Thunderbolt Drive Recommendations

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 996085, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. 996085 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I am looking to purchase an external drive for an iMac 5K. Thought I would take the plunge into Thunderbolt over USB 3.0. Does anyone have any recommendations for an external Thunderbolt drive? It's going to act as a backup / occasional use drive so I don't require anything fancy such as RAID configurations. A single, high capacity drive will suffice. Prices seem pretty high for what I've seen...would like to keep it south of $300 if possible. If not I may abandon Thunderbolt and go with USB 3.0.
     
  2. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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  3. 996085 thread starter macrumors 6502

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  4. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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  5. dud3tt3 macrumors newbie

    dud3tt3

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    #5
    I recently bought two Thunderbolt external 2Tb drives. I needed to keep the usb ports free'd up for other things. I bought one Transcend and the other is a Buffalo. Both interestingly have the same model HDD installed in them. They work great... very quiet, don't get hot.. so if you decide to go Thunderbolt, i can highly recommend both of these.. (and both also have USB 3.0 connections on them).
     
  6. 996085 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    I'd be very interested in hearing more...or at a minimum the model numbers so I can look them up.
     
  7. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

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  8. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    if you are just looking for backup and occasional use, and dont need redundancy in case of HD failure, your best bet is Seagate 4tb portable hard drive.
    it's basically the largest you can get for portable HD (single drive), for portable drives, even SSD's, you dont see the difference between TB and USB3.
    also because it's small, portable, you can use a twelvesouth backpack to put it behind you imac, so that you'll simply forget that there is a external HD connected. and it will not break the simplicity of imac AT ALL. and since it only has one single laptop drive, it's extremely quiet. (something you definitely should take into consideration when buying a desktop HD, they are NOISY)

    or, if you need redundancy, or want to try fancy thunderbolt, WD has a similiar portable 4tb thunderbolt drive. everything else remines the same, just it utilizes thunderbolt so it saves you one USB port. and it contains two 2tb HD's, that you can use RAID1 to save you from hard drive failure, or use RAID0 for faster speed.
     
  9. WilliamG macrumors G3

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    #9
    I have one of those WD Thunderbolt 2x 2.5" devices, and unfortunately RAID0 is not any faster with SSDs, which is a major downer. I was expecting a speed increase with two SSDs over one, when I installed them, and - nope.

    Maybe not a concern to the OP, but worth pointing out.
     
  10. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    i believe for those portable 2.5'' devices, raid should be more a redundancy (raid1) function than a speed improevement (raid0)
     
  11. WilliamG macrumors G3

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    #11
    Sure, but it's still disappointing to get no performance benefit if you should wish to use a couple of SSDs in there...
     
  12. dud3tt3 macrumors newbie

    dud3tt3

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  13. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    Those HDDs are single-platter drives with transfer rates in the 120MB/sec range. No matter how fast Thunderbolt is, the transfer speed is limited by the drive. They are also much more expensive than drives like the HGST Touro S, although that one is 1TB only.

    The 2TB Buffalo drive is more expensive than the 4TB Seagate Backup Plus Fast, and probably not as fast. OTOH it is a single-platter solution, not RAID 0 like the Seagate so it may be more reliable.
     
  14. dud3tt3 macrumors newbie

    dud3tt3

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    #14

    I guess it depends on what you actually wanna use it for doesn't it. Personally, all my important stuff is on my NAS. Like i said, i chose these for Thunderbolt connectivity NOT for the speed. Each to their own :)
     
  15. Erdbeertorte, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015

    Erdbeertorte macrumors demi-goddess

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  16. 996085 thread starter macrumors 6502

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