External Hard drive recommendations please

jamin00

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 14, 2012
603
166
Essex, UK.
Hi guys and gals,

Im after an external HDD to use at work mostly. My rMBP with a 500gb SSD is becoming full so I want to use an external HDD or SSD for when at the office I can simply plug in and keep everything separately.

Ideally I do need to be able to take this away with me on business trips too but it will be at the office most of the time.

1TB should suffice but want speed and not to be hanging around all the time with it ;)

Thanks in advance.
 

shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
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They are all pretty much the same now, your only decision is SSD over HDD. Can you afford the SSD, if so then get one, if not then get the HDD. No need to over complicate it. They just work.
 

jamin00

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 14, 2012
603
166
Essex, UK.
I have a mid 2015 rMPB. What connection choice do I have with it?

I do believe I have Thunderbolt but which I do not know? Same with USB?
[doublepost=1499773743][/doublepost]Just see I have USB 3 and this is the info for the Thunderport.
 

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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,207
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OP:

USB3 will be fine, that's all you need.

I can't recommend any specific "ready-to-go" drive, because I think one is better off "building their own".

I've heard of too many failures from Seagate and WD.
I'd suggest HGST or Toshiba.
 
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kiwipeso1

Suspended
Sep 17, 2001
646
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Wellington, New Zealand
I have a mid 2015 rMPB. What connection choice do I have with it?

I do believe I have Thunderbolt but which I do not know? Same with USB?
[doublepost=1499773743][/doublepost]Just see I have USB 3 and this is the info for the Thunderport.
Although USB 3 is the cheaper drive connection, if you need speed you can get a Thunderbolt 2 drive.

It depends on how fast you want the drive to backup your files, as Thunderbolt 2 will connect 4 times faster on a dedicated hub separate from USB 3, so the point is that you can do a full time machine backup in minutes.
 
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ZapNZs

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Jan 23, 2017
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If you are buying a single-drive SATA external hard drive (SSD or HDD), Thunderbolt 2 does not mean the drive will run much faster because HDDs top out at about 250 MB/s (most are much slower) and for SSDs the SATA 6.0 Gbps protocol is one limiting factor. The biggest advantages to using Thunderbolt 2 would be to take advantage of TRIM support for external SSDs, and avoiding USB 3's ability to interfere with 2.4 GHz wireless signals. So in this case, USB3 seems like the most practical option for your need, because you will pay a much higher premium for anything Thunderbolt related.

If you are going to be traveling, I would personally favor a SSD simply because they have far greater shock resistance than HDDs (they would also operate much faster, obviously.) An out-of-the-box model like the Samsung T3 should work great for your needs because it is extremely small, well-built, and based off of a proven SSD. IIRC the 1TB models are around $300 USD. If that is too much, the 7200 RPM HGST TravelStar is a great HDD that you can get in the 1 TB size for around $60 and a USB-3 enclosure for $8-20.

(While I am sure it is not necessary to say this) if you have important files, be sure to NEVER save them to just one location, because both HDDs and SSDs fail all the time, and often without warning. One copy of important files is Russian roulette. Two is a bit better. Three's golden.
 
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Audit13

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2017
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Personally, I would not get a WD Passport and Toshiba as the USB port is soldered to the drive's motherboard. If the USB port breaks, it's very difficult to retrieve your data.

I always but bare sata drives and a separate enclosure. I've had good luck with WD Blue drives in Orico enclosures.
 

Doc C

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2013
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Personally, I would not get a WD Passport and Toshiba as the USB port is soldered to the drive's motherboard. If the USB port breaks, it's very difficult to retrieve your data.
I had no idea about this - very useful information, especially since I have been using WD Passports for my non-networked backups (Three TimeCapsules in rotation are for networked backup). And yes, I know this isn't a very robust solution, but everything is also in the cloud, and I don't have the time nor inclination to get the NAS running or do whatever else would be necessary.
 

shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
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Personally, I would not get a WD Passport and Toshiba as the USB port is soldered to the drive's motherboard. If the USB port breaks, it's very difficult to retrieve your data.

I always but bare sata drives and a separate enclosure. I've had good luck with WD Blue drives in Orico enclosures.
You should have a backup too...