rMBP External Drives Discussion

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Argentine86, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Argentine86 macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2011
    Hey guys,

    Well like some of you I have a rMBP base model so only 256Gb of space. Didn't find much talk about this in here, so what are some of you using for external drives? Opinions? Experiences?

    USB 3.0 vs. Thunderbolt?
    How do you manage your data on board vs externally?

    I'm sure some of you are expecting to get one eventually as I do....

    Here's one to get things started. The Buffalo 1TB USB3.0/Thunderbolt Drive for about $208 on Amazon. It's a 5400rpm drive tho, so doen't that limit speeds?

  2. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    Unless you're using an SSD in the enclosure, the limiting factor will be the HDD (7200RPM or 5400RPM) not the bus speed. So get USB 3.0 (cheaper) and don't worry about Thunderbolt (expensive).

    I moved all my music to iTunes match, my videos are all through Amazon or iTunes as well and my photos reside on multiple SD cards. Keeps my HD fairly clutter free. The only reason I have the 512GB rMBP is for a bootcamp partition with a bunch of games.
  3. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I bought that Buffalo drive, ripped out the [500GB] HDD and put a 512GB SATA III SSD in there. It runs like a champ; even supports TRIM if you use Thunderbolt and set it with Trim Enabler.

    In terms of speed, it runs at full SATA 6Gbps speeds when connected to Thunderbolt with an SSD in there.

    Otherwise it's pretty much pointless with a standard HDD in there as you can't get close to saturating the USB 3.0 bus let alone Thunderbolt. It is however convenient for Macs without USB 3.0; you can keep an external drive connected and still have USB ports for other things.

    Also the Buffalo drive comes with both a Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 cable; the former which most enclosures don't come with.

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