Most Reliable Thunderbolt Raid External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by AndrewMRiv, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. AndrewMRiv macrumors regular


    Oct 29, 2013
    Hello, all. I am looking into saving up for a nice 3-4tb thunderbolt external hard drive for my new iMac that had a 256gb SSD. I plan to have the OS and Apps on the SD while the external will have my songs I record (logic), videos I edit (final cut), photo library, and large iTunes library.

    I will later buy additional thunderbolt drives and daisy chain when I need to.

    My question is on speed and reliability.

    I have mostly hears great things about Promise and G-Technology (G-Raid), mixed reviews on Dorbos and Lacies, and mostly negative things about Western Digital. Haven't heard much about seagate.

    At this point, I am most likely leaning towards the G-Technology G-Raid with 4tb.

    Can anyone with more experience give me some input?

    Thank you.
  2. Nemic macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2012
    I cannot speak for other Raid devices, as I have never used them.

    I have used a Drobo FS (their first network attached one) for quite a few years now, and have never had a single problem with it. I have upgraded all of the hard drives over the years; when my capacity has started to fill and also when larger drives came onto the market.

    I love that fact that the Drobo is very easy to expand in this manner. It has the ability to grow as your storage needs increase.

    I have recently bought a new Drobo 5D Thunderbolt/ USB 3.0 and have used it exclusively with my MacBook pro Retina. So far I am only using 2 of the drive slots out of the 5. I will add more 4TB drives soon as I want the dual disk redundancy that Drobo can offer. i.e If 2 drives fail at the same time then all your data is still safe and accessable - this is a huge plus for me.

    It's early days (as far as the 5D goes), but I have to say I have a lot of trust and faith with my Drobo's.

    I also have the Seagate Thunderbolt desktop drive. 2 in fact, 1 x 3TB and 1 x 4TB. I have been very pleased with these, and find them to be nice and fast.

    But with every type of single drive solution if it fails then that's it. Unless you have a backup then it's all gone. I never rely on any single solution and have multiple copies of everything.

    Good luck with your choices, there are lots of them available to you.
  3. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    I am currently using two TB RAID enclosures. The Promise Pegasus R4 and the Lacie 2Big. Both have been working fine for about a year and a half, but recently I am finding the Lacie to be a little bit flaky. When I power it on, I can hear the HDDs spin up, but the volume does not get mounted. Power cycling once, or two to three, times solves the problem. I have to say though that it runs perfectly fine otherwise.
  4. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    The areca brand has been noted for highly reliable, durable, high performance, robust functionality, no nonsense RAID and RAID cards..

    for example

    They also offer a highly rated two TB port 8 bay RAID enclosure for more $$$.

    Unlike some others, this brand typically doesn't cut corners to save cost, so they seem to be out of price range of the casual users, perhaps overkill, but its an alternative to the ones listed and life is full of compromise.

    If you are thinking about booting from the RAID, you will be much happier with the performance provided by an areca device. But you can get by with any of the devices on the market.
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Both the wife and I run LaCie 2Big 6TB without problem.
  6. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
  7. danielwsmithee macrumors 65816

    Mar 12, 2005
    I'll second the suggestion for the OWC Thunderbay 4 mini, if you'd prefer the larger 3.5" drive form factor they have a none mini version.

    One thing to remember is that these enclosures do not have hardware raid controllers. Just an enclosure with four SATA drive bays. Which has its pros and cons.

    I personally am planning on picking up the mini and some 2.5" SSDs to load in it.

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