Best External Hard Drive solution with iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by coreymlong, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. coreymlong macrumors newbie

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    Nov 30, 2012
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    Portland, OR
    #1
    Hey there!

    I'm ready to upgrade my current 27" iMac to the 5k version, but instead of the 3TB fusion drive I was thinking of getting the 1TB flash drive and moving most of my media over to my external hard drive.

    I currently have a LaCie d2 3TB drive that backs up my entire iMac using time machine. I want to get a 4TB version and partition it so that half is used as the time machine backup and the other half holds all my media files (movies, music, tv, etc). I have backblaze setup so all my files are backed up offsite, but is this the best way to use my externals?

    Should I:

    1) Get a RAID drive that would back up my new 1TB Flash iMac AND my current external hard drive?
    2) Get the 4TB Lacie d2 version and partition it to use 2TB for time machine and 2TB for media files?
    3) Keep the setup the same and get the 3TB fusion drive on new the iMac with the 3TB LaCie d2 backing everything up?

    I'm getting hung up on having files on separate hard drives and making sure they are backed up. But I want the speed the 1TB flash drive on the iMac would offer me.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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  3. coreymlong thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Any particular reason why? Would I see a big speed increase with the 1TB Flash iMac over the 3TB Fusion?
     
  4. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #5
    Not really unless you have a lot of content. Remember the current 1TB only has a 24GB SSD compared to the 2 & 3 TB fusion have a 128 GB SSD. So if you have a lot of content or programs the larger fusion are much better to have. Plus it makes it future proof for you.

    Ultimately the 1 TB SSD will be quicker but most people do not see it. Do not under estimate the fusion. It is quick. I have it for my iMac and it is fast. Photoshop and Illustrator zoom. I run several programs at once with no hesitation. Plus the money you save with the fusion.
     
  5. coreymlong thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Yeah I've had the 3TB Fusion drive on the late-2013 (pre-5k) iMac and it's been great. I was just considering going the 1TB SSD option to really get things moving and putting all my media on an external. But if it's not going to be a big difference, I can save my money by having everything on the iMac and backed up externally + the cloud backup option.
     
  6. bernuli macrumors 6502

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    Oct 10, 2011
    #7
    I think simplest, cleanest, and best solution would be

    Get the 1TB straight flash iMac. Move all your media to 3TB LaCie. Then get 4TB LaCie and have it dedicated to Time Machine.

    I think partitioning drives is a waste nowadays. Drives are so cheap better just to buy separate drives rather than partition a particular drive.

    B
     
  7. firedept, Feb 28, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016

    firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #8
    I do pretty much what you are planning on doing just on a slightly larger scale. My fusion is pretty much for running my programs and is virtually unused. I have about 5TB of files on external drives. I do design work. I have a Promise Pegasus 2 24TB for my design files, Seagate 5TB Personal Cloud for my media (music & movies), a couple 3TB G-Tech drives for cloning all the Macs in my home. Plus a couple 1TB clones I keep in a safe and off site.

    It works well as long as you keep the fusion clean of tons of files. Took me a long time to build up the external drives I have, but it has been worth it because of what it does for my internal drive. I only have a 1TB fusion in my iMac but it is a late 2012 so I have the 128 SSD to go with it. My fusion has been a solid performer. The only way I would go straight SSD is if I had a Mac Pro. My MBP is a SSD 256GB and I have a hard time telling the difference.

    The money you save will help offset the cost on a decent external. The only reason I am stuck on the fusion is because it has done so well for me.
     
  8. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

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    #9
    Not # 2.
    Don't have your backup drive be the same physical drive as your media drive. If said drive fails/damaged/... you have lost both media & backup.
     
  9. coreymlong thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 30, 2012
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    Portland, OR
    #10
    Thanks all for the suggestions!

    Sounds like the best option would be:

    1. iMac with 3TB Fusion Drive, use 3TB External as backup of everything.
    2. iMac with 1TB SSD / 3TB External for media - use 4TB External as backup of iMac and 3TB.
     
  10. craig1410 macrumors 65816

    craig1410

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    #11
    I think the 1TB SSD is well worth the cost to get that pure SSD performance. I say this as someone who built a home-brew Fusion drive from a 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD but found it lacking compared to the pure SSD.

    My solution is many faceted but mainly a 1TB SSD connected to a LaCie D2 3TB via Thunderbolt. It is partitioned as a 1TB clone of the SSD maintained using SuperDuper plus a 2 TB media drive. All 3TB are backed up to a 3TB Time Capsule. I also back up photos and videos to iCloud Photos with original photos stored in Amazon S3. To finish off I have a synchronised pair of Transporter 2TB drives, one at home and one in a data centre in Las Vegas. The transporter also syncs to my MBP and iOS devices.

    Overkill? Maybe but I need my computer to make a living and run my business (IT Consultant & Developer) so it's worth the peace of mind.
     
  11. coreymlong thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    Here's what I'm thinking now.

    -iMac with 1TB SSD
    -LaCie 4TB d2 partitioned: 2TB backing up iMac, 2TB for media
    -LaCie 4TB Porsche drive backing up both iMac and the LaCie d2
    -Crashplan backing all of it up.

    What do you think?
     

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