External drive for rMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by shearer3000, May 14, 2013.

  1. shearer3000 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    #1
  2. Bergsorensen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
  3. shearer3000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    #3
    are there any technical problems i might have with this configuration?
     
  4. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    Not sure of your budget, but have considered external SSDs?
     
  5. Atisha, May 14, 2013
    Last edited: May 14, 2013

    Atisha macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    #5
    I bought a WD My Passport 2TB USB3, works fine, though I haven't installed Windows on it yet. Important things for me were failure rate, quietness (rMBP is quiet, why remove that feature with something super loud?), some mobility (no power source), speed, capacity; I certainly eyed some 7200 rpm drives.

    In my head I am thinking that if you're going for a 7200 rpm drive: what are the amazon reviews, how much does it offer (extra ports), and what size? This drive is USB powered so will I be using it with my rMBP plugged in? Personally if I'm getting a 7200 rpm I'd just go all the way and buy 1-2tb with 64mb cache, a power source and great reviews. By hook or by crook you'll end up getting a usb 3.0 hub like I did so might as well so add that to the budget. If Apple allows it in their store then it's probably fully compatible, but it's still really important to check reviews. Some drives revert to USB 2 because USB 3 in rMBP is different than USB 3.0 on PCs.

    Also, I don't remember the exact numbers, but compared to USB 2, 3.0 will be about twice as fast, not 10x as fast at transferring data, which means it's marginally faster than Firewire 800, therefore the bottleneck is in that connection [edit: this is generally incorrect 7200 will be faster, esp. with 64 mb cache]. This is why eventually I just got the WD drive listed above, and it is surprisingly VERY fast. Would I use it to run a full OS? Not sure, but remember most PC laptops are 5400 rpm to begin with. It cost me $160 for PC version at Best Buy. No complaints at all.
     
  6. ColdCase, May 14, 2013
    Last edited: May 15, 2013

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #6
    I have a G drive hanging off my MacPro desktop, they are nice... they seem to be top $$$ in the Apple store, but less elsewhere ... Why are you limited to 500GB? Wouldn't 1TB be better for just a few more $$.

    I have a USB 3.0, FW 800, eSATA combo, Guardian from OWC (I needed mirrored RAID).

    I found that USB 3.0 offered more data throughput, in most cases, than FW through the TB-FW adapter. The rMBP doesn't have FW ports and the TB to FW adapter is kinda kludgy (gets quite warm too). I don't think it makes much sense to buy a FW drive for directly attaching to the rMBP. That opens up other less expensive options for you. Dunno if smaller transactions of a SQL data base would push FW over the top. Of course eSATA blows the other interfaces away on my MacPro, but thats not a good portable option for the rMBP.

    I ran an unscientific comparison using blackmagic a few months ago between the FW800 and USB 3.0 interfaces of the guardian drive. I was more interested in large file transfers than short random accesses.

    FW was 80MBps write, 86MBps read
    USB 3.0 was 133MBps write, 135MBps read

    An inexpensive portable Hitachi 1TB USB 3.0 drive showed 75MBps writes, 84MBps reads

    For reference, a SSD drive was 215MBps write and 258MBps read and the internal rMPB SSD was 440MBps write, 461MBps read.
     
  7. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #7
    +1
    I'm very happy with my 2TB WD Passport. At $140 from Amazon, it's a much better value than the 500 GB G-Tech drive for $220 from Apple.
     
  8. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #8
    Not sure how well a WD passport would hold up to the OPs SQL database traffic load.
     
  9. shearer3000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
  10. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #10
    Synology (a LAMP server) has MySQL running on it. Not sure if that's useful for the OPs requirements but might beat running Windows 7 on their rMBP.
     
  11. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #11
    i gather that the OP needs stability on the access for the database.

    the only option is thunderbolt.
     
  12. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Among the starlings
    #12
    Curious: in what way is thunderbolt more stable than USB 3?
     
  13. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #13
    USB has inherent instability issues on how it handles the connections, meaning the added layer results in drop of performance all around. thunderbolt offers a more stable connection

    its very much like firewire VS usb
     
  14. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Among the starlings
    #14
    Forgive my poor understanding of hardware. I thought FW was faster than USB b/c it had its own bus while USB uses the system bus (and thus affects computer performance in other ways). I didn't realize there were stability implications.
     
  15. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #15
    its exactly as you mention

    the dedicated BUS avoids the channels through the pch or other peripheral controllers that need to get to cpu still.

    I mention instability because of the fluctuations in the performance of the device. thunderbolt doesnt suffer that.

    now if its only for storage, USB3 is more than enough for almost everyone
     
  16. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Among the starlings
    #16
    OK, so rate of throughput isn't stable, but it isn't like there's a risk of dropped packets or anything, right?

    Thank you for the explanation -- it's very helpful.
     
  17. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #17
    yes the rate isnt stable, AFAIK there isnt any dropped packets, otherwise it would be a pain to have something copied
     
  18. willgreene99 macrumors regular

    willgreene99

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Location:
    DFW
    #18
    I would go this route:

    1. TB external drive with more than one disk
    a. Preferably in RAID 0

    2. USB3 external drive with more than one disk
    a. Preferably in RAID 0

    3. TB external drive with one disk

    4. USB3 external drive with one disk

    5. Firewire 800 with more than one disk
    a. Preferably in RAID 0

    6. Firewire 800 drive with one disk

    7. NAS
    a. Any NAS with as many disks as possible

    My experience is that using a NAS with a high I/O and disk reads for a database data files are susceptible to errors or not as stable when compared to running the same on an external through TB or USB3.
     
  19. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #20
    ^^ USB 3.0 makes 2.0 look like a walk in the park :)

    willgreene99 your list looks good for someone needing the best performance regardless of $$. Its good advice.
     
  20. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #21
    I gather that USB3 suffers frm the same problems according to the performance figures
     
  21. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    UK
  22. ColdCase, May 16, 2013
    Last edited: May 16, 2013

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #23
    USB2 is a single shared bus, devices arbitrate for the bus, hubs don't need to be smart. USB 3 has two buses, one for transmit one for receive with additional features that require hubs to be smarter. Higher speed also means more potential for the kinds of signal integrity issues seen in USB2.

    Some hubs are smarter than others, and some vendors take a shortcut here and there that just happens to work fine with most PCs but not with most Macs... so there is another layer of potential incompatibility... then each kind of device has its own peculiarities... and with time to market being a survival thing, who has time to test.

    If USB3 is done right end to end it works well except for perhaps heavy duty hard drive use and feeding displays.
     
  23. shearer3000, May 16, 2013
    Last edited: May 16, 2013

    shearer3000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    #24

Share This Page