Let's talk external drives

makinit1212

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 5, 2016
1
0
I've got a late 2013 MBP and am out of room on my internal drive. Mostly Steam games. My intent is to run an external drive for mostly the games and I may install Windows on there too but that's a whole other thread.

My frustration lies in the fact that I can not seem to find the right combo of enclosure/drive/etc. Going full SSD with Thunderbolt is just not an option. I have found at least one 7200 rpm Thunderbolt drive in 1TB size that may be the best I can do dollar for dollar.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ue&ref_=ox_sc_act_title_2&smid=A1TUBVX502S17H

However, wouldn't a SSHD combo drive be better?

I can't seem to find a portable 2.5 Thunderbolt enclosure. Frustrating.

I did find this: http://www.seagate.com/external-har...rives/performance/goflex-for-mac-thunderbolt/

But, it looks like you have to use a Seagate drive and of course they do not give a list of compatible drives and I would really like an SSHD. I am also assuming there is a bottleneck here somewhere.

Also, if a drive is SATA in it's enclosure isn't it limited to 6gb/s anyhow? How do these drives capitalize on the 10/20 gb/s of Thunderbolt if they have that bottleneck.

I'm getting confused. Sorry.

Essentially, I would like to find a 1-2TB external drive that has Thunderbolt capabilites with either a 7200rpm HDD or a large cache SSHD drive. All for under $200.

I currently have 32 tabs open. Killing myself here. Any help is appreciated.
 

matreya

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,286
127
Given your budget you're limited to a 1TB Thunderbolt drive like the G-Tech one you linked to.

If you want speed, then you'd have to spend considerably more on an SSD, an SSHD is a drive more designed as a system boot drive, with the limited flash caching blocks that carry the operating system.

Hard drives may have SATA3 connections and manufacturers may quote speeds up to 6 Gbps, but it's a massive lie. The real bottleneck is the drive itself. The best a 7200 RPM 2.5 inch HDD is going to achieve is about 1-1.2 Gbps.

In terms of size, the largest capacity for a 2.5 inch 7200 RPM drive is 1TB. If you want higher capacities like 1.5 and 2TB, the speed drops to 5400 RPM.
 
Last edited:

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,556
419
Atlanta
What about backup? If you aren't already doing backups to an external drive, you are already playing with fire.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,924
6,978
If you want speedy external storage, and can live with USB3, look at these:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00ZTRY532?tag=delt-20

Note: I don't think you can install Windows on a USB-based drive, this might be a downside.

But other than that, a USB3-based SSD will be the near-equal in speed of a thunderbolt-based SSD (assuming the drives are using SATA connections).
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,556
419
Atlanta
But other than that, a USB3-based SSD will be the near-equal in speed of a thunderbolt-based SSD (assuming the drives are using SATA connections).
Agreed if the enclosure is doing UASP towards the Mac. Always get USB 3 enclosures that do UASP.
 
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