External Portable HD: SSD vs HDD

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by zw-gator, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. zw-gator macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2005
    Im looking to buy an external portable hard drive. I'm a wedding photographer who edits on a 13" rMBP and obviously the internal HD doesn't hold enough when you're working on 2-3 weddings at a time.

    Biggest thing that drives me nuts with a spinning HD is the time it takes to spin up, and then when it goes to sleep after a few minutes. I don't like the lag.

    I'm wondering if an external SSD would be my answer. I could probably make due with something in the 256GB-500GB range, so the benefit of a 1TB+ spinning HD isn't something I really need.
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Yes the SSD would respond quicker, as well as be much more resistant to drops... and uses less power overall.

    USB does not support TRIM, so think about buying 25% more storage than you'll need or use for best long term results. Or think about Thunderbolt SSD. It would be near as responsive as editing files on your internal drive and without quirks.
  3. banies23 macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2015
    in theory yes, a HDD has a longer life span then an SSD BUT that depends on luck. My experience: i purchased a 500GB Samsung spinpoint HDD 4 years ago. After 2 years i buyed another one for RAID 0 and gues what, the newer drive failed 1,5 years after and scrwed my raid setup... :( Then i decided to buy an kingston hyperx 120GB SSD (sata3) and kept the older samsung for storage...and yes, its awesome ^^
  4. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014
    By the time an ssd reaches its end of life, you're likely to have already replaced it, at least once. I find them intoxicating. Go for a 1 TB capacity unless you know you will not use the space for years.

    I'm using Crucials, now on number 3. 128, then 500, now 1 TB. Garbage collection built into firmware. OWC makes a nice bus driven Thunderbolt enclosure for them for around $150. Thunderbolt simply works. I can't say the same for usb3 drives on newer MacBooks (have an rMBP and an Air).
  5. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    I use a 120GB SSD into an USB 3 enclosure for running a Windows 8.1 virtual machine. Nice performance, but you have to take care with buying a good quality enclosure. Most of them are SATA-II ones, so if you have a SATA-III SSD, it will perform like a SATA-II drive or even SATA-I (some SSDs operate in SATA-I mode if they don't find a SATA-III bus).

    I had an Akasa (SATA-II) enclosure which I could get ~150MB/s on my SATA-III OCZ SSD. The enclosure is now broken, so I bought a cheaper one. Now I'm able of getting around 60MB/s. It appears to be slow, but in practice it's still way faster than a HDD.

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