Building Your Own Cheap External SSD Drive For Your Mac

If you want something faster than an external hard drive, and better than a USB Flash drive, you can build an external SSD drive with an SSD and an enclosure. I built a 256GB USB 3.1 external SSD for less than $70 that works great on my Mac. Learn how to build your own.



Here are the two items I show in the video:
SK Aluminum M.2 NVME SSD Enclosure
Silicon Power 256GB – NVMe M.2 PCIe Gen3x4 2280 TLC SSD

Comments: 11 Responses to “Building Your Own Cheap External SSD Drive For Your Mac”

    Terry
    3 months ago

    Thanks Gary. Is the SSD you are using sold as an “internal” drive or “external” drive? Or doesn’t it matter ? ( I’m assuming it doesn’t)

    3 months ago

    Terry: You can see it with the link above.

    Terry
    3 months ago

    Hi Gary, have a 256gb SSD in an OWC Thunderbay 4, would a USB C external drive be faster? Another Terry

    3 months ago

    Terry: Thunderbolt is faster than USB 3.1. “USB-C” is not a connection type but a port — you probably mean USB 3.1.

    Godfried
    3 months ago

    Can you use this also with IPAD 2 6th Gen – 2018

    3 months ago

    Godfried: No. That has a Lightning connector, not a USB connector.

    More
    3 months ago

    Can you make this external drive a boot drive, or will it just be a data drive?

    3 months ago

    More: It can be a boot drive if you have a reason to use that. I’m using the exact one I show in this video as a Big Sur beta test boot drive now, so I don’t have to have Big Sur on my MacBook for every day things.

    Ed Adams
    3 months ago

    I have a mid2011 iMac running off an external Elgato 256gm SSD on my thunderbolt 1 port works great but too small. there are no external thunderbolt drives available anywhere. can you give a solution using your hint for a 500 GB SSD with a thunderbolt exclosure?

      3 months ago

      I’m not sure what else you can do. Go with USB I guess. But what speed USB does a 2011 model have? 3.0 is my guess. Probably better to put your money away for a new Mac rather than nurse along a 9-year-old model.

    Ramon
    3 months ago

    Pretty cool tip that I did not know about. If you do need a Big drive Amazon still sells the one I bought a few months ago for my Mac mini 2014. The speed boost is spectacular with boot times from 3 to 4 minutes down to abt 20 seconds.

    Crucial MX500 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078C515QL/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_api_i_bsioFbB5Q9NR3

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