External SSD

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Book' started by vipr01, May 12, 2016.

  1. vipr01

    vipr01 New Member

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    My Device:
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    I am considering purchasing a Samsung T3 SSD drive for use as an external drive for my SB. The plan is to use the SSD as storage for my photographs. I am currently using a Lacie 500 GB external HD for this purpose and while it works OK, I need more storage space and would like the increased speed of a SSD. I have heard that the SB doesn't play well with external SSD's as it tends to randomly disconnect from the SSD. One theory seems to be that the SB USB ports don't provide enough power to power an external SSB. Does anyone have any experience using a SB (i5; 256GB) with a SSD? The Samsung 1 TB drive looks good on paper, but I'd hate to pull the trigger on it and then find that it doesn't work with the SB. With that in mind, any recommendations on a large capacity SSB that DOES work with the SB would be appreciated.
     
  2. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The Surface book has 2 USB ports so using a USB Y cable you can draw any extra power needed from the other port. In a USB Y cable one leg is power only and the other leg is power and data.

    The Samsung T3 specs indicate is uses 0.7A (700 ma) and the SB ports should supply 900ma (I haven't actually tested a SB but that's what other Surface devices deliver and conforms to the USB spec so I wouldn't expect any different). I would think the T3 will operate fine on 900ma.

    USB devices can get powered down to save power however I believe there's an option to prevent that at the cost of battery life although I would not pursue it unless you experience a problem with the default operation.

    I searched and only found one reported incident of T3 disconnecting which may be merely an anomaly, bad cable or bad unit. There was no mention in any reviews of power issues.
     
  3. Orlbuckeye

    Orlbuckeye Member

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    Well you get more storage space for a cheaper price with a HD. The advantage of the SSD is the real time interaction of reading and writing of data to the media. Use the device as storage means you won't have as much real time interaction with the drive. That alone I would go for space over speed which HD are cheaper. Also the issue about SSD not playing well would be more about the USB port and not the SSD. Just using a USB connection is slower then the internal SATA or PCI connection of an internal SSD.

    So if it was me because you not constantly using the device (reading and writing) the speed advantage is not worth the difference in cost.
     
  4. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    Personally I don't see that the advantage of an SSD over a hard disk running over USB would be great enough to make that much of a difference. If we were talking about eSATA that would be a different story. Yes, with a good SSD drive, you would see a difference in performance but it may not be worth the additional cost. Streaming videos off a standard 7200 RPM drive works just fine.

    I have run a Samsung EVO 250GB drive using a USB 3,0 adapter and didn't have problems. This is he adapter I use Amazon.com: Apricorn SATA Wire Notebook Hard Drive Upgrade Kit with USB 3.0 Connection ASW-USB3-25 (Grey): Electronics
     
  5. Wayne Orwig

    Wayne Orwig Active Member

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    Unless you are doing numerous continuous random reads, I don't think you are going to see a speed improvement. In fact the write speed of an SSD may be slower. Maybe someone better informed can chime in on that.
    In your case I'm pretty sure a spinning drive is still the better option. You'll get a ton more space for the $$$$$.

    I often connect a 3TB external drive to my SB, and do a full image backup. I've never had a connection issue.
     
  6. Bandito

    Bandito Active Member

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    Wow! Why is everyone so down on SSDS? They're a lot more durable and rugged than a spinning HD and consume less power as well.

    The Samsung T3 SSD that vipr01 is looking at supports USB 3.1, so the interface is way faster than the SSD can consume or provide data, so it will definitely provide a speed boost. Especially if he/she is moving a lot of large image files around. Yes, it's more expensive than a standard HD, but there are benefits that may or may not outweigh the cost factor. That, and the fact that if it ever gets knocked off of the desk or dropped it will more than likely be just fine, means that his photo collection is quite a bit safer (but you still need to back it up somewhere. Just sayin').
     
  7. Wayne Orwig

    Wayne Orwig Active Member

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    I'm not exactly 'down' on SSD. Just that for the $$$, you can buy two HUGE spinning media drives and use one for a backup at a remote location. Plus you have so much storage, that you can do incremental backups.

    I would only pay the extra for the limited size of an SSD if I was carrying it constantly and really needed it to be shockproof (though a parked HD is very shockproof) or needed the portable low power requirements of the SSD.

    Hard to beat them for portability and read speed though.
     
  8. dcoplien

    dcoplien Member

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    I have been thinking of getting one as I need one for travel. The fact they are faster and can sit on my car seat or on a plane while running is a very big plus. Transferring raw images while not having to park and wait would be so nice.
     
  9. No_ax_to_grind

    No_ax_to_grind Member

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    I would be very cognizant of how hot that little guy gets. I had a Samsung 840 EVO 1TB mSATA that I put in a small enclosure that, while being only the size of a pack of bubble gum and very small, got incredibly hot with anything more than a couple of minutes of file I/O and constantly overheated. Ended up selling it later and went with a 2TB Seagate Backup Plus Slim.
     
  10. Seneleron

    Seneleron Active Member

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    Installing large programs like games for one. It's hit and miss on Windows, but when it works it's storage salvation. On my wife's iMac I once setup OS X on an external drive, and it ran faster than their hybrid solution (not really applicable, but neat enough to mention)

    Sounds like a badly designed case.

    SSD reads are fast. SSD writes are fast to a point. Anything that's TLC flash is good until you overtake the cache, at which point write speeds tank.

    You can do this, and if you REALLY have to get an external SSD you can get a 480 gig 2.5" on Amazon for like $120 and then buy an external case for $25ish.

    Under any other circumstance I'd say don't waste the money. The benefit of SSD is in the speed of it's reads, and your average image file just isn't THAT relatively large [compared to, say, loading an O/S or a program] Bang for buck, you're MUCH better off spending $60-$120 on a 1-4TB hard drive.

    The only problem is that the SB USB ports are [were?] SEVERELY underpowered. I don't waste my time with external HDDs on it anymore because it didn't like the one I had [frequent disconnects while writing, corrupt files that ended up causing me to have to reformat]. It could be just my unit. It could have been an issue resolved with a software/firmware update, I honestly don't know.
     
  11. JasperTheDog

    JasperTheDog New Member

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    Hi, I'm using a samsung T1 500GB SSD with my SB and it works fine. It is noticeably faster copying large video files than my portable spinny drives and a fraction of the size and weight, so really handy if you want to carry the SB around whilst connected to the drive.
     
  12. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually the Surface USB ports provide 900ma according to USB spec. and while larger laptops and other equipment have ports that provide more power as optionally allowed there's a huge tradeoff in that it would drain the battery significantly faster.

    It's incorrect to say the USB ports are even slightly underpowered as they provide the standard amount of power specified by the ISB spec and there are a number of potable drives which will work on the standard 900ma of power. Unfortunately it was common for manufacturers of USB equipment to exceed the standard power requirements. Blame the power hogs.
     

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