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Expand iMac storage with external hard drive or MicroSD card?

  • External Hard Drive

    Votes: 3 100.0%
  • MicroSD Card

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    3

rdunlap

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 13, 2013
309
48
I recently purchased the 2020 iMac with 256GB of storage and even though I’m not close to running out, I’d like to add some storage. Is it best to use an external hard drive or is an microSD card a better option?
 

dizmonk

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2010
413
131
I recently purchased the 2020 iMac with 256GB of storage and even though I’m not close to running out, I’d like to add some storage. Is it best to use an external hard drive or is an microSD card a better option?
External drives are cheaper with way more storage options... FYI... Best Buy is having a good sale on WD external drives, and no I don't work there.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,948
8,730
You don't want to use an SD card "in place of" a REAL hard drive.

I'd suggest an external SSD. It could be:
- USB3 (will give read speeds of about 430MBps)
or
- USB3.1 gen2 (will give read speeds of 800MBps or better).

You can buy "ready-to-go", pre-assembled drives, or buy the components and put it together yourself. I usually "make my own".

But SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT to bear in mind:
Once you start using an external drive as "primary external storage", you're also going to have to begin BACKING IT UP to a SECOND external, which will become your "primary external storage backup". The backup could be a platter-based drive (which is cheaper). But if you're going to keep any "files of value" on an external, those files aren't "safe" unless they're backed up.

I'd suggest either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper for this job.
The backup will then be AN EXACT COPY of the source drive -- all-but impossible to tell apart (if you don't know how).
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 65816
Jul 5, 2020
1,499
402
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
I recently purchased the 2020 iMac with 256GB of storage and even though I’m not close to running out, I’d like to add some storage. Is it best to use an external hard drive or is an microSD card a better option?

Buy a 14TB 3.5" HDD, the one with 5 year warranty.
Buy another USB enclosure for that HDD.
Now you can partition that HDD to 2 volume: 1 as time machine back up, one as storage for your stuff.
 

||\||

Suspended
Nov 21, 2019
419
683
A 2.5” disk of your choice via USB or Thunderbolt and stuck to the back of the machine is really the best way to upgrade storage.
 
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