Satechi SSD enclosure is a cost-effective way to increase the storage space of your Apple Mac

It’s a fact that when you buy an Apple Mac, it comes with a tiny amount of storage unless you’re willing to pay through the nose, thanks to the ridiculous prices Apple charges for the extra storage. Furthermore, unlike computers, the internal storage of newer Macs cannot be upgraded because Apple’s storage chips are soldered directly to the motherboard rather than using a connector such as SATA or NVMe. So how do you get more storage space for your Mac at a reasonable price?

Fortunately, fast SSD storage in SATA or NVMe formats can be very affordable and you can open these SSDs in an external enclosure that can be plugged into your Mac’s USB port. It’s easy to do and you’ll save quite a bit of money.

Satechi recently announced an aluminum tool-free USB-C enclosure to house M.2 PCIe NVMe and SATA SSDs. It requires both types of SSD, although I’d suggest using NVMe since there are more options and it’s a faster standard. This cute little Satechi casing is beautifully crafted from aluminum and ribbed on the outside to ensure the SSD inside stays cool and runs efficiently.

The Satechi USB-C Enclosure requires no tools to set up. Simply click on the catch on the base of the drive and remove it. Then get a suitable SSD and open it, first stick the silicone heatsink provided by Satechi in the box. This strip of material is affixed to the underside of the SSD to help dissipate any heat that builds up in the SSD memory chips.

To test the case, I ordered the Lexar NM620 NVMe SSD with a capacity of 500GB. I could have been bigger, but 512GB is a good size for most users. The affordable SSD isn’t the fastest Lexar makes, but it’s perfect for a Satechi enclosure, which supports Gen 2 and USB 3.2 Gen 2. USB 4 and Thunderbolt enclosures are faster, but they often cost significantly more and USB 3.2 is fast enough for most people.

Once you install the SSD into the Satechi enclosure, it’s just a matter of clicking the casing and the drive tray together and you’re ready to connect to your Mac. Satechi provides a USB-C cable in the box, which is convenient for fast data transfer. However, when you plug it in, your Mac will most likely tell you that it can’t read the drive, so you need to format it with the Apple Disk Utility which you will find in the Utilities folder, which is inside your Mac’s Applications folder.

Format the SSD by choosing Apple’s APFS with Partition GUID. This should be fine for most people’s needs, but there are alternatives if you want to be able to share data inside a Satechi container with a PC or Linux computer.

Once booted up, you should have realistic minimum read speeds of 390MB/s and 401MB/s write, with a USB 3 Gen 1 interface. Faster ports on later Macs will provide faster speeds, and they’re definitely fast enough to back up digital photo files and any other data you don’t need to store on your Mac’s internal SSD. I save my internal SSD to hold macOS files, apps, and maybe some current projects. I tend to store files I no longer work on on my external drive.

Verdict: The great thing about this SSD drive enclosure from Satechi is that it is well made and feels high quality. It can take an M.2 NVMe or SATA SSD drive, so you can choose the type of drive you want to use. The case is fast and it’s nice to have a silent motor that runs quietly and won’t fail if you accidentally drop it. Depending on the size of your SSD, you can add additional storage to your Mac for just over $100. It’s definitely a lot cheaper than maxing out your Mac’s storage at Apple prices and you can always put a bigger SSD in the case later if you need it.

Pricing and Availability: Satechi’s new tool-free aluminum USB-C housing for M.2 PCIe NVMe and SATA SSD is now available and costs $49.99. The Lexar NM620 I used in my test cost $69.99 from Amazon.

More information: satechi.net And the www.lexar.com

Technical Specifications:

Satechi USB-C Aluminum NVMe/SATA Enclosure

  • Interface compatibility: USB 3.1 Gen 2, USB 3.2 Gen 2, USB 3.2 Gen 2×1, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, Thunderbolt 3, USB4, Thunderbolt 4.
  • Form factor: SATA and NVMe in sizes 2242/2260/2280, such as M.2 NVMe/SATA PCIe M switch, PCIe B&M SSD switch.

Lexar NM620

  • Interface: PCIe Gen3x4 high-speed.
  • Type: NVMe (1.4 supported).
  • Read speed: 3300MB/s.
  • Write speed: 3000 MB / sec.
  • Form factor: M.2 2280 with 3D NAND technology.