Best ssd drive for mac

best ssd drive for mac

There used to be a lot of difficulty finding fast, reliable SSDs, but prices have really fallen in the last few years, so you can now find them for just a small premium over hard drives. With SSDs, you can use your laptop while traveling not only because they are faster, but because they are also lighter and stronger. The Best ssd drive for mac uses usb-C (at least most of them) and are quite fast compared to their counterparts in the market.  Others such as the Samsung has to use adapters since they have no usb-C. 

The drives we reviewed here are reflected in that, and most are small and lightweight enough to fit in your pocket. As well as providing up to 8TB of storage, the latest SSDs can also be used with desktop Macs in offices. The fact that they require a separate power supply rather than a USB port on your Mac can also help to reduce cable clutter.

There are still some speed differences, with entry-level SSDs offering speeds of around 500MB/s, while more advanced models can offer speeds of 1000MB/s or even 2000MB/s. Although SSDs are generally faster than mechanical hard drives, there are still speed differences, with entry-level models generally providing speeds of around 500MB/s. Check to make sure that any apps provided by the manufacturer work with Macs and Windows PCs. You can also look for IP-ratings for weather protection, as well as password protection for your important files.

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Best SSD for Mac

Samsung Portable SSD T7 Shield

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best ssd drive for mac
SAMSUNG T7 Shield 1TB, Portable SSD


Shock-resistant and rugged

Protected by password

An adaptor for USB-A and a USB-C cable are included


You may be able to get by with the standard T7 since it is cheaper.


Despite the fact that Samsung’s T5 has been a regular fixture on our list of the best SSD drives for years, the company recently upgraded its range of storage products to include the new T7 model, which continues to offer great value for money.

There are actually three versions of the T7 available. The standard T7 is a compact, lightweight SSD that looks very similar to the old T5 – however it boasts higher performance, so make sure you check the model number before making your purchase. Compared with the T6 Shield, which has a rubber sleeve that is designed for outdoor use, we tested the T7 Shield, which is more rugged. For added security and convenience, there’s a third Samsung Portable SSD model with a fingerprint sensor that also uses Samsung’s Portable SSD app to protect your files.

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But Samsung includes a USB-C cable

A 1TB storage option costs $159/£128 with the T7 Shield, while a 2TB storage option costs $289.99/£219 with the device. The device connects to your Mac via USB-C, but Samsung includes a USB-C cable and an adaptor to allow you to use it with older Macs with USB-A interfaces. Due to the protective sleeve, this model is larger than the other T7 models, with dimensions 0.5in/13mm thick, 2.3in/59mm wide, 3.4in/88mm long, and 3.4oz/98g. Still, it’s small enough to fit into a jacket pocket or backpack without a problem, and its extra protection will be appreciated by many.

Samsung claims that the shock-resistant rubber sleeve on the T7 Shield can withstand falls from a height of three meters, and is rated IP65 for water-resistance and dust resistance. Also, it performs well. The Samsung T7 Shield claims to read and write at 1,000 MB/s, but our tests with the Blackmagic disk tool actually recorded 1,780 MB/s and 1,300 MB/s read and write speeds, which makes it an excellent back-up device for laptop users who need to work outdoors.

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SanDisk Professional Pro-G40 SSD

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best ssd drive for mac

SanDisk Professional 1TB PRO-G40 SSD


USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 compatible

Performance at high reading and writing speeds

Construction of high quality



Thunderbolt 4 is not supported


Solid-state drives are typically available in speeds ranging from 500MB/s to 1500MB/s, and most of them use a standard USB-C interface. While that is fine for general use, creative users often need more performance when backing up their work files, especially if they are working with high-resolution photography or large 4K – or even 8K – video files.

The Pro-G40 is designed primarily for professionals and creatives, and instead of using USB-C, it uses Thunderbolt 3 for even better performance (and is backwards compatible with computers with USB-C only). With a Thunderbolt cable (which is included in the box), SanDisk claims a read speed of 2700MB/s and a write speed of 1900MB/s. Our tests with the BlackMagic speed test app revealed that the Pro-G40 actually performed at 2670MB/s, a speed that we were impressed with, as manufacturers often quote theoretical maximum speeds. Moreover, it consistently reached 2350MB in our tests, which exceeded SanDisk’s claims for write performance. We consider it one of the fastest portable solid-state drives we’ve ever seen.

Additionally, the Pro-G4 is robustly built, making it a good choice for photoshoots and other outdoor activities. Featuring an IP68 rating, the durable casing is waterproof and dust-resistant, and SanDisk claims that it can handle crushing pressure of up to 4,000 pounds (1800 kilograms) and three metre drops. The Pro-G40 has a higher price tag because of its performance and sturdy design, costing $333.39/£414.99 for 1TB storage and $529.39/£654.99 for 2TB storage. Nevertheless, the Pro-G40 is a perfect backup drive for anyone who works away from the office and needs a fast, reliable drive.

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G-Tech G-Drive Mobile SSD

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G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE Mobile USB-C



Design that is slim and lightweight

A dust- and water-resistant IP67 rating


Performance in the middle range

Thunderbolt is not supported (only USB-C)


SanDisk and G-Technology (traditionally known as just G-Tech to its Mac-using customers) have been among the storage manufacturers that Western Digital has been hovering over in recent years. After the takeover, some of G-Tech’s high-end G-Drive products were handed over to SanDisk, but a few still sell under that brand name, including the G-Drive Mobile SSD.

With prices starting at around $139.99/£68.99 for a 500GB model, the G-Drive Mobile SSD is very much aimed at the cost-conscious user. The 1TB and 2TB models are more expensive. However, the Mobile SSD is well-designed, despite its affordable price. Despite its small size, it is easy to slip into your bag or pocket alongside a MacBook when you’re travelling. The drive measures just 14.5mm thick, 50mm wide and 94mm long. Designed to withstand 1000 pounds of pressure or drops from a height of three meters, the drive is also well suited to life on the road, as it is rated IP67 for water and dust resistance.

Due to G-Tech’s experience working for Macs, the Mobile SSD is already formatted for Macs out of the box. Windows users can reformat and share files with a Mac by using a small partition set aside with some utilities and instructions. There is a single USB-C interface on the drive, but there are cables for both USB-C and USB-A Macs.

Western Digital claims a top speed of 560MB/s for the Mobile SSD, but it’s not the fastest SSD on the market because of its low price. The Mobile SSD’s read and write speeds were 520MB/s and 460MB/s respectively, but that’s still a lot faster than a conventional hard drive. It’s a good backup option for people who work outdoors a lot and require a really rugged backup drive at a reasonable price.

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LaCie Portable SSD

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LaCie 2TB Mobile SSD Secure USB-C Drive


Style and compactness

Construction that is solid


Performance is mediocre


It comes in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB storage capacities. With a new design, the Portable SSD offers a new level of security and is a great option for people without James Bond-level security. With smooth round corners rather than sharp angular edges of the now discontinued LaCie Mobile SSD, the compact Portable SSD mimics Apple’s recent obsession with rounded corners on Big Sur and Monterey icons.

Aside from being larger and lighter than previous LaCie drives, it measures just 0.4in/10.6mm in thickness, 1.9in/50mm in width, and 3in/80mm in length, and it only weighs 1.5oz/45g, so taking it with you on the go is no problem. As a result of the drive’s low cost, there are no additional features, such as an adapter for older Macs with USB-A (3.2) connections. It has a USB-C interface and a USB-C cable, but there are no added extras such as an adaptor for older Macs with USB-A (3.2) connections.

Even so, LaCie hasn’t cut any corners with the Portable SSD. It has a strong, sturdy design that will hold up well in a backpack or briefcase, and it performs excellently as well. According to LaCie, the Portable SSD is capable of reading and writing at speeds of 1000MB/s, but repeated tests with the BlackMagic speed test app showed the SSD to be comfortable cruising at 1,300MB/s. Portable SSD is a great option for Mac or iPad users who need a portable backup drive because of its speed, compact design, and competitive pricing.

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Seagate OneTouch SSD

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Seagate One Touch SSD 500GB External Solid State Drive


It comes with USB cables that are compatible with both USB-C and USB-A

A sturdy construction


Hardware encryption is not available


A very popular option among users is Seagate’s OneTouch hard drives. Their OneTouch SSD is one of the smallest and lightest drives we have seen, with options in blue, silver, and black. Upon sitting flat on a desk, it measures just 2 inches 50 millimeters wide, 2.7 inches 70 millimeters deep, and 0.4 inches 10.6 millimeters thick. You can easily slip it into your pocket and carry it when you’re traveling with your laptop or iPad since it weighs just 2.6oz/74g. Seagate claims it can withstand a drop of 6.5 feet/2m.

You can use the OneTouch drive with most Macs and PCs straight out of the box since it has a USB-C interface. Seagate includes both USB-C and USB-A cables. In addition to automatic backups using Time Machine, Seagate includes its own ToolKit app, which lets you back up specific folders using the ‘sync’ feature. A one-year free Mylio photo organizer is also included, as well as Adobe’s CC Photography plan for four months for $9.99/£9.98 a month (read how to get the best deals on Adobe Creative Cloud).

There is a storage capacity of 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB in this drive, which allows you to back up large collections of photos, videos, and music. In our tests, it performed at 835MB/s and 915MB/s, respectively, which put it among the fastest solid-state drives we’ve tested recently, despite not matching Seagate’s quoted speed of 1GB/s. This lightweight and compact device is perfect for backing up important files on the go, thanks to its ridiculously light weight and compact size.

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Kingston XS2000

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best ssd drive for mac
Kingston XS2000 1TB High Performance Portable SSD


Lightweight, compact design

Dust- and water-resistant IP55

Sleeve with shock-absorbent properties that can be removed


Thunderbolt is not supported



Even if you own a Mac, it turns out that you have another USB connector to worry about once you think you understand all the different types of USB interfaces. Designed for professional users, Kingston’s XS2000 boasts a top speed of 2000MB/s and is designed for graphics and design professionals.  Despite its USB-C interface, the drive isn’t Mac compatible because it uses USB 3.2 Gen 2 – a hideous mouthful that’s currently unsupported.

Macs are not able to run the XS2000 at its full speed at the moment. However, we were still able to achieve 960MB/s read speed with the M2-based MacBook Pro and 900MB/s write speed with the SSD, which is comparable with competitive SSDs we have tested. Although Kingston includes a USB-C cable for Macs and PCs, it still uses a conventional USB-C connector. Older Macs can use the XS2000 with a USB-A adapter, but this isn’t recommended as it will further slow the device down.

Photographers or filmmakers who often work outdoors will also be attracted to the drive’s design. We haven’t seen anything smaller and lighter than this tiny lozenge-shaped drive, which measures just 13.5mm thick, 32.5mm wide, and 69.5mm long and weighs just 29g. Besides being IP55-rated for water and dust resistance, Kingston includes a shock-absorbing, removable rubber sleeve that can be used to increase protection when needed, and it is rated for temperatures between -20°C and 85°C. In addition to its 4TB capacity, the XS2000 is one of the few solid-state drives that we’ve seen that do. Buying a drive with 500GB storage costs $499.99/£538.99, but starting at just $99.99/£84.99.

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How to choose the Best ssd drive for mac: Buying advice

What general advice should you follow when selecting an SSD? You’ve read our recommendations of the best SSDs on the market for Mac owners today.

SSDs vs hard drives

This is due to the fact that hard drives use relatively inexpensive spinning platters to store data. The main stumbling block is the cost per gigabyte. For instance, a portable SSD might cost $200, but a 1TB external hard drive might cost $25. However, SSDs use NAND memory chips to store data. Those who prefer hard drives should check out our roundup of the best Mac hard drives. They are more expensive, but they are also much faster and allow for much smaller enclosures.

2.5in or ultra-portable?

There are three basic types of Best ssd drive for mac that range in performance from 300-500MB/s to 3000MB/s. Two of them can be considered portable. The ‘naked’ SSD boards plug directly into PCIe or SATA interfaces and are commonly used to replace SSDs in laptops and desktop computers. They are not really portable. In addition to offering a mix of portability and internal use, 2.5in SSDs are the cheapest way to get a portable drive. The casing is plastic, so the components are not damaged, but the connection is via SATA rather than USB.

You can buy an enclosure to get more protection and that all-important USB or Thunderbolt interface, or simply use a SATA-to-USB cable to get that all-important USB or Thunderbolt interface. The office uses one of these cables to transfer test files on a 2.5-inch SSD around. However, you should use a ‘pocket’ SSD, not one that is 2.5-inch in size. They are designed for USB or Thunderbolt connectors, not those found in Macs or MacBooks. The most common type of drive is listed below. They are extremely small and convenient, but they are much more expensive than 2.5in-style drives.

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Shock-proof, and rugged?

With no moving parts, Best ssd drive for mac won’t get damaged if they are knocked or moved while writing data, making them more durable than hard drives. Although modern hard drives have some shock protection, it’s still an issue. Even portable SSDs have water resistance, so you can treat them pretty mean before they start complaining. If you opt for the 2.5in drive route, you can also get ruggedisation in a specialized drive enclosure.

It is a huge advantage to portability, but are SSDs more reliable than HDDs if they sit still all day? Hard drives tend to fail mechanically. For example, the motor that spins the platters might burn out. SSDs’ memory cells age, which can lead to failure. It’s always wise to back up important data, especially if you need specialist recovery.

Nevertheless, SSDs win hands down for us, who occasionally have to tuck drives into backpacks and plug them in on airplanes.

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Matching SSD performance to your connectors

You can expect SSD file transfers to be fast. Typically, the top external SSDs can transfer files at speeds of up to 550MB/s. However, you must have a Mac or MacBook with a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port if you want these speeds. You’re in luck if your model has one. The port supports USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2 as well, which is what we’re looking for with external SSDs instead of Thunderbolt.

  You’ll notice some speed compromise with older machines that have USB 3.0 or USB 2.0 ports. USB 3.0 can reach a theoretical max speed of 625MB/s, but in actual use, it will be much slower. If you have a computer that is rather old, such as a 2011 MacBook Pro, and only has USB 2.0 ports, you should think twice about using these ultra-fast SSDs. They only run at 60MB/s, which are not up to the task. You should consider a hard drive instead in that case.

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How much Best ssd drive for mac storage do I need?

It’s common to see the best ssd drive for macs with capacities ranging from 250GB to 500GB to 1TB to 2TB to 4TB. Choosing a 500GB or 1TB hard drive isn’t as easy as it seems, since the difference in price between the two is usually stark. Compared to hard drives with 1-4TB, there aren’t as many price jumps. 

Video editors who work in 4K require a lot of storage. For example, Panasonic Lumix GH4 footage consumes 4GB every five minutes. We can’t provide a solution to this question, but it’s a good idea to do a quick mental calculation. If you just want to back up some videos or photos, a smaller-capacity model might be adequate. Check out how much storage your Mac has and use that as a guide.