External SSD; Pre-built vs Build your one (SSD m.2 + enclosure)?

I have been thinking for a long time to upgrade my old external 2.0 HDD to a 3.2 SSD which led me to this topic.

What is better?, buy a prebuild SSD that should be better in quality or make one by myself by purchasing an SSD M.2 and an enclosure. Putting them together is not a challenge the part that worries me a little bit is setting up the drive, what configuration should I use in order to achieve an optimal performance.

  • Since nvme ssd has become so cheap now and you'll be limited with 3.2 gen 2 speed anyway, you can save money going the enclosure route. Gen 3 ssd 2tb can go as low as $60 ish, enclosure around $20. For the config, usually I just need to initialize the drive in disk management, assign volume and file system, and it's good to go.

  • Honestly might be better to go the enclosure route.  With the prices and choices available, combined with the fact its not that difficult to config. the drive anymore once the system detects it. 

  • It's likely a bit cheaper to go with the built your own route these days and you'll probably end up with better config than what you get pre-built.  It shouldn't even take much time to put it together.

  • I have been considering the same thing. From what I have seen online the PC should just recognize it as a drive/storage whether you assemble it yourself or if  it already comes in it's own enclosure.                                                                                                                      And I believe the performance would be determined by the PCs USB transfer rates anyway. So you can just check what your USB is capable off and then get either an external SSD or the memory module's and enclosure's that is close to it.                                                                    (And unless you are going to be running resource heavy programs from the external drive, it probably would not make much noticeable difference anyway. Especially nof it was used mostly for, well, storage)
    The external HDDs usually had a storage management/programs on it. I don;t know if the external SSDs do, If putting either an SSD or HHD in an enclosure you wouldn't have that..But you can always download one.


  • I would go the enclosure route. I've been researching this for my team in trying to transition some of our older drives. NVMe SSD prices have generally been going down. When you consider the upgrade in speed from HDD, even slower NVMe drives (2000 - 3000MB/s) are priced well and will come under the price of a prebuilt SSD. Just make sure that you get a thermal pad for the SSD stick as well as making sure the enclosure has good reviews for heat dissipation and drop protection.With building your own, it's going to get a bit hotter than the prebuilts, but only under long consistent writing and it's normal.  There will be some enclosures that may or may not be 3.2 compatible, but you'll get great performance over what you previously had.

  • Yeah go  right ahead though it would be better to install the m.2 internally. You're probably using an enclosure because you probably cannotm or need to take your files with you.. Still if you can later upgrade to a desktop or laptop with more m.2 slots you can install it for better performance. 

  • SSD M.2 enclouse is the best option for me

  • Enclosure route seems best, you can swap out drives (gives flexibility) with the enclosure. Make sure you have the proper cable and that your PC has the correct port for the optimal transfer speeds!

  • Just buy the pre-built one. Storage is so cheap now, it's silly to do anything else.

  • Hi there! I firmly believe that buying a good and well-known brand and doing either would not make an enormous difference overall; however, I recommend to buy a pre-rebuilt SSD because they are still less susceptible to error and issues, generally speaking. I had a couple of the ones that I built crash on me, unfortunately, and it sucks a lot.