External Thunderbolt SSD hard drive enclosure assembled by yourself

Seagate Thunderbolt Goflex adapter
Seagate Thunderbolt Goflex adapter

The Seagate Thunderbolt Goflex adapter is the core of our external hard drive (Photo: Amazon).

There is hardly any external hard drive enclosure on the market that is equipped with a Thunderbolt connector and would run with a 2,5 inch SSD. If you don't want to use a ready-made external 2,5-inch SSD solution and want to choose your SSD yourself, the best thing to do is to assemble the external hard drive yourself from individual components. This can also be interesting for iMac owners who do not want to lose their warranty by opening the device and having the SSD installed directly in the computer.

This solution is also recommended for Mac users who want to build a Fusion Drive with the external "rotating" hard drive and a fast external SSD.

Finished Thunderbolt SSD hard drives in stores

If you still want to think about building it yourself, you might be well served with a ready-made solution from a few manufacturers. Elgato, Buffalo and LaCie already offer quite good external Thunderbolt hard drives (please remember that there is usually NO Thunderbolt cable included in the scope of delivery! You can find a recommendable inexpensive cable from DeLock here ). But now to the finished hard drive solutions:

  • Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt HD-PA256TU3S-EU external SSD hard drive 256GB (approx. 280 EUR)
  • LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt External SSD 120GB (approx. 190 EUR)
  • Elgato Thunderbolt SSD 120 GB mobile high-speed storage (approx. 210 EUR)

Update 06/2016: Finished Thunderbolt SSD hard drive housing (without SSD)

The article is already a bit older and meanwhile there is a good empty hard drive case from Delock that is delivered without an SSD - and also without a cable. The advantage compared to the completely finished external SSD hard drives is that you can choose the SSD you want to install. Anyone interested in the Delock housing will find it here:

  • Delock 42510 Thunderbolt SSD hard drive enclosure without SSD (approx. 110 EUR)

Our handicraft kit for the external SDD of your choice

Due to the lack of hard drive capacity, most of them will prefer the self-build variant, because with this concept you can use the external SSD hard drive with a Samsung SSD 840 with 1TB Build capacity. This means that you are future-proof and can also change the SSD relatively easily if there are larger disks. But of course smaller SSDs can also be built into the housing. However, I would always recommend a [Samsung SSD of the 840 EVO series-> samsung-ssd-840-evo]. The [840 Pro-> samsung-ssd-840-pro] ultimately offers even more performance, which is only noticeable when writing data. The EVO series has an extremely low power consumption and is therefore particularly suitable for users who want to use the drive on the MacBook while on the move.

But now to the individual parts of our kit:

Seagate STAE126 Thunderbolt GoFlex Desk Upgrade Adapter
This Thunderbolt hard drive adapter from Seagate is suitable for 2,5 inch hard drives and can of course not only use SSDs but also normal HDs with rotating parts. It is the heart of our tinkering and unfortunately costs just under 200 EUR.
DeLOCK Thunderbolt cable (male to male, 2m) white
Also don't forget: the Thunderbolt cable to connect the device to the Mac. Since the Seagate adapter (mentioned above) does not have its own power supply and does not have a Thunderbolt output, the external SSD should always be connected at the end of the Thunderbolt chain. If you don't have any other Thunderbolt devices, just plug them straight into your Mac.

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The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

7 comments

  1. Chargeback says:

    "Our handicraft kit for the external SDD of your choice

    Due to the lack of hard drive capacity, most of them will prefer the self-build variant, because with this concept you can build the external SSD hard drive with a Samsung SSD 840 with 1TB capacity. This means that you are future-proof and can also change the SSD relatively easily if there are larger disks. But of course smaller SSDs can also be built into the housing. "

    This works with the listed Seagate adapter but not with SSDs larger than 256 GB, which unfortunately need too much power for the Spagate adapter. To be read in many places on the Internet since the Seagate Thunderbolt adapter was introduced or larger SSDs became affordable. So a cool idea, but not feasible in practice with the Seagate mobile adapter because it does not have an external power supply and Thunderbolt does not provide enough power to operate larger SSDs and the adapter. The stepless expansion is therefore not possible as described, it already ends at a maximum of 256GB, so the 250 Evo is already the end of the flagpole and not just the beginning. ;-)

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello! Thank you for your objection. In fact, there are also reviews that report interruptions in the data connection - this could be related to the fact that the power supply is at the limit. However, there are also quite a few customers on Amazon who, for example, operate a 512 SSD on the Seagate adapter on the Mac and who have no problems whatsoever (see here ): "I connected a Samsung 840 Basic SSD with 512 GB to the Seagate Thunderbolt adapter - so far there have been no problems (as described in other reviews here), no dropouts or read or write problems." The EVO model series has an even lower power consumption than the Basic series from Samsung. For this reason I assume that there are no problems with the electricity here. If someone has practical experience, I would be happy if they could report on it here.
      Best regards!
      sir appleot

  2. Chargeback says:

    I would rather recommend the Seagate Thunderbolt adapter for 3,5 inch drives with an external power supply than the mobile version, especially when it comes to SSDs larger than 250 GB. But what ultimately comes about in terms of transfer rates with external Thunderbolt SSDs on the Mac is usually not worth the investment. Simply go to an Apple partner and have an SSD installed for less money if you don't dare to do it yourself on the iMac and Co. You can only be rewarded with the maximum possible speed and the security of being able to use larger SSDs in the long term and in all areas of application without problems. I personally said goodbye to an external Thunderbolt SSD solution, upgraded my iMac internally with 2 SSDs and use a Promise R6 Thunderbolt Raid with 6 server disks as fast external data storage. The latter is purely a question of price, but no longer an internal upgrade of the SSDs.

  3. Caimling says:

    The Seagate adapter is no longer available. Are there alternatives? This adapter is available at amazon.com for 80 USD (!!!) - the only question is, does it work here with us?

    Anyone know advice?

    • sir appleot says:

      Hi!
      At the moment I would refrain from building it myself. If you don't necessarily want to have a USB-3 interface as well, it's better to do that right away DELOCK 2,5 inch housing with Thunderbolt connection to use. This is priced at around 115 EUR, but it is also ready-made and works great according to customer reviews. Only the Thunderbolt cable is not included, as always.

      • Caimling says:

        Why do you advise against it? A very steep 115 EUR for a case! For a few more of yours, I'll get them Buffalo MiniStation with a 1TB HDD. To do this, I buy an SSD and one HDD dock. Then I build the SSD into the Buffalo housing and use the 1TB hard drive with the dock.

        Isn't that more effective?

        • sir appleot says:

          You are of course right if you assume that you have use for the 1TB HD with a rotating disk. If you don't want to add an additional "slow" hard drive, you can get away with the Thunderbolt housing from DELOCK more cheaply. Even if the price cannot really be described as "cheap". But that is the case with all Thunderbolt devices ... otherwise, of course, your solution is also charming. :)

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