Time Machine - How big a hard drive do I need?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ckesten, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. ckesten macrumors regular

    ckesten

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    This may be a dumb question.

    I have a 320gb drive... (24 inch iMac)

    For Time Machine...do I need an external hard drive that is at least 320gb?

    If not, what do I need? thanks!
     
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    You only "need" a drive slightly larger than the used space on your HDD, but the more free space you start out with, the further back in time your drive can go.

    How much space do you have occupied?

    500 GB is usually a good size, but you might be ok with less.
     
  3. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #3
    x2, I think that 500GB should be fine for the average user. Unless you are a big time movie editor, then you should be fine.
     
  4. ckesten thread starter macrumors regular

    ckesten

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #4
    Do you guys have any idea how much the cheapest 500gb hard drive costs?

    Sorry for my ignorance.. I was a pc user!
     
  5. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #5
    Probably around $100.
     
  6. ckesten thread starter macrumors regular

    ckesten

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    My friend has one that is 320gb... will that not work sufficiently?

    I have like 200gb free.... i won't ever come close to filling 320 gb
     
  7. mudskip macrumors newbie

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    Jul 27, 2007
    Location:
    Winston-Salem, NC
    #7
  8. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

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    Aug 16, 2007
    #8
  9. Nero Wolfe macrumors regular

    Nero Wolfe

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    Oct 28, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #9
  10. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #10
    id say you would need anything from 2-3times your drives capacity. it really depends on how much space your using currently, and how much space you predict will be used in the future. if you are just using 40gb of the hard drive then a 500gb would be fine, but if you suddenly add an extra 50gb to the hard drive then it will take a large chunck out of the remaining file size.

    i only do manual backups, i dont need an hourly backup its just not worth the time wasted and the CPU usage hahaha.
     
  11. Burtonsnow9 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    #11
    how long have you had these, and is the usb connection fast enough to back up too/ watch movies?
     
  12. kevinwiz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Location:
    socal
    #12
    ok my TM hard drive is out of space but it doesn't want to delete the oldest backups so it's not letting me make any new backups
     
  13. mnkeybsness macrumors 68030

    mnkeybsness

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Location:
    Moneyapolis, Minnesota
    #13
    My general rule is that when buying more drive space, always double what you have. I started with a 500GB drive in my 24" iMac, so I bought a 1TB external drive (2x500GB RAID).

    It's not that much more expensive and it will last you a long time.
     
  14. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #14
    Hello people

    Remember you can set Time Machine to exclude certain folders. This can do wonders to reduce your backup sizes.

    E.g on my computer, I have TM set to exclude:

    - my Downloads folder (because it's always changing and I don't need something I just downloaded to be backed up),
    - my Movies folder (because I often move huge files into there from a ripped DVD - 5-9GB each)
    - a scratch folder from one of my work apps that deals with large files. (Saved / completed projects go into different folders that get backed up as usual)
    - a folder on my desktop labelled 'large files' where any large stuff that doesn't need backing up goes.

    After using TM for several months, on my TM external, I have less than 100GB used.

    Hope that helps.

    -RedTomato
     
  15. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    NoVA
    #15
    Isn't more wasteful of time to do manual backups than to let the computer do it automatically? And does the CPU usage of Time Machine really cause you problems? What sort of intensive programs are you running day in and day out?
     
  16. adogover macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    houston, TX
    #16
    So . .

    I'm a pretty new convert to the Mac verse wanting to go full steam ahead . . . I'm currently working on my first machine. I've acquired a MacBook Pro 15", and I'm opting to swap the optical drive for an SSD, then replacing the 500G spinning disc drive with a 1T. The SSD will house the OS, apps, processes, etc. The 1T will hold media, collections, etc. I keep back-up copies of all media on an external 3T drive.

    Could I also use this same 3T external to use Time Machine as a back-up? Or will I need a separate backup drive? Either way, sound like I can restrict the back ups to just the SSD with OS, apps and configurations . . . right?
     
  17. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #17
    Nice resurrection of a 4 year old thread :)

    - yes you can use your 3TB external drive for both TM and for storing media. Some people have problems with TM gobbling up all the space on the external - you could partition the external into two partitions - one for media a d one for TM. When TM starts running out of space it will winnow down the oldest backups. (I haven't bothered partitioning my external)

    - some people have had problems replacing the optical with a SSD. Might be better to put the SSD where your current HDD is and replace the optical with the 1TB.

    - yes it's easy to exclude folders and drives from the TM back up.

    - a single backup of important data is not enough. You need 3 copies in two different places. Consider something like Dropbox or Crashplan to store the third copy offsite.

    Cheers T

     
  18. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cimmerian End
    #18
    A good rule of thumb is to get an external drive that is double the space of your internal drive.

    As far as which drive to get, once your decide the size that you need, get one that offers the best price to warranty ratio to fit your needs.
     

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