Time Capsule 1TB or Airport Extreme + 1TB External USB HDD?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by SingaporeStu, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. SingaporeStu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #1
    Hi Guys,

    I'm trying to decide between getting a 1TB Time Capsule or an Airport Extreme and a separate 1TB external HDD.

    I'm leaning towards the Extreme + HDD because of costs (should save me about $200, maybe more), but I'm concerned about performance. I'm worried that this setup would be much slower than an Time Capsule, being over Wireless then bottlenecked again by USB.

    I plan to partition it so I use part of the disk as a network drive, and the rest for TM backup for an iBook G4, and a MacBook.

    Any thoughts, comments or experiences with this would be very helpful.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. hohohong macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    #2
    I would like to know too,... was in apple store today and the sale guys told me Extreme + Ext HD not equal to time capsule.

    He said I can't back up my mac HD (time machine) wirelessly with the extreme. I can only do it wirelessly with capsule.

    Is he right?
     
  3. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Location:
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #3
    ...I like the idea of the Time Capsule but it isn't vented well and gets really hot...

    I got the new AEBS and a 1 TB HDD to setup for my house network, its got a few more wires to run tastefully but the whole setup gets no were near as hot!
     
  4. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #4
    U can use time machine with a aebs and ext hd wireless just fine. Both the AEBS and TC run a bit warm.
     
  5. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Singapore
  6. Hot Snowboarder macrumors 6502

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    Behind you...!
    #6
    Yeah time capsule. It's neater/smaller/faster.
     
  7. Inked macrumors regular

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire, UK
    #7
    I currently use Airport Extreme with a USB external HDD and it works fine, did the initial backup via ethernet port and all subsequent one wirelessly, only takes seconds.
     
  8. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #8
    Bottleneck refers to the smallest portion of a bottle, the one that restricts flow the most. You can't be "bottlenecked again", there's only one smallest portion. In this case, the wireless will probably be the bottleneck, and that will be the same for both setups.
     
  9. ltldrummerboy macrumors 68000

    ltldrummerboy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #9
    Have you considered purchasing a 500GB Time Capsule and then upgrading the drive to 1TB yourself? That should save you a bundle. I would recommend the Western Digital Caviar Green drive. It runs much cooler than the stock drive that comes in the TC.
     
  10. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #10
    Actually, an Airport extreme is 179$, a 500 GB TC is 299$. For 299$, you can get a AEBS + 1 TB external drive easily.

    It is the cheaper option.
     
  11. ltldrummerboy macrumors 68000

    ltldrummerboy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #11
    I meant cheaper than buying a 1TB TC, not necessarily cheaper than buying AEBS+external HD.
     
  12. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #12
    yes one would consider the wireless to be the bottleneck..

    'g' 3mBps
    'n' @ 5ghz 37.5mBps
    n @ 2.4ghz 18.75mBps

    USB HD ~30mBps.

    actually, at proper 802.11n speeds the bottleneck may be the USB HD.. especially seeing as though the controller in the TC isnt that great (USB doesnt have its own controller remember).

    it doesnt really matter though because when backing up i rarely see data rates about 10mBps-20mBps (over gigabit ethernet this is).
     
  13. SingaporeStu thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #13
    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all your input everyone.

    I should probably point out that I'm in Singapore, where US$1 ~ S$1.50. The price for an AEBS is S$268, and TC 1TB is S$748 here. I shopped around, and I can get a 1.5TB Pleiades S-Combo External with USB, FW400 & 800 & eSATA (though I'll probably not need that) using Oxford 924 chipset for less than S$400, 1TB for slightly over S$300. It's a nice-looking aluminum casing too. I think it'll go very well with Apple's current Alu theme. And this is me looking at the higher-end. I could go even cheaper. See how much $$ I save by NOT choosing TC?

    Having said that, has anyone tried to change the TC HDD to a 1.5TB? Personally, I would be very hesitant to do that because:

    1) Voids my warranty
    2) I would still need another casing for the HDD I just removed. Its's still a perfectly good working HDD, no sense leaving it to collect dust.

    But I'm curious to know if its possible to bump a TC up to 1.5TB.

    Thoughts?
     
  14. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

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    Southern Cal
    #14
    yeah i think there's quite a few dudes on here that have swapped out there 500GB for the Seagate 1.5TB drives.
     
  15. SingaporeStu thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #15
    Ok, my understanding from most replies here is that after the initial backup, speeds for subsequent TM backups won't be much of a worry.

    But what about the partition that I plan to use as a shared network disk? If I put movies and music & stuff there, will it take long to read/ write off using AEBS + USB HDD? Compared to TC?
     
  16. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Singapore
    #16
    initial backup or not it is still going to backup at the same sort of speeds (i experience around 5mBps average with burts of maybe 20mBps over ethernet) this isnt because of the connection or anything else. its purely the way that TM works - it has to check files and whatnot.

    you wont experience THAT MUCH of a slow down if you use your AEBS + USB HDD combination, max write/read speeds will be around 30mBps if that. i can read/write (while doing intense work) at around 25mBps over LAN.

    what interface will you be using?? (wireless, ethernet?)
     
  17. SingaporeStu thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 12, 2009
    #17
    Wireless. N for my MacBook, G for my iBook, iPhone 3G, PSP & Toshiba laptop. There may be an iMac in the future.
     
  18. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #18
    ok so you will be running N/G compisite at 2.4GHz (or is it 2.8GHz, i never remember).

    'n' max = ~18.75mBps
    'g' max = ~3mBps...

    so it wont matter if you get the TC or ABES + USB HDD, they arent the limiting factors...
     
  19. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
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    #19
    Actually, if we use the 802.11 mode, the USB would be the bottleneck. USB 2.0 can deliver up to 480 Mb/s (60 MB/s) vs 802.11n which can deliver up to 600 Mb/s (75 MB/s).

    Now, if you use Time Capsule over 802.11g, then USB will not be your bottleneck as 802.11g can go all the way up to 140 Mb/s (17.5 MB/s) that considering 802.11g found in Time Capsule boost the help from Nitro (g extension).

    Layman terms, if you want to back up over the air, use only 802.11n configuration and if you can only use 802.11g, then go wired thru Ethernet.
     

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