TB External Hard Drives?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by thomamon, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. thomamon macrumors 6502a

    thomamon

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Location:
    Flemington, NJ
    #1
    So I am thinking of purchasing one. Just a couple of questions.

    Is the TB External Drive faster then the internal drive on my MBP from early 2011?

    Also, any suggestions on which to get? Feedback from users? Would use mostly for backup and some video work.
     
  2. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #2
    The speed of a TB external drive will depend on the speed of the SSD (or HDD) drive itself. A TB SSD will run as fast if not faster than the internal sata connected SSD drive if that is your question? Same would go for a standard HDD.
     
  3. thomamon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    thomamon

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Location:
    Flemington, NJ
    #3
    So a TB HD would be no faster then a USB?
     
  4. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #4
    You mean USB 3.0?

    Potentially yes. a 5400rpm and 7200rpm platter HDD drive in a usb 3.0 enclosure will likely operate at the same as TB. As for SSD's there are some very fast SSDs out there and some that are not much faster than a platter HDD, but when you are talking about SSDs and potentially running them in RAID 0 then a TB will provided potential benefits over USB 3.0 as it is potentially twice as fast.

    I have a RAID 0 array of two 4TB 7200 HDD drives in an enclosure that has usb 3.0 (5000) and sata II (3000). It operates at about 215 megabits per second in read and write and operates the same speed when i plug it into a lacie TB esata hub as well. So the drives are the limiting factor, not USB 3 or esata or TB.

    The TB 'drive' consists of an enclosure with a controller (little circuit board with a sata connector and the hard drive its self. the speed of the hard drive (SSD or HDD (7200rpm or 5400rpm) is what determines the speed the TB protocal operates at because it uses so minimal bandwidth available in TB. The hard drive itself will not even come close to saturating the available TB bandwidth so for this reason the hard drive is the limiter in a TB enclosure.

    There is no 'TB hard drive' per se. The hard drive that is used is still the same as the one you would put in your mac (albeit many options there).

    Have a look at speeds on the web for different connections. for example USB2 is 480, firewire 800 is 800, sata II is 3000, usb3 is 5000, sata III is 6000 and TB is 10,000. The current mac sata connectors operate at sata III while TB operates at 10000.

    You will never go wrong with a TB enclosure (to future proof your self as hard drive speeds increase) as they are the fastest. the limiter as I said is what drive you put inside it.

    They are also super expensive so a USB 3.0 enclosure will almost always give you similar speeds until SSDs get faster (unless you are running RAID etc)
     
  5. Joseph Farrugia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Location:
    Malta (EU)
    #5
    consider the Seagate GoFlex Desk Thunderbolt Adapter

    I heartily recommend this with multiple bare drives, amazing speed, & has a second TB port for daisy-chaining (I have a non-TB 27" ACD attached to my early 2011 MBP):
    Seagate GoFlex Desk Thunderbolt Adapter

    You do have to supply your own TB cable. I bought mine used but in like new condition from ebay; & used it with various bare SATA drives for my pro photography business.
    My newer 3TB drives give me a regular 180-190 MB/s read/write, older drives less than that (but still noticeably faster than if mounted on a USB dock)

    I've even managed to use an old 400GB drive via an IDE-SATA adapter that I purchased of the 'bay; it was an external Maxtor drive that is giving me surprisingly good speeds.

    It's also good to see backups via TM or CCC done in a few minutes or even seconds :D
     
  6. thomamon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    thomamon

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Location:
    Flemington, NJ
    #6
    Well, right now I have an early 2011 MBP so I only have USB 2. But if a TB Drive is not all that much faster then a USB then I don't think its worth spending the money.

    Right now my current WD External seems to be moving very slow when I copy from internal to external. Looks like its only getting 6MB/s now, it was about 20MB but for some reason has slowed down and can not figure out why.

    I am waiting to see the new Mac Pro's that are coming, but was thinking of an external to hold me till then.
     
  7. opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #7
    There is a big difference between usb2.0 and usb3.0 in speed. I wasn't sure what usb you had, but as it is 2.0, then yes definitely the TB will be faster. usb3.0 on the other hand is a lot faster than 2.0 so it is potentially comparable with TB, depending on the drive used in the enclosure.
     
  8. thomamon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    thomamon

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Location:
    Flemington, NJ
    #8
    Gotcha, thanks for the help!
     

Share This Page