External hard drive for iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sunandsurf, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. sunandsurf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #1
    I just bought an iMac (hurray) and am looking around for a good external hard drive to protect important files. A quick search led me to this article: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400314,00.asp (The Best External Hard Drives for Macs) published last month.

    The Editors' Choice went to this product: http://www.amazon.com/LaCie-Rugged-...=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00A3G461K (LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series 120GB Solid State Drive). For $200, that isn't much space.

    Speed is not at the top of my list; dependability is.

    So if you have a specific recommendation, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

    Thanks.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    If portability is a need then definitely get a LACie Rugged, they offer 1TB models for 156.

    Since you have an iMac, the external drive is possibly not going to move much, and dependability is, then look for a multi bay model that uses RAID for data duplication.

    The G-Technology G-Dock in your pcmag url looks like a good contender.

    No matter what you buy, if you'll be storing data on the external drive then consider how you'll need to back that up. I have a Drobo Mini DAS, and I use an external drive to back that up.
     
  3. macs4nw, Mar 9, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014

    macs4nw macrumors 601

    macs4nw

    #3
    Is it safe to assume you bought a new(er) iMac with TB and USB3 connectivity? You're not saying what size of files you're looking to back up, but 120GB is not a whole lot. One of the reasons that SSD rugged got such a high rating is the combination of price ($200) and speed (385MB/s), and the obvious trade-off was the relatively small amount of storage (120GB).

    As a back-up solution, unless you do a lot of Pro work, such as video editing and such, SSDs are expensive overkill; at a much lower cost, HDDs suffice for many people's back-up needs.

    There are many storage options to choose from, by different manufacturers, and if, as you mentioned, you're less concerned with speed than with reliability, by going for a USB3 unit without TB, you will pay less; TB is still a premium. For example both the LaCie Rugged USB 3.0/TB 1Tb HDD as well as the 2Tb HDD, are $50 more than the LaCie Rugged Triple USB 3.0/FW800 versions of the same 1 or 2Tb capacities.

    However the 5400rpm drive in the TB HDD version, will give you 110MB/s av. transfer speed, when using TB or USB3, while the non-TB version 'Triple' will only give you 80MB/s with USB3, but there is a 500GB-only, 7200rpm version that will match the 110MB/s.

    As far as reliability is concerned, all HDDs will fail sooner or later, but the consensus seems to be in favor of Hitachi/WD drives vs the Seagate/LaCie camp. I hear a lot of positive comments about about G-Tech (with Hitachi) drives; they seem to be built like a tank, but are a bit pricier. http://www.g-technology.com/products

    I own several Lacie drives myself, including an older quadra D2, which has given me years of (quiet) trouble-free use, but lately I've been less than impressed with LaCie; maybe just pure bad luck, but the 1Tb USB3/Thunderbolt 'Rugged' drive I bought had a defective Thunderbolt cable, and the 4Tb 2big Thunderbolt, that I bought about a year ago, was DOA. Needless to say, I returned that 2big, and got myself the APPLE TB cable for the 'Rugged'. I also recently purchased the above mentioned 500GB 7200rpm Rugged Triple that so far works fine.

    My next external HDD will likely be a G-Tech raid enclosure.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    You are paying a high price premium for Thunderbolt and SSD with that Lacie drive. Since you need more space and price is a concern(?), that leaves you with a hard drive solution. USB3 is faster than and hard drive you can buy in an external case... so that leaves us with just buy whatever USB3 external hard drive you like. They really all are very similar.

    I like the WD My Passport series because you can find them anywhere and they are inexpensive. Many of these other drives you are just paying more for a pretty case if that is something you want.
     
  5. sunandsurf thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #5
    Thanks for the helpful comments. (I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner but I didn't get an email notification for some reason.)

    Thanks for making this a great place to get good advice.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Yep... that will work just fine. When you get the drive just attach it then use Disk Utility to erase the whole disk to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) to get rid of any WD software that may be on there.
     

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