Backup drive: portable vs desktop

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ScottR, May 24, 2016.

  1. ScottR macrumors member

    May 11, 2007
    I'm finally replacing the NAS drive I've been using for Time Machine backups, having gotten fed up with corrupted backups.

    I'm looking into a 4TB Seagate Backup Plus Drive. There are two models: a desktop and a portable (USB-powered) drive.

    It seemed to be a no-brainer, as the portable is only $5 more and doesn't need a power brick. That has me wondering: why would someone choose the desktop model over the portable? As far as I can see, the specs are the same. I don't really need the portability itself, but not having to find a spot to plug in yet another brick seems compelling.
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Desktop drives are often faster (RPM) than portable drives, but if that's not the case here, then why bother?
  3. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    I have a Seagate Backup Plus Fast Portable drive and it's a really good bit of kit. Note the 'Fast' designation, it's two striped 2TB disks. Small size, no power adaptor required, decent capacity, speedy and a lot cheaper than SSDs. Best of all worlds if you ask me. I use it on my Xbox One and it's great for that (a disk failure is not that critical and it speeds up all load times).
  4. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    The problem with Seagate and WD external drives is that they are all connected via a USB3 mini connector, which is prone to failure.

    Even though it's more expensive, you're much better off with one of these:

    1) It comes with a robust USB3-b connector
    2) It has a 2nd USB3-A connector to daisy chain to another USB3 device
    3) OWC uses Toshiba hard drives, which are more reliable than Seagate and WD desktop-class drives
  5. ScottR thread starter macrumors member

    May 11, 2007
    I've had two (actually, three) of those, and the enclosures failed pretty quickly. Got one replaced, then gave up when the replacement and the other failed not long after.
  6. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    That's unusual. I have 10 different kinds of OWC enclosures and all work brilliantly...
  7. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
    OWC's newer technology stuff is hit or miss. I went with a few USB powered 2TB drives as my archive and back-up drives. no need to dig out power supplies, etc just plug and back up. I even have USB powered drive on my time far so good.
    Toshiba drives are essentially Hitachi/WD as they were rebranded/bought out i believe.
    Drive speed doesn't matter with USB, no mechanical drive can reach USB3 speeds currently.
    The drive I recommend is the G-Technology 2TB Mobile Portable USB drive. about $99 or $179 for 3TB. this one is an actual drive connected to a sata board, not like the WD Passports where they are manufactured with the USB port on the disk itself. otherwise that seagate should do you fine.

Share This Page