Best SuperSpeed+ USB-C Storage Products For MacShopping for the fastest, next generation USB-C external backuyp drive for TimeMachine backups on a Mac? Explore some of the new and affordable next-generation SuperSpeed Plus USB 3.1 Type-C interface SSD and HDD storage solutions to store and protect your new Apple computer's data.
USB 3.1 Type-C USB-C Drives For MacBooksWith the latest round of Apple MacBooks supporting up to 4 Type-C ports, expect the demand for dongle-free Mac backup drives that can directly connect using USB-C to explode. Here's a few off the shelf Type-C retail drives now available, though note that some come with a Type-A cable, but for USBC/ThunderBolt3 ports you'll need to buy a USB-C to USB-C cable separately.
|USB-C Samsung SSD||USB-C LaCie HDD|
|T3 USB 3.1 Solid-State Drive
250GB To 2TB SSD Storage
|Portable & Desktop USB 3.1 Hard Drives
Available 1TB To 8TB Capacities
|USB-C AData SSD||USB-C Sandisk Drive|
|10Gbps Gen2 SSD Drive
250GB Solid-State Drive
|128GB USB-C+A Flash Drive
Dual Type A + C Plugs
Portable USB 3.1 Type-C Drives For MacWith the introduction of the Early 2015 Apple 12" Retina MacBook w/USBC, Apple has debuted a small, new USB port to the masses. Dubbed SuperSpeed+ USB 3.1, Gen 1 Type-C at 5Gbps, the connector serves as both the recharging and data port. USB-C also has a reversible connector to make plugging any next generation USB-C device in brain-dead easy. More recent Late 2106 MacBook Pro's now feature a Type-C ThunderBolt 3 port which also supports full 10Gbps Gen 2 USB 3.1 speed devices as well.
Many Apple computer accessories don't even need the full 10Gbps bandwidth USB 3.1 Gen 2 provides. But backup drives - especially those built with PCIe SSD modules - need and can leverage all it. Expect there to be high interest in USB-C storage peripherals as more Macs and PCs start shipping with Type-C ports onboard in high-volume in 2017.
|USB-C Flash Drive||USB-C Drive Adapter|
|SanDisk DUO 32GB
USB-C and USB-A Plugs
|2.5" USBC SATA Adapter
Laptop HDD & SSD Drives
|USB-C mSATA RAID Enclosure||DIY USB-C SSD Drive|
|DUAL mSATA III RAID Case
RAID 0/1 Jumper Selectable
|PCIe USB-C Enclosure
Uses PCI-e M.2 SSD Module
Fast DIY USB Type-C Drive EnclosuresAs linked above, and to fully take advantage of USB 3.1's Rev 1 5Gbps and Rev 2 10Gbps speed potential, one of the first USB-C drive cases to appear is a Solid-State SSD enclosure with native USB-C port. More importantly, internally it supports specific PCI-e M.2 SSD modules capable of delivering over 1000MBps data speeds comparable to SSD ThunderBolt drives based on using 1 or more PCIe SSD blades.
For more modest needs, and using standard off-the-shelf 2.5" SSD or HDD drives, here's two enclosures below for an Apple USB-C DIY backup drive.
|Premium USB-C Enclosure||Cheap USB-C Drive Case|
|Akitio Aluminum USB-C Drive Case
2.5" SATA III Type-C UASP Enclosure
|Orico USB-C Enclosure
Includes USB-A to USB-C Cable
Recently, the first USB 3.1 enclosure for 2.5 inch SATA III drives hit the market with a native USB Type-C port on the rear: The Neutrino U.31 USB-C drive case from Akitio has a full 10Gbps USB 3.1 Revision 2 chipset which also supports UASP for the ultimate efficiency and performance from any modern solid-state drive like those featured here that you choose to put into it. Other cases like the Orico snap-lock tool-free USB Type-C drive case is only around $20 USD.
Fast Portable USB Type-C External Drives For MacAlong with the debut of Apple's initial USB-C 12 Retina MacBook announcement, LaCie storage technology also announced the LaCie Porsche Design USB-C portable hard drive available in a slim 500GB model, and thicker 1TB and 2TB sizes. Backup drive manufacturers were quite quick in changing from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 chipsets, but it remains to be seen how agressively they'll pursue the transition to USB 3.1 Type-C interfaces on their storage devices.
USB-C To USB 3.0 Drive CablesMany existing portable USB 3.0 SSD and HDD drives use this slim micro-B USB3 connector cable. A cheap and simple adapter cable can allow you to DIRECTLY plug your current mobile USB 3.0 drive into a USB-C port - without needing to use a USB-C to USB-A dongle, hub or adapter.
For Many Existing USB3 Drives
This cable may be appealing to some users who want to bypass a Type-A to USBC adapter. Note there's no performance benefit to be gained from merely changing cables - read/write speeds will remain the same.
Fast Desktop USB Type-C External Drives For MacWe'll have to wait and see what USB-C desktop drive hardware is announced. It may not be a high priority in this market space. USB-C is likely to appear in slim, portable computing hardware first, desktops later. Until there's much wider adoption, the market for USBC peripherals and devices is still utterly dwarfed by legacy USB Type-A ports in use across a billion computers across the globe. In the interim, cheap USB 3.1 Type-C Male to USB A standard mini and micro cables can convert legacy Apple backup drive hardware for direct connection to a USB-C enabled computer.
Fast USB Type-C Flash DrivesAs we see with the SanDisk Duo which was first to ship, Kingston has released its DataTraveler microDuo 3C USB 3.1 flash drive that ships in capacities from 16GB to 64GB. The 16GB has 100MB/s and 10MB/s Read/Write speeds, with the 32GB and 64GB delivering faster 15MB/s Writes. microDuo has a dual interface that accommodates both USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports plugs for versatile use on PC's and/or Macs old and new.
What Does USB 3.1 Rev-1 Mean?The new SuperSpeed Plus USB 3.1 standard involves TWO major aspects. Rev-1 is adoption of the PHYSICAL TYPE-C micro-connector, but the data transfer speeds will stay at USB 3.0 5Gbps rates. When next-generation USB 3.1 chipsets are deployed, the speed will move to Rev-2 10Gbps rates. USB 3.1 is the industry's response to Apple and Intel's ThunderBolt interface - which started at 10Gbps and now is at 20Gpbs in already shipping ThunderBolt 2 peripherals and computers.
Why The USB-C Transition?The primary driver of device connectivity using USB-C is the TINY SIZE of the interface. It's essential if both the Apple, PC and Cellphone / Tablet world is to have ever-more portable ultra-slim devices. As small as it may be, the rectangular USB Type-A port we've known for 15+ years is just too big and bulky for the razor-thin future of mobile computing hardware. Don't expect conventional USB 3.0 ports to dissapper too quickly on desktop computing accessories like printers, headsets, scanners, usb speakers and other gadgets.
Beyond it's tiny size, the major selling point of USB-C is the UNIFICATION of computer ports into a SINGLE interface standard: USB 3.1 is capable of delivering power, high-bandwith data, audio, video - USB-C can also manage USB, Displayport, ThunderBolt and PCIe protocols for a future ability to physically connect ANY kind of computing peripheral. It really is 'One Interface To Rule Them All' - though the transition is likely to take several years.
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