SSD USB-C Drive ideas?

dapork

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 1, 2016
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Greece
Hey everyone, I have a 2016 MBPro so it has USB C. I was wondering if someone could share some suggestions. I need to get a back-up drive. Is there a good bang for buck item that's both SSD and USB-C? I realize that that combination makes it a bit pricey. Do you think it's worth it?
 

kohlson

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Apr 23, 2010
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691
If you're looking for a backup drive, speed is typically not the first priority. Especially after the first backup. SSDs are relatively cheaper than they used to be, but in terms of GB/$$, HDDs are a pretty good value. Don't get me wrong, I have SSDs in all of my Macs, even the 10-year-old ones. But I still used HDD for backup.
 

dapork

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 1, 2016
176
19
Greece
SATA SSD drives are getting pretty cheap right now. Probably worth separately picking up a drive and a usb 3 enclosure w/ usb-c cable.
That's good to hear. I was looking at this one that was also advertised around the time I got my computer, but it's still quite expensive.

Mind telling me what I need to look for in order to find a drive with corresponding/compatible enclosure?
If you're looking for a backup drive, speed is typically not the first priority. Especially after the first backup. SSDs are relatively cheaper than they used to be, but in terms of GB/$$, HDDs are a pretty good value. Don't get me wrong, I have SSDs in all of my Macs, even the 10-year-old ones. But I still used HDD for backup.
Yeah I have one of those for backup, but I need to get something for work files. I have an old Elements external HD that never gave me problems with my old Macbook. On this computer though, I dunno if it's old or if it's the USB C adaptor cable that makes it keep ejecting. If it's the cable, I'd go with HDD; if it's the drive I wonder if SSD is more future proof.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
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691
Can't go wrong with a Samsung T3. Otherwise, you can by an SSD drive and stick it in a USB case. A well-known name brand drive should work just fine.
 

velocityg4

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Dec 19, 2004
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For something as important as work files. I'd never rely on one backup. Consider a backup service like Backblaze for a secondary remote backup. Then you'll have a backup which won't be affected by something local like fire, flood or theft. Or you can just use a sync service like Onedrive, Google Drive, Dropbox or iCloud as a secondary source of storage. True they aren't a real backup. At least if you have one real backup (for accidental deletions and archives). Then it is added to a sync service for current files. It should be good enough for most people.

An argument for SSD is backup time. If you are using Time Machine. Which I don't use. It performs multiple times a day. Each one dragging down system resources while running and can take a long time to accomplish. An SSD will likely take much less time. Since it can scan and adjust the backup much more rapidly on an SSD.

I prefer something like Carbon Copy Cloner. Then you have a bootable backup. Plus, you aren't wasting space on old files and file revisions. My view is the Trash already gives you a second chance. When you delete a file it should be gone for good.

That's good to hear. I was looking at this one that was also advertised around the time I got my computer, but it's still quite expensive.

Mind telling me what I need to look for in order to find a drive with corresponding/compatible enclosure?
You just need one that is a 2.5" SATA SSD. Any consumer 2.5" drive will be SATA. You are highly unlikely to come across any budget drive which is U.2 or SAS. Anyways just make sure it is SATA.

As for an enclosure. This UGreen enclosure is a USB 3.1 Gen 2 option. Most USB C models are USB 3.1 Gen 1 or have lower average reviews. You could use it for an SSD or 2.5 HDD.

Yeah I have one of those for backup, but I need to get something for work files. I have an old Elements external HD that never gave me problems with my old Macbook. On this computer though, I dunno if it's old or if it's the USB C adaptor cable that makes it keep ejecting. If it's the cable, I'd go with HDD; if it's the drive I wonder if SSD is more future proof.
Probably isn't worth the time to figure out. Likely some communication issue. A new HDD in a modern enclosure will likely work fine.
 

tehStickMan

macrumors 6502
Jul 19, 2018
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Australia
B&H Photo in NY has the Samsung T5 512GB model on sale for $99. I bought one and use it to backup clone my iMac with CCC. The T5 is Thunderbolt 3, USB-C.
T5 is USB-C. It is not Thunderbolt 3.

The upcoming Samsung X5 is Thunderbolt 3 but also costs 3-4x as much (but is fast).
 
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ignatius345

macrumors 68030
Aug 20, 2015
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An argument for SSD is backup time. If you are using Time Machine. Which I don't use. It performs multiple times a day. Each one dragging down system resources while running and can take a long time to accomplish. An SSD will likely take much less time. Since it can scan and adjust the backup much more rapidly on an SSD.

I prefer something like Carbon Copy Cloner. Then you have a bootable backup. Plus, you aren't wasting space on old files and file revisions. My view is the Trash already gives you a second chance. When you delete a file it should be gone for good.
Time Machine is a great solution and provides incremental backups automatically of all changed files. When it runs out of space it tosses older backups so that's not really an issue. As far as resources, the only way I even notice it's running is that my external HDD gets a bit loud -- a problem you won't have with an SSD.

The recommendation to run a second backup method is a good one, though. I ponied up for the $10/month 2TB iCloud plan, and moved lots of my stuff into iCloud Drive. That way I've got crucial files backed and I'm also getting all the great sync service that iCloud offers for my photos and everything. So, Time Machine for routine backup and some second offsite line of defense in case your house burns down or something.
 

LorenK

macrumors 6502
Dec 26, 2007
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Illinois
For something as important as work files. I'd never rely on one backup.
Out of curiosity, have you ever had to resort to your second backup? I've had drives fail, but they've always given me warning before failure such as shutting down unexpectedly or making strange noises, but I've been able to copy the drive before the failure. Of course, the drives are data for personal use, so it is not as critical.
 
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chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
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Actually it is. The TB3 ports on the newer iMacs are USB 3.1/USB-C and the T5 accepts both.
No, the Samsung is USB-C. While Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C ports are physically the same, not all USB-C devices are Thunderbolt devices.
 

dukeblue219

macrumors regular
Dec 18, 2012
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217
Actually it is. The TB3 ports on the newer iMacs are USB 3.1/USB-C and the T5 accepts both.
No, it's not. There are no "TB3" ports physically, only USB-C ports, which can utilize many protocols like USB 3.1, TB3, Displayport, and so on depending on the machine.

The Samsung T5 uses a USB 3.1 data transfer with a USB-C connector. While it is true that Thunderbolt 3 uses the same USB-C physical connector and many USB-C ports are TB3-capable, this drive is not a TB3 device.

In practice, it doesn't make much difference here, except that it means the underlying drive is basically SATA.
 

velocityg4

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Dec 19, 2004
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Out of curiosity, have you ever had to resort to your second backup? I've had drives fail, but they've always given me warning before failure such as shutting down unexpectedly or making strange noises, but I've been able to copy the drive before the failure. Of course, the drives are data for personal use, so it is not as critical.
No, as far as dual failure goes. The odds are very low.

The bigger concern is fire, flood, power surge (lightning strike), ransomware or theft. So, you want one which is secured from those things. Rather than just one sitting there. Plugged into a computer 24/7. I keep my computers unplugged during lightning storms too. I've had a direct strike knock out two cable boxes, cable modem and several pieces of network equipment. All on good name brand surge protectors. I think it went through the COAX, from there to the nearby network equipment. So, a computer and hard drive are at risk.
 

ignatius345

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Aug 20, 2015
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No, as far as dual failure goes. The odds are very low.

The bigger concern is fire, flood, power surge (lightning strike), ransomware or theft. So, you want one which is secured from those things. Rather than just one sitting there. Plugged into a computer 24/7. I keep my computers unplugged during lightning storms too. I've had a direct strike knock out two cable boxes, cable modem and several pieces of network equipment. All on good name brand surge protectors. I think it went through the COAX, from there to the nearby network equipment. So, a computer and hard drive are at risk.
As someone who once had my laptop and its sole backup stolen in a burglary, I wholeheartedly agree with this. Time Machine is great for continuous local backup, but you absolutely need something offsite. It can be as simple as rotating out a set of Time Machine drives or making a Carbon Copy Cloner backup and keeping those drives at your office or something. (Don't forget to encrypt the drives).
 
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velocityg4

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As someone who once had my laptop and its sole backup stolen in a burglary, I wholeheartedly agree with this. Time Machine is great for continuous local backup, but you absolutely need something offsite. It can be as simple as rotating out a set of Time Machine drives or making a Carbon Copy Cloner backup and keeping those drives at your office or something. (Don't forget to encrypt the drives).
If that isn't an option. A fire/water resistant safe bolted to the floor is a reasonable alternative. It needs to be bolted down and well. Otherwise they'll just take it with them. Although it's still not as good as offsite. If they have the time, like they know everyone is out of town. They'll just use a sledge hammer and crowbar until it is removed.

Using a remote backup option is easier but more costly. The cheapest being Backblaze.
 
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tehStickMan

macrumors 6502
Jul 19, 2018
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Australia
Also, Time Machine isn't a backup.

It's a copy of machine state at a particular time. That's it. There's no guarantees. If you delete something and don't notice for 6mths and your TM is full, then it'll delete the oldest copies and bye bye data. It is NOT an incremental backup solution.

Though it is very handy and you should have at least one.
 
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