How much memory for external?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Hitman1717, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Hitman1717 macrumors regular

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    Sep 5, 2009
    #1
    Going to store family videos and photos - lots of them. How big should I go for an external drive so that I don't have to worry about running out of space?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #2
    It depends on how much you have or will need to store. Some may never fill a 1TB drive in their whole lifetime. Others need far more than that right now. You say "lots of them", but that's a relative term. Some say they have "lots of songs" in their iTunes library, meaning 400. Others say "lots of songs", meaning 25,000.
     
  3. Hitman1717 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Lol I see your point. Well, I'm guessing 10,000 pics and I'm converting about 50 DVDs of home movies. Also buying an hd camcorder and will be uploading vids of the kids for years.
     
  4. eggfoam, Jun 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011

    eggfoam macrumors member

    eggfoam

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #4
    Agreed that we need a better idea of how much you have/intend to have to give a proper answer.

    That said, there's no real reason to buy a drive that's less than 1TB these days. The cost savings are marginal. For family photos (i.e., you're not a pro shooting really big RAW files on a top-end DSLR) a 1TB drive should last you quite a while. Video is another story, especially if it's HD. If you plan to shoot and archive a lot of HD video, you should probably buy the largest drive you can afford (and then buy another one for backup).

    ADDED: Even if they are large RAW files, 10,000 pics won't eat up more than a quarter of a 1TB drive. The 50 DVDs (single-layer, I'm assuming) would account for another 250GB or so. But new HD video will rapidly consume more space. I think you should start at 2TB or 3TB (the largest mass-market, single-drive solutions you'll find right now). Maybe buy a pair of drives in that range, and if you find you're running out, you can buy more in the future when they're cheaper, or you can look at external enclosures with multiple drive bays.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #5
    One method you can use is to see how much space your existing media is consuming. Then apply some multiple to that.
     
  6. Hitman1717 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Just saw a Western Digital My Book 3TB External USB 2.0 Hard Drive for $180. That a good deal? I've never bought this much memory, but I like the idea of having space to fill.
     
  7. Dresevski macrumors 6502

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    #7
    With your new HD camcorder you will be surprised at how much space you actually need, especially since it seems you are quite into videos. I always buy as large of a hard drive as I can because I don't like having multiple things connected to my iMac (a little bit OCD). Get it as large as your budget allows and you might consider something with firewire since USB 2.0 speeds upset me sometimes
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #8
    Another approach is to buy as much reasonably-priced storage as you can afford. You can never have too much space.
     
  9. Hitman1717 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    What do you mean, Dresevski? USB 2.0 not good enough? Never used a FireWire.
     
  10. eggfoam macrumors member

    eggfoam

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #10
    Agreed. For anything BUT video, I would say 3TB is overkill. For you, it's probably not. But remember that you don't "have" it unless you also have it backed up. I would tweak this advice a little: buy as much reasonably-priced storage as you can afford, but buy it in the form of two equally sized drives. Store the backup drive disconnected and away from your computer -- in a fireproof safe, locked in a drawer at work, at a friend's house -- so that if some disaster happens, you don't lose it all. Plug it in occasionally (as per your risk tolerance) and copy new stuff over. CarbonCopyCloner is useful for this.

    I say this as someone who has been burglarized twice.
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #11
    Firewire 400 is faster, and Firewire 800 is significantly faster in data transfers than USB 2.0.
     
  12. eggfoam macrumors member

    eggfoam

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #12
    Agreed. For importing/editing your video, it will probably be fastest to keep it on your internal HD (unless you have a laptop with a slower HDD -- then a fast FW800 drive could be better). When it comes time to archive it, transfer will be faster with FW800 than FW400 or USB2. Of course, if you have a new iMac or Macbook Pro, Thunderbolt would be fastest of all. If you have one of these and money to burn, you could order one of the new Promise 4TB RAID units.
     
  13. Objector macrumors member

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    May 16, 2011
    #13
    If I were you, I wouldn't buy an external harddisk in an enclosure. I'd opt for a HD-dock with firewire connection. Then you just buy 3,5" disks for a really low price and fill them with data, then you store them in a protective box and label them with the content.

    I've just bought a Freecom Dock Quattro for that.
     
  14. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Just a though:
    a year from now, a 2TB drive will cost what a 1TB drive costs today, and a 3TB drive will cost what a 2TB drive does today.

    Don't over buy storage; it just keeps getting less expensive!

    I would agree with the previous poster who said it makes no sense to buy anything smaller than 1TB - with the caveat that it only applies to 3.5" drives. I've started using 2.5" drives more as they are quieter and fan noise has started to annoy me. 2.5" 1TB drives are still a bit pricy, so other sizes still make sense.

    Also, I would content that it is better to have several 1T devices than one larger device, as you can use them to back each other up as well as for raw capacity.
     
  15. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

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    Sep 7, 2010
    #15
    Check out Amazon. They have a WD external 3TB USB 2.0 for just under $150. I have one and am using it for backup quite happily.
     
  16. Hitman1717 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    Does WD make an external that uses a FireWire? I do agree with the other posters about speed.
     
  17. Badger^2, Jun 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011

    Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #17
    heres 2.5TB for $100
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...8&AID=10659349&PID=552179&is=REG&A=details&Q=

    3TB are still too much in the price vs size race. (heres a better deal, FYI: http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digit...ta/B0042Z55RM?tag=dealnewscom&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER)

    Ive seen 2TB for under $85.

    Firewire is great, allows for daisy-chaining (lots of drives on one port) but the cost premium just isnt worth it just for storage. If this was going to be a heavily accessed drive, then FW would be something to consider -- but its not -- so no worries.

    2TB WD with FW800 is $50 more than the 2.5TB and $65 more than 2TB USB 2: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...al_WDBAAJ0020HSL_NESN_2TB_My_Book_Studio.html
     
  18. Hitman1717 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 5, 2009
    #18
    Thanks Badger. So you don't think a FireWire external is worth it even for the speed? If not, I might just go with the first link you posted.
     
  19. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #19
    Not with the way you described its use.
     
  20. Hitman1717 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 5, 2009
    #20
    Well, thanks everyone for the advice. I think I'm going with that first link Badger posted. And like he said, I wouldn't be accessing it daily - just to save the videos from iMovie so that I can delete them from the hard drive. And then opening the files to watch the movies or view the pictures.
     
  21. Lagmonster macrumors 6502

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    Sep 22, 2007
    #21
    Buy something that allows for a backup strategy -- either raid or a second device.
     

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