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Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: dan steinberg
Date: October 22, 2020 01:55PM
Hi there everyone! I recently purchased an "Envoy Express" thunderbolt enclosure from our hosts OWC. It arrived a couple of days ago.

I would like to use it as an external boot drive for my 2018 Mac Mini. Right now I am booting thus Mac Mini from a 500GB SSD drive sitting inside a USB3 enclosure.

Could anyone recommend a specific 1TB NVME drive to put inside the new OWC Thunderbolt enclosure?

I was not sure if some NVME drives are better than others, for when the drive will be used specifically for boot drive purposes.

Thanks!
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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: jdc
Date: October 22, 2020 02:03PM
if you dont mind searching this forum for "nvme" there are at least 20-3o posts on nvme's in the last bit, including some recommendations.

Whats in your mini now? Unless you are out of space, its faster than external.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: hal
Date: October 22, 2020 02:24PM
I've got 128GB in my 2018 mini - it's rippin' fast, but it's tiny. Works as my TV watching mini - I have a 1TB SSD external and a HDD 2TB external connected via usbc with adapters. I boot from the internal, but store everything external. LOVE this little mini.

I boot my 2017 imac from an external TB3 NVME and it's well worth the effort.
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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: October 22, 2020 03:03PM
Either WD Black or ADATA XPG 8200 PRO, for nearly everybody. About $100 to $120

Probably no performance difference 99.99% of the time, but if you have money to burn, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus may be better in some edge cases. Costs maybe, I dunno, $170?

I bought the ADATA, because it's slightly cooler and was cheaper when I bought it. If the ADATA and WD are the same price, for your usecase I'd get the WD, because cooling shouldn't be an issue.
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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: OWC Larry
Date: October 22, 2020 03:17PM
Our own OWC Aura P12 drives based on Phison E12/E12S have gotten top marks for performance, reliability, and real-world use. smiling smiley

[eshop.macsales.com]



OWC Larry
Other World Computing
[www.macsales.com]
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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: October 22, 2020 06:10PM
Anonymous,

Nope. Both are great drives but there are others that are solid choices, too.

Been using an Inland Premium 1TB [www.microcenter.com] in a Sabrent USB 3.1 Gen 2 box as the boot drive for one of my machines for about a year. Rock solid.

Using a ADATA XPG 8200 PRO 1TB in a USB 3.1 Gen 2 M2 box as the boot drive for another machine. Rock solid.

Robert
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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: October 22, 2020 06:42PM
I got my Envoy Express and put an ADATA 8200 in it.

Read/Write with my 2018 mini is 1508/1250Gbps.

My mini's drive Read/Write is 2480/705Gbps.

Oddly, (or maybe not), both the Read measurements are pretty stable, and the Write measurements vary, getting slower and slower and then start over at around the above numbers Write numbers.

Still, I want to see faster performance, from the ADATA, or any decent m.2 drive.

So I'm on the lookout for a good T3 enclosure that'll help that ADATA really sing.

Given the current speed cap, I'd look for a bargain m.2 SSD rather than a top tier drive, unless you're going to move it to a faster m.2 case.




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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: October 22, 2020 06:49PM
Quote
RAMd®d
Oddly, (or maybe not), both the Read measurements are pretty stable, and the Write measurements vary, getting slower and slower and then start over at around the above numbers Write numbers.

That's typical for NVMe drives. The high speed numbers are because they rely on super fast cache memory for the writes. Once that cache fills up, the drive can only write as fast as the base memory. When the cache finishes writing to the base memory and empties out, you'd see an increase in speeds again. The ADATA 8200 appears to be TLC based, so your base speed should still be pretty respectable. QLC based drives will drop to SATA speeds (or slower) after the cache fills up.
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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: October 22, 2020 09:27PM
Sure, I wasn't saying they were the only two. Nope seems a little harsh, there....

Quote
Robert M
Anonymous,

Nope. Both are great drives but there are others that are solid choices, too.

Been using an Inland Premium 1TB [www.microcenter.com] in a Sabrent USB 3.1 Gen 2 box as the boot drive for one of my machines for about a year. Rock solid.

Using a ADATA XPG 8200 PRO 1TB in a USB 3.1 Gen 2 M2 box as the boot drive for another machine. Rock solid.

Robert
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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: October 23, 2020 04:40AM
Anonymous,

Not at all. The operative words from your post: "for nearly everybody." If anything, your post comes across as dismissive of other makes and manufacturers aside from WD, Adata and Samsung.

Robert



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/23/2020 05:44AM by Robert M.
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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: dan steinberg
Date: October 23, 2020 08:40AM
Thank you everyone for all the great responses, they are all very helpful.

I had not known about "TLC" vs "QLC" so that was interesting to read about.

Doing some quick research, it seems some feel that a TLC drive (with its faster cache) is better when using the drive for an OS boot drive, where writes occur often and sometimes with large files. I will be using this drive as a boot drive.

Looking around, it looks like the $100-$120 drives are QLC based, and the T:C based ones (like the one from OWC) are closer to $150.

So, if I decided that it was worth the extra bit of dough to get a TLC based drive (even just for possibly misguided peace of mind that I did not compromise on this area), does anyone have some specific recommendations? I saw the OWC one has a 5 year warranty, not sure what other brands offer.

Also, what software are people using to clone the former drive to new one? Carbon copy cloner? Does catalina have any built in tools for such a task?

Thanks!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/23/2020 08:41AM by dan steinberg.
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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: October 23, 2020 09:32AM
Dan,

I suspect either type of drive will be fine. The Inland Premium model in my link. The WD or Adata models mentioned by Anonymous. I have a Sabrent Rock Q which I use as a boot drive. The Rocket Q is actually the clone backup of the Inland Premium drive, which is the boot drive of my workhorse iMac. No issues with it.

I went for the Sabrent Rocket Q because it was a backup drive rather than a primary drive and under in the $90 to $100 dollar range when I got it.

All things considered relatively equal, I'd be inclined to go with a TLC based drive with the longest warranty. The prices for a TLC model runs between $100 to $120 on sale. And, there's always a drive on sale.

I use Carbon Copy Cloner for cloning. Time Machine goes to a platter drive since speed ain't a concern for incremental backups. Truth to say, I rely on the clones and cloud syncing of data more than the Time Machine backups

Robert
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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: jdc
Date: October 23, 2020 10:05AM
The TLC vs QLC is fairly meaningless for normal use.

I dont know if you actually STF, but ive posted many times about using a NVMe as my boot drive. Its an 8200.

Im going to assume if you are only using a mini, then your usage isnt all that intensive.

I work way too much, 10+ hours a day, often 6 days a week. Im running the Adobe CC suite, multiple browsers with a 50+ tabs and everything else. my 8200 has been solid since Feb. Maybe anecdotal evidence, but thats it in a nutshell. If you want more specific details on my setup, and research on drives, STF.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: dan steinberg
Date: October 23, 2020 10:18AM
Thank you for all the advice so far.

From what I can tell, the nland brand one is more on sale than the others at the moment, for around $120.

The TLC version of the WD black, the Sabrent rocket, and Adata are all around $150 at the moment.

The Inland comes with a 3 year warranty, not 5, but I don't mind taking chances for the savings.
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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: jdc
Date: October 23, 2020 01:43PM
3 year, 5, year or 100 year warranty is all kinda meaningless when the drive dies =). Data is still gone regardless.

I mean you do you, but it seems wierd to me that you spent a premium price (3X more $) on a case that offers maybe 1/3 the benchmarked speed increase -- but then are cheaping out on the drive -- the part thats most important in this setup.

IMHO, a $25 case with 10 GB/s specs + a better rated but more $ SLC drive would have been a better spend.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: dan steinberg
Date: October 23, 2020 09:27PM
Jdc, Thank you for the additional perspective, those are some interesting points.

I did search the forum on these topics, but to be honest after reading some different post it left me more confused when I started, lots of options and opinions.

In terms of what I use the computer for, some of it is just normal casual stuff, but I do also do pro audio recording with logic Pro X and some large sample libraries, And I’m also starting to get into video editing, so some possibly more demanding stuff as well.

My logic about getting the OWC thunderbolt enclosure was that I didn’t mind paying more for an enclosure that is supposed to be at least somewhat faster, and gets more of the speed that is on tap from the NVME drive sitting inside it. As time goes by and the internal drive could be swapped out for larger sizes as prices go down, I wanted the enclosure itself to be more future proof in its interface. I was under the impression that thunderbolt achieve that, versus USB 3 gen 2 (At any rate, 0WC certainly implies as much in the marketing company for that enclosure smiling smiley

In terms of choice of the internal drive itself, you seem to feel, if I am understanding correctly, that some of the drive choices discussed above could be a compromise, and mention spending more money on an SLC Drive. Could you clarify for me which models would be examples of that kind, typical prices For a 1tb version, etc. I searched for your thread you mentioned, but was not super clear on the details.

Thanks!
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Re: Recommend a 1TB NVME boot drive for OWC Envoy Thunderbolt Enclosure?
Posted by: jdc
Date: October 25, 2020 04:06AM
For your use, any drive mentioned above would be more than adequate.

Id say you are overthinking it... not necessarily a bad thing, but not going to make a difference in this instance. SLC, TLC or even QLC drives have more than enough speed and durability to last many many years for the kind of work you are doing on your mini.

The drive isnt the bottle neck or the only variable in your minis speed -- either in day to day tasks or running logic. Save the extra to max the ram, or at least bump to 32 GB if you havent already. That would help logic (and your system) run smoother. Unforntualy even with a fast drive and extra ram, the minis processor and lack of GPU are probably a bigger factor in speed vs the drive.

I get the appeal of the OWC case with its rated speed... it definitely peaked my interest in it as well. Lack of TBolt 3 on my iMac is a deal breaker tho, since my fastest port is only 500 MB/s

However, I have several clients I consult for that it could be a viable alternative for them.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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