Time Machine: What Size External HDD for backups?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by xlr8or, May 17, 2013.

  1. xlr8or macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2013
    I'm considering a late 2012 Mac mini with the 1TB Fusion Drive. Since I've only got about 200-250GB of data on an old laptop that I'll be putting on the new mini, what size external HDD do I need to get? Any suggestions?

    Also, can Time Machine be set for daily backups instead of hourly?

    Sorry for so many questions - Mac noobie here.

  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Since HDDs do not change price linearly with capacity... it makes sense to pay a tiny bit more for additional capacity. With 2TB drives well under $100 now... you may find that you you save almost nothing (may $10 or so) to get much less capacity.

    BTW: the rule of thumb is 2X the size of the drive you are backing up. I would assume that you will eventually fill the 1TB... so I would go with 2TB.

  3. Volkan1984 macrumors member

    Feb 7, 2013
    For changing the interval of backups, please look at this tool: https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/26704/timemachineeditor
  4. Bear, May 18, 2013
    Last edited: May 21, 2013

    Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    As was suggested 2 times the size of the drive you're backing up is a good rule of thumb. Although with the low price difference between 2 and 3TB external drives you might want to consider a 3TB.

    As for frequency of backup, having had drives fail, I would recommend no more than a 2 or 3 hour window between backups and truthfully there is usually no reason not to leave it at the default.
  5. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    I have the same mini with a fusion wiht about the same data (330GB).

    I have a 2TB. After about 3 months it is only about 1/3 full.

    If you do not have a virtual machine (parallels) you will use far less TM drive.
  6. MacGizmo macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2003
    I agree with flynz4, twice the size of the drive is the best start. But the larger the TM drive, the more backups you can store before TimeMachine starts overwriting the old stuff. If you create/edit a LOT of files, then the larger drive will be well worth the money if you consider TimeMachine to be your only backup (which is a bad idea, by the way).

Share This Page