I have a MacBook Pro Retina Mid 2012 with 8gb of ram and 256gb SSD 15”.

My goal is to be able to run MS Visual Studio 2017 / 2019 on a 16gb ram machine. I know you can run Visual Studio for Mac, but I prefer the Windows UI, I’m just use to it.

I’ve tried external hard drives via USB 3 to boot camp Windows 10, however I found the experience quite slow. Granted I’ve used HDD drives and not SSD, but I’m not sure with USB 3 this would make much difference?

I know I also have a thunderbolt v1 port, but I don’t think this would be much improved.

I don’t have enough free disk space to partition my SSD in my old MacBook.

I’m consider looking at trading in my MacBook for a slightly newer used model. However I have concerns of keyboard faults (butterfly keyboard) and the cost. Again I don’t think I’d be able to afford something which would give me enough SSD space to say partition a 512gb drive equally between windows as MacOS, I struggle with 256GB on MacOS as it is.

So I’m considering an external drive long term use between my old MacBook and use with an newer model. Ideally something small which doesn’t require external power.

I’m just wondering what spec / model might work best, I’m assuming thuhderbolt 3 might be my best option. But I’m not sure if the throughput with an SSD will achieve good performance.

I’m actually considering buying a Windows Pro laptop instead, but this does take away funds from my primary machine a MacBook Pro.

Obviously I know sticking with my old MacBook won’t give me 16gb of ram, but I guess I could live with that in the short term, however I believe disk speed is the most important factor here.

Indeed I will have to upgrade my MacBook in years to come as Xcode forces OS updates and I’m sure in a year or so it won’t run the latest OS.

So I’m just looking for hardware recommends on a budget.


H There are many models that fit what you want to be considered ideal, any portable NMVE SSD, type m.2, are a bit more expensive than conventional ones,Or failing that, an SSD type sata, external by type C or the Mac port.

To be more specific, any SSD with a read rate per envelope of 1200MB/s and type NVME

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  • Thanks, I don’t have usb c on my Mac, when you say Mac port I assume you mean thunderbolt? – Jules Feb 28 at 20:22

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