External storage.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by The Clark, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. The Clark macrumors regular

    The Clark

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    #1
    I'm a Mac noob, but I will probably want some kind of external storage sooner or later. What would you guys recommend? What's the difference between thunderport external storage and Time Capsule?
     
  2. Thraun macrumors regular

    Thraun

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    #2
    I'll try and be slightly more helpful than DisplacedMic here.

    The main difference between the 2 is wireless vs wired.

    The Time Capsule is actually a high quality wireless router with built-in storage. This means you set it up at home, it gives you your wireless internet (usually replacing whatever wireless router you may already have) but you can also back up to the Time Capsule wirelessly. This also makes it easy and painless to back up multiple Macs around the home if you have them.

    The advantage of a Thunderbolt external drive is speed. Thunderbolt is quite fast, and will complete your backups a lot quicker than if you did wireless. The disadvantage is you have to plug in the drive to your Mac whenever you want to back up. Another advantage, however, is a Thunderbolt external is portable, while the Time Capsule isn't. So if you have a laptop, you can take your backup drive with you wherever you go and use it on the go.
     
  3. The Clark thread starter macrumors regular

    The Clark

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    #3
    Thank you very much for that detailed breakdown.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #4
    I see Thraun already answered your question, but if I could just add one thing. If you just want to backup, IMO Thunderbolt is bit overkill for the cost. If you are not using RAID, a USB 3 drive will be close to or as fast a a Thunderbolt drive for backup and is much cheaper. See this test and this test.
     
  5. The Clark thread starter macrumors regular

    The Clark

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    #5
    I have one question to the both of you.

    Does an external drive just add on to the 256gb or 512gb? Or does it add on to the 8gb or 16 gb? What's the difference?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Rainalkar macrumors member

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    Dec 1, 2013
    #6
    Can I add my question? I got my Mac yesterday and I need some accessories for it. For starters, headphones, external drive and a mouse. What would you recommend having in mind:

    1. Headphones - I will use them when travelling and I would like to use them both on the Mac and on my Nexus 5. Something comfortable to walk with that has good sound (to play MP3 for the most part)
    2. External Drive - I need 1 TB minimum, I will store movies mostly for travelling. So something compact, not too expensive, that can work for both Windows 7 and Mavericks.
    3. Mouse - wireless if the battery can last, but it's not essential. My hand is not too big, but I don't want those smallish mouses. Again, something that can work with both Windows 7 and Mavericks.
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #7
    It would only add the the 256/512GB of storage. That 8/16GB you see the in the specs is not permanent storage, but rather system memory used to load and execute programs and data.
     
  8. The Clark thread starter macrumors regular

    The Clark

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    #8
    Ok good to know.

    Thanks.
     
  9. The Clark thread starter macrumors regular

    The Clark

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    #9
    So I ordered the storage unit you recommend in my other thread, but people are saying there's no way to update ssd on rMBP. How could this be?
     
  10. cerberusss macrumors 6502a

    cerberusss

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    #10
    You now have two places to store your files: either internally on the rMBP, or externally, on the product you just ordered.

    Some notebooks have a third option to get more storage: replace the internal SSD/hard drive with something bigger. This third option is not available currently on the rMBP.
     
  11. The Clark thread starter macrumors regular

    The Clark

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    #11
    Oh ok. So in other words my external drive does increase my SSD.
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #12
    The internal storage on a Retina Macbook uses a proprietary flash storage device. It is just held in by a screw, so it can be updated/replaced, but the problem is nobody makes a replacement at this point. OWC made a replacement for the previous 2012 models, but they have not come out with a replacement for the 2013 yet.

    Yes, exactly. If say you have a 256GB internal flash drive then plug in a 500GB external drive, you would then have a total 756GB available for storage. Is that what you were asking?
     
  13. The Clark thread starter macrumors regular

    The Clark

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    #13
    Yes exactly thank you. My last question at this point would now become; Is the harddrive storage "SSD" or is it just regular storage? What's the difference if any?

    Sorry for the questions on questions, just trying to gain a better understanding for my purchases.
     
  14. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #14
    No, the hard drive storage stores the data on small spinning disks (platters) inside the case. Below is a picture of what it looks like inside. The platters are spun around by a small motor while the read/write head moves across the disk to read/write data. If you put your hand on the hard drive case while it is running, you can feel the slight vibration of the platters spinning around.

    [​IMG]

    An SSD (solid state drive) is a bunch of flash memory chips on a small board inside a drive case and the data is stored on those memory chips. Much faster data access and no moving parts. These memory chips will not lose the data once the power is shut off, unlike a RAM memory chip used for computer system memory (the 8/16GB we talked about earlier).

    The new Retina and Macbook Air machines use the same flash chips, but just on a small board with no case. The small board is screwed directly onto the computer's main logic board. You can see a picture of the Retina flash storage board in the photo below.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. jessetierney macrumors newbie

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    Dec 15, 2013
    #15
    Can also always check smaller storage solutions, like a MiniDrive, similar to PNYs storEdge.

    theminidrive.com-lets you add 64GB for about $80 by blocking off the SD drive. Handy if you don't use your SD drive.
     
  16. The Clark thread starter macrumors regular

    The Clark

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    #16
    Ah I see, ok thanks. Either way It looks like I'll be fine for space, though in the back of my head I wonder if I should have gone with the Air. I'll find out soon enough.

    Thanks for all of your help everyone.
     

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