External Hard Drive—Good time to buy?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by yaymath, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. yaymath macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2011
    I've been waiting for a new rMBP all summer, and it's still not out. It looks like it will be out around September/October. I'll be leaving for university in a week and I won't have a laptop with me, only an iPad. I would get an external hard drive for my rMBP for back-ups and additional storage, but I thought I should get one now in order to have all necessary documents and other files ready with me when I get a rMBP in the fall. This way, I wouldn't have to go back home just to transfer everything to my laptop.

    I've been looking for one on Amazon and this one seems like a good option: http://amzn.com/B008S4TGDM.

    The thing is, it's been available on Amazon for over a year. So is worth it buying one now? Or is there some new technology in the near feature that could improve portable external hard drives in terms of speed and size?
  2. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    I have that drive and I love it. Very portable and quick. There is always new tech around the corner. Buy when you NEED and don't worry too much about the future.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Ditto. I also have a WD My Passport and it works well.

    I don't think there is anything coming soon on the hard drive front that will make you kick yourself over a purchase today. HDD development seems to have stagnated somewhat with all the attention on flash storage (SSDs).
  4. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Hard drives are hard drives, other than SSDs the tech hasn't changed significantly enough to matter in the last several years.
  5. Giuly, Aug 14, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014

    Giuly macrumors 68040


    The new technology drives are not higher in capacity, but slimmer - namely the Seagate Slim (9.5mm, 3/8" high) and the WD MyPassport Air (11mm, 7/16" high).


    However, those are 500GB and you'll have to trade capacity for portability. WD's 2.5" 2TB drive is still ahead of everyone else in terms of storage, so the 2TB MyPassport for Mac will remain the way to go where both capacity and portability counts for another while.
  6. localhost8080 macrumors member


    Jun 18, 2012
    Any time is a good time for an external HDD.
    I have a 500gb drive just now.
    I did have another 500gb drive, but it got stolen :(
    I also have a 1TB NAS drive that has a backup of all my important things on it too :)
  7. tgi macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2012
    Those Seagate Slims look nice. I've contemplated getting one over the WD My Passport.

    Seagate Slim 500GB $56.18
    WD My Passport 1TB $69.99

    Anyone care to sway me either way. Design over storage hmmm.
  8. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    Friends have a number of these. The only weak point we see (aside from getting a bad drive) is the mini connector or the cable. The free cable that comes with these types of drives can be really cheap.
  9. tgi macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2012
    Went with 2 x 1TB My Passport drives.
  10. rabsitey macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2013
    agree it,HDD development seems to have stagnated somewhat with all the attention on flash storage[​IMG]
  11. Giuly macrumors 68040


    The cables are the same as both the thick and thin drives use the Mini USB 3.0 port. The cables WD and Seagate provide are both pretty well built and durable.

    Not to mention that as this is standard Mini USB 3.0, you can get a new cable on every corner.
  12. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    Actually, these are micro-usb connectors. The USB 3.0 version is wider than the USB 2.0 version.

    The USB 2.0 version can plug into the USB 3.0 version but not vice versa.

    The mini version is the older USB connector found on many older devices and not compatible.
  13. yaymath thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2011
    Would you reccomend buying a 2 TB drive and partitioning it for Time Machine and additional storage (e.g. iTunes library) or 2 1 TB drives and using one for each of these purposes? I feel like the former option is more practical and simpler: one drive, one cable, etc.
  14. tgi macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2012
    Nothing wrong with 1 x 2TB drive, but you always run the risk of "keeping all your eggs in one basket". If that one drive fails, everything is gone.

    If you had 2 x 1TB drives you would be able to salvage whatever is on the other drive. Some people keep backups of backups in case of hard drive failure.

    Just my 2 cents.
  15. Giuly, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040


    You're right of course, but other than the difference of the connector, the way in which the connectors are constructed is identical, and the same should hold true for the quality:

    What I was trying to say is that WD and Seagate don't ship their drives with off-the-shelf USB cables like you'd receive with a random inexpensive hard drive or enclosure, but higher-quality custom versions. And the connector itself should, due to more solder connections of the wider connector and a better force distribution over the area, be even more durable than the older Mini/Micro USB 2.0 variants.

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