USB-C External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Foss, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. Foss macrumors 6502

    Foss

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #1
    I would ideally like to get a new USB-C external hard drive primarily for moving movies around and doing Time Machine backups quickly. There are not a lot of them around, mostly USB-A 3.0's For the price point vs performance, is USB 3.0 still the sweet spot?
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    For a backup hard drive, USB-C is not going to be any faster. A hard drive cannot even saturate a USB3 connection. So unless you just want to pay a bit more for USB-C just to avoid adaptors and all, you will be fine with USB3.

    I'm going to order a couple of these and stick with all my USB stuff for now.

    615C-TRPkiL._SL1500_.jpg
     
  3. MarcBou macrumors regular

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    Oct 11, 2016
    #4
    Not sure if I understand. Why do you say a hard drive with USB-C is not going to be faster? That depends on the hard drive, we video editors use external hard drive to edit video with other conectors and sure are faster. Haven't tried USB-C yet.
     
  4. C64 macrumors 65816

    C64

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  5. Capt T macrumors 6502a

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    #6
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #7
    Unless you are using RAID or something, an off the shelf, single hard drive in an external enclosure is not going to be able to saturate a USB3 connection, so I don't see how a faster connection will speed up transfers from a single hard drive. Again, I'm just talking about a single drive, not RAID or multi-drive enclosures.
     
  7. LS417 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    #8
    This is correct ^

    Besides future compatibility with new hardware (TB3 etc), the only real, current advantage of USB-C connection and a single drive that is 3.1, Gen 2 is with SSD's. Especially the newer M.2 formfactor ones that can take advantage of the increased throughput and are also much smaller than your average mobile drive.

    Samsung T3 is a popular choice, also the recently released Atom from Glyph, which comes in a RAID variant, aluminum, colors, etc: https://www.glyphtech.com/product/atom-ssd
     
  8. Fozzybadfeet macrumors 6502

    Fozzybadfeet

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    #9
    May just consider getting a new cable than buying a new HDD all together.
     
  9. chabig macrumors 68040

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    Sep 6, 2002
    #10
    For a hard drive, USB-C *is* USB-3. USB-3.0 or 3.1 is the data transfer protocol. USB Type-C (USB-C for short) is just the name for the connector. As the others have said, just get an appropriate cable, rather than an adapter.
     
  10. Phisherman81 macrumors 6502

    Phisherman81

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    Mar 26, 2010
    #11
  11. Fozzybadfeet macrumors 6502

    Fozzybadfeet

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    #12
    Sweet, I'll look into this.
     
  12. LS417 macrumors regular

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    Oct 30, 2009
  13. LS417 macrumors regular

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    Oct 30, 2009
    #14
  14. ascender macrumors 68020

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    Dec 8, 2005
    #15
    Thanks for the heads-up about the LaCie, I've just ordered one. Seems like insanely good value for the spec and the reviews I've seen have praised the speed over USB-C.
     
  15. Phisherman81 macrumors 6502

    Phisherman81

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    Mar 26, 2010
    #16
    Glad to help!!

    It replaced by WD 500GB Firewire 800 World Book for Mac (I think that's what it's called...). Just the fact that I don't have to plug this little guy into a power outlet to run it is a huge upgrade, and it's less than half the size, and 8X the storage :)
     
  16. gwang73 macrumors 6502a

    gwang73

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    Jun 14, 2009
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    San Francisco Area
    #17
    This is the one I'm looking at... will make transferring uncompressed video files so much quicker!
     
  17. tonidavid5 macrumors newbie

    tonidavid5

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    #18
    I need fast portable disk (mainly to transfer photos (RAW files) between my current late 2012 27" iMac and my soon-to-arrive all-usb-c 2016 rMBP tb.

    I'm currently considering a Samsung T3 1TB or a Samsung 850 EVO 1TB placed into the Inateck FE2008C external USB-C enclosure. Price-wise, both solutions end up costing the same where I live. The T3 holds the size advantage. The Inateck enclosures all seem to have good reviews / user feedback and this one has the latest UASP ASM1153E chipset.

    Theses are the 2 options I'm left with after exploring other options. In the end, performance is limited by SATA SSDs (6Gbps) attached through USB 3.0 Gen 1 (5Gbps) ports.

    Other than more expensive TB3 solutions (and not ideal for my USB-A legacy needs when connected to my iMac) are there any USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) options (enclosures or portable SSDs) I can use to squeeze some more juice out of current generation of SSDs, at least when connected to the 2016 MBP? Pricey options won't be worth the cost as I have to live with the speeds in my iMac before I can upgrade the desktop computer. I know the Atom from Glyph mentioned a few posts earlier is USB 3.1 Gen 2 but the read/write performance is too similar to the cheaper USB 3 Gen 1 options to be worth the extra money.
     
  18. Phisherman81 macrumors 6502

    Phisherman81

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    #19
  19. tonidavid5 macrumors newbie

    tonidavid5

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    #20
    Am I missing the enclosure? Are there any M.2 enclosures with USB 3.1 (Gen 2) connectivity?
     
  20. LS417 macrumors regular

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    Oct 30, 2009
    #21
    Did you check out the 1TB atom RAID? Extra $20 for speeds in the 800MB/s.

    I used to own the T3 3.1 but my issue was with large transfers, speeds dropped to 200MB/s. I haven't experienced that same drop with the atom and I think it's because they use the newer 3D NAND chips from crucial.

    Let these be our issues in life!
    --- Post Merged, Nov 18, 2016 ---
    Not on USB3.0 they won't. While the theoretical limit of USB 3.0 is 5Gb/s, with latency and all the other layers of USB involved, the real world data transfer speeds are between 400-450 MB/s, about the speed of your average SATA SSD.

    Looking at USB 3.1, Gen2, that theoretical limit is 10Gb/s, but again real world data transfer caps at just under 1000MB/s or 1GB/s.

    So taking that PCI-E SSD listed, you'll need TB3 with 40Gb/s theoretical bandwidth to handle anywhere near 2,500MB/s..real world data transfer limits on TB3 are close to 2500-3000MB/s.

    You will not see single bay TB3 devices or enclosures unless they are meant for PCI-E SSDs there is simple no point because no drive comes close to the real world transfer speeds of 1000MB/s of USB 3.1, Gen2, unless you require some sort of daisy-chaining a la TB3.

    What Glyph has done with the Atom RAID I actually think is smart and out of the box thinking. They took two reasonably priced SATA based SSD's and put them in RAID-0, getting as close as they can to upper limit of USB 3.1, Gen 2, while avoiding costs associated with TB3 and PCI-E SSDs, and maintaining compatibility across all USB 3.0, USB-C, and TB3 computers.
     
  21. Phisherman81 macrumors 6502

    Phisherman81

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    Mar 26, 2010
    #22

    Gotcha; then please excuse me while I ***pivot*** lol, I'm on board with LS417, Glyph sounds like the speediest mobile external storage at the consumer level.

    I did look up pcie external enclosures and there doesn't seem to be any reliable ones, I should have researched first, OWC has one for removed apple pcie boards, but they aren't USB-C yet.
     
  22. TopToffee macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 9, 2008
    #23
    Pretty annoyed that despite what it says on the Apple Store, it won't charge my MacBook Pro (15" TB)
     

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