Bus powered external as regular everyday storage?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Wheelie4, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. Wheelie4 macrumors regular


    Jun 6, 2007
    NC, USA
    Ok, here's the situation. I'm paralyzed from neck down and bedridden and use a small hospital table to use my computer (late 2013 iMac) and other gear on. You can guess I'm limited with space. I have 2 of these Mercury Elite Pro external hard drives daisy chained on fw800 that's AC powered.

    I want to upgrade the drives but I want smaller size drives. Is there any downside/negative to using a bus powered external drive as regular everyday storage? I'm looking at 2 of these WD My Passport for Mac 2TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0 as replacements. Any advice or info is greatly appreciated.
  2. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    Only downside is that they are a bit slower. Many bus powered drives are 5400RPM. If you go for smaller bus powered drives, make sure they are 7200RPM. You can also get them as SSDs with USB3 and or Thunderbolt if you want speed!
  3. jimthing, Mar 1, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013

    jimthing macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2011
    London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
    I wouldn't go for portables for everyday usage, as they are slower 2.5" drives.

    In your situation, I'd probably go for the Seagate desktop-sized 3.5" 3TB drives at the same price: www.amazon.com/Seagate-Backup-Desktop-External-STCB3000900/dp/B009HQHPC4

    - faster than portable drives.
    - 3TB's in each one, giving your more room to grow.
    - USB 3 included for the moment.
    - Thunderbolt: possible future option to upgrade to the Thunderbolt adaptor connection for slightly faster speeds in the future. Only 20% faster (as these are only 1 HDD's so you won't see a massive increase), but when the Tbolt adaptor comes down in price in 18 months time (or cheap used ones on Ebay), you can pick them up for a fraction of this price, giving you some longer life from the set-up you'd already have.

    ...also, if possible, invest in longer USB3 cables (can get 3-5 metre ones for normally only a few bucks each), then sit the drives on a side table, and have the wire plug in near you in bed rather than having them (noisily) near you, using up the valuable hospital bed table. Just an idea.
  4. Wheelie4 thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 6, 2007
    NC, USA
    Thanks a lot jimthing and JesterJJZ. I really appreciate input and thanks for the alternate suggestion about the Seagate drive. I like to create two partitions on each hard drive. On one drive a partition is used for Time Machine while the other partition is used for backing up my files.

    On the second drive one of the partitions is used as a duplicate for the files I backed up on the other drive while the other partition is used for a cloned copy of my Mac Made with Superduper. Since only one drive is used on a daily basis I think I will get the Seagate for that purpose.

    The drive I use to duplicate my backups and make a clone of is only used once a week so I think the Western Digital Portable Drive I mentioned will be good for that. Thank you again guys, I really appreciate it. :)

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