Internal vs external HDD Speed

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Erasmus, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #1
    Hello all,

    I'm looking to buy a 2011 MBP, and I'm wondering if I should jump on the 128GB SSD upgrade, or go with one of the standard HDDs. I'm obviously worried about the small space available on the SSD (bigger SSDs are way too expensive ATM).

    So, I'm wondering about the practicality of going with the internal 128GB SSD, and then buying a portable disk drive to hold any extra apps and media. Probably also buy a big external for backups too.

    So, my question is what the data read/write speeds are like for external hard disks versus internal ones?

    My present HDD is a 120GB, very small, very slow, and a couple of externals.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

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    #2
    USB 2.0 will limit you to roughly 35MB/s, in bursts and using CPU cycles.
    Firewire 800 will limit you to 65 to 70 MB/s, using its own controller and no CPU cycles.
    Therefore the limit is the interface you use, FW800 currently being the fastest one until Thunderbolt HDDs arrive.
    Internal and external HDDs are the sae, except the external HDDs can come as 2.5" or 3.5" HDD.

    I currently have a 60GB SSD inside my MBP and have various external 2.5" HDDs connected via Firewire and USB, though not all at the same time, only when needed. I can live with that.
     
  3. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    #3
    I would imagine that we will se Thunderbolt external drives pretty soon.

    These will be fast, and buss powered. I might be wrong, but I think even the 3.5" externals could be buss powered.

    This buss will make an external 3.5" drive as fast as an internal drive, and SSD's much faster than that.

    So your future-proofed that way at least.

    Note: it's difficult for me to even write "thunderbolt" it seems so silly. I thought "Macbook" was lame but this takes the cake, i'm afraid :D
     
  4. Erasmus thread starter macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #4
    Agreed. As far as I'm concerned, it's called Light Peak.

    At this moment in time, I'm thinking 128GB SSD, a WD 500 GB FW800 (Mac Edition), and a boring WD 2TB desktop external for Time Machine and other backups. Comes to about 400 bucks.
     
  5. zippys macrumors member

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    Feb 25, 2011
    #5
    USB 3.0 has transfer rates around 400 MB/s (can go higher but depends on overhead). The fastest external SSD's are sub-300 MB/s. There were some internal SSD's that were just announced today that can reach 500-550 MB/s but they dont use either USB (or Thunderbolt).

    If you are just using an external HDD for storage than you just need a 7200 rpm drive which USB 3.0 can easily handle.
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

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    #6
    The current MBPs only have USB 2.0.
    Maybe there will be a Tunderbolt > USB 3.0 adapter down the road though.
     
  7. zippys macrumors member

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    Feb 25, 2011
    #7
    External drives can't write/read faster than the throughput provided by USB 3.0 so waiting for a TB-equipped drive is not required. The only thing a TB external HDD will allow is daisy chaining.

    I don't like the idea of daisy chaining though... The main examples that are brought up are putting external hard drives with monitors and other peripherals all on one connection to the laptop (same # of cables in total). What if I want to remove one of the external drives and take it with me? Everything farther down the chain from that hard drive will need to be turned off before removal.

    It just seems like a novelty item at the moment since it just reduces the # of cables connected to your laptop but also introduces other issues.
     
  8. zippys macrumors member

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    Feb 25, 2011
    #8
    ya I know :p I'm just mad they didn't include a USB 3.0 port so I have to shoot down everything that touts TB lol.
     
  9. simsaladimbamba

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    #9
    Apple did not include USB 3.0 to promote Thunderbolt, which is the only way they could successfully do it. If USB 3.0 would be included, why go for a new interface? (from a consumer point of view)
     
  10. ZZANG macrumors regular

    ZZANG

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    #10
    :eek: shocking concept eh? USB 3.0 is the "rival." Why support something that goes against your own? :rolleyes:
     

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