External Thunderbolt Drive for Backup Advice Please

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rickpoet, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. rickpoet macrumors member

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    #1
    Hi,

    I've got one of the new iMac's (27", i7 with 2TB Fusion Drive). I have an older (i think USB 2.0) Phantom Drive connected to it...a relic from my previous system, for Time Machine backup use.

    I want to replace that external backup drive with the fastest, quietest 2TB Thunderbolt external available. The Lacie Rugged 2TB seems pretty good and had among the fastest speeds according to a CNET comparison I saw. It's powered by the Thunderbolt port itself.

    I don't actually need a portable or even rugged drive as it will be forever on my desktop taking the Time Machine backups...so wondering if this is a good option or if a separate desktop-specific model would be better? Faster? Quieter? (The Lacie d2 Thunderbolt 2 for example?)

    Any advice anyone can give on speed and quietness would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Rick
     
  2. JamesPDX, Dec 3, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015

    JamesPDX macrumors 65816

    JamesPDX

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    #2
    If you're into just swapping-out 2.5" drives as needed and you're tired of buying poorly-built/expensive noisy enclosure-based consumer disposables, there is this: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicmultidock
    Check the specs. I use it every day for Lightroom, Pro Tools, and VSL. It's the best purchase I've made since getting the late-2012 Mini and adding good SSDs. I can't imagine working without it. It solves at least three problems in one shot. No more LaCie, WD, Glyph, Iomega, or MacAlly enclosures for me. If I had the dough, I'd buy two and stuff 'em with 4 1TB Angelbird drives. Is 20 Gb/s fast enough for ya'? ;)

    DiskSpeedTestSanDisk960.png DiskSpeedTest850evo.png
     
  3. rickpoet thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Look cool, but it may be overkill for just doing Time Machine...I don't really need something with 4 bays that's so large. Looks awesome though!
     
  4. JamesPDX macrumors 65816

    JamesPDX

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    #4
    Keep it in mind for when the fusion drive goes out. You could use one of the bays for a boot drive. I use it for Media, Video, and Lightroom. I have two empty bays now. Sometimes I make a CCC (clone) on a 2.5 spinner then put the new backup in the factory box. I rotate my clones and keep separate Time Machine backups. If you're handy and really want Thunderbolt then, get one of these: http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-drive-mobile-1-tb-bus-powered-hard-drive -pop it open and replace the spinner with the SSD of your choice.
     
  5. rickpoet thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Thanks. I do really want Thunderbolt and the multi bay item you've shown doesn't really fit my needs for a Time Machine backup. Also there isn't a 2TB SSD yet so it's gotta be a spinner.
     
  6. JamesPDX macrumors 65816

    JamesPDX

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  7. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    you need it to be 2TB --> no SSD available, only HDD --> thunderbolt doesn't make it any faster --> any seagate/wd/lacie usb3 would be enough for you.
     
  8. twilexia macrumors 6502

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    Oct 16, 2015
    #8
    That thing looks incredible. Are the connectors SATA III? Which ssds do you have connected to it, samsung evos? Can you RAID them?

    I think if I was getting a large storage device i'd get that one. What I don't want is a big storage bay with spinners, even if they're configured in RAID.
     
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    #9
    To be honest if you are just using it to back up and it's a single drive (no raid) then thunderbolt is pointless, just get any USB 3 external drive and use that, plenty fast enough, quiet and cheap.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    #10
    Agree with Samuelsan above.

    For backup, a USB3 drive will serve you as well as thunderbolt, and be far FAR cheaper.
     
  11. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    #11
    Thunderbolt is overkill except for the very fastest SSD or RAID SSD. Google Seagate Backup fast. One of the fastest and quietest drives without the need for external power. Otherwise, one of the slim drives would be fine if you don't want RAID and just want 2TB. Slower because it is not RAID. WD makes a similar, albeit more expensive Thunderbolt drive.

     
  12. rickpoet thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    That 2 TB Lacie Rugged isn't that expensive and the TB port is, even with a spinning drive marginally faster than USB 3. Any reason I'd want an externally powered drive over the TB powered one?

    Anyone have any experience with different ones that might be able to comment on how quiet they are?

    Thanks for the responses!
     
  13. twilexia macrumors 6502

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    #13
    While it's true that most SSDs (or connectors rather) don't have the ability to utilize Thunderbolt 2's full speed, I think you gain additional I/O benefits from a thunderbolt connection vs. USB 3. Transfer speeds may be the same but the TB connection is directly to your CPU while the USB connection has to travel through the USB interface first which provides an extra layer of processing.

    This article shows the advantages of thunderbolt:

    http://www.storagereview.com/thunderbolt_storage_with_any_hard_drive_or_ssd

    When using an HDD, it really doesn't matter thunderbolt or USB. But when using the same SSD on a USB 3 vs TB connection, you see numerous benefits beyond mere transfer rate increases:

    3x more IOPS (input/output operations per second)
    3x faster latency (how fast the SSD responds)

    Now obviously this is an older article but it clearly shows that a SATA-connected SSD benefits greatly from a thunderbolt connection to the point where it's almost comparable to native SATA (internally connecting the SSD)
     
  14. rickpoet thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    Thanks for all the replies...I get the nominal difference using Thunderbolt with a standard hard drive via either USB 3.0 or RV...wondering if I could hone in on the original question. Let's just say I for sure wanted to get a Thunderbolt one. Any thoughts on whether the TB Port powered LaCie Rugged 2TB (here) or the Lacie Desktop 2TB (here) - powered by actually plugging it in with a power cable - might be better? When looking at a CNET review comparing speeds, the Rugged one actually posted faster speeds, but I'm just not sure about how quiet either is and also benefits / cons of TB powered versus separately plugged in powered? Thanks for your thoughts/experiences on this!
     
  15. Jan.K macrumors newbie

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    Nov 29, 2015
    #15
    I have the Lacie Rugged 1TB (replaced the hard disk with a SSD). The hard disk is relatively loud, i'm using it in a separate USB case. Just for backup don't buy a Thunderbolt hard disk. USB 3.0 is much faster than every single hard disk.

    Of course a 3,5" drive is faster than a 2,5", but who cares? The initial backup takes a little bit longer, but for the incremental backups the difference is hardly noticable.

    If you really want a silent backup, get the Lacie Rugged and put a cheap SSD in it. For SSDs Thunderbolt makes a different, because TRIM doesn't work over USB.
     
  16. vkd macrumors 6502a

    vkd

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    #16
    For backup any USB external drive will do. Just get a Samsung External HD. Thunderbolt is nothing more than a marketing term to use on sales literature. It is cost prohibitive. It is worth forgetting about. Unless, of course, you have money to burn and/or uncontrollable senses (which includes the mind). In that case, simply do whatever you like.

    Please note that this is only my personal opinion which you are free to accept or reject at your leisure.
     
  17. JamesPDX macrumors 65816

    JamesPDX

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    #17
    Double-yes! You can put any 2.5" SSD into these, and you don't need tools to swap drives. I have Samsungs and SanDisks in mine. Had I bought it before I dual-SSD'd my Mini, I'd skip that and put my other Angelbird drive in here. One for Recording, one for Sample Libraries and a big RAW cache, One for the Lightroom Catalog: Bam, bam, bam. And there are 2 Thunderbolt 2 ports on the back, so sometimes I hang an extra monitor off of port 2. Check out the specs via the link I posted earlier in this thread. This is, hands down, the best-designed and overall cheapest media drive solution. If I could get 5TB 2.5" drives, I'd buy a couple and rotate them out for monthly backups, then put 'em in cases somewhere safe. If you live in a top 5%-grade internet area, I'd go for Amazon Glacier or Apple. It depends how much you need to backup.

    BMD should get a Nobel prize for offering the smartest solution out there for media creators. The only thing I'd worry about is if they discontinued it. That would be as dumb as a single-port Macbook Lite.

    I still use my Glyph FW800 drives for Spinning Beach Ball Pro and backups, but I've removed the junky Seagate drives and put in Ultrastars. Those are noisy, but they're the best spinners for critical crap. When those die, SSD 2TB should be more ready and cheap. I still use a QNAP NAS [RAID6] with Ultrastars which I would never do again.

    Time Machine? Ehh... Buy CCC and 1-3 Seagate 5TB backup drives. (Keep the USB3 cables plugged-in, because the chassis/board QC is terrible.) Power those up once in awhile and keep a rotating backup. A/B/C, etc. If you really want Time Machine, go for it. It's cheaper to buy a new 5TB Seagate for backups than to screw around with an NAS with enterprise-class drives. It's also way cheaper than Using BluRay, especially MDISC, which I do use on occasion, but only for final masters and archival print files (you still have to actually print, just in case.

    Be bold. I'm done with half-measures. Best of luck!
     
  18. JamesPDX macrumors 65816

    JamesPDX

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    #18
    For daily/weekly backups to a single drive? I totally agree. For Pro Tools and VSL and Media ingest? Nothing beats SSD on Thunderbolt for transfer speed and convenience. Did you check the link? Check it. For copying many many files. it's really quite sweet. Mines not set for RAID. There's nothing quite so handy as this: Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 1.46.12 AM.png That's a Pro Tools session transfer, and not just a random single file test.

    My link below? First several tracks were all done using a 2012 Mini and this BMD unit. No machine noise in the studio is very cool.
     
  19. twilexia macrumors 6502

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    #19
    The one you linked only includes firewire? I'd love to get a sub-$150 thunderbolt external spinner and replace with an SSD but the only ones I can find are the LaCie Rugged http://www.amazon.com/LaCie-Rugged-Thunderbolt-External-Drive/dp/B00KTGGQLM and this Akitio SSD (which I ended up getting, as I think it's a great deal): http://www.amazon.com/Akitio-Neutrino-Thunderbolt-Edition-Transfers/dp/B00DCAYYSE

    Thanks for telling us about your setup. The BMD unit looks utterly fantastic. What do you think about this unit: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/TB4MJB0GB/ it's an SSD enclosure by OWC and while it's not as beautiful as the BMD unit, it is 200$ cheaper.

    I think I will follow your setup and have 1 drive for recording, 1 drive for samples, 1 drive for video editing and 1 drive for (something else). That sounds like a great idea.

    What is spinning beach ball pro? lol
     
  20. briloronmacrumo macrumors 6502

    briloronmacrumo

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    #20
  21. JamesPDX, Dec 9, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015

    JamesPDX macrumors 65816

    JamesPDX

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    #21
    Haha! SBBP=FCPX. If I could sell it, I'd just buy an Avid Media Composer subscription.

    IME: Over the years I've had to return every LaCie product I've owned, except for a caddy-loading SCSI CDR that worked for 3 years in 1998. I've never owned anything by Akitio. If and when I shop, I look at this stuff on Amazon and start my way up from the most negative reviews, because I don't trust fanboys who are vying for review-rewards, etc. From these reviews ask yourself this: "Is the unit mechanically and electrically sound?" Buy you enclosures empty, as they're always filled with cheap drives

    The OWC unit has a big fan inside, and it's got a wall wart, and cannot be rackmounted. The https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicmultidock has no moving parts. If you have a camera that uses SSD's, the idea is that it's "Direct to Edit" that means no transfers. You just swap-out drives as you need them. I just found a way to replace noisy drives and enclosures. All drives will fail sooner than enclosures. This is the first enclosure I've seen (and man, I've been looking a long time) -and this is exactly what I'd make if I were an electronics engineer. And if companies really cared about the environment, then everything would have 10 year, unconditional full replacement warranties on all components and peripherals.) -I have Sony Dual-Sided floppies from 1988 that still work in those EPS samplers. That's great engineering.

    I suggest this: One solution for media, one solution for backups. Buy once, buy smart is my hard-learned motto.

    Drives and enclosures I recommend: BMD MultiDock II, Avastor, Apricorn (small 2.5") and that one G-Drive with Thunderbolt: Pop it open and jam an SSD in there, if you have the skills. Use a camera, because its fiddly.
    My drives-enclosures blacklist: OWC, LaCie, MacAlly, WD, Rocstor, Glyph, QNAP, and Dynex (terrible connectors, they should be banned from making products.)
     
  22. JamesPDX macrumors 65816

    JamesPDX

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    #22

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