Best external hard drive enclosure/multiple bays

Discussion in 'iMac' started by olemed, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. olemed macrumors member

    olemed

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    #1
    I bought a 27" iMac retina and need to look at external hard drive enclosures for multiple drives. I currently have two 2 TB hard drives and I'm looking at several 'scenarios'. Mostly storage for music, documents, and lots of images as well as some video files. Help me think through these options.

    Scenario 1:
    Get a 4 or 5 bay enclosure and add my 2 drives and add more in the future. Possible options:

    Drobo 4-Bay
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...21_4_bay_3_gen_3_5_sata_ssd.html/prm/alsVwDtl

    Xcellon DRD-401 Four-Bay

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...drd_401_4_bay_external_raid.html/prm/alsVwDtl

    Oyen Digital Mobius 5-Bay
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...mobius_5_bay_raid_enclosure.html/prm/alsVwDtl

    Scenario 2:
    I have a sata docking station that I bought to retrieve data from my sister's hard drives after her PC died. For $30 it was a nice investment. I could just keep my drives as is in a drive case and swap them back and forth as needed. This would be slightly inconvenient as I'd need at least one connected most of the time.

    Scenario 3:
    Get a 8 TB Thunderbolt or USB 3 WD MyBook. Obviously USB 3 is the cheaper option. Speed is nice but not a necessity for my needs. Could entertain RAID with this.

    I could even entertain scenarios 1 & 2 above but instead get a 2 bay enclosure instead of 4 or 5.
     
  2. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #2
  3. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #3

    I totally agree with matreya on this, the ThunderBay 4 is an excellent solution, it is expandable and extremely fast and OWC specializes in Mac solutions.
     
  4. olemed thread starter macrumors member

    olemed

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    #4
    Thank you both for the feedback. I will consider this as well. Can one add a mixture of drive sizes here? My two 2 GB and then say I get two 4 GB drives to fit the rest of the space for a total of 12. That'd be sweet!
     
  5. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #5
    Yes, you can put varying size drives in the bays, so adding 2 x 4TB to the 2 x 2TB you already have is no problem.
     
  6. olemed thread starter macrumors member

    olemed

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    #6
    Awesome, thank you! I am thinking of getting WD green drives since I won't be using RAID. My understanding is that red or black WD drives are best for RAID. I've honestly never used RAID, I don't know that I need to. I've always used my drives independently and always have a backup of important data on a secondary drive.
     
  7. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #7
    Personally, I wouldn't touch WD Green drives with a bargepole. I've had much better results with HGST and Toshiba drives.
     
  8. olemed thread starter macrumors member

    olemed

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    #8
    My current 2 2TB drives are Samsung and Toshiba so I have had much luck with them and they've been in my Mac Pro for years. I will consider Toshiba again along with HGST. Is it okay to get a NAS drive if I don't plan to use it that way? They seem to be rated for more hours so I figured that might be a bonus (though they are a little pricer).
     
  9. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #9
    Yes, a HGST Deskstar NAS is perfect for desktop drive use. Of the 16 I have, 4 of them are setup as regular desktop drives, the remaining 12 are used in 3 RAID arrays.
     

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