External hard drives

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bikerblue, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. bikerblue macrumors newbie

    bikerblue

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    #1
    Just curious what you guys recommend for the new iMac 5K? I've read so many reviews, getting myself confused.
     
  2. daniel.hershman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2015
    #2
    Just about any usb3 hard drive will be fine. No need for thunderbolt on a hard drive. TB would make SSD externals faster, but not a hard drive. I use a LaCie 3tb usb3 for time machine backups.
     
  3. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #3
    I am partial to OWC (www.macsales.com) Mercury Elite Pro series, however you did not indicate what you intend to use the External Hard Disk for so I can't get any more specific than that.

    IMHO, OWC makes the best enclosures out there, dead reliable not like the 4 failed Lacie's I've owned over the years.
     
  4. bikerblue thread starter macrumors newbie

    bikerblue

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    #4
    I need to use the hard drive for word documents, photos, music & videos.
     
  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #5
    A USB3 external drive should work quite nicely for your list. Whether you go with a simple 2.5" portable or a normal size 3.5" external. As for SSD, they run no faster with TB than USB3. If you were to stripe drives together (including SSD) then Thunderbolt has the advantage. I use multiple external drives and they all work well enough. The only catch is that slower drives might be fine for docs, photos etc. but can be a drag when trying to copy to that drive large video if you have lots of them. If you play back the videos from the external drives, any USB3 type drive should suffice. My externals include SSD in a Firmtek enclosure, various 2.5 drives from W.D. and a couple from Seagate and then some 3.5 drives that are rarely used these days. Knock wood no problems with any of them and some are more than a couple of years old easily.

    While I have a NAS for additional storage, I often bring along with me a 2tb 2.5 external with movies and music for my laptop. At home, the above mentioned drives all have their dedicated functions as well (including some for back ups only).
     
  6. Simche macrumors member

    Simche

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Location:
    Europe
    #6
    I guess any USB 3.0 External drive will be good for you. I use a Seagate 2TB External HDD. My recommendation for you is to choose a Fusion Drive HDD option for $100 more (faster and more reliable experience) and an external Drive that has USB 3.0 AND a separate cable for power (Those driven with their own power-cord ar less likely to fail in the future. It's important that external resources that has a purspose for storing to get a correct amount of electricity)

    Hope this helps in some way! :)
     
  7. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #7
    What are trying to do, 4K video storage or just plain data?

    If you want 4K you want a Thunder Bolt SSD. If it just data then USB3 drives will be fine.
     
  8. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8
    For my external library I use a LaCie RAID 0 6TB set connected via TB2. Backups are to a separate LaCie d2 6TB drive connected via TB2. Remember you need two seperate external drives, one for the library and the other for TM backups of the entire file system.
     
  9. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #9
    I was under the same opinion a while back, however I have seen various tests done with single SSD in a USB3 enclosure (the later models) that easily compete with Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt takes the lead when there are 2 SSD striped. Example of two enclosures that match the TB experience (I purchased them and checked them out) were from Firmtek. As well, there are other makers that also can compete. This post is not to contradict you but provide the OP and anyone else the cheaper option of USB3 vs TB for SINGLE SSD.

    This is an older quote from Barefeats -


    "WHAT's UNIQUE ABOUT THE MINISWAP/U3?


    IT'S FAST
    The FirmTek miniSwap/U3 is the fastest USB 3.0 device we have tested to date. For that matter it's the fastest bus powered storage device we've tested to date regardless of the interface type (including Thunderbolt). We tested with 6Gbps SSDs to show the full speed potential. (Have you noticed the price of SSDs is dropping?)"


    They also have a cheaper unit with similar test results. I have both offerings and 2 more from other companies.

    http://barefeats.com/hard161.html
     
  10. zarel macrumors newbie

    zarel

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #10
    I personally use a WD My Passport 1TB, but IMO the brand doesn't make that much difference.
     
  11. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #11
    To me, USB 3 is USB 3. I buy whatever's on sale.
     
  12. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #12
    What I have determined over the years ago is first research the chip inside the external case makes a huge difference sometimes.
     
  13. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #13
    Remember that USB 3 is just a transport. It is not a drive interface. SATA 1,2, and 3 are drive interfaces. You need a controller in the external enclosure to translate between the external transport protocol (FW, USB, Thunderbolt) to the native SATA interface of the drive. In the case of USB 3, you want the external drive to support UASP with the USB 3 protocol. That provides for max transport speed. The max speed may not be needed for a single drive; however, for a RAID 0 drive set or an SSD in the external enclosure, UASP could definitely make a difference in the read/write speeds seen by the Mac.
     
  14. LiveM macrumors 6502a

    LiveM

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    #14
    WD drives are more reliable, but Seagates tend to look better and be cheaper.

    I just got a 4TB 3.5" Seagate model, copied the default content to another drive, erased the disk and it's happily working away.

    If everything is backed up then looks and savings are more important.

    NAS drives are a hassle and waste of power. I prefer to use the USB port on my Airport Extreme for network storage.
     
  15. voyager1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    #15
    Simple question: i've just bought a wd my book 2tb time machine compatible hard drive. I don't want it to store my internet history. can i simply turn it off when browsing and do nothing else? all the web questions refer to safari useage and nothing about chrome. even if i did find a way to exclude chrome history i have read time machine would still store other info related? if its just a matter of turning off that would be easier. many thanks
     
  16. LiveM macrumors 6502a

    LiveM

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    #16
    It's Time Machine that you would turn on and off. In fact, I'm not sure where the shutdown option even has gone now, that is for the NAS models.

    Before you get started, if you are using the Live model see if it would perform any faster if it were formatted to HFS. It's quite a slow drive.
     

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