decision. Cheap, or fast. You still have to erase (“reformat”) them before use, which will take less than 5 minutes. The Samsung T7 will probably take longer. Enjoy!
 
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As an addendum to this thread, as I really don't see the need to start a new one on this topic, I have just bought a new SSD drive to go into the hub/stand for my Mac mini. I was just going to format it so it can act as a Time Machine for me. I know to format it into extended journaled, but not sure on the partition front. Which one should I choose?



Screenshot 2023-06-01 at 12.15.08.png
 
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As an addendum to this thread, as I really don't see the need to start a new one on this topic, I have just bought a new SSD drive to go into the hub/stand for my Mac mini. I was just going to format it so it can act as a Time Machine for me. I know to format it into extended journaled, but not sure on the partition front. Which one should I choose?



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Choose APFS for format, plain (not encrypted, or otherwise). At the time that you add it as a Time Machine drive, you can then elect to make it encrypted. I also recommend not adding any more volumes to that device. Finally, under Options…, add the items to exclude if you don’t need backup for that sort of information, in order not to fill up the TM drive too quickly. Do not worry about filling up the drive because Time Machine will erase the oldest backups automatically as space is needed.

Screen Shot 2023-06-01 at 05.38.34.png
 
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As an update to my previous entry, I had been watching the prices of the larger NVMe drives and the 4-terabyte Western Digital SN850X recently came down enough to justify the purchase, so I went ahead and got it, along with the same Acasis enclosure I have with the Samsung. Performance is on par with the 2-terabyte Samsung 990 Pro. No buyer’s remorse here!
 
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Just my 2 cents worth here.. I have a Samsung T7, and the thing that I don't like about the Samsung is that when moving a lot of data it throttles. When it throttle, the write speeds go from around 900 down to about 120mb/s. I contacted Samsung thinking my drive was bad, they said that its working as designed, but they were willing to replace it if I thought that the drive was bad. The replacement throttles just as bad.

The SSD's that I have had great luck with are the Helix Dura SSD line from Oyen Digital. (https://oyendigital.com/hard-drives/store/DM2-P8.html). The get warm, but the enclosure is finned heat sink so it stays near full speed all the time. I have even used these as startup volumes and have had no issues.
 
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Just my 2 cents worth here.. I have a Samsung T7, and the thing that I don't like about the Samsung is that when moving a lot of data it throttles. When it throttle, the write speeds go from around 900 down to about 120mb/s. I contacted Samsung thinking my drive was bad, they said that its working as designed, but they were willing to replace it if I thought that the drive was bad. The replacement throttles just as bad.

The SSD's that I have had great luck with are the Helix Dura SSD line from Oyen Digital. (https://oyendigital.com/hard-drives/store/DM2-P8.html). The get warm, but the enclosure is finned heat sink so it stays near full speed all the time. I have even used these as startup volumes and have had no issues.
I have tried several pre-assembled SSD external cases (SanDisk, Samsung T5, T7, Shield, et al.) and they all showed throttling and really slow speeds. As I posted before, I concluded that the only way to get real performance from NVMe SSDs is by building your own. I have built several—Samsung 990 Pro, Western Digital SN850X 2-TB and 4-TB—all performing exceptionally well in the Acasis enclosure. They will end up costing more, but performance is as close as you can get to the internal SSD of the modern Silicon Macs.

They do get warm, but well within tolerances, and I discovered that the Mac Studio case performs very well as a heatsink. Now they run about 35% of the maximum limit (about 33°C average, maximum limit of 85°C). The2-TB internal Apple SSD is presently running at 32°C, max. limit of 70°C.

Acasis cases on Mac Studio.jpeg

2- and 4-terabyte Western Digital external SSDs.
 
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I am looking for a portable external drive for my 2019 Macbook Pro. I would like one that is SSD, plug and play (so that I don't have to reformat), 2 TB and USB-C connectivity. Any suggestions?
I just bought a Seagate SSD with 5 TB of memory: $109. Now I need to find out how to set it up with Time Machine to handle two external drives.
 
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I just bought a Seagate SSD with 5 TB of memory: $109. Now I need to find out how to set it up with Time Machine to handle two external drives.
Which model is it exactly? I would assume that with your model 2019 Macbook Pro, you are running a “modern” version of macOS. Erase/format it with Disk Utility and it should default to APFS along with the other settings but do not encrypt. Go ahead and abide with it. Afterwards, open Time Machine settings in Systems Settings and add it to the list and elect to encrypt. The system should default to performing TM backups hourly.
 

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