External HDs with Thunderbolt...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by onthecouchagain, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. onthecouchagain macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011
    I know they're coming soon, but is there any reports/rumors or indications as to how much external hard drives with Thunderbolt connectivity will cost? Currently, 2TB ext HD can be bought as low as $80-100. That's quite a deal, and I will need one soon to Time Machine my MBP (I'm running it without any backup currently). I'm hoping to wait for Thunderbolt connectivity, but if TB connectivity will jack the price up considerably, then I will not wait for it since I'm not willing to spend too much on an ext HD just to have faster transfers.

    Any insight?

    PS. I'm also planning to purchase an iMac after its refresh, which is why I want a 2TB ext. HD. I plan to Time Machine that too with the same ext HD.
  2. PAPO macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2009
    well once the iMacs refresh they will get TB

    the biggest thing is initial back ups take AGES so TB will be a god-sent (FW800 is only just bearable and USB is *shudders* )

    but if you can wait about a day for your initial back up all subsequent back ups happen within no more than 10min

    I'm say TB will be worth the extra money
  3. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    The drives will have the same interface we have today. What will change is the external enclosure around the drive. That will have a TB port and most likely USB3 or FW800 along with it to increase sales in the beginning.
  4. Inside_line macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2005
    Unless your planning on getting an SSD external, or daisy chaining devices, TB is unnecessary.

    Single spinning hard drives cannot max out the bandwidth offered by existing ports. USB is slow since it is cpu dependent, which induces latency when combined with other cpu tasks (i.e. video editing). Firewire removes the cpu dependency..... so even FW400 is perfect for a single external drive. This is the next best thing to eSATA.

    Thunderbolt is quite overkill for a single drive... I would not pay much of a premium for it. Now, if were talking SSD drives, RAID0, or daisy chaining, this becomes a different story.
  5. amarcus macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2008
    London, UK
    If your CPU is busy anyway then what is it going to do with the data? I honestly can't imagine this making any significant difference...
  6. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    x2, fw800 is satisfactory, but USB is just plain awful. USB is so damn slow, I always wonder why anyone bothers with it for hard drives.
  7. theSeb, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011

    theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Mechanical HDDs do max out the bandwidth offered by USB 2, FW800 and even USB 3. How is FW400 the next best thing to eSATA when it's a lot slower? Why are you passing out incorrect info?
  8. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007

    People don't realize that as the size increased so did the platter density. The 2 TB WD Black and 2 TB Samsung F4 are some of the quickest drives on the market saturating USB 2 and FW800. I dunno about USB 3.0 but in due time.
  9. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    not quite. mechanical hard drives can max out the bandwidth. that doesn't mean they do. a long sequential write in the beginning half of the platters, yes, it can be well over 100 MB/s on a modern drive. but on the 2nd half of the volume where throughput declines, even the newest fastest drives dip down below 80 MB/s. and that assumes a long sequential write. as soon as you throw a real-world workload in there, which is mostly random, you end up with well below the 80 MB/s that Fw800 can deliver.

    Fw800 is 2.5x the speed of USB2 and plenty adequate for most users. It's just that most users are too ignorant to know this, and have opted for the awful-stupid-slow USB2 instead, because the drive was $5 cheaper and they didn't know any better.
  10. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    I don't think that it is this, as much as most PCs don't have Firewire ports For this reason USB 2.0 has become the VHS of its time and Firewire is the BetaMax. BetaMax was the better video/audio option of its day, but it wasn't as widely adapted so it lost out in the marketplace and eventually died (I can remember going into the Rental store and seeing 15 shelves of VHS offerings to the 1.5 of the BetaMax (as the owners had a small customer base of BetaMax and were reluctant to invest more into that format).
  11. aoaaron macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2010
    but liek u can get teh external w/firewire + usb so wut is ur point?
  12. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    The point is that the market is the determining factor. Since most PCs don't come with Firewire why would most PC people (which are the majority of the users out there) pay the premium to get the Firewire versions that they have no use for. This trickle down effect causes the manufacturers to create less versions with Firewire which then drives the price up, whereas USB versions are decreasing in price. After a while the return on investment is too great for the Firewire version and the only ones that will actually buy it are those that need it in a day to day environment. It was the same with VHS and Beta. If you were buying a charger and for a few dollars more you could get one that would also charge a PowerBook, but you have no PowerBook nor intend to buy one (as they are pretty much dead technology), would you spend the extra or save the money and buy what suits your need??
  13. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    to OP:
    the seagate go flex portable comes with usb2/3 fw800 and will soon be having TB adapter - so you can get this drive now with f/w adapter and then when TB adapter is released - you can upgrade the updater! perfect comprimise IMO
  14. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    uhh FW isn't more expensive for the hell of it. FW chipsets do alot of the work which is why it doesn't peg the CPU as much as USB does. More silicon = more money.
  15. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    Yes but the price difference and availability wouldn't be such a large difference if it was more mainstream and accepted. The chips cost more, but in bulk the difference is negligible. Just look at the Seagate Go Flex for $20 they can be updated to the FireWire or USB 3.0. The same price for either, but yet more drives are including the USB 3.0 ports and for essentially peanuts more than their 2.0 counterparts, if they even have a price difference.

    Like I said the market dictates and this is a prime example. Lets hope that the Thunderbolt port takes off like this.
  16. Nanker/Phelge macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2010
    You also likely wont be limited to Thunderbolt connections with new enclosures. Since TB is basically external PCIe manufacturers can make hubs with other connection protocols that will work with their respective technologies (USB 3.0).

Share This Page