Advice on external hard drive for media - iMac 5K

Discussion in 'iMac' started by nuttyboy78, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. nuttyboy78 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #1
    After 8 long years on my 2007 iMac, I've realised that it's struggling to cope and I'm spending a lot of time waiting for things to happen on screen. Ordered the 27" 5K which should be arriving tomorrow. Was initially going for the fusion drive but after following the general advice on here, I've ordered the 256GB SSD.

    This means that I've now got to put all my media on external drives. I'm quite keen on photography and shoot RAW exclusively, so the iMac will be put to us in processing using Lightroom. Will be buying a Samsung 850 Evo (500GB or 1TB, depending on price drops on Black Friday) for my photos but will also need an external spinner to store my music/movies/videos/other stuff.

    So coming to my question, could you guys please suggest a USB3 external hard drive (2/3TB) that is quick to fire up when I need the files off it? Something that won't break the bank either. Also, I'm in the UK, so it needs to be available here.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

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    #2
    Contact OWC (www.macsales.com) and get a Mercury Elite Pro, IMHO these are the best cross between high quality and price. You can get them in configurations from 500GB to 6TB
     
  3. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

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    #3
    I have a similar situation to the OP. I have Seagate and Western Digital 1TB USB2 drives that aren't instantaneous, but they are certainly quick enough. I keep current photos by project on the installed SSD, then archive on USB. I have a second USB to which I backup photos and I use Backblaze, so I have multiple backups because my photos are important to me. I've been doing it this way for a few years and I'm quite happy. All photos are RAW.
     
  4. nuttyboy78 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 22, 2007
    #4
    This looks good but it's based in the US and I will be hit by import duties and fees that make it less than worthwhile. Do you know if this is available in the UK?
     
  5. MrNomNoms macrumors 65816

    MrNomNoms

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    #5
    256GB SSD here - best investment I made was a Drobo 5D - 5 x 2TB spinning disks and the device is hooked up to my iMac via thunderbolt - internal for speed, external for storage plus the added redundancy gives one peace of mind.
     
  6. Flunkyturtle macrumors 6502

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    Dec 20, 2011
    #6
    I'm really after a drobo again for photo's and via the same setup as you but i see nothing but bad reviews around drobo's failing and taking down a whole collection with it. To be fair though the reviews are all from 2013, i haven't really seen anything from then onwards.

    What sort of speeds do you find going with the thunderbolt, i won't need the speed so much so i'm thinking of just going for the USB 3 4 disc version
     
  7. MrNomNoms macrumors 65816

    MrNomNoms

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    #7
    I don't know about 2013 but the NAS did have a horrible reputation for being excruciatingly slow regardless of the protocol used. For me, I've got the latest Drobo 5D hooked up to a thunderbolt connector with storage class drives that are tuned to balance energy efficiency, speed and reliability. So far since purchasing it I haven't had any problems but it all comes down to making sure you get quality drives, keep the software and firmware up to date as well as following the usual basic rules of not moving it when switched on along with unmounting it before disconnecting.
     
  8. Flunkyturtle macrumors 6502

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    Dec 20, 2011
    #8
    You raise good points. I think i'll review whether i really need thunderbolt or whether USB3 is fine. What drives do you run? WD red seems to be the recommended for any RAID/NAS enclosure
     
  9. MrNomNoms macrumors 65816

    MrNomNoms

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    #9
    Just had a check of the receipt from the purchase:

    Western Digital Red WD20EFRX Hard Disk Drive, 2000GB, 5400-7200rpm, 64MB Cache, SATA 6 Gb/s, for NAS
     
  10. Flunkyturtle macrumors 6502

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    Dec 20, 2011
    #10
    yep same one every site recommends. I'll take a look at the drobo now.

    It's going to be an expensive month, wanted to order an iMac as well :/
     
  11. loekf macrumors 6502

    loekf

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    Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    #11
    Why going for a Drobo ?

    Just buy a Western Digital MyBook ranging 2TB (~90 euros) - 6 TB (~220 euros). AFAIK, they are using Reds for their external drives.

    OS X will put them into standby when not in use. When you access them, it only takes 1-2 secs to power on. Transfer speeds are decent enough.

    Usually buying a seperate enclosure and seperate drive cost more than an external drive from WDC and Seagate etc.

    I have had bad experiences with Seagate once (drive refused to go in standby and would power on at random, even when you shutdown your computer). MyBooks are ok so far.

    I would recommend a dedicated external drive for Time Machine.

    In my case, I had no experience with TB vs. USB3. So I also have an external 8 TB MyBook Thunderbolt Duo in RAID0.
     
  12. jacom700 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 3, 2015
    #12
    I have both a 2012 Mac Mini and a Windows 10 PC both with 500GB SSD's which I use for photo editing etc. When I have finished I copy the files to external USB3 drives (3/4TB) and although not as quick as a SSD speed certainly isn't a problem. I also backup to one of my 4bay NAS drives. I have never found the speed of an external USB3 drives to be a problem as I only use them as backups. I can understand that if you work from an external drive them something faster would probably be useful.

    My NAS drives, on the other hand, are a little on the slow side as they are only cheap boxes and go through a cheap 8 port router with several other thing attached. But for as they are only used for extra backup that isn't a problem either.
     
  13. MrNomNoms, Nov 24, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015

    MrNomNoms macrumors 65816

    MrNomNoms

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    #13
    * Five bays
    * Redundancy
    * Speed
    * Upgradeable and requiring little intervention by the user.
     
  14. nuttyboy78 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 22, 2007
    #14
    Any suggestions for external drives? I've never understood the attraction for NAS drives as storage. Is there any advantage over having a drive attached to the computer itself?
     
  15. Flunkyturtle macrumors 6502

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    Dec 20, 2011
    #15
    easier to access for multiple computers, but limited speeds as it's on your network.

    Good for loads of PC's, if just one then DAS is best.
     
  16. nuttyboy78 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 22, 2007
    #16
    A drobo would be overkill for my needs. I already have a couple of USB2 drives that I will carry on using for redundancy. For now I need a fast drive to use as my main storage.
     
  17. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    #17
  18. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

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    #18
    OWC regularly ships to the UK, contact them and ask about addition UK taxes.
     
  19. LifeIsLikeABoxOfRocks macrumors member

    LifeIsLikeABoxOfRocks

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    #19

    I got a Toshiba 5tb external for $129. shipped from B&H. Fast drive(250MB ps). Also has a 3 year warranty.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1037074-REG/toshiba_hdwc250xk3j1_canvio_black_5tb_3_5.html
     
  20. twilexia macrumors 6502

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    #20
  21. LifeIsLikeABoxOfRocks macrumors member

    LifeIsLikeABoxOfRocks

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    #21
    On my desktop with a stopwatch. It's a killer drive for $129.
     
  22. twilexia macrumors 6502

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    Oct 16, 2015
    #22
    Wow, that's amazing. If you don't mind would you be willing to run black magic speed test on that drive?
     
  23. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

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    Nov 20, 2007
    #23
    I like my Pegasus J4 a lot. An older model now, so might find a cheaper deal.

    Four bays (2.5"), vanilla RAID via OS X. I have 2x1Tb HDD in RAID 0, 1x 500GB SSD and 1x 2Tb HDD.

    As SSDs drop further, I'll slowly swap in more.

    Sweet balance and flexibility.
     
  24. LifeIsLikeABoxOfRocks macrumors member

    LifeIsLikeABoxOfRocks

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    Alameda
    #24
    Black magic is not a true source of drive speed, but here ya go. The drive is 90% full right now, and I'm not going to wipe my backup, just to show you better numbers.

    Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 7.09.32 AM.jpg
     
  25. twilexia macrumors 6502

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    Oct 16, 2015
    #25
    Of course not. In fact I would say your BM test with your drive 90% full is even more valuable than a BM test on an empty drive. Thanks.
     

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