External Hard Drive for iTunes - Thunderbolt or USB?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by VaatiKaiba, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. VaatiKaiba macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    I've almost filled my iMac's hard drive, and so I'm looking at getting an external drive to house my iTunes library. I'm thinking of getting a 3TB drive. The only Thunderbolt drive I can find is a LaCie one that's over twice the price of a comparable USB (2.0 - my Mac doesn't have 3.0) drive.

    Is it worth, for iTunes in particular, getting a Thunderbolt drive given the extra cost? I have an Apple TV as well, if that makes any difference (would streaming be slowed down?). Or would I be ok to get a USB drive (and perhaps another one for backing up!)?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    USB 2.0 will read / write data at about 34 MB per second. Reading an average music file of 4 minutes / 256kbit/sec takes a quarter second. Reading a 2 GB video file takes a minute. For video playback, that's no problem at all. Look at it like that: For the same money, you get one Thunderbolt drive, or a USB drive plus a backup drive. If your original drive goes bad, the backup drive saves you 100 times the time the Thunderbolt drive could ever save you.
  3. FireWire2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    Get this box, then you no longer need an external, just pop-in ANY SATA drive and ready to go.
  4. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    With USB2 you won't have issues streaming the highest bitrate video iTunes and ATV can support.

    Thunder bolt is for high-tech stuff only.

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