Please explain to me

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by imjoee, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502


    Jun 12, 2012
    What's the difference from an external hard drive and a external SSD, I want one of these so I can back up from my iMac just in case it fails or corrupts. What is time machine and how does it work? Could a SSD be just as good and do the same job as in keeping my stuff on a hard drive just in case my iMac fails? I just want to know what's better but will keep my information on an external device just in case my iMac fails. I rather be safe than sorry. Thanks for all responses!
  2. macrumors 603


    An SSD is much faster but if you only need to backup a HDD will be much cheaper and the Capacity is much greater, SSD's are still expensive compared to HDD.
    If you want to run (boot) from the external and do this a lot of times an SSD would be better.
    TimeMachine is an Application which does all that for you and I think the best option for you since you don't know the system too well yet.

    HDD is a mechanical Optical disk.
    SSD has no moving parts and uses chips to store data.
  3. MCAsan, Dec 7, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012

    macrumors 68040


    Jul 9, 2012
    Hard disk drives (HDD) are spinning mechanical platters that read/write info via magnetic patterns on the platters. HDDs vary by storage capacity ( ie 500MB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and now 4TB). and by performance. The main things that contribute to performance are: rotational speed (5400, 7200, 10000) where faster is usually better, cache size (small amount of memory on the hard disk's controller) where larger is usually better, and external interface (SATA 3GB, SATA 6GB) where the newer SATA 6GB is a larger/faster pipe.

    A solid state drive (SSD) looks to the rest of the computer like a hard disk. But instead of spinning magnetic platters, it uses memory chips. This gives an SSD much faster read/write times compared to traditional spinning platters. The down side of SSD......cost.

    Time Machine is a software program that comes with Macs. Its job is to backup your Mac to the hard disks you specify. Typically the backup drive(s) is external to the Mac. It can be connected to the Mac directly via USB 2, FW, USB 3, thunderbolt. The back drive can also be connected via ethernet or wifi when the drives is connected to a remote device. You do want to set up a backup drive and have Time Machine do routine backups of your Mac. Personally I use Time Capsule for my main backup. Time Capsule is a white box that does several things: contains a hard disk drive (2TB or 3TB) for backing up your Mac, an IP switch for connecting your Mac(s) and printers to a broadband (cable or DSL) modem, and a USB 2 port for connecting a printer or external HDD. And last, but not least, the Time Capsule is a wifi receiver that lets you set up wifi in your home.
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 12, 2012
    I now understand what a external device is, thank you for clarifying! Really appreciative the detailed response. Thanks, ill probably go with a 500GB external hard drive, thanks again!


    Really appreciate the response, I've decided to go with an external hard drive, thanks again for the help!

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