2012 iMac: Thunderbolt hard disks for photographers?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Kadath, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    #1
    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-Thund...-STCB3000400/dp/B009HPGBNY/ref=dp_ob_title_ce

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

    http://www.amazon.com/Book-Thunderb...F8&qid=1356023067&sr=1-4&keywords=thunderbolt

    Seems cool, can pop dual drives into that enclosure.

    http://www.amazon.com/G-Technology-...8&qid=1356023149&sr=1-33&keywords=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....
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    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.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    #3
    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?
     
  4. macrumors member

    qamaro

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #4
    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
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    #5
    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
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    #6
    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.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    #7
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    #8
    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.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    #10
    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
     
  11. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    #11
    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

     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    #12
    OP said he was already doing backups, that what I meant when I said you didn't have to worry about losing data.
     
  13. macrumors regular

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    #13
  14. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
  15. macrumors 68040

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #15

    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.

    ----------

    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)
     
  16. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #17
  18. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #18
    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/4tb-3tb-hdd,3183-10.html
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5793/...th-ivy-bridge-asrock-asus-gigabyte-and-msi/15
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6023/the-nextgen-macbook-pro-with-retina-display-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.
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    #19
    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?
     
  20. macrumors regular

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #20
  21. macrumors 6502a

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  22. rw3
    macrumors 6502a

    rw3

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    #22
  23. macrumors 68040

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #23
    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.

    ----------

    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.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #24
    USB 3 should saturate at 500MB/s write/read.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Location:
    Gateshead//Newcastle/UK
    #25
    My results with a LaCie SSD Thunderbolt/SSD Drive.

    USB3 - 241MB/s Write, 436MB/s Read
    [​IMG]

    Thunderbolt - 250MB/s Write, 381MB/s Read
    [​IMG]

    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

    Ste0803
     

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