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AlexGraphicD

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Oct 26, 2015
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I need to purchase an external drive for time machine for my late 2015 fusion 2tb, m395 i5 iMac.
I just don't know what is the best choice for me. usb 3.0 or TB2? HDD or SSD?
The heavy files I work with are mostly photoshop, illustrator and to a smaller degree, iMovie, FCP for casual video editing.
My budget is somewhat limited so I can't afford something that is very expensive, so I would like to spend my money on a cheap but reliable external drive that will cover my needs.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,613
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These days, I'd avoid Seagate and Western Digital.

I'd go for Toshiba or HGST (Hitachi?).
 

Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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Thanks. Any recommendations as to the brand? Is there any external hdd brand that has high rates of failure?
For backup purposes TB and SSD are a bit overkill unless you just have money to burn.

I would just get whatever USB3 drive you can find on sale in the size you want. They are all pretty much the same. It is a bit like your grandpa arguing over whether Ford or Chevrolet trucks are better. It does not matter.
 

AlexGraphicD

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Oct 26, 2015
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For backup purposes TB and SSD are a bit overkill unless you just have money to burn.

I would just get whatever USB3 drive you can find on sale in the size you want. They are all pretty much the same. It is a bit like your grandpa arguing over whether Ford or Chevrolet trucks are better. It does not matter.

Thanks. Now I feel better and less stressed regarding my choices. :)
 
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AlexGraphicD

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One last thing. Does it matter which type of file system it is when I buy it? Can I reformat it to be used by macOS?
Cause I see many drives that have choices for windows or mac and different type of file systems and I am not sure what to choose.
 

Weaselboy

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One last thing. Does it matter which type of file system it is when I buy it? Can I reformat it to be used by macOS?
Cause I see many drives that have choices for windows or mac and different type of file systems and I am not sure what to choose.
Nah... it does not matter. Just use Disk Utility to reformat it to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format first thing when you attach it. That will convert any drive to the correct format.
 
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andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
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you can reformat with disk utility on the mac. it's part of the OS in the Applications folder>Utilities folder. I use the format that's set as default: Mac OS Extended (Journaled) (weasel boy beat me t the punch)
I don't think that SSD's are a good backup technology as it loses it' charge if it's not plugged in for a long time. I would go with a HDD. Whatever is cheap, brand name and available local or at Amazon. I would have at least two backup drives. On drive for frequent backups (daily or weekly) and one that I would backup every month and store it off site (work place, moms basement or such).

If you want really cheap then buy a SATA dock and buy naked hard drives for backup. Then you can buy new hard drives for cheap whenever you need more space.

https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matter...UTF8&qid=1485626900&sr=8-3&keywords=SATA+dock

and

https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Cache-D...485626949&sr=8-4&keywords=SATA+Hard+Drive+1TB
 

AlexGraphicD

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Is it important for it to have a sleep mode feature? From what I read drives are better when they have that feature cause they stop spinning when computer is in sleep mode.
 

jaybar

macrumors 68020
Dec 11, 2008
2,031
615
In the last month, I switched from external HDD to external SSD, due to failing HDD drives. Because the drives sit on my desk, I was looking to replace the desktop HDD drives with smaller and quieter options.

I decided on the Glyph Atom. I purchased two. I use one for time machine and one for Carbon Copy Cloner. Both Atom drives are 525GB. Since I only have 70GB of data on my 2013 iMac, the 525GB Atom SSD drives should be fine. Had I a lot of data to back up, SSD would have proved too costly.
 
Last edited:

dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,495
632
NJ
After selling my old iMac, I took the seagate 2TB spinner out of it and loaded it into an external docking station along side the new 1TB spinner from my new 2015 iMac which I replaced with an internal SSD. 3TB of overkill? Nah. I'll use the old 1TB Mac HDD as a clone of the SSD for booting and I partitioned the 2TB drive, 1TB for time machine backups and 1TB for media storage to relieve space on the SSD.

My recommendation is to get the external dock and a cheap 1TB spinner.
 

Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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California
Is it important for it to have a sleep mode feature? From what I read drives are better when they have that feature cause they stop spinning when computer is in sleep mode.
Any drive will do that. That is a function of the OS and not the drive. You can see the setting here in the energy preferences pane.

Screen Shot 2017-01-29 at 2.27.05 AM.png
 
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AlexGraphicD

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Oct 26, 2015
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Any drive will do that. That is a function of the OS and not the drive. You can see the setting here in the energy preferences pane.

View attachment 686099

Oh, nice. Yes I knew that setting.
I think finally I made a good purchase and I like the aluminum design that fits perfectly with the Mac.
LaCie Porsche Design 3TB USB 3.0
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009CQUTDQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
(bought the cheaper refurb model for $89.99)

I also bought an additional 2 year recovery data plan for $9.99
Seagate Rescue 2 Year Data Recovery Plan for External Hard Drives

Pretty good bargain I think. Now let's hope it doesn't fail like many HDD's do and it is not super noisy...
 
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ljonesj

macrumors 6502a
Oct 20, 2009
945
63
Kingsport TN
I've had more problems out seagate externals western digital any of there external or bare drives have worked great for me
 
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