Best Value External Hard Drive for Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tenganis, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. tenganis, Nov 19, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013

    tenganis macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2013
    Hello :),

    I will be most likely buying a macbook pro (probably with 256gb storage) in the very near future, and because my dissertation involves large amounts of video recording (and needs to be backed up!!!), I will need to buy a portable external hard drive.

    Initially, I was looking at the Lacie Rugged Thunderbold 1TB HDD hard drive (

    Is this a good value? Or should I just go with a cheaper USB 3.0 hard drive (since I am going with a HDD hard drive, would the speed difference between Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 be really that big?)

    I know that SSDs are the fastest, but they are also very expensive and I don't think I could afford one that is more than 120gb (and I need more than that)!

    I would appreciate some of your thoughts on what would be the best hard drive for me to buy value-wise (will need at least 500gb of storage, but more is better).

    Thank you!
  2. dextr3k macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    Since you are asking about a backup, I doubt you will see much difference with HDD vs SSD, or thunderbolt vs usb 3.

    Unless you are constantly streaming from this drive, if you are just using backup folders or timemachine, and can afford it to run a few extra minutes, then I say pick up the biggest usb3 HDD you can afford.

    Thunderbolt and ssd, in my opinion, would only be worth it if I am planning to run apps and even the OS off the drive. Otherwise I can afford it to transfer for a few extra minutes.

    Another word of advice, for something so sensitive as your dissertation, I recommend the 3-2-1 rule for backups. At least 3 backups, on 2 different forms of media, and at least 1 backup is offsite. ( is a great unlimited online backup solution for cheap)
  3. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    I would also check if your university offers online storage for student projects. It would give you an offsite backup.

    I recently added a CalDigit Thunderbolt expansion to my 2011 MBP. I did some disk tests with a portable drive in USB 2 and USB 3 connections. USB 2 was slow. USB 3 was about the same performance as a sata attached drive. If you have a USB 3 port, it's the cost effective way to go.
  4. tenganis thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2013
    This is really great and appreciated advice.

    Thank you!
  5. dextr3k macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012

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