Announced at the CES show in Las Vegas, the new Elgato Thunderbolt SSD is the first bus powered Thunderbolt drive. The Elgato Thunderbolt external hard drive manages to function by sharing some of the 10 volts of power that the Thunderbolt port has available.
This is some achievement considering the energy requirements of the other Thunderbolt components, like the cable. It makes sense then to use SSDs as they normally use less power, plus they are more durable with no moving parts.
Down side though is that there is only one Thunderbolt port. This means the Elgato Thunderbolt SSD doesn’t support daisy chaining and has to be an end device. Apparently, if you are bus powered, you can only have the one Thunderbolt port.
Although capped at the SATA 3 standard of 6Gbps, the 5.2 x 3.3 inch drive has a write speed of 270 Mb/s.
In order to provide optimal heat dissipation the Elgato Thunderbolt SSDs case is metal. Consequently a fan is not required so noise should be kept to a minimum.
Released in February this year, there are two models now available with capacities of 120GB and 240GB.
As with most Thunderbolt products, they are pricey, although they do come with a three year warranty.