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macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 7, 2003
not sure
what are the best external storage options for the new iMac? I am thinking about getting a 2TB internal SSD and then some kind of expandable storage backup. Does anyone have any recommendations? Am looking at the LaCie big dock.
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macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2020
How will you be using external storage? Exclusively for backups or also to contain working files that you will NOT have on the internal SSD?

Do you have an idea of how much external storage you will need now and an estimate of how that may grow over the next 5 years?

How important is speed?

With the LaCie, are you considering it for usage in the RAID1 or RAID0 configuration?


macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2015
on the land line mr. smith.
It really depends on needs. Just about any external HD will be similar. If you want expandable...usually that means a RAID array of some sort. For backups, a single drive is easy and inexpensive, and you can run more than one and swap them on a schedule for redundancy. HDs are cheap, so I would start with something like a 4TB drive.

While nearly any brand external drive these days is fine...most are factory sealed and the enclosure can't ever be opened without voiding the warranty. Many are plastic, which is a good insulator...keeps the heat in. Aluminum cases are good sinks, and help keep the drive a bit cooler. Something like this is a good place to start, either with a HD, or use your own.

LaCie makes nice cases, but they put a standard drive inside that they select (not the user). The LaCie big dock is TB3 which is great, but a premium cost. The ports are handy too...a drive plus a dock. The Seagate IronWolf drive is good for running continuously. The case is aluminum. This should be great for most any user, but a premium product at a premium price.

If you do want expandable, we can talk about pros and cons of RAID array with multiple bays.
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Erehy Dobon

Feb 16, 2018
No service
Much of this depends on your budget.

My normal M.O. is to buy a raw 3.5" HDD and shove it into the appropriate external enclosure (usually $25-30). In the past 12-18 months, that means 12GB or 16GB spinners.

I will only use SSDs when I expect to use the external drive as an alternate boot drive. I have a 120GB 2.5" external SSD for testing plain macOS installations. I also have a 500GB m.2 external SSD for cloning my Mac mini 2018's 1TB boot drive.
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macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
I'd suggest a 1tb INTERNAL SSD instead.

Take the $$$ you save and use that for external storage.

Remember, regardless of what size external drive you get (SSD or HDD), you need to get ANOTHER drive with which to back it up...
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