Fastest Bus Powered USB3 external HD?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by JT3Jon, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. JT3Jon, Sep 11, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012

    JT3Jon macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2008
    I'm looking for the fastest bus powered USB 3.0 external HD for use with my macbook pro. I would LOVE at least 2TB, but can get by with less if necessary. I'm looking to stream samples for music composition, so it needs to access thousands of small files from different part of the disk as quickly as possible.

    I was thinking of getting the Western Digital My Passport 2 TB USB 3.0 (goes for $180 at Amazon), which says it has a 5 Gb/s (Max), but it doesn't say how fast the actual drive is. Are there any drives by different manufacturers as big and fast (or faster) for less? For example, I found a Seagate GoFlex 1.5TB portable HD at Costco for only $99, but seagate says NOTHING about the specs/speed!

    I'm currently using a Seagate 3TB GoFlex Desk USB 3 External Drive, which is working very well, but I dont like having the power brick. Or will switching from a 3.5" to a 2.5" sacrifice performance, no matter which brand I go with, due to the slower throughput on 2.5 drives?

    Thanks in advance for your help or reply.
  2. DaveNinja macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2005
    with USB 3 it seems like you're bottle neck is going to be the drive speed, 5400 rpm, 7200 rpm, SSD. usual speeds for those should be like 80-100 MB/sec, 90-120 MB.sec, 100-200 MB/sec
  3. iproductsuser macrumors 6502a

    Apr 13, 2012
  4. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    Ive been happy with my Max 5G from Thermaltake. I put a 2TB Barracuda 7200 RPM SATA III drive in it.
  5. Djlild7hina macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2009
    I don't believe there are any drives aside from the WD My Passport (most likely 5400RPM) that are at least 2TB and don't require a power brick.
  6. PeteJames macrumors regular


    Sep 11, 2010
    That's all I can find too. Why can't they just put a 7200 in it?!
  7. opinio, Jul 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013

    opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013

    In terms of purely bus powered (and non-SSD)...

    The HGST Touro Pro is the fastest HDD 1 TB drive. It has the HGST 7200rpm 1tb inside. This drive is faster than a 750gb 7200rpm Scorpio black.

    The HGST is the fastest largest HDD on the market. Any bigger than 1tb and it is 5400rpm.

    Make sure it is the pro version.
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Fast and portable USB3?
    This is what you want:

    One of the testing/review sites compared this to thunderbolt enclosures, and found that USB3, running via the Firmtek enclosure, was faster!
  9. mwhities macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2011
    Love this. Definitely going to get one.
  10. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    Yep - Agree!
  11. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    It looks like you need to get an enclosure and a 7200 RPM bare drive and assemble it, since the budget external hard disks like the one you found at Costco are most likely 5400 RPM (price is the selling point - not performance) That said, it will probably be hard to get a significant, if any, performance increase over USB 3.0 interfaced desktop drives. Since you are accessing a bunch of small files a SSD would be a solid upgrade since the IOPS performance is superior, but you could only get a 256GB drive in the price range you mentioned.

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