Recommend an external hard drive for new 27" iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ^^BIGMac, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. ^^BIGMac macrumors 6502a

    ^^BIGMac

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #1
    So gonna need (I think) a new external hard drive for a new 27" iMc.

    Currently I have an older LaCie 3 TB HDD. It has Fire wire 800 + USB 3 but no Thunderbolt.

    What do folks recommend?
     
  2. jrcsh6 macrumors 6502

    jrcsh6

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    #2
    I've got 4 LaCie's sitting in front of me right now. Thunderbolt would be good but USB 3 isn't bad and a LOT cheaper. I'd pick up a 4TB Blade Runner - looks great and 4TB USB3.

    I've had issues with 2 of the 8 I've owned and LaCie was really great about fixing them. Both were issues out of the box so not exactly failures but does make one question quality control. The oldest on I have spinning on another machine is from 2005. So I'm a fan.
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    For most folks, a Thunderbolt HDD is overkill -- USB3 will be more than adequate.

    MAKE SURE that ANY USB3 drive you buy specifically states that it has "UASP support" (USB attached SCSI protocol). That enables it to run at the fastest speeds possible.

    What I personally "recommend" is that you buy the enclosure and drive separately, and "build your own". This way you can get an enclosure that you KNOW will support UASP, and is "easily openable" if you need to replace the drive inside.

    Then, find a drive to go inside.
    I'd suggest Hitachi (is that HSTC now?), Toshiba, Samsung for the bare drive.
     
  4. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    Sep 1, 2007
    #4
  5. ^^BIGMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ^^BIGMac

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #5
    So from the comments so far it seems I may as well just roll with the drive I have. No?

    The reason the one I have doesn't have Thunderbolt is because by 2009 iMac didn't have the capability. That's why I'm using the FireWire 800. But the new box will have USB 3 so, good to go I guess.
     
  6. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    Sep 1, 2007
    #6
    Thunderbolt is only better than usb3 if you have a drive that can transfer data faster than the port itself. No spinning disk, even a raid stripped one, will overrun the USB 3 port. Thunderbolt will shine with an external RAID striped SSD array!
     
  7. ravinder08 macrumors regular

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    Jun 11, 2010
    #7
    What's wrong with the seagate USB3 HDD drives?
    Good value and I've never had an issue with them
     
  8. jasonefmonk macrumors regular

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    May 5, 2011
    #8
    I just ordered a 4TB HGST drive and a Vantec NexStar external enclosure. It has simple clean design (black brushed aluminum) and USB 3 with UASP. Newegg.ca with taxes and shipping I got out under $250CAD. I think I'll be pretty happy with it for backups and extra storage.
     
  9. ^^BIGMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ^^BIGMac

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    Dec 10, 2009
    #9
    So are you saying that unless you're going SSD to SSD Thunderbolt really isn't going to make a noticeable difference over USB3?
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Exactly. If you are sticking with a HDD, jut keep the USB3 setup you have.
     
  11. ericv macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    #11
    Since your question isn't limited to just USB and TB, I'll throw out the option of building your own NAS using FreeNAS. I spent about $1,700 building a massive 24TB system using server quality hardware. It's a beast and using ZFS Z-Raid2 I have to lose 3 drives at once before losing data. If you network is fast, this will do. If you are going to be editing video over the network, probably not a good solution.
     
  12. Coldmode macrumors regular

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    Mar 10, 2010
    #12
    Thunderbolt is overkill for the speed at which an HDD can transfer data. USB 3 will be plenty fast for file storage, unless you're editing video files on the external.
     
  13. Enrico macrumors 6502

    Enrico

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Milano / Roma
    #13
    I just ordered a Toshiba Canvio 5TB that with its size has the best price/TB, costing nearly like a barebone drive but you're getting it USB3 enclosed, plus it runs at full 7200rpm with a good cache (dunno yet how much, someone says 128MB).
    6TB would have been marginally faster when filling it up, but much more expensive than 5TB.
    To me, it looks like the faster external single spinning drive you can get.

    http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Canvi...F8&qid=1445275546&sr=8-2&keywords=toshiba+5tb
     
  14. jablko macrumors member

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    Nov 12, 2007
    Location:
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    #14
    It would be helpful to know what you plan to do with the hard drive.

    If you want a backup/long term file storage, then speed doesn't matter much. For that purpose, the Seagate 8tb USB 3.0 drives ($250 on Amazon) are hard to beat. They're slow, but eight terabytes is hard to argue with. When I'm editing photos, I keep them on the internal drive for fast loading, and once I'm done with a shoot, I copy them to two of these external drives and delete them from the internal disk. (I don't believe in keeping anything I care about on just one drive; I've had too many drives fail in the past).

    On the other hand, if you're going to be working off of the drive, such as editing video, then the best solution would be a RAID array running off of Thunderbolt, which will be super fast, but much more expensive.
     
  15. MoreAwesomeDanU macrumors regular

    MoreAwesomeDanU

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    Dec 4, 2010
    #15
    So how much faster can a raid thunderbolt drive be? Especially compared to a external SSD drive through either thunderbolt or usb3?

    I have a huge photo library that I go in and export some photos from every once a while... Would love to move it to a external drive that does not take up space in my main drive, but would definitely be working from it via lightroom. Any suggestions??
     
  16. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    Sep 1, 2007
    #16
    USB 3 support up to 640 MBps (megabytes per second) and some of the fastest SSD drives are in the mid 500s read/write. RAID HDDs come in at about half that and non-RAID HDD half again read/write.

    Only if you are looking at RAID SSDs or something like this http://www.sonnettech.com/product/fusionpcieflashdrive.html do you need to use that Thunderbolt port for your storage.
     
  17. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #17
    Thunderbolt is also a more stable interface than USB3. I've seen tons of reports of people having USB3 drives randomly eject themselves on apple's discussion boards.
     
  18. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #18
    You won't find a USB3 enclosure that can deliver anywhere near 640MBps.

    And I have 4 x 7200 RPM HDDs in RAID0 inside a Thunderbay IV enclosure, and that volume benchmarks at 720MB/sec. So you can benefit from Thunderbolt even with HDDs in RAID.

    I also have 4 x Samsung 850 EVOs x 500GB in RAID0 inside a Thunderbay 4 mini enclosure, that baby flies ;)
     
  19. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    #19
    The OP was looking at single disk solutions.
     
  20. fredmant macrumors newbie

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    Jan 3, 2011
    #20
    If you're doing any kind of music recording or production via Pro Tools, Logic, Reason, etc, I would highly recommend a Glyph Studio drive. The two TB model has FW 800 (two) and USB 3 ports. For less critical apps, like Time Machine backup, I use a large 4 TB Western Digital My Book device via USB. Cheap and reliable enough. Right now I have 1 My Book and 2 Glyphs (one for music production, one for manuals, itunes, photos and everything else).
     
  21. ^^BIGMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ^^BIGMac

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    Dec 10, 2009
    #21
    No music recording...a little FCP but it's a hobby! Also a lot of photo editing but I don't see that as a major issue with speed.

    I think what I have will be OK for now. I was just a little confused as to how important TB would be in my situation. Turns out probably not that important...My Early 2009 iMac is incredibly slow rendering anything in Final Cut but with the new iMac I think it's going to be night and day even without TB.
     
  22. BriMercer macrumors regular

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    Mar 14, 2010
    #22
    Avoid Seagate at all costs! Their failure rate for 3Tb drives is something above 20%. This has been my experience with them personally. Western Digital or, better yet, a Q-drive. Thunderbolt is faster but usually more expensive.
     
  23. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #23
    Also worth bearing in mind that LaCie is owned by Seagate.
     
  24. gelie macrumors regular

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    Mar 7, 2010
    #24
    I'm surprised no one mentions OWC drives. I'm on my 4th one. Not one has failed. Going back~ 4years. I know they can be pricy..
     
  25. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    Nov 14, 2009
    #25
    That's because OWC don't make hard drives, they make hard drive enclosures, and put different brands of hard drive in their enclosures. Most recently, their 3.5" desktop drives have been Toshiba.
     

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