Suggestions on External Hard Disk Drive for the Mac

Evaravenspell

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 4, 2015
10
1
Malaysia
Hi everyone,

I recently switched from an iMac with 1TB storage and moved to a new macbook pro retina with only 128gb of storage. I would think it would not be enough for me in the long run and i do not want to spend anything extravagant at this moment.

I am thinking of getting a External HDD to backup my stuff and stash all my stuff in there. But to be honest I am not sure where to start. There is just too many in the market and i prefer to choose one that works well with the mac but at the same time works on the PC as well, since i use a windows laptop at work. Transferring stuff between 2 latops sounds like a plan.

I have only been using thumb drives before this and know nothing much about the good brands of External Hard Disks. I am hoping you guys can shed some light on the topic.

Can anyone suggest me some External HDD with a 1TB or 2TB capacity that will not cost me an arm and leg.

Thanks!
 

Patrick-Photo

macrumors regular
Mar 22, 2012
150
35
2.5" mobile or 3.5" desktop?

Mobile: G-Drive 1TB (around €180,00)
Desktop: LaCie or G-Drive (3.5" Version) 3TB (around €250,00).

This keeps your USB-ports free for a thumb drive, wacom tablet, etc.

USB3.0 alternatives are cheaper than Thunderbolt though but also take away a USB-port (you probably won't use both Thunderboltports anyway).
 
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Aneef

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2015
237
70
Lahore, Pakistan
I'm currently using My Passport Ultra 2 TB USB 3.0 for my Time Machine Backups and Media contents. I've partitioned it into three parts; HFS+ for Time Machine Backup, HFS+ for my Media contents, and a partition formatted to NTFS for transferring contents to or from Windows Machines. This 2 TB hard drive cost me equivalent to 98$ in my country.
 
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austinpike

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2008
313
44
MN
It really doesn't matter, there are examples of bad experiences will all brands.

I would stick with a 2.5" so it doesn't require external power.
You don't need anything mac-specific, any drive can be formatted to work with Mac and PC.
The Mac versions may be pre-formatted and come with some extra software, but you pay a premium for that.
Thunderbolt is nice, but not particularly necessary, and you pay a huge premium for that too.

Seagate, Western Digital, and Toshiba all make external 2.5" 2TB USB3 drives for under $100US that will work fine for you.
 

Evaravenspell

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 4, 2015
10
1
Malaysia
Use a Thunderbolt for example LaCie 1/2/3 Tb and format it to FAT32 to be compatible with Windows

2.5" mobile or 3.5" desktop?

Mobile: G-Drive 1TB (around €180,00)
Desktop: LaCie or G-Drive (3.5" Version) 3TB (around €250,00).

This keeps your USB-ports free for a thumb drive, wacom tablet, etc.

USB3.0 alternatives are cheaper than Thunderbolt though but also take away a USB-port (you probably won't use both Thunderboltports anyway).
I was looking at thunderbolt's yesterday.. they are hella expensive.. im out of a budget for these at the moment. With our current exchange rate.. it will cost me around 1,000+ in Malaysian ringgits for these babies haha!

I'm currently using My Passport Ultra 2 TB USB 3.0 for my Time Machine Backups and Media contents. I've partitioned it into three parts; HFS+ for Time Machine Backup, HFS+ for my Media contents, and a partition formatted to NTFS for transferring contents to or from Windows Machines. This 2 TB hard drive cost me equivalent to 98$ in my country.
It really doesn't matter, there are examples of bad experiences will all brands.

I would stick with a 2.5" so it doesn't require external power.
You don't need anything mac-specific, any drive can be formatted to work with Mac and PC.
The Mac versions may be pre-formatted and come with some extra software, but you pay a premium for that.
Thunderbolt is nice, but not particularly necessary, and you pay a huge premium for that too.

Seagate, Western Digital, and Toshiba all make external 2.5" 2TB USB3 drives for under $100US that will work fine for you.
Yes i think this would be a good option for me right now. I might go with the Western Digital Ultra. Looks sufficient and it isnt so expensive like those thunderbolts. Thank you so much guys for all the suggestions!
 

dray67

macrumors newbie
May 4, 2011
16
7
UK
I've got the mid 2014 13inch retina mbp with 128gb of storage and I went for the Toshiba 1tb Canvio slim drive but I also purchased the Transcend 128gb sd card as well, the sd card isn't very fast but i use it for media storage, music & movies etc and for that it's more than good enough, the Tosh is excellent with v.good consistent read and write speeds.

The Toshiba hdd is currently £52 on Amazon and the 128gb Transcend card is £64, not sure how much that would cost you in Malaysia but like you I hop between OS X and Windows and these 2 items have me more than happy with my setup.
 
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Tulani

macrumors 6502a
Dec 6, 2012
925
114
I'm currently using My Passport Ultra 2 TB USB 3.0 for my Time Machine Backups and Media contents. I've partitioned it into three parts; HFS+ for Time Machine Backup, HFS+ for my Media contents, and a partition formatted to NTFS for transferring contents to or from Windows Machines. This 2 TB hard drive cost me equivalent to 98$ in my country.
how did you do the partitions?
 
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glenthompson

macrumors 68020
Apr 27, 2011
2,157
246
Florida
Any of the major brands should be fine for your needs. There is one problem with your use case. You state you want to use the external for backup and storage of data. How do you intend to backup the data stored on the external? All drives will fail eventually, plan how you will deal with it.
 
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Evaravenspell

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 4, 2015
10
1
Malaysia
Any of the major brands should be fine for your needs. There is one problem with your use case. You state you want to use the external for backup and storage of data. How do you intend to backup the data stored on the external? All drives will fail eventually, plan how you will deal with it.
Thanks for that glen.. Yes im still figuring it out to be honest. But drives won't fail too often unless its misused correct? Im not on my mac often.. I do some coding and graphics once in awhile. Actually scrap that, i code on it more than i design now. I game on it too. During the am im at work on a PC. When i get home i get on my mac :) So im hoping a single drive will last me at least 6-8 months down the road.. until i have a little more cash lying around for a 2nd backup perhaps a little bigger in capacity. Who knows i might have enough to invest in a time machine.
 

glenthompson

macrumors 68020
Apr 27, 2011
2,157
246
Florida
Murphy's Law - a drive will fail at the most inconvenient time. I'm a fanatic about backups and disaster recovery. Most people give it little thought until it happens then panic.
 
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mmomega

macrumors 68040
Dec 30, 2009
3,561
1,731
DFW, TX
Hi everyone,

I recently switched from an iMac with 1TB storage and moved to a new macbook pro retina with only 128gb of storage. I would think it would not be enough for me in the long run and i do not want to spend anything extravagant at this moment.

I am thinking of getting a External HDD to backup my stuff and stash all my stuff in there. But to be honest I am not sure where to start. There is just too many in the market and i prefer to choose one that works well with the mac but at the same time works on the PC as well, since i use a windows laptop at work. Transferring stuff between 2 latops sounds like a plan.

I have only been using thumb drives before this and know nothing much about the good brands of External Hard Disks. I am hoping you guys can shed some light on the topic.

Can anyone suggest me some External HDD with a 1TB or 2TB capacity that will not cost me an arm and leg.

Thanks!
A USB 3 external drive will do just fine. No reason to use Thunderbolt at all unless you are using a RAID external with 5 or more HDD's or 2-3 SSD's.

Heres why. You're limited to the slowest piece of equipment, which is most likely the Hard Disk Drive inside the external enclosure. A 7,200rpm HDD is only going to give you roughly 120 Mega Bytes per second transfer speed MAX.
USB 3 will give you 640 Mega Bytes per second transfer MAX.
So regardless of connection type you can't make a HDD transfer faster than it's MAX capability.

You would either have to have an SSD external drive which can give you around 500+/- MegaBytes per second or you need multiple HDD's in RAID which roughly doubles your transfer speed. So 2 HDD's give you approx 240MB/s, 4 Drives = 480MB/s. So you'd need a minimum of 4 HDD external RAID just to get close to maxing out USB3.
That and USB3 externals are much less expensive.

Many less expensive external's use a 5,400rpm HDD unless noted so your transfer speed will be a little less than 120MB/s.
 

ApolloBoy

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2015
734
246
San Jose, CA
I've been using a 1 TB WD My Passport as my Time Machine backup drive for almost two years and it's never let me down. As the previous poster said, a Thunderbolt drive is overkill for your needs and so pretty much any small external drive should do you just fine.
 
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