Mac vs PC HDD?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by rayjay86, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. rayjay86 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #1
    I'm new to the Apple world. This year I went from iPhone 4 --> iPad 2 --> MacBook Air 13 in a matter of months!

    My new question though is related to these external HDDs. I have a lot of movies saved on my PC hard drive (WD My Book 500GB) but I want to sell it and upgrade (capacity and portability). Currently it is partitioned to FAT32 and NTFS for my PS3 and PC backup respectively.

    I want to go with a Seagate GoFlex because I eventually want to make use of the Thunderbolt port. What I am confused about is this:

    • Can I use any Seagate HDD with my mac?
    • If I buy a non-Mac specific HDD from Seagate will I be able to just format it to use with Mac?
    • How will this effect my use of Time Machine?
    • What is the difference between the Seagate GoFlex and GoFlex Pro models other than the dock??
     
  2. simsaladimbamba, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011

    simsaladimbamba

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    #2
    1. Yes. You can use ANY HDD with Mac OS X or Windows, as it is all depending on the format (file system) they can be formatted in.
    2. Yes.
    3. It shouldn't affect it, unless you want to use the new external HDD for storing TM on, then you have to format the HDD via Disk Utility with HFS+ (Mac OS Extended).

    4. I don't know, but I doubt Seagate is releasing any Thunderbolt adapter for their GoFlex products.

    52
     
  3. rayjay86 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for the reply! I appreciate it.
    I hope Seagate releases a thunderbolt adapter...I'd like to make use of these high transfer speeds that Apple is advertising.
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

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    #4
    That speed will be limited by the maximum speed of the HDD anyway, which will be around 80 to 105 MB/s, depending on the actual 2.5" HDD model.
    And as Seagate does sell a lot of products, creating a TB adapter might be too niche for them.

    51
     
  5. rayjay86 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 15, 2011
    #5
    Oh I didn't realize that. So there isn't really that much of a speed improvement over USB2.0 if Seagate does roll out a Thunderbolt adapter?
    I don't see the benefit of having that port then on the new macs (aside from using it as a miniDisplay for an external monitor)
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #6
    Also you wouldn't really get much of an advantage in a single drive configuration. A generic TB to eSATA adapter might be more useful, but so far none has been announced that I am aware of...

    EDIT: That's what I get for starting to post and taking a phone call. :p

    FW800 or GbE can be noticeably faster than USB2.0.

    Have you seen what Apple has done with their latest display? The TB cable is basically replacing the function of a docking station.

    B
     
  7. simsaladimbamba

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    #7
    USB 2.0 provides a maximum burst speed (not constant) of 35 to 37 MB/s in Mac OS X, Firewire 800 can provide up to 75 MB/s constant write/read speeds, TB can offer much, much more, as there are also external SSD and RAID solutions available. TB is multifunctional and not only meant for external storage and I hope it will have its place, but as most consumers are okay with USB 2.0 and don't really have a massive amount of data to copy every day or hour, USB 2.0 is good enough for them.
    But TB is simply faster and allows much more versatility.

    Btw, USB 2.0 is CPU dependent, thus a transfer via USB goes through the CPU, while a transfer via FW or TB is independent of the CPU, as FW has its own chip and TB has its own chip.
    www.apple.com/thunderbolt

    You're a mod, you aren't supposed to take private calls while on guard duty.


    47
     
  8. rayjay86 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 15, 2011
    #8
    thanks guys I appreciate the input.

    Since you're all pros I have one final question:

    I didn't purchase the USB-Ethernet or the HDMI cable because I figured I coudl get it significantly cheaper online elsewhere.

    eBay has multiple MiniDisplay port - HDMI and USB - Ethernet cables for under $10.

    Will the MiniDispaly-HDMI ones work with the new Thunderbold port? From what I understand, MD ports are compatible with TB ports on the new models.

    I'm assuming the USB - Ethernet will work as well since that's just a simple USB attachment.
     
  9. DCJ001 macrumors 6502

    DCJ001

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    Dec 12, 2007
    #9
    I got a Seagate Goflex Desk drive for use with my new iMac, along with the FireWire 800 adapter. In my experience, FW 800 offers transfer speeds of about 2 1/2x the speed of USB 2.0.

    The primary reason that I went with the Seagate Goflex Desk drive is that Seagate has said that they will offer a Thunderbolt adapter for it by the end of 2011:
    http://consumer.media.seagate.com/2...caramel-topping-to-the-new-apple-macbook-pro/

    I expect Thunderbolt transfer speeds to be between 3GBps and 6GBps, which is between 3 3/4x and 7 1/2x the speed of FW 800.
     
  10. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

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    Jan 25, 2009
    #10
    I'm not real techie with the various port speeds but if my understanding is correct it wouldn't make much difference with the Seagate GoFlex products as their portable line is using 5400 rpm drives and the desktop line is using 5900 rpm drives. I believe that to take advantage of the speed increases available with Thunberbolt would require a 7200 rpm or better hard drive or even an SSD drive.
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #11
    Read the quote carefully. "New products" does not say "adapters for existing products." Most likely they will be releasing some multi-drive arrays or external SSDs that can take advantage of TB.

    B
     
  12. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000

    johnnyturbouk

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    #12
    I believe there was a thunderbolt adapter in the pipeline for the existing
    go flex range - as one can discern here


    and from the horse's mouth
     
  13. balamw, Aug 11, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011

    balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #13
    Thanks for the additional info/links. I sit corrected.

    I still don't think existing single drive SATA products will get much of a real benefit over FW800...

    B
     
  14. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000

    johnnyturbouk

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    #14
    i completely agree - and seagate have sealed the enclosure, as i wanted to tear it apart and put in my owc mercury extreme ssd instead :(

    I use fw800 to transfer large amounts of info on my mac, via fw800; and tbh, i really can not see much difference whilst using the same hardware (seagate go flex) with pc + usb 3. I mean maybe a few minutes if that! Well, this is real life performance, as opposed to benchmarks!
    This is why i chose not to go for the sonnet usb3 expresscard34.


    The real question is, when i can get my grubby mits on a cheap, commercially available thunderbolt enclosure for $20 :D
     
  15. DCJ001 macrumors 6502

    DCJ001

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    #15
    The 1TB and 3TB GoFlex Desk drives are 7200 RPMs. The 2TB GoFlex Desk drive was stated as being 5900 RPM. But I have since seen it stated in the specs that it is 7200 RPM.

    The Thunderbolt adapted is due by the end of 2011 (4 months, 1 week). It will be considerably faster than FW 800.

    As far as the price for the Thunderbolt adapter is concerned, Apple's Thunderbolt cable is $50. I expect that Seagate's Thunderbolt adapter could cost around $20, with the need to purchase a Thunderbolt cable from Apple separately. Or, Seagate might be able to include their own cable with the adapter for a total price of around $50.

    I also expect that OWC comes out with their own external drive enclosures with Thunderbolt ports.
     
  16. i4k20c, Sep 7, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011

    i4k20c macrumors 6502a

    i4k20c

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    #16
    I just made a thread asking about this. Cliff notes version is I can get a 1tb 5200 rpm drive and a 750 gb 7200 rpm drive for nearly the same price. As someone who is interested in using thunderbolt once the adapter appears, would it be much wiser for me to get the 7200 rpm drive?
     

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