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In this roundup, we’ll be reviewing some of the best external hard drives with Thunderbolt 3 support. Before that, a little insight into why they’re important.

Should you be interested in laptops to go with these hard drives, then do check out our round-up of the Cheapest Laptops with Thunderbolt 3.

High-speed data transfer is sometimes an overlooked process by regular users, but if you take a closer look at what some users or professionals transfer, it becomes a very important issue.

So what is high-speed data transfer, and what does it help you achieve in the long run?

Let’s say that you are someone that works daily with a lot of documents or files and need to stack more and more of them, transfer them quickly from one place to another and so forth. If you just use your MAC’s or PC’s internal storage, you can quickly find out how fast it runs out of space.

So, like a learned young-ling, you scour the internet and find out about external storage devices, but you get a lot of configurations about this and that – “This one has a lot of space and it connects with a USB cable, but the Read and Write speed is low. Look, this other product is faster, but it has a Thunderbolt 3 method of connection. I wonder what that is?”

So you quickly read through tons of posts, products details and get to a baseline of “I have no idea of what I was even doing in the first place”.

If you find yourself in that point, then you should first figure out on what exactly are you going use that external drive. For example, if you want it for a PC, go for USB connection, but if you need for a MAC or another Apple product, then you’ll have no choice but to look only in the Thunderbolt categories.

That brings us to what exactly Thunderbolt is.

In short, it’s a hardware interface that’s currently able to reach transfer speeds of speeds up to 40 Gbit/s. What this means is that you can transfer a 4K movie between devices in less than a minute, or you can connect two 4K monitors at 60Hhz. And that’s not all, there’s a whole mess of other features and combos you can play with.

Started as a joint hardware interface between Intel and Apple, it allows a user to connect an external device or peripheral to a computer or MAC. Among those external devices, we also have hard drives.

Over the years, it went over three periods of growth or changes, starting with the cleverly named Thunderbolt 1 and ending up in the present with Thunderbolt 3. Easy to spell, easy to remember, easy to market. Genius, I know.

While the first two generations were based on the Mini DisplayPort, a port that allowed for audio-video digital interface, the latest model is a more advanced version, while also taking some cues from it’s USB cousin. More precisely, it reuses aspects of the USB-C which helps it to transfer twice as fast as Thunderbolt 2, halves power consumption and is all around a much better hodgepodge of other technologies in one.

Since it first appeared on the market in 2011, the Thunderbolt 3 has gained quite a remarkable popularity among tech developers and it was implemented in many devices, among which we also have the external hard drives. So now that we have the history connection plugged in, let’s move to the main guest of our little show, our top external hard drives.

To get a better understanding of Thunderbolt 3, do check out our previous article What is Thunderbolt 3?.

We will count everything from specifications, user reactions, price and some honest to God, real opinions. Oh, and the list will just be in numerical order, not a top best to worst order. First as a list and further down we get into the details of each external drive.

At a Glance – Our Top Picks

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
Samsung Portable SSD X5Drive type: SSD
Interface Options: Thunderbolt 3
Capacity: 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB
TB3 Ports: 1
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Seagate Firecuda Gaming Dock External Hard DriveDrive type: HDD + SSD
Interface Options: Thunderbolt 3, USB-A 3.1Gen2, DisplayPort
Capacity: 4TB
TB3 Ports: 2
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LaCie Rugged SSD ProDrive type: SSD
Interface Options: Thunderbolt 3
Capacity: 1 TB, 2 TB
TB3 Ports: 1
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Plugable Thunderbolt 3 External NVMe SSDDrive type: SSD
Interface Options: Thunderbolt 3
Capacity: 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB
TB3 Ports: 1 (Cable Attached)
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G-Technology G-Raid with Thunderbolt 3Drive type: HDD
Interface Options: Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, HDMI
Capacity: 8TB, 12TB, 16TB, 20TB, 24TB
TB3 Ports: 2
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MyDigitalSSD Pocket Vault Express PVX Thunderbolt 3 CapsuleDrive type: SSD
Interface Options: Thunderbolt 3
Capacity: 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
TB3 Ports: 1
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LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C Portable Hard DriveDrive type: HDD
Interface Options: Thunderbolt 3
Capacity: 2TB, 4TB, 5 TB
TB3 Ports: 1
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Patriot EVLVR Thunderbolt 3 External SSDDrive type: SSD
Interface Options: Thunderbolt 3
Capacity: 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
TB3 Ports: 1
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LaCie Bolt 3 Thunderbolt 3Drive type: SSD
Interface Options: Thunderbolt 3
Capacity: 2 TB
TB3 Ports: 2
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WD My Passport Pro – Portable RAIDDrive type: HDD
Interface Options: Thunderbolt 2
Capacity: 2 TB, 4 TB
TB3 Ports: 1 (Cable Attached)
Check on Amazon

 

Next, we’ll take a close look.

1. Samsung Portable SSD X5

Samsung Portable X5 SSD is the best Thunderbolt 3 solid-state drive for MacBook Pro. It combines NVMe and Thunderbolt 3 to give you fast read/write speeds to handle and render massive data in seconds.

The X5 SSD features a compact and streamlined design with some glossy finish at the top. The matte and rigged bottom gives you some extra grip to prevent accidental slips. It’s an elegant and portable accessory that can complement your Mac ecosystem or PCs with Thunderbolt 3 ports.

To deliver the best performance, the X5 employs unique thermal management technology and heat sink to prevent overheating on heavy read/writes operations. You can transfer raw 4K video files without worry about a dip in write speeds.

Samsung claims the X5 can survive 6 feet drop, thanks to its reinforced magnesium alloy protection guard.

In terms of performance, this NVMe drive delivers read/write speeds of up to 2,800/2,300 MBps. That’s insanely fast speeds, especially when upgrading from an HDD or SATA SSD. Samsung X5 is a winning choice for professionals working with large files such as 4K and 8K video editing.

There are different capacities to choose from, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. Download Samsung Portable SSD software to protect your data with advanced AES 256-bit Encryption.

OUR TAKE
Samsung Portable SSD X5 is a premium Thunderbolt 3 drive for professionals looking for high performance with no compromises. It is fast enough for most demanding tasks, whether you’re transferring 8K videos backing up raw files from your camera. The design is impressive and elegant, matching its premium price.
PROS

  • Fast read/writes speeds
  • Portable, sturdy design
  • Drop protection
  • Good thermals
CONS

  • Not waterproof
  • Thermal tech can affect performance
 

2. Seagate Firecuda Gaming Dock External Hard Drive

Seagate Firecuda Gaming Dock is a versatile and multi-functional storage solution targeted to gaming rigs. Unlike other Thunderbolt 3 drives, the Firecuda Gaming Dock doubles up as a docking station.

The drive brings good aesthetics to your battle station with customizable ambiance lighting, which appeals to most gamers. You can customize the RGB colors and patterns via the included software to match your gaming rig.

The Firecuda Gaming Dock is the most versatile external hard drive with Thunderbolt 3. It comes with plenty of ports, including dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, five USB 3.1 Gen2, Ethernet, and two audio slots for input/output. Transform your MacBook or PC with eight connectivity ports and more storage space with just a single cable.

With two Thunderbolt 3 ports, you can daisy-chain other Thunderbolt 3 devices like monitors or eGPUs, to boost your workflow.

Onboard is 4TB of HDD storage space to save all of your games and files. It’s not the fastest storage solution available, but thanks to Thunderbolt 3, the 5400 RPM HDD runs at full speeds. While this external HDD is mostly targeted to gamers, it can be a perfect solution for professional creatives who want more storage space.

Seagate Firecuda Gaming Dock has an M.2 NVMe slot for SSD upgrades if you’re looking for fast read/write speeds and quick load times for games and maps.

OUR TAKE
There aren’t many external HDD that can match the value of the Firecuda Gaming Dock. It is a single solution for all your storage and connectivity needs, so you won’t have to spend extra on Thunderbolt 3 docking station. The best feature yet is the ability to add an NVMe drive for ultra-fast performance. The RGB lighting shows why this Thunderbolt external drive is popular among gamers.
PROS

  • 4TB with an expandable M.2 slot for SSDs
  • Versatile build design with RGB lights
  • Plenty of ports
  • Supports daisy-chaining
CONS

  • 5400 RPM hard drive isn’t faster
 

3. LaCie Rugged SSD Pro

LaCie Rugged SSD Pro brings the fast speeds of NVMe technology in a portable and rugged Thunderbolt 3 enclosure. While not all might consider paying a premium for an SSD, creators and adventurous photographers who spend their time in the wild can appreciate the value of this SSD.

LaCie Rugged SSD Pro comes with a palm-sized design, ideal for traveling, with grippy, black silicon cover. It’s rated IP67 water resistance, which means it can survive under three feet of water for 30 minutes. It’s dust resistant, can survive three meters drop, and even be run over by a two-ton car and still survive.

Well, for photographers who take on the rain and rocky terrains to get the perfect shot, here is a fast and reliable storage solution for you. It has a portable and compact form factor perfect for traveling and working on-the-go.

Equipped with a 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 port, LaCie Rugged SSD Pro supports Mac and PCs with a Thunderbolt 3 port. It is also compatible with the 10Gbps USB-C port. However, make sure only to use a Type-C port cable.

Inside the Rugged Pro is a Seagate FireCuda NVMe SSD providing speeds up to 2800MBps. Transfer uncompressed footage or edit 8K videos directly without any lag or delays. LaCie Rugged SSD Pro is available in 1TB and 2TB capacities.

Take this drive anywhere you go thanks to its 5-year warranty backed by a five-year data recovery service.

OUR TAKE
LaCie Rugged SSD Pro is a high-performance external SSD drive ideal for traveling and users working in extreme environments. The small form factor with grippy silicon cover is suitable for traveling and working on-the-go. On the other hand, the included FireCuda SSD provides fast read/writes speeds to streamline your workflow and boost productivity. It’s one of the eternal drives that will serve you for years.
PROS

  • IP67-rated with a rugged body
  • Fast NVMe performance
  • Portable design
CONS

  • Budget alternatives available
 

4. Plugable Thunderbolt 3 External NVMe SSD

Plugable Thunderbolt 3 External NVMe SSD is one of the best budget Thunderbolt 3 drives in the market. It may not have the durability of LaCie Rugged SSD Pro, but it is up there with the best in terms of performance.

Plugable Thunderbolt 3 drive comes with an aluminum build design, which offers excellent heat dissipation and keeps the weight to a minimum. It’s bus-powered through a single Thunderbolt 3 port, and compatible with both Mac and PC.

This high-performance NVMe drive provides sequential read/write speeds of 2400/1800 MBps. It’s an ideal external drive for high-resolution image and photo editing, gaming, and professionals looking for the best performance levels possible. And with the Thunderbolt 3 port, there is no bottleneck or delays when transferring files.

The significant strength of this drive is the impressive cost per GB. Its price undercuts Samsung’s X5 and LaCie Rugged SSD Pro, making it the best value option.

Plugable Thunderbolt 3 External NVMe SSD is available in 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities. It is backed with a three-year warranty, which isn’t that long compared to other competitors.

OUR TAKE
Plugable Thunderbolt 3 External NVMe SSD is a budget but good Thunderbolt 3 external SSD. It offers excellent performance for a lot less compared to similar NVMe drives. However, you must be ready to give up water and drop resistance.
PROS

  • Great value
  • High-performance
  • Excellent thermals and cooling
  • Portable design
CONS

  • Lacks waterproof and drop resistance
 

5. G-Technology G-Raid with Thunderbolt 3

Moving from a sleek design but mediocre abilities to a bulky drive with exceptional results.

What this means is that the G-Technology G-Raid is an exceptional storage unit if you need everything done fast and you want to be able to keep it all in one place.

Unlike our previous entry, the G-Raid has an HDMI interface to boot, besides USB and Thunderbolt 3. And from the looks of it, it seems like it was made specifically for people working in the editing industry.

If you want to, you can search this bad boy out and buy it with the following capacities: 8TB, 12TB, 16TB, and 20TB. From what it looks like, you could fit an entire library worth of movies, songs, and other files and you still would have space for some other things.

In regards to other specifications, the G-Raid is actually comprised of a dual Enterprise-class 7200 RPM hard drive, which explains both space and design. Additionally, it has a small incorporated as not to overheat the unit or any other accidents.

It’s a small one, 40mm, but unfortunately that also brings up some problems with it. Noise. You can’t exactly do anything about, as the fan doesn’t have some control options so it is a bit louder than you want a drive to be.

Read and Write and transfer speeds are also quite reliable, as you would expect by now from a Thunderbolt interface. USB 3, just like before is slower but it still does it’s work perfectly and it works more than fine. Both also come in with a cable, for Thunderbolt 3 being a 20 Gbps, and a shorter and slower USB 3 cable.

OUR TAKE
Now, if we are to say what exactly is the highlight with the G-Raid, I would just mention the price. It’s not for your usual consumer and considering all the specifications mentioned I believe you can tell. It was made for people that absolutely require a big depository for large files. If we take that into consideration, I would say that the G-Raid fits the bill more than ok.

Specifications

Drive typeExternal Hard Drive
Interface OptionsThunderbolt, USB 3.0, HDMI
Available Capacities8TB, 12TB, 16TB, 20TB, 24TB
Dimensions25(L) x 12.5 (W) x 8.6 (H) cm
Weight2.6 Kg
OS supportedMac OS X 10.12 or later, Windows 8.1 or later
PROS

  • Fast and it has a high capacity.
  • 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, 1 USB 3.0 and 1 HDMI marks it for an upgrade above its competition.
  • The drives can be removed and switched.
CONS

  • The fan keeps it cool, but it’s also a noisy device.
  • Expensive.
  • It fits only a certain type of customer.

6. MyDigitalSSD Pocket Vault Express PVX Thunderbolt 3 Capsule

That title really is a mouthful, we know. The great people at MyDigitalsSSD bring us a wallet-friendly (both financially and physically) SSD that combines the Thunderbolt 3 tech with PCIe 3.0 x2 NVMe SSD.

For such a small device, it actually has great Read and Write speeds, the data transfer ranging up to 40Gbps and it’s bus-powered. So, again, it powers on only when you connect to a computer, for example, as it doesn’t have its own power source.

This is both a blessing and a curse, as we pointed out in a previous device on this list. While the maximum speed mentioned there is hypothetical, it has been tested out and the surest type of readings and writings are of 1.6 GB for the first and 1 GB for the latter. Which is quite impressive, it sets quite an example worthy to be followed.

Now, on the market, you can find in three types of capacities, that obviously vary in price, depending on their storage capacity.

Aspect wise, the Pocket Vault Express is encased in an aluminum case, it isn’t that big with a length of 10.2 cm and at 88 grams you could even say that it’s as light a feather. It has a sleek design, which even the makers themselves have said that “fits in the palm of your hand”. Basically, easy to carry and to use.

OUR TAKE
As a final word, the MyDigitalSSD Pocket Vault Express PVX Thunderbolt 3 Capsule is a great product that offers mobility and quick spurs of action for whatever kind of activity you are doing. It comes at a somewhat affordable price and it looks like it was made specific to everyone in mind to be able to use it.

Specifications

Drive typeExternal Hard Drive
Interface OptionsThunderbolt 3
Available Capacities256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
Dimensions102(L) x 48 (W) x 15 (H)mm
Weight88 grams
OS supportedMac OS X 10.12 or later, Windows 8.1 or later
PROS

  • It comes in three variants, all quite cheap.
  • It is a fast data transfer SSD.
CONS

  • It only has one port.
  • It’s not that flexible as it as has one connector interface.

7. LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C Portable Hard Drive

From a long line of Rugged drives, here we have another one, the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C Portable Hard Drive.

While it doesn’t fit exactly in your palm, it’s quite manageable, easy to pick, easy to use and even easier to admire the goal they had when chose orange for their casing. I don’t know why, but it kind of reminds of sponge. The most important fact though is does it absorbs your data just as quickly like a sponge.

My previous comments about the case don’t provide the entire context of it’s design.

While the color is an interesting choice, the enclosure is made in a way that it can withstand all kinds of accidents and misfortunes that may come down on the owner.

It’s drop resistant, water-resistant apparently crush-proof, which is perfect if you work in an oil refinery at sea. It’s just the most magical place that you can choose to take a LaCie Rugged with you.

Outside appearances are great and all, but about what’s one the inside? How does that work? Does it even work?

While it has both a USB and Thunderbolt interface, it doesn’t take advantage of that and feels a bit underwhelming.

Unlike our previous speed demons, this drive can transfer your data with speeds around 130MB/s. Not that bad, but not that good either.

A nifty trick that the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt has over the competition is that fact both ports have their own cables included with the product, and the Thunderbolt one is integrated directly in the case. So for anyone that has problems remembering where they put their cables, at least it’s got you covered on that end. That, unfortunately, means that in case it has a problem, it’s not as easy to replace it.

As for how much you can carry with it, the LaCie Rugged has 3 versions, two of which are somewhat bigger and heavier than the first one – physically and in terms of memory. The 3 storage capacities are 2TB, 4TB, and 5TB. The prices for all of these models are quite appealing, especially one that offers so much space.

OUR TAKE
In the end, the LaCie Rugged hard drive is a commendable sponge looking drive, that can serve any kind of needs and holds up really well on the market, even if the main requirements aren’t that special.

Specifications

Drive typeExternal Hard Drive
Interface OptionsThunderbolt 3, USB-C
Available Capacities2TB, 4TB, 5 TB
Dimensions15(L) x 9.1 (W) x 3.4(H)cm
Weight0.4 kg and 0.6 kg
OS supportedMac OS X 10.12 or later, Windows 8.1 or later
PROS

  • Integrated Thunderbolt 3 cable.
  • Water and fall resistant.
  • A weird design, that captures you.
CONS

  • Slow speeds for data transfer.
  • Unsure usability of the integrated cable.

8. Patriot EVLVR Thunderbolt 3 External SSD

The Patriot EVLVR is another in a long line of very promising portable SSD’s.

Now, if it delivers or not, well that’s what we are going to find out. To get a bit technical, but the interface is built on for peak PCie Gen 3 performance, so it actually might be up to the standards we are hoping for.

First off, just like the rest of the bunch, Patriot decided to split EVLVR into three main groups, based on storage – 256GB, 512GB and 1TB, with quite a bit of price difference between them. If I had to choose though, I would probably get with the 1 TB, just because it might a bit useful than the rest.

Now, in terms of speeds that data transfer, it’s all done through the Thunderbolt 3 cable and interface, of which unfortunately it has only one. Still, that’s not uncommon in portable SSD and it was to be expected. This also means that it is bus-powered, so take in consideration as well. As for the speeds, since the Patriot EVLVR uses both Thunderbolt 3 and PCIe technology, it can reach transfer speeds up to 1.6 GB for read and 1 GB for write, which up until now seems like a standard for this kind of products.

So here is something new, it looks like the Patriot EVLVR decided to up the game and do an endurance test, which is kind of new. It seems like it was done only for the 512 GB version, but that is ok. As for the result, the EVLVR 512 can sustain up to 600 TB (terabytes) of write data, which means that over the years of usage it won’t break after it arrives at a certain write limit.

Design-wise, it’s a cool, sleek, and it has two rubber feet at the bottom so you won’t have to worry for it rolling around or anything.

OUR TAKE
The Patriot Evlvr is a great external drive for those who want to embrace Thunderbolt 3. While it’s not the fastest or the most rugged, it’s a very fast portable storage device at premium pricing.

Specifications

Drive typeExternal Hard Drive
Interface OptionsThunderbolt 3
Available Capacities256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
Dimensions10.2(L) x 4.8(W) x 1.4(H)cm
Weight88 grams
OS supportedMac OS X 10.12 or later, Windows 8.1 or later
PROS

  • It uses the Thunderbolt 3 interface right.
  • Every version has an expected price range for this kind of product.
CONS

  • The devices slows down if it reaches the maximum temperature of 70 degrees.

9. LaCie Bolt 3 Thunderbolt 3

Oh boy, someone had a blast when they came with that title. Seems like the people at LaCie have a different sense of humour, but I kind of like them for that, especially when they decided to name this pricey drive. Oh, just to be sure that the joke went so far that people could use as a space transportation device, they decided it launch it during the same time as the newest MacBook in 2018. And it costs somewhere around the same price range. Isn’t that just fun.

Middle-class issues aside though, the Bolt 3 kind of deserves that price (kind of) as it’s probably one of the fastest drives on the market with astonishing write and read speeds up to 2.6 GB per second, so yikes, that is quite a lot. One of the claims made by the producer that you could transfer 1 TB of 4k movies in about 5 minutes, but I still haven’t found out if that’s true or not. So take that with a grain of salt if you can.

The LaCie Bolt 3 actually has two 1 TB SSD and two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which is cool but that means that it’s quite limited without the USB port as well. You can only plug it to one type of computer so that’s a bit of a bummer. On the flip side though, this means that it has quite the capabilities in data transfer speed, right?

It looks like it reach up to 2.5 GB, but the manufacturer stated that it go even higher than that, 2.8 to be more precise. I don’t know if the drive can actually get there, but that is impressive, I just don’t feel that it excuses the price for it.

Design, design, just like the rest it has an aluminium enclosure and a weird magnetic metal base that helps it stand vertically, like a glorified statue or something. And power wise, outlets my friend, outlets will be your best friend as this beast requires a lot more power than you could get in a bus-powered one. So that also means that it isn’t the most portable SSD out there.

OUR TAKE
As a last mention, the LaCie Bolt 3 has a lot going for it, but it’s definitely a product that will be used by people working in specific industries. It offers a lot of storage space and high speeds, but the price kind of kills of for some with a limited budget.

Specifications

Drive typeExternal Hard Drive
Interface OptionsThunderbolt 3, USB-C
Available Capacities2 TB
Dimensions20 (L) x 2.5(W) x 11.4(H)cm
Weight771 grams
OS supportedMac OS X 10.12 or later, Windows 8.1 or later
PROS

  • It’s one of the fastest drives on the market.
  • Quiet even though it has quite the size.
CONS

  • No USB 3 port.
  • You need an adapter for Thundebolt 2 or prior

10. WD My Passport Pro – Portable RAID

On our list, we went through several types of drives and most of them were either bulky with high storage, high speeds but weren’t portable or the vice-versa. Well, what if I tell you that there is a model on the market that has most of those qualities? I present to you the My Passport Pro-Portable RAID, a two-faced Thunderbolt drive. Excited yet?

This magic box comes in two versions, 2TB and 4TB, both at quite reasonable prices. I like where this is going, but for most products that sound too good to be true, there is always a catch, right? Well, it’s mostly a case of the manufacturer trying something new to see if it might catch one. With this one, I think they managed to hit it, somewhere near the border of the park.

The My Passport Pro- Portable Raid has only one method of connection, through a Thunderbolt 3 integrated cable, from which we can also realize that it’s bus-powered. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that we escaped from the noise such a device can make. It also has an incorporated fan that produces some annoying sounds from time to time, but it’s not exactly something that outrages.

In terms of speeds, nothing too special or out of the ordinary. Both the 2TB and 4TB managed to achieve data transfer speeds of around 230 MB per second.

Oh, and unlike other drives, this is one doesn’t need to install or configure your computer for it, it’s a quick Plug and Play, so that is kinda of neat of them.

Design-wise, it features aluminum enclosure but there is a difference in the bulkiness between the two versions. If I had to choose the more portable one, the 2 TB would win over the 4 TB, which reminds me a bit of a break, if I am honest. Both also have the added bonus of being shock resistant, with rubber bumpers that help cushion an impending impact.

OUR TAKE
If you ever wanted a method of transporting all of your data, files and other materials in your pocket, without needs a bag sized one, I would definitely say that the WD My Passport Pro-Portable Raid is a good choice. It has a nice design, an integrated Thunderbolt 3 cable and decent speeds are quite a blessing. Still, the main attractions truly are the storage capabilities, which outshine even more expensive or, technology-wise, advanced this model.

Specifications

Drive typeExternal Hard Drive
Interface OptionsThunderbolt 3
Available Capacities2 TB, 4 TB
Dimensions143 (L) x89 (W) x 29 (H) mm (2 TB), 143 (L) x89 (W) x 44 (H) mm (4TB)
Weight0.46 kg 2TB, 0.72 kg 4 TB
OS supportedMac OS X 10.12 or later, Windows 8.1 or later
PROS

  • Both versions have large storage capacity.
  • Portable and bus-powered.
  • Integrated cable
CONS

  • Noisy fan.
  • No SSD option.
 

Thunderbolt 3 External Hard Drives and SSDs FAQ

Can multiple computers be connected to a Thunderbolt 3 External drive at the same time?

No. You cannot access the same external drive from two computers by Thunderbolt 3 or USB. However, you can mount the drive to one machine and share it over a network. That allows you to access the drive from more than one computer at the same time.

Can you run games off an external SSD?

Yes, you can install and play most games from an external SSD. And thanks to Thunderbolt 3 higher bandwidth, it can match the read/writes of solid-state drives giving you faster loading times for your games.

But, you should know that heavy read/write operations on an external drive may cause overheating. Sometimes, you will be required to point to the location of games (drive letter), especially when using Steam.

Can I daisy chain a Thunderbolt 3 drive to a Thunderbolt 3 monitor?

Like most TB3 devices, you can daisy-chain an external Thunderbolt 3 drive to a Thunderbolt 3 monitor. That’s helpful when having only one or limited Tb3 ports on your computer.

However, your monitor must have at least two Tb3 ports. You can find Thunderbolt 3 monitors that support daisy-chaining in this roundup: Best Thunderbolt 3 Monitors.

Why are Thunderbolt 3 drives priced so high?

Thunderbolt 3 is the most advanced tech, and it’s geared towards professionals ready to pay a premium to get that extra speed and performance. Also, keep in mind the cost of implementing the technology and the rigorous certification process, which adds to the product price.

Categories: Reviews