Portable Back Up Drive type; SSD vs HD


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 14, 2011
I currently have a 2TB WD portable drive I use to back up my two MBP's.

I'm considering an SSD, as I'm presuming back up's, will go exponentially faster; plus they are smaller.

Is it worth the cost to jump to a portable SSD for back up's, and can you give me recommendations for a decent one?

Thank you


macrumors newbie
Aug 4, 2015
I use a Samsung T3 SSD and it works well. I also use it to store my iTunes Library (Music & Movies). It is connected to a MacBook Pro 2015 (256gig).


macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
I use a smaller-capacity SSD to serve as a backup for my "music" and "media" partitions (I keep such things on separate volumes, and NOT in my home folder).

But as I mentioned it's not a high-capacity drive (my storage needs aren't that great).

A 2tb SSD would run into some money. Not cheap.
Then again, the $$$ may not matter to you, but if it does, it's probably not worth it "for backup purposes", at least not yet.

My opinion only.
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Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I have Samsung 500gb and 1tb T3 drives. The speed is virtually identical on both:

Really happy with these, but I don't use them for backups, the 500gb is an external system drive for a Mac Mini and the 1tb is used for my current video editing project(s). They seem like a very expensive option for backup. My inexpensive USB 3.0 bus-powered drives clock around 100MB/sec and basic desktop USB 3.0 drives give me around 180mb/sec. These are plenty fast for my backup needs. Time machine seems to generally be slow, if that's what you are using so I wonder how much of an improvement you'd see with a ssd?
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macrumors 65816
May 24, 2009
About 18 months back I purchased 2 4TB, USB3 powered drives from CostCo and use them for my backups. They are standard HD units but are sufficiently fast that it does not take a long time to make incremental backups. The first backup of course is slow but after that, with Chronosync, they are fast.
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Michael Scrip

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2011
I'm considering an SSD, as I'm presuming back up's, will go exponentially faster; plus they are smaller.
It depends.

SSDs excel in sequential read/write speed... no doubt. You can see that in the benchmark image above.

But if you're copying thousands of tiny files... you may not see the same speeds.

So while you could see 400MB/s speeds copying multi-gigabyte video files... you might be shocked when your transfers drop to 40MB/s with smaller files.

Also... how often do you back up?

The initial backup will be huge and take a while... but each subsequent backup will be very small. I'm not sure you'll be saving that much time with an SSD.

All that said... SSDs are physically smaller and have no moving parts. Those reasons alone make them great for backup. The speed is a bonus. :)
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