Need 1TB external hard drive - what is best to use?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Hadakeeko, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. Hadakeeko, Mar 7, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017

    Hadakeeko macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2017
    I need 1TB external hard drive for Time Machine, but can't decide what to buy from those that fit size and price.

    Expansion Portable, Seagate / 1 TB STEA1000400
    Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000202
    Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000201
    Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000203
    Backup Plus, Seagate (1 TB) STDR1000200
    Seagate Backup Plus (1TB) STDR1000203
    SEAGATE/MAXTOR HDD External M3 Portable (2.5'/1TB/USB 3.0)

    Elements, WD / 1 TB WDBUZG0010BBK-EESN

    A-Data Durable HD650 1TB AHD650-1TU3-CBK

    Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB HDTB310EK3AA

    GOODRAM DataGO 1TB USB 3.0

    Among there, any advice which I should pick?

    EDIT: What is the overall opinion on Verbatim external drives?
    Verbatim Store 'n' Go SuperSpeed USB 3.0 2,5'' 1 TB
    Verbatim Store & Go 2.5'' 1TB USB3
    Verbatim Store 'n' Go 2.5'' GEN 2, 1TB, USB 3.0
    Verbatim Store'n'Go 1TB 2.5'' GEN2 USB 3.0
    Verbatim Store 'n' Go 2.5'' 1,5TB USB 3
  2. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    Flip a coin. I've used Seagate, WD, Toshiba, and a Samsung-branded drive, among others. I generally buy on price and then retire/replace the drive every 8-12 months. Or, buy two and swap them occasionally. As a rule, you won't go far wrong with Seagate, WD, or Toshiba.
  3. LxHunter macrumors 6502

    Nov 14, 2010
    Yep this.
    I have 3 drives attached to Airport Extreme. 2 for TimeCapsule backups and 1 for archive (not critical) files. I just buy the least expensive when on sale.
    They are consumables to me and replace them at about 18 months. I would never count on a single drive no matter who made it.
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Agreed. They are all pretty much the same. OP just decide what size you want and form factor (2.5" or 3.5") then grab whatever USB3 drive is on sale.
  5. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    Yup, get whichever one is the most economical, with the plan to get more than one on a recurring basis.
  6. whbunn macrumors member


    May 29, 2009
    --- Post Merged, Mar 7, 2017 ---
    Check out OWC. Their drive are very good, been using them for ages.
  7. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    I've no issue with the quality of the OWC stuff, but in general you'll pay a price premium. Just spot-checking I'd guess at least a 50% premium on outboard drives and maybe more. I don't think one gets extra value worth that premium, but that's just me, and it's not my money ...
  8. logicstudiouser macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2010
    I agree with the others, find the one with the best price. They are all very similar for performance.
    Right now for my main backup I am using a Toshiba external hard drive - no complaints. My old 2011 MacBook Pro had A-Data ram and SSD and a Samsung backup drive, no complaints about them either.

    The only thing you absolutely should not do is buy a used hard drive.
  9. tentales macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2010
    I like the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB version, because it costs like $10-20 more than the 1TB when on sale. Usually around $80 for 2TB.

    In terms of reliability, there really is very little difference between manufacturers these days. I personally find the WD drives a little heavier, so when carrying drives around, I tend to go for the Slim Seagates.
  10. GGJstudios, Mar 8, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I've been extremely satisfied with the Samsung T1 drives (now replaced by the T3 series). They're small, lightweight and very fast. Review. Samsung site.
  11. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    They are pretty much ALL THE SAME - there will be no real world performance difference that you would notice. Just buy the cheapest one from a reputable supplier (amazon, etc) and it's job done. It's really no more complicated than that.
  12. Ken Johnson Suspended

    Ken Johnson

    Dec 23, 2016
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    At a time I have 3 HDD and one SSD. A Segate, one Toshiba and western digital. All are in very good condition and using them last four years.
  13. carestudio macrumors 6502

    Aug 6, 2008
    What is your budget? take a look at Samsung's T3 SSD.
  14. csurfr macrumors 68020

    Dec 7, 2016
    Seattle, WA
    Do you just have them connected via a powered hub? I always wondered if this would work and they would show up in the finder sidebar...
  15. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2007
    Midwest America.
    But what's the lifetime of an SSD. I hear they have a definite life span. What happens when they start dying? Do users lose info?
  16. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    In theory, yes the NAND cells are "rated" for a given number of write/read cycles. But the reality is they often last much longer, and even then don't normally just up and stop working. There are couple of long term tests here and here that might interest you.
  17. JamesMike macrumors demi-god


    Nov 3, 2014
    Toshiba has worked well for me. Look for a good sale no matter what you decide to buyl.
  18. tentales macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2010
    18 months?? That's a bit wasteful. I've got older 1TB drives from 5+ years ago, that work well as cheap backup/archival drives. Main working drives are of course SSDs and "near-line" working drives of the 2-4TB variety. My last drive failure was in 2001. I wouldn't dump them unless they failed or I'd need higher speed/capacity.

    Modern drives (ie. the last 15+ years) have far less failure rates then some online reviews would have you believe.
    Of course, some people drop them and then try to claim "failure" with the manufacturer. Trust me, they can tell!
    I used to work for a data storage company in the 90s and 2000s and our actual failure rates were 1 in 1000 per quarter, those were 10'000rpm drives installed in cooled data centres.

    At least keep them until their warranty periods run out, which varies between 3-5 years.
  19. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    What does your setup look like? I.e. How are they connected to the time capsule and how do you switch between archive and backup?
  20. Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

    Apr 16, 2015
    What's the real world benefit to this? Is there a significant speed difference writing to an external SSD, over an HDD? I have an internal 1TB SSD, but I understood that the bus speed will determine how fast data moves across the system, which is then limited by the port. Will I experience faster transfer speeds via USB 3.0 than I do now with an HHD? Will Thunderbolt make a bigger difference? Or does Time Machine limit the speed?

    SSDs are not cheap, so unless there's a major difference in backup speed or other benefits, it seems like a more expensive, and less reliable method over time.
  21. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    It's wasteful until it isn't. :)

    The problem I've had with external backup drives is sudden death at about a year. I don't normally keep them powered up all the time, so it's entirely possible that it's a power cycling issue, but I don't care what it is. At $60 or so per drive I can afford to toss a drive into the backup drive archive drawer in the back basement every year or so. It buys me peace of mind, plus the assurance that if I do need to go back 3 years for something, the drive it's on is likely to still be working. That doesn't happen often, thank goodness, but it does happen.

    Now, if we're talking about internal or regular (not backup) data storage drives, I agree. I'll run them to failure or for at least 6-7 years, whichever comes first.
  22. LxHunter, Mar 11, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017

    LxHunter macrumors 6502

    Nov 14, 2010
    --- Post Merged, Mar 11, 2017 ---
    Yes connected with a Belkin powered 4 port USB hub.
    I am connected to the AirPort Extreme over WiFi.
    Drives are slower that a USB connection but doesn't matter to me.
    The Airport Extreme shows up in the finder sidebar - click on that to show the drives.
    Have to first give permission to "connect" or something like that.
    The Drives do not show up in the finder sidebar.

    PS: I have a Samsung T3 which I use to carry archive and media files when I am out.
    And use to transfer larger files.
    Great fast drive.
    And crazy small ... almost too small .... gets lost in my laptop bag with all the other geek gadgets.

    Attached Files:

  23. LxHunter, Mar 11, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017

    LxHunter macrumors 6502

    Nov 14, 2010
    Depends what your data and time is worth to you. I give away the reformatted drives
    But yes in a RAID enclosure or similar setup just run them until they die.
    PS: Last month bought 48 refurbed drives for my guys for the NetApp rack of about 140 drives. They specify performance - I choose the lowest TCO. You know the drill, when drive fails just yank out, smash with hammer and replace with one from the spares pile. So yes wasteful to replace before failure in this environment.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 11, 2017 ---
    Connected to the AirPort Extreme via WiFi. Drives connected to Belkin 4 port powered USB hub plugged into the AirPort Extreme single USB port.
    2 Drives setup in Time Machine as backup.
    Connect to the archive drive through the AirPort Extreme - shows up in finder side bar. First time have to click and permission connect or something like that.
  24. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Pick the cheapest.

    Word of advice tho do a secure erase on the drive then check the drive for errors.
  25. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2007
    Midwest America.
    Thanks. The hysteria over SSD lifespans seems overblown yet I had no concrete info to counter it. When I saw large enterprise storage arrays adopting SSD technology, I wondered how true the lifetime may be. Yet I've had Seagate drives die within weeks of first use. Backup, backup, backup...

    EMC is selling petabyte all flash storage arrays. Impressive. SSD's can't be all that bad.


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