What is the best 3TB HD that is also kinda nicely sized and nicely priced.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Bobby Corwen, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    Wait so the best external drive to have these days is USB3? Not Thunderbolt?

    1. Should I get USB3 or TBolt?
    2. Which is cheaper? Which is faster (if there is a noticable diff)
    3. Is there a go to drive that is rated and reviewed as the best mainstream drive out there?

    For example everyone gets Samsung (or Crucial if youre cheap) SSDs and usually Crucial ram.

    What is the best deal for external drives at around 3TB? Even 2TB if the price ratio is a killer deal.
  2. macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    If you're looking for the highest levels of performance, then it would be thunderbolt.

    If you're looking for anything less than 95% of that, then go with USB3. They're cheap (TB solutions run $100+ more for the equivalent).

    When it comes to hard drives, it's a personal choice for many based on experience (due to whatever failures). I've had several WD MyBooks and they're fine.
  3. thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    I looked at the pic of the MyBook and it looked a bit large. I have seen my music producer buddies with some drives that are about the size of a wallet or an iPhone I guess for lack of a better description. I think it had orange on it too.

    What brand are those?

    Id like to stay away from huge full sized ones because that what I have now.

    Portability matters.

    I guess I dont need the fastest TB, but I may potentially use it to access samples, so hopefully USB 3 will still be blazing fast.

    This will be my 3rd in line back up and Time Machine and archive drive because I will have a 1TB (is that the largest?) Optibayed Fusion Drive next to my 512 SSD.

    So it will be:

    1. 512 SSD Main OS drive
    2. 1TB (or more?) internal HDD Fusion

    3. 3TB external backup drive Im looking to buy
    4. 1TB Archive of Archives drive kept stored in the closet in case of loss or theft or damage. (This is my current back up for now)
  4. KevinC867, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    I just bought this: www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005HMKKH4 to use as my travel drive. It's a very small 2TB portable drive. It's about the size of a deck of cards. It allows me easily bring my entire media library with me when I travel. I also put a second partition on the drive to backup my system drive.
  5. Giuly, Feb 3, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013

    macrumors 68040


  6. macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    Not small but I have the 4TB Lacie 2Big.
    There is also a 6TB model.
    Runs on Thunderbolt and is RAID.
  7. macrumors 68000

    Apr 25, 2012
    I have the same drive.

    To the OP, you won't find a drive in that physical size with more than 2 TB capacity, the drive actually isn't even made. You also won't find a portable drive of that size with a TB interface. For what it's worth, a spinning 2.5" HDD can't saturate the SATA-III bus, which is only slightly faster than USB 3.0 (6 Gb/s vs. 5 Gb/s, small 'b' is BIT), so any external with a USB 3.0 bus and a spinning drive is speed-limited by the drive itself.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 11, 2008
    Absolute no brainer here :

    Go for the Hitachi Touro Desk Pro 4TB, its the best there is at the moment at that size range. Its actually 4TB and best in its class for speed. Because of its platter size its basically the fastest 7200 ext HDD around for backups (which are sequential writes). Amazingly its also the best value as its lower priced than most 3TB ext drives. Its also USB3, thunderbolt is very good but its more expensive and a waste of extra cash for this as no 7200 HDD will saturate a USB3 connection, you need a good size raid or SSD for that.
  9. thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    Wow that thing is fat.

    Do you have one? How big is it in your hand?

    Im starting to lean towards a small one and since they are only 2TB I can live with that.

    Im assuming the WD Passport is the best brand?
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    The WD passport is 4.4 x 3.2 x .8 inches, and draws it's power from the USB connector. The Hitachi drive is 7.2 x 5.1 x 2.4 inches, and requires an external power brick. It's a desktop drive, not a portable drive.

    Currently, the WD passport seems to be pretty much the *only* brand with a 2.5" 2TB drive available. If you want a different look with FW800 added, you could buy the raw drive (www.amazon.com/WD-Green-Mobile-Hard-Drive/dp/B008HCKN0K) and put it in a different enclosure (www.amazon.com/MiniPro-FireWire-External-Enclosure-12-5mm/dp/B00684WPW8). But, it will cost a lot more doing it that way.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    Those Lacie D2 thunderbolt drives are nice but there is only one port, so it has to be at the end of a chain. If you have two ports, I guess that's not a big deal but it's a dealbreaker for my 2011 21 inch iMac.
  12. macrumors 603

    Oct 14, 2008
    I've got a Buffalo Mini-Station, its a compact (2.5") rugged USB3 drive with fall protection and so on. Have been very happy with the performance so far and it is really VERY compact - much smaller than my previous rugged drive.
  13. macrumors regular

    Nov 28, 2012
    I had simillar dilema and I went for LaCie Porche Design 3TB from apple store. great HDD, silent, fast.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 11, 2008

    Dimensions: 129mm x 183mm x 60mm
    Weight: 2.1lbs (0.97kg) estimated

    This is pretty much as compact as it gets for an external 3.5" drive. Yes I have one and its awesome. However I'm guessing when you said "How big is it in your hand?" you want a portable drive. In which case the WD 2tb is the drive for you.

    If you need portability go for the 2TB WD.
    If its going to sit on a desk for backups when you get home the Hitachi is double the capacity and nearly twice the speed at the same price.
  15. thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jul 16, 2010
    Thanks for the advices guys. It doesn't look like there is much competition for the WD Passport in that category. I thought there would be more to choose from and since 3TB vs 2TB is not worth the size/price increase I dont see a reason to get anything less portable.

    I would have considered the LaCie Rugged too if it came in 2TB but its only in 1TB I guess.

    Plus the price is right on the Passport and since I dont see any challengers it looks like I will go with that.

    Probably from Amazon in the white version.

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