Fastest Mac ThunderBolt 3 Drives

Apple Compatible ThunderBolt 3 Storage Devices

The combination of 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 ports and solid-state storage technology is an ideal match for Mac computers with the new universal Type-C ports. This new reversible connection technology supports both Thunderbolt and 10Gbps USB 3.1 protocols in a single unifying interface for nearly any type of Macintosh peripheral, old or new. Here we feature only Mac compatible SSD backup drives for ThunderBolt 3 enabled MacBooks and Macintosh desktops that are well-suited to this extremely fast data interface.

Full-Speed ThunderBolt 3 Mac Backup Drives

Although 10's of millions of Apple Macs and Windows PC's with updated TBolt3 ports have shipped at this point, it's taken awhile for major peripheral manufacturers to ramp up design, testing and production.

Screaming Fast ThunderBolt 3 (Only) SSD

480GB Capacity - Speeds Up To 2400MBps


Above, CableMatters PCIe ThunderBolt 3 blade drive delivers bleeding-edge Read/Write performance few Mac users have ever experienced. Do note it is Thunderbolt3 ONLY, the TBolt cable is permanently attached, and there's no secondary pass-through port for other devices. As such it's best directly connected to a modern Mac, or as the last device in a ThunderBolt 3 chain.

"ThunderBolt 3 Compatible" USB 3.1 Mac Drives

For the average Mac user who's real-word storage needs are far more modest, a USB-C Type-C SSD drive for Mac backups is still going to be insanely fast - and far more affordable.

Low-Cost Thunderbolt 3 'Compatible SSD Drive

256GB to 1TB - Speeds Up To 515MBps


For a single PCIe module or even a dual SATA SSD RAID 0 drive, USB 3.1's 10Gbps bandwidth will allow the flash memory to operate at peak speeds. Just make sure the USB-C SSD drive explicitly mentions USB 3.1 'Gen 2' compatibility in it's chipset to indicate it's a full 10Gbps speed device. ('Gen 1' refers to the older 5Gbps USB 3.0 speeds.)

Thunderbolt3 Compatible USB-C SSD RAID

Dual SSD Modules - Speeds to 770MBps


Intel And Apple ThunderBolt 3 Technology

As initially envisioned, the ThunderBolt specification has evolved at a steady pace during this decade. From the original 10Gbps Thunderbolt spec, to 20Gpbs 2nd generation Thunderbolt 2 using the mini DisplayPort style of connector, a doubling of Read / Write speeds was possible. With the transition to 40Gbps ThunderBolt 3, speeds are doubled again with a new, smaller unifying Type-C connector. With an Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adapter, you can continue to use your older TBolt devices on the latest Macs, preserving your legacy data storage hardware investments.

With an appropriate USB-C to USB-A adapter, older USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 devices can be used on a modern ThunderBolt 3 port. Backward compatibility is assured, though older USB Apple peripherals won't derive any speed related benefit.