Choosing between NVMe in external case vs prepackaged external SSD

Hello everyone
Im looking to figure out which one to choose
Buying an internal nvme with an enclosure to use it as external everyday use (for programs,games,one backup of photos etc)
Vs buy a samsung t7 or sandisk extreme external

My 2cents I believe
1- external is build to be reliable
2- internal are more strong for consistent use and its cheaper to buy internal +enclosure
What are your advises

NVMe runs at PCIe speeds. There aren’t many external protocols you can achieve those sorts of speeds, maybe Thunderbold 4/USB 4. Accordingly, I think it simply boils down to price… which factors in any long term goals. If you might eventual repurpose the NVMe out of the enclosure and into a PC, then that should factor into your thinking of future costs.

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So of speed is equal to external 2000mbs
Is reliability a difference
Could a cheap enclosure break data
Or an internal nvme more reliable than an external

I would say the external disk is marginally less reliable since you’re introducing the USB circuitry into the data path - it’s just one extra thing that could potentially fail. But even in that failure case you could still shuck the disk and recover data.

It’s pretty simple - external disks are more convenient due to portability, internal disks will always have better performance.

Even as the USB spec catches up to bandwidth numbers offered by PCIe, you still must take into account latency. Depending on your use case, disk access latency might be big enough factor to sway the decision. You mentioned running applications - this is something that will be more sensitive to latency.

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Just to give out a background
I use external HDDs to backup snd keep data
I also have external nvme thet i run games on even have windows installed on it in case it is necessary and im happy with it
So now i wanna add more capacity so i get my photos and games more accessible to my macs and laptops

Buying a nvme +external enclosure is cheaper and i feel it may be more reliable if something happens to enclosure to just put it in a new one or in a pc ti get dara out
Do you agree or should i stick with a new external drive

I’ve pondered this issues as well. I ended up on using an NVME M.2 drive in an external USB 3.2gen2x1 enclosure (10Gb/s). My reasons were pretty simple:

  1. It’s cheaper (drives+ enclosures are cheap)
  2. It’s more flexable (I can swap drives around at will)
  3. Drives can be reused
  4. Enclosures can be upgraded (cheap PCI-E v3.0x4 drives can handle up to 32Gb/s which will almost saturate USB4/TB(3,4), so if the cheap $10 10Gb/s enclosure turns out to be to slow for your needs, you can put the drive into a better one. Note: enclosures faster than 10Gb/s get pricey quickly.

The one caution I would give you is to pick a drive with DRAM. The reason for that is the DRAMless drives are expecting to be able to use a chunk of host memory over PCI-E in place of onboard DRAM and when they can’t, you’re going to be putting a lot more stress on them in terms of write amplification. Enclosures don’t provide DRAM, so the drive will work in a part of its firmware that rarely gets used as the main “borrow DRAM from host” method of operation won’t be used. And that’s one they will spend time testing. The “no host DRAM available” is a fallback mode and the drive likely won’t meet its specified performance–write lifetime, read/write speed, etc. This means you can’t use the very bottom of the barrel M.2 drives. You’ll need to use one tier up from that. Or, Intel’s QLC drives (which I generally avoid for internal use as the tiny price decrease doesn’t justify the huge performance penalty) have DRAM built into their controllers. And, since you’re not going to push it to its limits over a 10Gb/s link, their performance limits really aren’t a problem.

Also: If you want a cheap, large, and reliable external USB flash drive, pick up a very cheap M.2 SATA enclosure (cheaper than the NVME ones) and a very cheap SATA M.2 drive. SATA drives don’t expect to get memory from a host so they are either designed not to need it or come with it. And they’re cheaper At least in small sizes (256 to 512GB). Probably not what you’re looking for if you want to store as much on it as your post implies, but it’s a great replacement for a thumb drive as the enclosure isn’t that much bigger, but it’s more rugged and the drive inside is vastly better performing–they’ll saturate a USB3.0 (5Gb/s) link all day long. Good luck doing that with a traditional thumb drive.

Prices I’m seeing for parts:
$5-$7 for SATA M.2 enclosure (5Gb/s)
$10 for NVME M.2 enclosure (10Gb/s)
$15 256 GB SATA M.2 drive
$20 512 GB SATA M.2 drive
$45 1 TB SATA M.2 drive
$67 2 TB NVME M.2 Intel QLC drive

If prices are different for you or if someone is reading this post years from now, my reasoning may be different if these price assumptions have changed (as well as USB speeds, drive speeds, etc.)

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Thank you for the detailed info
Yes im looking for the same setup for the same reason

In summary do you suggest:
I see Samsung 980 on sale for $99 for 2TB
And enclosures around $20

But as you recommended to find one with DRAM
I have to downgrade to 2TB for the cost

Do you recommend buying a dual enclosure around $40 so i can add another 2TB later?

Or is there any specifications to consider when buying enclosure?

FYI i have a sandisk extreme 1TB and using it for heavy games and even sometimes was using it to run windows and games when I didn’t want to have installed on my original windows

Please let me know

I would buy a single drive enclosure unless you’re going to pack it with lots of storage and not access it a lot. Single drive enclosures are normally less than half the price of dual enclosures, so they don’t make sense from a cost perspective. They only save you a USB port, but they cost you bandwidth that you’d get from using multiple ports.

The only time such an enclosure would make sense is if it had a faster link like USB 3.2 Gen2x2 or TB3/4, but those cases seem to be around $100 or so. Unless you’re running out of ports, it makes more sense to take advantage of the many ports you have.

For enclosure, you just need to be sure that you have the right type SATA or NVME which matches your drive.

The Samsung 980 is DRAMless, so I would avoid that in an external enclosure.

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So I figured out the dual enclosure has separate usb connection so it defeated the purpose
So I went ahead and ordered
A $18 pcie 3.2gen 2 enclosure
And a samsung 980pro 2TB
Reviews mentioned it has Dram and it was more expensive than crucial and intel 670 and afew oyher brands
After that i saw a crucial external for same price but im goanna stick with my choice
Hopefully when it gets here i can confirm the Dram
And in general tried to avoid non known brands for safety

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