Keep HDD format?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Kaze46, May 30, 2011.

  1. Kaze46 macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2011
    Hi, I've recently bought a ADATA 500Gb External HDD mainly to be used to keep movies and music files to free some space on my MBP's HDD, now it came formatted as FAT32, should i keep it that way or should I loose the windows compatibility if the native mac format gives me better performance? (btw I'm kinda new to this)
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    It won't affect performance, but if you have files larger than 4GB, you'll need to format it to either HFS+ or exFAT. exFAT is compatible with newer versions of windows, but doesn't have a 4GB file size limitation.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If you only plan to use the drive with your Mac, use HFS+. If you're intending to share with Windows PCs, NTFS or exFAT.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    • Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
    • To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
    • To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
    • To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
  4. Kaze46 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2011
    ok thanks! I guess I'll keep it at that, my files are less than 2GB each so i guess i'm good with that.
    edited, ok bigger table, now i'll have to choose wisely
  5. aniketroxx macrumors member


    Feb 10, 2011
    Thx for blaring out this information from your mind !! But what will if in future FAT 128 will appear ?

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