3TB external HDD suggestions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Mbzamg32, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    #1
    I have ordered a late 2012 iMac from adorama 3.4 ghz i7 8gb of ram 680MX with 2gb, 3tb Fusion drive.

    I am looking for an external hard drive to use with time machine and to backup my catalogs from LR4. Interested with only hdd as I could not afford ssd right now and I prefer the storage capacity of a hdd. I was thinking about the Seagate backup plus thunderbolt/usb 3.0 but too many bad reviews about it improperly ejecting. Also looked at Lacie D2 thunderbolt and a lot said that it was pretty noisy... The iMac would be in the bedroom so this is kinda a big deal. Caldigit has the AV Drive and Av Pro with Pro having a removable drive this seems like the best for all three and the fastest even w/o a thunderbolt port and future proof as ssd's get cheaper I can just take the hdd out and place a ssd. OWC has the mercury elite pro this is the cheapest off all but also the slowest according to blackmagic speedtest.

    Any suggestions or anyone have any experience with these hard drives? Or are these hard drives overkill for the intended use. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Also can I use a 2tb external to backup a 3tb? This would save me a few bucks...
     
  2. macrumors 65832

    AppleNewton

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    #2
    you can find DIY OEM drives and external enclosures.

    the best solutions are at macsales.com. i personally used to like finding great enclosures and using my preferred drive but now that only two companies manufacture drive and are all very similar you'll get one or the other.

    I like the ministack drives, fits nicely under the iMac otherwise the classic Mercury Elite Pro will do.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    #3
    With the miniStack can you use different hard drives or an ssd like the Caldigit AV Pro? Or you can only use the hdd that OWC provides?
     
  4. macrumors 65832

    AppleNewton

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    #4
    theyre very easy to open up and swap out. I upgraded one to a 4TB and have put an SSD in one as well.
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    #5
    I am also looking for an external hard drive (preferrably 3TB or larger) to back up my new iMac (768GB SSD) and for external storage.

    I also looked at the Seagate Backup Plus (loved the idea of being able to swap drives and it being Thunderbolt for easy upgrading once SSDs come down in price). But the eject issue is disconcerting.

    Hoping more Thunderbolts come out soon. Would love the option of being able to use that port, the speed and possibly swapping for an external 3TB SSD one day.
     
  6. macrumors 601

    talmy

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    #6
    For TimeMachine and archival backup use there is no reason to spend money on SSDs or Thunderbolt. Just a USB2 interfaced hard drive will be just fine. 3TB drives in housings aren't much above $100 nowadays. I've been using OWC Mercury Elite Pro housings, but drives in housings actually tend to be cheaper than bare drives.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    #7
     
  8. macrumors 65832

    AppleNewton

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    #8
    all SATA Drives are compatible with the OWC Elite enclosures.
    Again any 3.5" Drive will do.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2013
    #9
  10. macrumors 65832

    AppleNewton

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    #10
    Looks like you're all set.

    most drives should be reformatted for the system theyre using.

    Install the drive into the enclosure. Power on the enclosure and connect to your mac via USB3 or FireWire-to-Thunderbolt adapter (apple store), if you're Mac is on and logged in you will get a prompt that says initialize. Click Initialize, it will open Disk Utility and go from there.
    You may want to click on the Partition tab and select 1 partition, Mac OS Extended Journaled, and click the option button at the bottom to ensure its a GUID Partition Map.

    Then it should be set. simpler then it sounds
     
  11. macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Location:
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    #11
    The comments about that housing complain about its fan noise. The OWC housing is fanless (it relies on convection cooling through the ribbed aluminum housing).
     
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    #12
    Really??? AppleNewton does yours get loud or noisy? The iMac will be placed in the bedroom so this is a big factor.

    Tamly what kind of benchmark speeds are you getting with OWC Elite? And what hard drive did you use?
     
  13. macrumors 65832

    AppleNewton

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    #13
    The ministack? its made by the same company; OWC. NewerTech is an OWC brand. so theyre one in the same.
    The ministacks I have (5 and getting more) are quiet, there is a fan in there, sometimes you may be able to hear it...but not anymore so than the HDD itself.
    the one I have connected to my MacMini Server in the livingroom I unplugged the Fan in that one to keep it as quiet as possible, it wasnt loud by any means just for the experience (as well I unplugged the activity light).

    But its personal preference. they run 24/7 and havent had any issues with heating as it has proper ventilation and enough room inside.
     
  14. macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Location:
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    #14

    When I measured it, it was pretty close to the 800Mb/s that FW800 can perform and a bit less than 400Mb/s using USB2. This is transferring large files. Small files or random access you get limited by the drive and not the interface.

    However backups are a background task and speed is not an issue. I only have my media storage on FW800 (and the speed isn't really needed for that). My backups are all on USB2 or FW400 interfaces. Also, the drives are on a separate server connected via "gigabit" ethernet which is really no faster than FW800.

    My Macs don't support USB3 or Thunderbolt, but those interfaces wouldn't matter at all unless I had external SSD drives (not financially possible with a 8TB storage "problem") or had the drives set up with hardware RAID 0 or 5.
     
  15. WilliamDu, Apr 3, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013

    macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    #15
    I am using a LaCie 3TB Thunderbolt for Time Machine on my 2012 27" 3TB FD.
    It is very quiet.
    I have been using LaCie drives for over 20 years for external storage and Time Machine with no problems so far.
    See http://www.macmall.com/p/LaCie-External-Hard-Drives/product~dpno~9430669~pdp.iaehcjc.
     
  16. macrumors newbie

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    Mar 6, 2013
    #16
    The reason I want to go Thunderbolt is to be able to daisy chain later and avoid having to use up my USB ports.
     

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