Thunderbolt storage options for iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by badlydrawnboy, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. badlydrawnboy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    #1
    I'm considering a new Hasewll iMac. I have three 4 TB drives (in my current Mac Pro 3,1) that I'd need to put in an external enclosure. I'm not that familiar with enclosures because I haven't needed one with my Mac Pro. Can someone make a recommendation, JBOD or otherwise?
     
  2. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Oct 20, 2003
  3. FrancoisC macrumors 6502

    FrancoisC

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal, Qc
    #3
    I have one LaCie 5big right now, and while I would recommend it usualy, you already have the drives and just need an enclosure, which they don't sell by itself.

    It is very fast, just like if the drives were internal, and also quiet. You can use it with raid 0, 1, JBOD or just plain separates drives.

    I'm selling mine (check the marketplace section of this forum) but as I mentionned already, in your case you already have the HDDs you need, just missing an enclosure.

    ----------

    If you manage to buy one without the drive, you can put your own hdd and it will work ;)
     
  4. priitv8 macrumors 68030

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    Jan 13, 2011
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    Estonia
    #4
    There are Thunderbolt RAID DAS-es available also from other vendors. Just check which ones offer them without drives installed.
    Promise and Drobo are the first names that come to mind.
     
  5. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #5
    Empty? Only for 2.5" drives. To date, no chassis that will take 3.5" drives.
     
  6. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 28, 2008
    #6
    Drobo 5D takes 3.5" disks.

    Unless looking to RAID the drives then a USB3 enclosure would do the job, and are much more cost effective, available.

    Pretty much companies with thunderbolt are either selling complete with storage built in or are quite expensive like the Drobo 5D.
     
  7. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Oct 20, 2003
    #7
    Thanks. What USB3 enclosure would you recommend?

    I see that CalDigit is coming out with some JBOD/RAID Thunderbolt enclosures (single, double, triple) in Q4 of 2013. http://www.caldigit.com/products.asp But as you pointed out, these are probably overkill.

    I just need a USB3 enclosure for two 4 TB drives.
     
  8. Giuly, Sep 29, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014

    Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #8
  9. TwoBytes macrumors 68020

    TwoBytes

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  10. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Oct 20, 2003
    #10
    Yeah, that DataTale looks perfect for my needs. Gets 5 5-star reviews on Amazon, and nothing under 5 stars. Small sample size, but encouraging.

    ----------

    Also, this might be a silly question but I'm not familiar with these enclosures and how they work.

    When using in JBOD configuration, is it possible to mix and match drives of different capacities and even sizes? For example, can I put two 4 TB HDDs, one 2 TB HDD, and one 480 GB SSD in there?
     
  11. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #11
    If you want the ultimate in capability, performance, and reliability as well as being easy to set up look at the areca ARC-8050. Everyone that owns one seems to rave about it. It has room for 8 Drives. Newegg is currently offering a free iPad with purchase.
     
  12. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #12
    In "JBOD (non-RAID)", every drives shows up independently in Disk Utility, so yes.
     
  13. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #13
    My bad, forgot about Drobo 5D and the DataTale.

    $599 is the cost for an empty chassis.

    LaCie had some 2big and 5big Thunderbolt refurbs last week that disappeared quickly. Prices with drives were less than $599. I wonder who was able to take advantage of those. Even new, the 2big with 2x2TB is $499.

    Keep your eyes open for refurbs at LaCie and also at MacMall which previous posters have noted.
     
  14. Joseph Farrugia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Location:
    Malta (EU)
    #14
    I use a TB solution with bare drives, fast 'n' easy

    I work on an early 2011 MBP (no USB3),
    & connect a Seagate GoFlex Desk Thunderbolt Adapter between the MBP & a 27" ACD.

    This allows me to use bare HDDs at their maximum speed, can't be happier. I regularly see 160-185MB/s with my Seagate 3TB drives for example.
     
  15. Brad Trent macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #15
    Just saw this thread and thought I would chime in regarding the Datatale unit. I have two RCM4SP 4-Bay boxes. These are the USB 3.0 versions, but are essentially the same as the Thunderbolt version. I have had major issues with the drives manually ejecting and worse, corrupting data because of these unintended ejections, ever since I started using them. I've got both boxes set up (JBOD) with 4TB Hitachi Deskstar 7200RPM drives (as recommended by the manufacturer) and have been on the phone constantly with Oyen Digital (the US distributor). They have acknowledged there have been problems with these boxes and have attempted to solve my issues, but the main thing seems to the the JMicron chipset. After months of back-and-forth tech sessions, updating firmware, changing USB 3.0 cards and after trying just about every troubleshooting trick they could think of, I seem to be at a relatively stable place right now, but occasionally I still will have drives hang up on ejecting, and have to power the Datatale box down to remove it, of course risking corrupting my data in the process.

    Again...these are the USB 3.0 boxes and I have no idea if the Thunderbolt controller chip solves any of these issues (for triple the price of the USB 3.0 box you hope it might!), but it's something to think about before you jump in with both feet like I did.
     
  16. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Oct 20, 2003
    #16
    Yikes, that is scary. What are some good alternatives?

    I wonder why the DataTale gets such great reviews on Amazon. Maybe they're fake.
     
  17. Brad Trent macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #17
    As I said...my experiences were with the USB3.0 model. Since the Thunderbolt version uses a totally different controller chip it may not have the same issues. If you're gonna buy one of these things, my advice would be to make sure the return policy is in your favor in case the thing craps out...
     
  18. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    #18
    Right, good point. I see it has a 2-year warranty. Have they offered to replace your unit or give you a refund?

    I'm planning to buy from Amazon. My concern is that it will work for the first 30 days, but then start having problems after that. I want to know that Oyen will take care of me.
     
  19. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    #19
    I just found this review of the DataTale Thunderbolt unit. He raves about it initially, but at the end he has an update where he describes a drive failure. It sounds a little like what Brad described:

    He also said he couldn't get notifications or logs to work, which I read on one of the Amazon reviews.
     
  20. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #20
    This is a quite common issue with some popular USB3 chipsets, at least when directly connected to a Mac.

    It seems that the way around it is to connect via a hub or dock that does not attempt to do power management (I think this is true of most hubs).
     

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