Looking for a external hard drive/storage options

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by kingston1987, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. kingston1987 macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2016
    Hello everyone,

    So about a few months back when I tried to edit some of my 1080P/4K camera footages on FCPX, I realized while importing the clips from my camera onto my rMBP, it immediately took up 40-50GB of my mere 128 GB SSD. I did not realize (I edit for fun/personal projects) that these high def footages can take up so much. I don't own a single device of external storage at all, not even an USB stick, so ever since then I haven't been able to download anything for my laptop because of the space these footages take up and I don't want to risk losing them.

    IN SHORT, I'm looking for an external hard drive option for my rMBP. Does it matter what I get? If I get one of those USB 2 external hard drives from years ago that cost like $30 for 1 TB, will the transfer speed be super slow versus if I got something like the Thunderbolt LaCie that are a lot pricer for less storage.

    If I'm only an enthusiast and will only have to transfer 1080P and 4K clips/footages from time to time, is it worth getting a speedy external hard drive? Aside from clips I'll probably use it for movies, my iPhone Videos/Photos, and school files.

    I'm sure by now you can tell I know nothing about external hard drives, so I hope to seek help from you guys on what I should buy. I'm an university student so if there's any bang for the buck champion drives feel free to suggest it to me haha.

  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    There's a lot of options available for external storage.
    Apparently you also don't have ANY backup of any important files/pictures/videos.
    So, you have two good reasons to get external storage: safe backups of your important stuff, and clearing out space on your (probably too small) internal drive.
    I don't think that I have seen any storage drives for "like $30 for 1TB", although $60 - $75 for 1 TB is very do-able, maybe a little less.

    I wouldn't get a USB 2.0 device now. You may not use that storage every day, but if you transfer your 40-50GB at a time, you would be kicking yourself everytime you have to wait, and then wait some more for it to finish. Always fun when you suddenly realize that you want to pack-up-n-go with your laptop, and it's STILL copying your files :(

    As you mention, Thunderbolt drives would be your top solution, but still top price. It's getting cheaper, but there also isn't the selection of devices that there are for USB.
    And, USB 3.0 is not significantly different in price from USB 2.0 - So, particularly for your occasional use, shop for USB 3.0.
    Not just "USB 3.0 compatible" but USB 3.0/3.1 interface. Looking for the letters "UASP", which denotes full speed SSD use on USB is a great tip, I think. That can help you decide that you have found the most versatile drive possible (upgrading the internal to much faster SSD is one way to take advantage of that) That option would be nice for editing video without having to transfer the file to your faster, internal drive.
  3. kingston1987 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2016

    Thank you so much for the helpful information! And you're right, I probably shouldn't cheap out on the lowest end choice because I do get impatient sometimes waiting for things to download. Just a quick question, if I'm looking to buy the new rMBP, which as we know for now only offers USB C (possible thunderbolt option too?), are there any USB C hard drives available? Or would I just have to stick to adapters at this point.

    I think I'll look into a USB 3.0/3.1 external hard drive. You're right though there are so many...any brand/series I should look into? :)
  4. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Just search for "USB-C hard drive"
    Here's what Amazon shows right now.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    1. Get something that's USB3. It's backward compatible.

    2. You could get a platter-based hard drive that holds 1 or 2tb. Lots of capacity but... slower.

    3. You could get an external SSD. These cost more for less capacity, but are very fast. Perhaps something like this:

    I'd go for the 240gb size, perhaps 480.

    4. You could get a "bare" SSD -and- an external 2.5" USB3 enclosure. Might cost a little less than option 3 above, but will be just as fast. BE SURE you buy an enclosure that is SPECIFICALLY STATED to support "UASP".
    I like Crucial SSD's, myself.

Share This Page