Please help me not waste money - looking for hard drive recommendation

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Kurrgo, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. Kurrgo, Oct 30, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014

    Kurrgo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2014
    #1
    I received my new iMac yesterday and I'm truly excited about the speed at which it navigated through my iPhoto library when on the hard drive. I have the 1TB fusion drive and know that at some point I'll need to move it to an external drive. I'm hoping for some advice!

    1) Can I get the speed I'm experiencing with the fusion drive from an external drive that won't break the bank? I've been shopping around for Thunderbolt SSD drives but they're rather expensive. Is USB3 comparable if it is SSD?

    2) I'd love to place my iPhoto and Lightroom library on this external drive. Can I set it up to backup to my TimeMachine backup if it's external? I tried to select a drive once in the 'excluded drives' section of TM, but the drive wasn't selectable.

    Any help I can get is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. FrtzPeter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    #2
    That depends on what you consider to be "breaking the bank." If you're thinking on par of standard USB 3 drives, you will not have the speed but you might have the capacity you're looking for. Many USB and other backup drives put emphasis on capacity rather than speed. You might find the following thread interesting:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1655890

    As you go through that I think you'll find reference to a bunch of oddities that external HD manufacturers now provide, so you have to be careful what you get into.

    I do something similar and have no problems.
     
  3. ColdCase, Oct 30, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    NH
    #3
    We spend top dollar for our Macs and then try to skimp on peripherals... oh wait because we spent top dollar we don't have much cash left and try to get by :)

    Anyway, for larger libraries (those that are not going to fit on the internal drive) and real time editing I would suggest you think about a external thunderbolt enclosure with at least two bays. OWC sells about the most cost effective empty 4Bay. Use Disk utility to RAID0 two drives to get the responsiveness you will want. Two 2TB drives will get you 4TB of reasonably fast storage.

    Now with 4TB external and 1TB internal storage capacity, what are you going to do about backup? Time machine is convenient (CCC and other apps are also choices) but you will want at least 5TB capacity, 6TB if you want some extended period of archives before TM starts pruning them from a full drive. So think about putting a single 5 or 6TB drive in an empty bay, set it as your TM target and configure TM to not exclude your 4TB working drive. TM will then backup your internal and external drive.

    There are some that prefer more performance from the backup and also RAID0 two smaller drives for it. Good thing the Thunderbay has four bays :)

    You can do something similar with separate USB3 enclosures but I found USB3 quirks and performance less than satisfying. USB3 with a decent enclosure seems to be OK for backups, but there are way too many that don't play well with sleep and wakeup behavior.

    Spending lots of cash for massive amounts of external SSD is not necessary for iMac host applications as RAID0 two or more rotational drives is pretty good.

    Anyway thats my opinion. My editing experience has been much more satisfying since I bit the bullet and switched to TB a year ago.
     
  4. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #4
    Try an Rocketstor "toaster" dock that will house two drives that you can set up as RAID 0, RAID 1, or JBOD. I put two 6TB Seagate drives in it and it works just fine.

    Two negatives: It is TB1 only. It only has one TB port so it has to be at the end of the buss.

    LaCie and others make all kinds of TB1 and TB2 drive systems for 1, 2, 5 or more drives.
     
  5. Kurrgo thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 6, 2014
    #5
    Which 4 bay from owc would you recommend?

    ----------

    What kind of drives fit into these?
     
  6. Kurrgo thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 6, 2014
    #6
    I hear you on skimping on the peripherals. The funny thing is that I still have FW800 drives that I bought when I first bought my 7 year old Macbook Pro. They were the fastest at the time and I didn't skimp. I may just keep using them (and back up one to the other) until one fails that then upgrade.
     
  7. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #7
    Putting your backup drive in the same enclosure only protects against drive failure and stupid user tricks. If the entire enclosure fails, gets stolen, burns up in a fire, or similar, you then have no backup. Much better to use a separate enclosure or better, something on the network so it's in another location.
     
  8. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Jul 9, 2012
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    Atlanta
    #8
    Most toaster docks will take any 2.5" or 3.5" drive with a SATA interface.
     
  9. Kurrgo thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2014
    #9
    Thanks for the response! Will I be able to achieve a similar read/write speed as the internal fusion drive if I guy 2.5 or 3.5 SSD drives? Also - do you know if I can backup this drive via the TM backup?
     
  10. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #10
    In my experience, hard drive docks aren't up to delivering the speeds that an SSD can put out... And quite frankly, Thunderbolt is much better for this thing than USB3.
     
  11. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #11
    I have no experience with a fusion drive. You can put two 2.5" SSDs in a toaster/dock. But the largest SSDs are in the 1TB range while HDDs can be up to 6TB. Use an SSD for boot/OS/apps/cache...etc. But your documents/photos/music...etc. on a RAID 0 set via TB1 or TB2. Then have a separate drive connected via TB or USB3 for TM to use for backups. I would use a 6TB drive for backup if the library is more than 3TB.

    The drives in the toaster/dock are just like any other connected to your Mac. You can tell TM to include or exclude them in backups. They should be included by default.
     
  12. Kurrgo thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 6, 2014
    #12
    Would a single, standalone SSD unit offer the same benefit if it was Thunderbolt?
     
  13. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #13
    SSDs pros:

    smaller/thinner than some 2.5" HDD
    may use less power than an HDD of the same capacity
    should have much faster read/write times vs any single HDD

    SSD cons:
    more expensive than an HDD of the same capacity


    The above is why it makes sense to use SSDs for boot/OS/apps/cache. Use HDDs for storing large libraries of files. The minimize the read/write times on HDDs, configure them in RAID 0 striped pairs and use USB 3 or TB as the transport. And of course have a good data backup plan using Time Machine, CCC or other utility.
     

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