Macbook Air - Backup to USB or SDHC Card

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by superdudeo, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. superdudeo macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2010
    Now that these are coming down in price, is anyone using them to exclusively back up with time machine? I'm thinking it will be a lot quicker to backup too, with the MBA being SSD. I've seen a 32GB USB stick for £20. Would USB or a SDHC card be quicker?

  2. BigBeast macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2009
    Both are slow.

    Both are slow- although technically, there are SDHC classes that suggest they have better read/write times, but these estimations are just as ambiguous as battery length projections.

    BTW- you can back up all your crap into a 32GB card?? I need at least 70GB of space and I don't have much except OS X, music, and documents on my compurer- oh and GarageBand and M$ Office- both of which are HUGE.
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    When you consider SDHC or SDXC cards, look at the "Class" rating. A Class 4 card has a throughput of 4MB/s. A Class 10 has a throughput of 10MB/s. There are some cards offering 15MB/s, but they tend to be pricey. I have seen 32GB Class 10 cards for about $50. 64GB cards run about $200 right now.

    As for USB 2.0, it has theoretical throughput of 60MB/s, with speeds of about 30MB/s being the realistic speed. However, if you use a USB SD card slot, you'll again be limited by the speed of the SD card. Consider a USB 2.0 enclosure that you can insert a hard drive into. You will be more likely to get closer to 30MB/s.

    I back up to a Time Capsule, but I also use Carbon Copy Cloner to back up to an external hard drive over USB 2.0. It would be a lot faster if Apple adopted USB 3.0 or if the next version gets Light Peak, but still I can back up 50GB in about 30 minutes.
  4. T4R06, Dec 12, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010

    T4R06 macrumors 65816

    Oct 8, 2007
    I have the xporter patriot 32gb and it's been over a year now it didn't failed me. It's so fast and rugged. The best and fastest USB stick i'ved used..

    It seems the price went higher..
  5. Thiol macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    Also note that with most USB flash drives, the read speed is great but the write speed is very very slow. The average commercial ones (especially the cheap ones) write at only 5-10 MB/s. If you want to try this, seriously consider the better flash drives (like Corsair GTR Voyager, Kanguru e-Flash) or a USB 3.0 drive. They will cost more but also perform 2-4x better. Just be sure to check reviews or specs before purchasing.
  6. tmoerel macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2008
    Well it all depends on the USB memory/SDHC/SDXC maximum speed. But it will never be more than the maximum speed of USB2 as the SD cardreader in the MBA is connected to the USB bus.
  7. gschuch macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2012
    Backup to SDXC

    Thought this might be a viable backup option, however, try as I might, it still takes several days to complete a backup of my new macbook air. Has anyone solved this problem?
  8. BigSaintDogs macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Rhode Island, USA
    I back up to a WD 1GB Hard drive in the tough case and it is in my travel bag. I back sure to back up at home before a trip to our Time Capsule and the Portable. Ya just never know.

    :apple: MBP 17 2009
    :apple: MBA 13 2011
    :apple: iPhone 4S 64G
    :apple: iPod Classic 160G
    :apple: Time capsule 2010 2TB
  9. macbookman83 macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2011
    New York
    SD cards data write and read speeds are usually pretty slow :(.

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