Best External Drive for Boot Camp/Movies?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by asdad123, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. asdad123 macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    Hey guys, I have a 256gb retina MBP on order, but now I am thinking that the hard drive space may not be enough since I am planning on installing several games on a bootcamp partition.

    Is there any 3.0 HDD that you guys would recommend so that I could install the games on there instead of on the SSD?

    Also I would need the Hard Drive to be usable in both OSX and the Windows 7 partition, since I would like to have movies kept on there as well. Is that possible or will it not work since its two different OS?

    Thank you.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Get the HDD with the best warranty and make sure, it is not a some eco-friendly HDD, since they are a bit slower. As for what actual models, I don't know, but Samsung and WD are reputable brands.

    As for read/write capability, can the following help?


    Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
  3. amarcus, Jun 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012

    amarcus macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2008
    London, UK
    I'm in exactly the same situation as you but have yet to make any firm decisions. At the moment I'm siding with getting a NAS device - it might be worth considering this avenue for yourself.

    Being usable in both OSX and the Windows shouldn't be a problem though as you could always format the drive as exFAT which is natively supported by both.

  4. asdad123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    I would look into NAS, but unfortunately I need something portable since I am going back to college in the fall.

    Im really thinking of maybe just buying the 512gb/8gb version, but I am not sure if I should drop from 16gb ram to 8gb. I won't be doing much other than gaming/autocad. Would 16gb be overkill?

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