Photos library - ExFat vs Extended OSX vs APFS

conamor

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 27, 2013
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Good day,

I am going to backup my drives and would like to know if it is better to have all drives formatted the same way and also regarding performance while opening / editing the photo library.

Main SSD drive: APFS
1st Backup drive: OSX extended
2nd Backup drive: ExFat

Should I be using APFS for all the drives? Will that increase performance?

Thank you!

edits: I do not need to connect it to Windows.
 

F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
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NYC & Newfoundland
Are your backup drives mechanical or solid state, how large are they and will they ever need to be read by a Mac computer that has an earlier operating system than Mojave?

I can't think of any reason to format an external drive exFAT if it will only be used with macOS.
 

conamor

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Original poster
Jun 27, 2013
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They are 5TB mechanical. -LaCie Rugged 5TB thunderbolt / USB-C (will use thunderbolt since no USB-C) and a WD 5TB Backup Plus.

edit: I have other 1 TB I could use ExFat just in case.
 

F-Train

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Apr 22, 2015
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I would format the drives Extended (Journaled) aka HFS+. I'm not just winging it. Have a look at what Western Digital says on its site about large mechanical drives. WD recommends HFS+ for these drives, which seems to be in line with internet articles on the subject.

I don't think that it makes any sense to format exFAT, including for performance and reliability reasons.
 

conamor

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Jun 27, 2013
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I have another quick question. Should I be using HFS+ with encryption or that will make the drive slower while playing with a 1TB Photo library? I suppose when the drive is unlocked in MacOS, the performance should be almost the same?
 

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 68020
Sep 26, 2017
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That's no longer the case as of Mojave. At the moment, the discussion has more to do with how large the drive is. Western Digital, for example, thinks the HFS+ is more appropriate than APFS for large drives.
I thought the benefits of the new format were more focused on SSDs?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
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5,641
OP wrote:
"I do not need to connect it to Windows."

Then DON'T use a Windows format (exFAT).

I recommend HFS+ for ALL external drives (Mac OS extended with journaling enabled).
 
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F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
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O

I recommend HFS+ for ALL external drives (Mac OS extended with journaling enabled).
Not so long ago, you also said that you wouldn't have APFS in your household, and you also regularly "recommend" wired keyboards and wired mouses.

Hey, there are enough of us who like to be on the leading edge. If only for balance, it's great that there are Neo-Luddites.

Yes, apparently Neo-Luddite is a thing: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/04/will-2018-be-the-year-of-the-neo-luddite

:)
 

conamor

macrumors 6502
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Jun 27, 2013
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Might as well use this same thread.

Currently backing up 2.5TB of data from ExFat / USB 3.0 drive to another external drive in HFS+ USB 3.0 drive.

Using carbon copy cloner, I'm at 700GB / 7h15m.

Isn't that extremely long?
 

F-Train

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Apr 22, 2015
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Might as well use this same thread.

Currently backing up 2.5TB of data from ExFat / USB 3.0 drive to another external drive in HFS+ USB 3.0 drive.

Using carbon copy cloner, I'm at 700GB / 7h15m.

Isn't that extremely long?
I don't know. I can tell you that today I copied 170GB of music on a Samsung T5 external SSD to an internal fusion drive, via USB 3.0, and it took the better part of an hour. I mention it, and my newfound TB3/USB-C impatience, in this post: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/have-a-2018-mini-what-to-do-with-a-new-2014.2171149/#post-27134238

If you are you doing a CCC backup, rather than just copying from one drive to another, that might add quite a lot of time to the process.
 
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conamor

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Ah ok, seems alright I think. Maybe because it is going from an external USB to another external USB drive and not going directly to the internal drive.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Sep 26, 2017
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Might as well use this same thread.

Currently backing up 2.5TB of data from ExFat / USB 3.0 drive to another external drive in HFS+ USB 3.0 drive.

Using carbon copy cloner, I'm at 700GB / 7h15m.

Isn't that extremely long?
It has more to do with the number of files than bus capacity. One 2.5TB file will copy over at near the limit of the bus you are using, versus lots of files that add up to 2.5TB. Plus you are passing these across USB to USB, so there will likely be more slowdowns versus transferring from local storage to USB.
 
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dwig

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Jan 4, 2015
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I frequently (read: monthly) copy multiple terribites of data from one USB3 drive to another as part of my backup strategy. I have two volumes of data the get backed up each month this way. The 4.5Tb volume takes takes around 8-10 hours, the smaller 3Tb volume takes from 12-14 hours. Though smaller is size, this volume contains significantly more files.

As Darmok correctly stated, the number of individual files can have as much, or more, impact on overall data transfer speed. This applies to all similar transfer methods; USB, Thunderbolt, Ethernet (wired or WiFi), ... . When uploading files via the internet, I always archive them into a ZIP file so that I'm transferring only a single file and often do the same even on a slow local network.
 

conamor

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Original poster
Jun 27, 2013
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Sorry I am not getting it. My transfer seems very slow compared to you, dwig. Could it be because it is going from exfat to HFS+ or because they are many files?

That drive contains around 10 photos library and thousands of files.

Task:
Main external drive being copied has 4.5TB going to another 3.0 USB drive. If I count the time it's taking, I will be done in 3-4 days. Very long and not convenient.

Then I have to do a second backup to another drive as a precaution measure. Will be taken offsite.

Edit: is photo library counting as 1 file or more a container?
 
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