Thunderbolt Storage

r3dm4lcz

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 6, 2012
59
0
LPL
I began preparing for my TBC new MBPro purchase over the weekend. The first thing I started looking at was some additional storage (as my current utilisation is super-high). However I stopped myself from buying a WD Passport with USB 3.0 as I figured I'd make use of the Thunderbolt connectivity.

But as I looked for some adequate storage with Thunderbolt connectivity, it was very thin indeed. Either there was a very limited selection on Amazon, Apple and etc or the reviews were very unenthusiastic. Can anyone offer some good drives they've tried or clarify the very underwhelmed reviews I've been reading? Is it just a case of premature technology that no maker has really cracked yet? Or very hard-to-please customers?
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
I began preparing for my TBC new MBPro purchase over the weekend. The first thing I started looking at was some additional storage (as my current utilisation is super-high). However I stopped myself from buying a WD Passport with USB 3.0 as I figured I'd make use of the Thunderbolt connectivity.

But as I looked for some adequate storage with Thunderbolt connectivity, it was very thin indeed. Either there was a very limited selection on Amazon, Apple and etc or the reviews were very unenthusiastic. Can anyone offer some good drives they've tried or clarify the very underwhelmed reviews I've been reading? Is it just a case of premature technology that no maker has really cracked yet? Or very hard-to-please customers?
How much additional storage do you need? Is this a backup or primary storage? Do you require RAID?

http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/shop_mac/mac_accessories/storage?n=thunderbolt&s=topSellers

I would personally go for the Lacie 2Big, since it has removable drives and you can run it in RAID 1. This means that any stuff you put on there is automatically backed up to the second drive (at the expense of storage space - the 4TB model becomes a 2TB model)
 

r3dm4lcz

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 6, 2012
59
0
LPL
How much additional storage do you need? Is this a backup or primary storage? Do you require RAID?

I would personally go for the Lacie 2Big, since it has removable drives and you can run it in RAID 1. This means that any stuff you put on there is automatically backed up to the second drive (at the expense of storage space - the 4TB model becomes a 2TB model)
The data that I'll allocate to this storage isn't particularly vital and therefore wouldn't require a RAID set-up. I was thinking maybe 500GB-1TB. Then again, does the additional MB/s saved from USB 3.0 to Thunderbolt really justify the additional expense? Perhaps I'll get a large USB 3.0 external drive and a smaller Thunderbolt-ready one for my laptop bag...

I've surprisingly never heard of LaCie before, so thanks for that.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
The data that I'll allocate to this storage isn't particularly vital and therefore wouldn't require a RAID set-up. I was thinking maybe 500GB-1TB. Then again, does the additional MB/s saved from USB 3.0 to Thunderbolt really justify the additional expense? Perhaps I'll get a large USB 3.0 external drive and a smaller Thunderbolt-ready one for my laptop bag...

I've surprisingly never heard of LaCie before, so thanks for that.
I would suggest this Seagate go-flex portable Thunderbolt adaptor

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/H...s?n=thunderbolt&fnode=MTY1NDA0Nw&s=topSellers

Then you can buy a couple of Seage freeagent goflex drives.

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/H...-mac?n=portable&fnode=MTY1NDA0Nw&s=topSellers

However, the chances are that the MBP will be refreshed this month and will come with USB 3. For consumer single-drive storage, I would say that all you need is USB 3.
 

flatfoot

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2009
1,010
3
The data that I'll allocate to this storage isn't particularly vital and therefore wouldn't require a RAID set-up. I was thinking maybe 500GB-1TB. Then again, does the additional MB/s saved from USB 3.0 to Thunderbolt really justify the additional expense? Perhaps I'll get a large USB 3.0 external drive and a smaller Thunderbolt-ready one for my laptop bag...

I've surprisingly never heard of LaCie before, so thanks for that.
500GB-1TB is just one HDD.

Throughput of a 3.5" HDD: ~110MB/s
Throughput of FW800: ~75MB/s
Throughput of USB 3.0: ~400MB/s (not exactly sure)
Throughput of Thunderbolt: ~2GB/s (not exactly sure)

So Thunderbolt, especially at the current prices for storage solutions, is overkill.

We don't have USB 3.0 natively on Macs (yet).

FW800 is a compromise. Yes, external FireWire storage solutions are more expensive than USB 3.0, and it would throttle a modern HDD.
FW enclosures are cheaper than those for Thunderbolt, though.

theSeb said:
However, the chances are that the MBP will be refreshed this month and will come with USB 3. For consumer single-drive storage, I would say that all you need is USB 3.
True.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
500GB-1TB is just one HDD.

Throughput of a 3.5" HDD: ~110MB/s
Throughput of FW800: ~75MB/s
Throughput of USB 3.0: ~400MB/s (not exactly sure)
Throughput of Thunderbolt: ~2GB/s (not exactly sure)

.
A single 3.5" can actually achieve around 140-150 MB/s (7200 RPM). This was done on my 3 TB G-Tech drive.

 

flatfoot

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2009
1,010
3
A single 3.5" can actually achieve around 140-150 MB/s (7200 RPM). This was done on my 3 TB G-Tech drive.

Thanks for the correction. I haven't looked into HDD speeds lately and didn't want to say too much.
 
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