Let's talk external drives

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by makinit1212, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. makinit1212 macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2016
    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.


    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.
  2. matreya, Mar 5, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016

    matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    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.
  3. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    What about backup? If you aren't already doing backups to an external drive, you are already playing with fire.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    If you want speedy external storage, and can live with USB3, look at these:

    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).
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Agreed if the enclosure is doing UASP towards the Mac. Always get USB 3 enclosures that do UASP.

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