Best companion Thunderbolt external drive for rMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PatriotInvasion, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. PatriotInvasion macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    I don't have much experience with external drives, so was wondering if people had any recommendations for a good Thunderbolt equipped drive to use with my 128GB SSD 13" rMBP (note - I would have needed an external drive even with the 256GB upgrade in the high end 13" or low end 15" so it made sense to pay less for the 128GB low end 13").

    I have plenty of space on my 1TB Time Capsule which I've been using for extra storage, but I have a lot of HD video on my machine and transferring 20GB over wifi is painfully slow. Plus, access to the Time Capsule is limited to my home network so that's not great.

    I'd prefer an SSD Thunderbolt drive, but they're all probably too overpriced for my budget. Not looking to spend much more than $300 on this. Thanks:)
     
  2. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    #2
    Correction above: Been doing research and it appears I may be able to remotely access my Time Capsule drive via Back to my Mac. Still investigating but that makes my Time Capsule seem that much more useful.:D
     
  3. dmccloud macrumors 6502a

    dmccloud

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    #3
    What I did was pickup a 1./5TB Seagate GoFlex (USB 3.0) drive for $98 at Bestbuy, then got the Thunderbolt adapter for $100 - was cheaper than the thunderbolt-equipped drives at the local Apple Store. Works great, and I can use my other GoFlex drives with the adapters as well.
     
  4. nontroppo macrumors 6502

    nontroppo

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #4
    Don't buy the goflex drive itself (it is a slow 5400RPM HD), just buy the $100 Seagate Thunderbolt adapter, then buy bare SSD drives and plug them in (the adapter uses a standard SATA connector), you get expandable storage at very fast speeds for the best price...
     
  5. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    #5
    It looks like LaCie has highly rated drives in TB, USB 3.0, SSD, and HDD varieties. I'll likely go that route if I find my Time Capsule to not be sufficient (but I think it may be as long as I'm not transferring giant file sizes too often)
     
  6. nontroppo macrumors 6502

    nontroppo

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    Mar 11, 2009
    #6
    We have the 2TB Thunderbolt LaCie Little big disk, nice design but a bit of a slow drive and not able to replace drives easily (but it does have passthrough). Reliability is not excellent for LaCie in our experience. We prefer our desktop Goflex adapter (~$150 vs. $100 for the portable TB adapter), as you can plug in new hard drives, including anything with SATA. The Goflex destop adapter also has TB passthrough.

    Not a practical suggestion, but what will probably be the most elegant flexible Thunderbolt external will be the Caldigit T1 and T2; not released yet and no price available:

    http://www.caldigit.com/Thunderbolt/T1T2.html

    A RAIDed T2 will be the ultimate TB external. :drool:
     
  7. stevelam macrumors 65816

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    Nov 4, 2010
    #7
    Horrible idea and a nice waste of money. That crappy goflex drive already has really poor USB 3.0 performance (coupled with the fact that you're bottlenecked by the 5400rpm platter drive anyway). Adding thunderbolt for $100 = useless.
     
  8. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8
    Both the wife and I have LaCie 2Big 6TB thunderbolt enclosures working at 3TB RAID 1. I backup to Time Capsule and the wife's rMBP backs up to a WD 3TB USB 3 drive.

    All our data libraries (iTunes, pictures, documents) set on the LaCie drives. That leaves the SSD space available to collect photos on our trips.
     
  9. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 18, 2011
    #9
    Elgato make external single drive SSD thunderbolt storage, but I'm not sure on pricing.

    It depends on what volume of storage you require, if you are shuttling files to and fro, a thunderbolt external ssd is feasible, if you are storing loads of media files, maybe a thunderbolt raid of some kind - Drobo have a portable 4 disk thunderbolt device, Lacie Big Disks are another option (though my track record with Lacie enclosures is horrible enough not to like this).
     
  10. PatriotInvasion thread starter macrumors 65816

    PatriotInvasion

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    Jul 18, 2010
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    Boston, MA
    #10
    Yea, I'm familiar with Elgato since I've had an EyeTV for years, but not so sure they are a great hardware maker (my EyeTV devices have always had issues within the first 2 years of ownership).

    Plus, their 256GB drive would be nice, but it's not worth $500 to me. Not even close.
     
  11. carestudio macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #11
    Thunderbolt drive would be nice but if you are handling HD video and just want to back it up, why dont you just use USB3 connection? CalDigit makes great FireWire and USB3 combo RAID that can do RAID 0, 1, and JBOD
    We have few of these drives and love their USB3 speed. And you can have up to 8TB space!!! this is something SSD would cause you an arm and leg...
    http://www.caldigit.com/store.asp#VR
     
  12. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 18, 2011
    #12
    No, I didn't realise it was that much.

    If you want an external 250, why not look at a Samsung 830 stuck inside a USB 3.0 enclosure, something from OWC or the like. The Samsung SSD would be well under 200, total probably would be under 300
     

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