External drive for Aperture?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Enrico, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. Enrico macrumors 6502

    Enrico

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    Feb 6, 2007
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    Milano / Roma
    #1
    Hi guys!
    Just sold my 09 Mac Pro and will be using a 2013 MBA i5/8/256 for my light Aperture work.

    I have a Seagate 3.5" 3TB 7200 hard drive where I have my Aperture library, currently shy of 400GB.
    I could either put that drive in a USB3.0 enclosure, with a power brick, or trade it for either one of these:

    1TB HGST Touro PRO 7200rpm
    2TB Western Digital My Passport 5200rpm

    Given that I will be using the external drive almost only for my Aperture library (I have a Synology NAS for everything else), will I notice more lag in Aperture by going with a portable 2.5", versus the big 3.5" that I currently have?
     
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #2
  3. Enrico thread starter macrumors 6502

    Enrico

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    #3
    Wouldn't Thunderbolt be overkill for a spinning hard drive? The one you linked is USB3.0 btw ;)

    Overall, not considering the interface, would I notice any performance difference in Aperture by going 2.5" versus the Seagate 3.5"?
     
  4. thedeske macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 17, 2013
    #4
    USB3 is enough for the 3TB drive. Agree - TB would not get any faster on a single drive. I also think a dock is a great idea. Try to get one with an ASmedia chip (UAS support) that will play nice with your new Mac.

    I've used a portable 5200 drive for Lightroom (library and Pic Files) and it's no match for a Large 7200 HD in a fast USB3 dock or case.

    Good Luck
     
  5. CalfCanuck macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 17, 2003
    #5
    Ssd + hdd

    If your library is not growing too fast, then put it all on a SSD. Otherwise I'd move to referenced photos to let you use a SSD for speed.

    I use an external combo of SSD to hold my core Aperture DB and then put my referenced photo files on a fast 4TB HDD, all enclosed in the new OWC ThunderBay IV. You could do this with 2 smaller external devices, though - I find the OWC device a little too loud for my taste. BTW, I have over 120,000 images in my library, but is is still pretty fast when using the SSD.

    Here's an interesting USB3 option for a SSD - lets you swap SSD's without trays, plus you could take this along with your MBA on the road to import photos into Aperture while on location.

    http://barefeats.com/hard168.html
    http://firmtek.com/seritek/miniswap-u3/

    I have other Firmtek devices and am VERY happy with the quality.
     
  6. MCAsan, Feb 14, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014

    MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #6
  7. Enrico thread starter macrumors 6502

    Enrico

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    #7

    Problem is that I would need to spend several hundred Euros on a 500+ GB SSD with failing price just for my Aperture Library that sits there and gets opened a few times a month...

    I found a Startech ASM1053E UASP Usb 3.0 Enclosure for 40 Euros, that will enable me to use my existing 3TB and 4TB drives, would that combo be considerably faster than a tiny and bus-powered 2.5" WD My Passport?
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #8
    Yes... the large extra expense of TB for a single hard drive is a complete waste of money.

    Here is a test of the HGST drive and here is a test of the WD. They look fairly close in speed tests. I doubt you would notice much of any difference between either of these and your current Seagate in a USB 3 external enclosure.
     
  9. Commy1 macrumors 6502a

    Commy1

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    Feb 25, 2013
    #9
    At present I'm running a USB 3.0, 2TB external for my main/largest Aperture library. While at school or in the field and need to edit I upload directly to my SSD and export the project onto the external when I get home.
    I don't notice any lag between using directly from the SSD or USB 3.0, a Thunderbolt storage drive would be awesome.. some day. I'd rather get an external that is made to handle TB2 speeds but they're a little too pricey for me.
     
  10. thedeske macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 17, 2013
    #10
    You bet. The only problem I've experienced with Docks/enclosures (assuming you get a good unit) is a quality A/B cable. Sometimes you get lucky and a good one comes with the unit.

    personally, I'd go with a Dock - much fore flexible
     
  11. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
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    #11
    Nobody seemed to directly answer the question so I will try. There will be absolutely no difference in speed from the physical size of the hard drive. What will matter is the speed that it runs at, the cache, and the interface.

    Most drives today spin at 5400 RPM for laptop (2.5"), and 7200 RPM for desktop drives (3.5"). Granted many 7200 RPM drives are made in 2.5" sizes too. Also, 3.5" drives can be found up to 15,000 RPM. You are looking for a large cache size as well. Finally, make sure you get a SATA II (3 Gbps) or SATA III (6 Gbps) drive.

    All in all if you do a fair comparison where both are 7,200 RPM, have the same cache size, and interface, then the physical size won't matter. The only difference is that larger drives are generally cheaper when in 3.5" size. Hope this is informative.
     
  12. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    NH
    #12
    Should be no difference between a modern 2.5 inch drive and your 3.5 drive in a USB 3.0 enclosure for your light use.

    How old is that 3TB? Perhaps due for a new drive anyway? You have the aperture library backed up to the NAS?

    Just saying you may be able to get a brand new USB 3.0 drive for just a little more than a decent enclosure/doc for the old 3.5. Look for sales perhaps.
     
  13. Enrico thread starter macrumors 6502

    Enrico

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    #13
    I thought that the larger the drive, the faster it would be, keeping the stored data amount fixed....

    Yes the Mac is being backed up to the NAS, and I have the following 3.5" drives from which I could pick one to put in the UASP ext Enclosure:

    4TB Hitachi 7K4000, 64MB cache, SATA3, 7200 rpm
    3TB Seagate Barracuda, 64MB cache, SATA3, 7200 rpm
    3TB WD Green, 64MB cache, SATA3, 5400 rpm

    I was looking to save desktop space and gain portability by going with a new 2.5" 2TB 5400 rpm WD My Passport, but if the performance hit will be noticeable I'd rather keep one of the big monsters :rolleyes:
     
  14. smellalot macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    #14
    OK I feel like I need to offer my opinion on this matter too.

    The speed of your drive also depends on the density of your data. So a newer 2.5" drive with only one platter may be faster than an older 3.5" drive with two platters because it uses smaller and less platters with higher density. However AFAIK the 2 TB 2.5" drives all use two platters whilst the 1 TB versions use only one.
    So it depends on the age of the drive you have.

    My opinion on what you should get is: get the 2.5" drive. Especially in Aperture you won't notice a difference. If you want the fastest, go SSD. That makes an actually noticeable difference.

    Also, why do you have a 3TB drive for only 400GB files? If that is all you need the drive for then go buy a 1TB mobile drive. It'll be cheaper. By the time you filled that up you can get a drive much bigger for the same price (there is no "future proofing" when buying computer gear).
     
  15. Enrico thread starter macrumors 6502

    Enrico

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    #15
    What do you mean by age of the drive? I was considering either the 1TB Touro Pro 7200 or the 2TB WD My Passport 5400, keeping in consideration a small library growth and under 50% space utilization to supposedly maximize performance.

    Actually those 3.5" drives were in the Mac Pro that I sold, containing some other data that now will reside on the NAS.

    So basically I would need to choose one of the following:
    40 Euros for the UASP 3.5" enclosure
    65 Euros for the 2.5" 1TB Touro Pro 7200rpm
    97 Euros for the 2.5" 2TB WD My Passport 5400rpm
     
  16. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #16
    I'd buy the WD. I have a 2TB that I also use with my rMBP...I took it out if the enclosure it came with and put it in a CIT powered USB 3 unit. I got a slight speed improvement, but since it's only used for storage it's fine. A tip...when buying don't pay extra fir the do called "Mac" version...buy the cheaper Windows unit and just format it HTFS...the software and junk that comes with is not required anyway.


    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Book-USB-3-...qid=1392468918&sr=8-6&keywords=USB+3++WD+2+TB


    Just a genetic link should be cheaper, around £56 or so...you could just stick with the enclosure it comes in...I only changed it as I had the CIT free as a test unit.
     
  17. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #17
    The platter amount does need to be taken into effect. I was giving the basic similarities. In most cases the size doesn't matter as long as it is a fair comparison.
     
  18. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Atlanta
    #18
    A good accessory for either connecting an external laptop drive without an enclosure is the Corsair SSD and Hard Disk Drive Cloning Kit ($25 or less). The had a USB to SATA cable, cloning software (Shirtpocket Superduper), and a quick start guide.

    You can use just the cable to connect an external 2.5" SSD or HDD to provide more storage. You can also attach a SSD or HDD and clone the internal main drive (Macintosh HD) to the external drive. If you don't want to use the cloning software you can always use Disk Utility in Recovery mode to "Restore" from the main drive to the external drive.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1f_4O7XZZ2A
     
  19. smellalot macrumors 6502

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    Dec 6, 2011
    #19

    OK in this case: I made a quick check on Amazon on the Touro Pro. It seems to be very fast and people are happy with it. So that seems a good choice. But personally I don't believe you will notice a difference in comparison to the WD My Passport. But it is cheaper.

    I don't see the point in getting an expensive enclosure. That only makes sense if you want additional features like RAID or Thunderbolt connection.

    You'll need to choose between price and size :cool:
     
  20. Enrico, Feb 17, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014

    Enrico thread starter macrumors 6502

    Enrico

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    #20
    Would one of those hybrid HDD provide any performance help, Aperture wise, compared to a pure HDD?
    It would be a much more cost-effective solution to store the main library on one of those 750GB/1TB SSHD
     
  21. CalfCanuck macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 17, 2003
    #21
    If you are looking at a hybrid drive, why not reconsider my SSD option to park your library? Amazon.it has a 120Gb SSD for 75 Euro (http://www.amazon.it/Samsung-MZ-7TE...TF8&qid=1392686140&sr=8-1&keywords=128+GB+SSD). You put your referenced photos on any HDD - I suspect even the combo of your library on a SSD (which is the demanding "Read" portion of the program) and your photos on a 5400 rpm HDD would be faster than putting everything these hybrids, which only have a 64GB cache (of course photos on a 7200 rpm HDD would be even better). The problem is that the hybrid tries to "guess" files you use a lot, and then moves files back and forth from the HDD to the SSD cache portion of the drive. But you know YOURSELF what you want optimized for speed - the Aperture library. The referenced photos do not matter so much.

    As we've noted, USB 3 is fine for everything you would do. You just need a simple case. I was noting the Firmtek because it is a great, bus-powered case that would allow boots, easy swapping of 2.5" drives, etc. But you could pick up a cheaper USB drive.

    I don't speak Italian, but something like this for 21 Euro would probably work for the SSD. (http://www.amazon.it/gp/product/B00FCLG65U/ref=noref?ie=UTF8&psc=1&s=pc)

    So 75 + 21 = 96 Euro for a SSD in a USB 3 case.
     
  22. Enrico thread starter macrumors 6502

    Enrico

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    #22
    The internal MBA PCIe SSD might store the library with referenced masters in a HD, but I would prefer to have a managed library to avoid risking loss of masters or their connection to the versions, and to have consistent backups.

    After all, I think that I may keep a second library in the SSD with just the latest project I'm working on, once finished editing I would import the project in the primary library stored in a external HDD.
     

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