USB Drive or an External Hard Drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Odysee, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. Odysee macrumors regular

    Odysee

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Location:
    Lancashire, UK
    #1
    Hey guys - wanting to get some external storage to keep photos/videos and backups of one of my websites.

    The obvious benefit being the USB drives are physically smaller, is there any performance, reliability benefits of purchasing a USB drive instead of an external hard drive?
     
  2. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
    Location:
    Thailand
    #2
    USB flash drives can be crazily slow to write to - most don't even advertise a write speed, only a read speed, because writing is woefully slower.

    How much space do you want? I guess it can't be much if you're considering a flash drive? Personally I'd get an external SSD. No moving parts and greater reliability than a spinning rust drive, but also not crazily expensive if you just get a SATA 2.5" SSD (compared with e.g. a high performance NVMe M.2).
     
  3. Odysee thread starter macrumors regular

    Odysee

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Location:
    Lancashire, UK
    #3
    To be honest, I'm only looking for around 100GB, if that!
     
  4. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
    Location:
    Thailand
    #4
    I can see why a flash drive seems temping, given the size you want. I honestly think you'll regret it once you try to use it. The read speed on my Sandisk (https://www.sandisk.com/home/mobile-device-storage/ultra-dual-drive-usb-type-c) is "up to 150MB/sec" but the write speed is only around 45MB/sec. Compare that to a regular 2.5" SATA SSD in a USB case, which gets just below/above 400MB/sec on writes/reads, respectively.

    Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 18.45.32.png Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 18.42.52.png
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
  6. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

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    Nov 2, 2018
    Location:
    Thailand
    #6
     
  7. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #7
  8. wilson109 macrumors newbie

    wilson109

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2019
    Location:
    Dallas
    #8
    In theory, because a disk drive has moving parts and is mechanical, it will always be less reliable than a solid state device like a USB pen drive. But, all devices have their limits. I'd endorse the recommendation that you use the money you'll 'save' by going with a USB pen drive to back up to two of them - or even three.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    Get a USB3 SSD drive, say, 240gb in capacity.
    They are reasonably priced and it will serve you well.
     
  10. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Location:
    Key West FL
    #10
    I use a range of USB thumb drives, SSDs, & HDDs. They all have their advantages.

    @OP:
    If your use is only backup, backups are done only occasionally (monthly, ...), and size needed is 128Gb or less then using USB3.0 thumbdrives (note the plural) is reasonable. Get at least 2 and backup to them alternately. Using backup or syncing software (I frequently use FreeFileSync) to limit the files written to the drive each session, as opposed to copying all files every time, can also mitigate the speed issues as you will only be writing new or changed files each session. If you are doing full backups more frequently (daily, ...) then the thumb drives' speed disadvantage can begin to become an issue.
     
  11. Odysee thread starter macrumors regular

    Odysee

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Location:
    Lancashire, UK
    #11
    Wow - that thing is tiny. Will definitely take a closer look into this. Thank you for the recommendation.
     
  12. Roxy.music macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2019
    Location:
    uk
    #12
    --- Post Merged, Aug 5, 2019 ---
    Best bet is a SSD like Fishrrman sugests.:)
    --- Post Merged, Aug 5, 2019 ---
    --- Post Merged, Aug 5, 2019 ---
    Thats what i have matreya there good.:)
     
  13. Roxy.music macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2019
    Location:
    uk
    #13
    --- Post Merged, Aug 17, 2019 at 3:57 AM ---
    I have one of those there good . I have got Windows with Bootcamp on it.:)
     

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12 February 6, 2019