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Old Dec 20, 2012, 11:17 AM   #1
Kadath
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2012 iMac: Thunderbolt hard disks for photographers?

My iMac should be at my home soon. I bought the 3TB Fusion drive and intend to keep my iTunes library on that, tho I may move that to a USB 3.0 external too. But my Lr library for 2004-2012 is hovering around 2TB and I intend to start a fresh library in 2013 on a new drive. I'm not looking for raid solutions, I back up to USB drives and store them off site so I don't need RAID features, I just want a big ass fast disk.

I'm looking at the following:
http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Thunde...dp_ob_title_ce

Seems cool, can plug any SATA drive into that base it seems.

http://www.amazon.com/Book-Thunderbo...ds=thunderbolt

Seems cool, can pop dual drives into that enclosure.

http://www.amazon.com/G-Technology-T...ds=thunderbolt

Little more pricy, full RAID even if I don't need it.

Any other options I should be considering? All of the Promise enclosures seem to be more than what I need....
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 11:27 AM   #2
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There is absolutely no reason to get a Thunderbolt drive/enclosure unless you plan on installing SSD or having at least 4 hard drives in RAID configuration. USB 3.0 is more than capable of handling the throughput of one or two hard drives, so Thunderbolt wouldn't make any difference other than a bigger hole in your wallet.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 11:39 AM   #3
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OK, well I'm certainly willing to go down that route too, what would you suggest given that I simply need fast access to a 3TB+ drive?
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 03:02 PM   #4
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Kadath,

I'm am a photographer and have been testing thunderbolt enclosures with the Samsung 840 Pro and the OCZ Vector drive. You can see some if my test results in this thread:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1489710
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:35 PM   #5
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I've been looking for external storage myself and I have been looking at Thunderbolt and USB3.

I have not used one but I saw the G-Drive 4TB USB3 drive at an Apple Store. It looks nice. It is a fan-less aluminum enclosure with a 7200rpm drive. It is not a RAID drive though. Apple wanted around $350 for it. It came with the USB cable.

It has a power switch on the back and based on other things I've read it is possible the G-Drives do not go to sleep when the computer does. I'm not sure if that is an issue for you or not.

It sounds like a reasonable option though given your criteria.

Here is a link to their page for the drive:

http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-drive.cfm
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 04:43 PM   #6
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Will check both of those out, thanks! Loving my new machine so far! Installing all my MAS, Steam and Adobe apps from the cloud was a cinch, synched my bookmarks via Xmarks, just had to go tweek to taste my preferences and then begin the overnight dumps of my iTunes Library and will pick up an external drive for my photos over the weekend.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 07:55 PM   #7
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If I'm gonna go with a couple USB3 drives I will need a powered hub. Anyone used this one or have a better recommendation?

http://www.amazon.com/Oct-2012-Upgra...ref=pd_cp_pc_0
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 07:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcramer View Post
I've been looking for external storage myself and I have been looking at Thunderbolt and USB3.

I have not used one but I saw the G-Drive 4TB USB3 drive at an Apple Store. It looks nice. It is a fan-less aluminum enclosure with a 7200rpm drive. It is not a RAID drive though. Apple wanted around $350 for it. It came with the USB cable.

It has a power switch on the back and based on other things I've read it is possible the G-Drives do not go to sleep when the computer does. I'm not sure if that is an issue for you or not.

It sounds like a reasonable option though given your criteria.

Here is a link to their page for the drive:

http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-drive.cfm
FYI I use the Thunderbolt version of this exact device, and it's been flawless. Just keep in mind that if the power goes out you have to power it up again, it doesn't power up automatically.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 09:37 PM   #9
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FYI I use the Thunderbolt version of this exact device, and it's been flawless. Just keep in mind that if the power goes out you have to power it up again, it doesn't power up automatically.
I believe that's the G-RAID? I didn't think they had any other Thunderbolt products. That looks nice but the drive I linked is a single drive, so no RAID.

How is the noise on that G-RAID? Do the drives ever go to sleep? I saw conflicting reports on whether the drives ever powered down when not in use.
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 10:05 PM   #10
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If you are already backing stuff up, I would suggest you consider going with a 2-drive RAID0 array. You'll get near SSD speeds and don't have to worry about losing data.

just my .02
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 10:49 PM   #11
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Why would you not have to worry about losing data with this setup?
Don't you still have to have a backup drive as well?

Thanks.

Marsha

Quote:
Originally Posted by photoz View Post
If you are already backing stuff up, I would suggest you consider going with a 2-drive RAID0 array. You'll get near SSD speeds and don't have to worry about losing data.

just my .02
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 08:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mfouks View Post
Why would you not have to worry about losing data with this setup?
Don't you still have to have a backup drive as well?

Thanks.

Marsha
OP said he was already doing backups, that what I meant when I said you didn't have to worry about losing data.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 08:46 AM   #13
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I ordered WD thunderbolt raid drive (6TB) - thought it was a good price


http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...rbolt_Duo.html
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:22 AM   #14
Kadath
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrett14 View Post
I ordered WD thunderbolt raid drive (6TB) - thought it was a good price

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...rbolt_Duo.html
That's the one I linked in the OP, at $50 cheaper than Amazon. Still in my list of considerations!
http://www.amazon.com/Book-Thunderbo...ds=thunderbolt

Can you post a Blackmagic results screenshot for it please?
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:35 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Hellhammer View Post
There is absolutely no reason to get a Thunderbolt drive/enclosure unless you plan on installing SSD or having at least 4 hard drives in RAID configuration. USB 3.0 is more than capable of handling the throughput of one or two hard drives, so Thunderbolt wouldn't make any difference other than a bigger hole in your wallet.

Well, I'll have to respectfully disagree, although it is a matter of degree, and somewhat specific drive dependent, but TB external drives ARE faster than USB 3 drives (if using the same drive in each) and especially if you plan on having more than one usb 3 device/drive.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by barrett14 View Post
I ordered WD thunderbolt raid drive (6TB) - thought it was a good price


http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...rbolt_Duo.html
I have 2 of them, removed green slow drives and replaced with ssd and velociraptor, and also one of the 2 TB velociraptor versions. All are very fast and I'm still able to run a 30" 2nd monitor off of that TB chain without a drop in speed. (yes it is an expensive way to go)
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:36 AM   #16
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Well, I'll have to respectfully disagree, although it is a matter of degree, and somewhat specific drive dependent, but TB external drives ARE faster than USB 3 drives (if using the same drive in each) and especially if you plan on having more than one usb 3 device/drive.
How much faster are you talking about?
The WD TB Duo (mentioned above) tops out @ ~220MB/s in RAID0, doesn't even scratch the service of the available speed on TB.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrett14 View Post
I ordered WD thunderbolt raid drive (6TB) - thought it was a good price


http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...rbolt_Duo.html
WOW, that is an awesome price. It used to be closer to $600.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xgman View Post
Well, I'll have to respectfully disagree, although it is a matter of degree, and somewhat specific drive dependent, but TB external drives ARE faster than USB 3 drives (if using the same drive in each) and especially if you plan on having more than one usb 3 device/drive.
Even the fastest 7200rpm hard drives can only provide around 190MB/s in real world. Most external hard drives use slower 5400rpm drives since they are cheaper, so you're unlikely to get speeds over 150MB/s. USB 3.0 can provide well over 200MB/s, which means you will need either an SSD or a RAID configuration for USB 3.0 to become a bottleneck.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...d,3183-10.html
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5793/i...yte-and-msi/15
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6023/t...splay-review/3

Multiple USB devices won't matter either unless you're accessing them simultaneously, in which case the bandwidth is shared between the devices.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:59 AM   #19
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I would think that a RAID0 2 bay enclosure that you can put your own SSDs into would be the best bet.

I personally would opt for 2x256GB SSDs, giving me 1/2TB of ultra fast working space. As this fills up, offload older images to a backup location.

Seems the cheapest route to do this is to get one of those WD TB Duos and then replace the drives.

Are there cheaper TB RAID enclosures out there yet?
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 11:24 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kadath View Post
That's the one I linked in the OP, at $50 cheaper than Amazon. Still in my list of considerations!
http://www.amazon.com/Book-Thunderbo...ds=thunderbolt

Can you post a Blackmagic results screenshot for it please?
It appears to be around 115 MB/s a second but that is in RAID1 configuration.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 11:44 AM   #21
Hexley
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I am considering a Drobo 5D, a 5 SATA 6Gbps bay enclosure that has Thunderbolt and USB 3. You can mix HDD sizes.

Review
http://photofocus.com/2012/12/14/dro...d-mini-review/
http://www.larryjordan.biz/product-review-drobo-5d/
http://www.popphoto.com/backup/2012/12/review-drobo-5d
http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/revie...erbolt-storage

Promise Pegasus R4 is also an alternative. Sadly they sell it with HDDs.

Review
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...ig,3222-7.html
http://cybersphere.com.au/product/dr...torage-devices
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 12:09 PM   #22
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LaCie 2big Thunderbolt is my choice....360MB/s reads....about the same on writes. Never gets above 50c while writing 100GB or more at a time to it.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1339916
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 12:14 PM   #23
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How much faster are you talking about?
The WD TB Duo (mentioned above) tops out @ ~220MB/s in RAID0, doesn't even scratch the service of the available speed on TB.
Unless you have an ssd in there.

Blackmagic on a Samsung was like 4xx/4xx something. I havn't benched the velciraptors. Remember that usb3 will quickly get saturated. I guess if you only have one drive on there and as a backup drive it would be fine though.

----------

Quote:
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It appears to be around 115 MB/s a second but that is in RAID1 configuration.
The stock "green" drives in there (the stock myduo TB)are useless in my opinion. At least for any sort of speed anyway. Kind of like Apple did, WD goes from one extreme to the other. Either config with slow pokey "Green" drives or 10,000K rpm velociraptors. They should just sell the bare cages and let us decide, or at least pick from any WD drives at least.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 12:16 PM   #24
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USB 3 should saturate at 500MB/s write/read.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 01:29 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by xgman View Post
Well, I'll have to respectfully disagree, although it is a matter of degree, and somewhat specific drive dependent, but TB external drives ARE faster than USB 3 drives (if using the same drive in each) and especially if you plan on having more than one usb 3 device/drive.
My results with a LaCie SSD Thunderbolt/SSD Drive.

USB3 - 241MB/s Write, 436MB/s Read
Thumb resize.

Thunderbolt - 250MB/s Write, 381MB/s Read
Thumb resize.

Thunderbolt will only be faster if reaching high end SSD or Raid setups, USB3 should be fine if you just wanting JBOD storage in an external enclosure i would recommend 4x SATA USB3 Hornettek Enclosure

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