External Backup Drive -- How much Space?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Hrothgar, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. Hrothgar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    I'm looking for an external thunderbolt drive to back up my Mac Mini. The mini has a 1 tb drive and currently uses about 600 gb. I could save a lot of money by purchasing a 1tb backup drive. But I figure I should go for at least 2 tb, just to have the extra space if necessary.

    However, is there any benefit to getting a larger, say 4 TB drive? They're expensive, and I don't think I'll need that much storage any time soon. And, there's a risk that by the time I need that much storage, any drive I buy today will be outdated.

    Your thoughts?

    Any suggestions for a good thunderbolt drive? (I've had mixed experiences with WD drives.)

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    "But I figure I should go for at least 2 tb, just to have the extra space if necessary.
    However, is there any benefit to getting a larger, say 4 TB drive?"


    I like the old saying, "don't put all your eggs in one basket".
    I believe a similar approach can be applied to data, as well.
    Better to keep it "spread around" on more than one drive (backups notwithstanding).

    Do you have any backup drive now, at all?
    If not, you NEED one!
     
  3. Hrothgar thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #3
    Yes, I do have a back up for this. I have an external 3tb drive that I use to back up my mini and my MBP -- but I need to reconnect it every time I do the back up. I want to have a drive dedicated to the Mini. (I mostly have music files on the mini, so the important contents of the drive don't change very often.)

    I also keep a second backup of the Mini on another external drive, which I keep at work.

    I guess I'll stick with a 2tb thunderbolt for the mini. Any suggestions for a good drive?
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    OP wrote:
    "I guess I'll stick with a 2tb thunderbolt for the mini. Any suggestions for a good drive?"

    Frankly, you're wasting your money on a thunderbolt drive.

    You'd do just as well with a USB3 drive.
    It will be JUST AS FAST, no perceivable difference.
    But considerably more drive for your money!
     
  5. colodane macrumors 6502a

    colodane

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    #5
    Are you referring to a Time Machine backup or something else?

    If Time Machine, the above post is correct - there is no need for a Thunderbolt drive. You will be doing small incremental backups and speed is not any significant advantage.

    Also, with Time Machine if your backup drive is the same size as your main drive (1TB in your case), you will still get many months of incremental backups before you start over-writing the old data. Depending on your specific needs to retain very old configurations and data, the 1 TB external drive could be sufficient if there is a significant cost penalty associated with going to a 2 TB.
     
  6. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #6
    I would also advise against a Thunderbolt drive if you're going to be using it for Time Machine.

    For size, a good rule of thumb is to have a 2:1 ratio between your backup drive and the system drive, so that the Time Machine drive is twice as large as the drive it is backing up. It provides ample room for past backups and the actual "time machine" function.

    - That's of course only the case if the used space stays constant at 600 GB. If it fluctuates or reaches near full capacity, a 1 TB backup drive for a 1 TB system drive probably isn't ideal.
     

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