Best thunderbolt external drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nolegirl01, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. nolegirl01 macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hey guys, I've been looking to purchase a thunderbolt external drive to plug in to my rMBP but wanted to get your opinion on which one you guys think is the best one? Anyone have any experience with any specific one? Thanks!
     
  2. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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    #2
    If you dont get one with an SSD its just a waste as a HDD cannot utilize the TB speeds.

    If thats the case, save the $ and get a USB3 HDD.
     
  3. nolegirl01 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    I was looking at the WD My Book Thunderbolt or the Lacie little big disk, I think those have SSD?
     
  4. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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    #4
  5. nolegirl01 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Wow quite expensive! I think you are right I better stick with a regular HDD with USB 3.0 for now lol
     
  6. Orlandoech macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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    #6
  7. nontroppo macrumors 6502

    nontroppo

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    #7
    There is still one use case where thunderbolt + hard disks is better. We have both the LaCie and Seagate GoFlex thunderbolt drives, and you can chain them together and each runs at max throughput simultaneously without performance problems. I doubt most people need that, but the sheer flexibility of pass-through and performance running pairs of external HDs without contention on a single cable is very useful in several cases.
     
  8. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #8
    What do you mean by best? Fastest? Biggest? Best value for money?
     
  9. jamswirl macrumors regular

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    Feb 25, 2011
    #9
    I managed to get a second hand (basically new, 1 month old) WD 6TB thunderbolt for almost half price. Made it worth the money, would be even if it was USB 3.
    Also, got a buffalo thunderbolt drive for $150usd from amazon (comes with thunderbolt cable) and switched out the hd for a Samsung 830 ssd. Now using that as a bootcamp windows drive. Not sure if any other thunderbolt drives are really worth the expense for now, but as a boot drive, the buffalo + ssd is awesome.
     
  10. Muscle Master macrumors 6502a

    Muscle Master

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    #10
    If you pop open most external drives... all you would do is find a 2.5 Sata HDD

    I would swap it with an SSD and format and you good to go
     
  11. thegreatdivorce macrumors regular

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    #11
    This is intriguing. Do you have a post somewhere with more detail? Seems like a cool option for the occasional boot camp excursion.
     
  12. afinch1992 macrumors 6502

    afinch1992

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    #12
    very good idea!
     
  13. nolegirl01 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    I guess best overall....I'm a graphic designer and have a lot of files and animations and kind of needed a big drive to store all my work. I don't necessarily care for portability because I already have a 1TB my passport that I carry around but I was looking for something to leave on my desk in my home office and just plug it in to my laptop when I need it. Just wanted something that is fast and dependable and not too crazy expensive (maybe less than $500), definitely the best value for money. I was attracted to the thunderbolt drives because of how fast they supposedly were...
     
  14. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

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    #14
    they are fast, you need them in raid 0 to start to bottleneck the thunderbolt, however they are expensive.
     
  15. jamswirl macrumors regular

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    Feb 25, 2011
    #15
    These two threads are great.

    First is buffalo and ssd:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1400221

    Second is bootcamp on a thunderbolt drive:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1414769

    If you do stick a ssd in the buffalo, you really need to use a hair dryer to separate the drive. It's easy, just slow.
     
  16. bobcan macrumors 6502a

    bobcan

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    #16
    The Buffalo and OWC Options are shown here.. of course the need of portability is the other question to address..

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/#tbexternaldrives

    Obviously, I think, any enclosure that has an SSD will cost at least what the SSD does separately.. That pretty much rules out any 512GB Thunderbolt external being under $500.. as of now at least.. But in time it will of course be available I am sure.. :apple:
     
  17. charlieegan3 macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

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    #17
    you should go all the way to ssd OR just wait for them to become cheaper OR just usb3.
     
  18. siritalks macrumors member

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    Oct 19, 2011
    #18
    I shelled out for the G Raid 4TB Thunderbolt. It's awesome. Extremely fast both in RAID 0 and RAID 1. It's obviously a lot of money (around £450), but it's an excellent piece of hardware!
     
  19. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #19
    I would get the Lacie 2Big. It's very fast for sequential access and good value $/MB. Not as fast as the Promise Pegasus, which I also have, but it's fast enough for most users. I use the 2Big in RAID 1 so the stuff I am working on is automatically backed up. RAID 1 is slower than RAID 0, but it's a sacrifice I am willing to make. It comes in RAID 0 by default so be careful, because if one of the drives fails, then all of the data is gone. I use the Lacie to store my raw footage and to save my work in FCP X. The drive is not a bottleneck in this workflow so I don't think it will be for you either.

    However, if you have a 2012 Mac with USB 3, then you might want to look at that direction as well.
     
  20. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Atlanta
    #20
    Both the wife and I hooked up Lacie 2Big 6TB units via Thunderbolt. We run them in RAID 1 for 3TB of duplicated storage. We keep all the large media folders (photos, music, documents, videos) on them. That frees up SSD space for photo collection during trips. I do a complete backup to a 3TB Time Capsule. My wife does Time Machine towards a Seagate 3TB USB 3 drive ($129 at Costco).
     

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