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Irishman

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Nov 2, 2006
2,781
630
I have already upgraded the internal HD in my late 2012 21.5” iMac this past year, and the new Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SSD really gave my old Mac a new lease on life.

I also have been using an external Seagate 2TB hard drive as a Time Machine backup, but now that has gone kaput. Does anyone have experience with using an external SSD for a Time Machine backup? I know that Samsung makes their T5 and T7 lines of external SSDs, but I’m not sure if anyone might be aware of any issues with regard to macOS Mojave?
 

chrfr

macrumors G4
Jul 11, 2009
11,189
4,753
I have already upgraded the internal HD in my late 2012 21.5” iMac this past year, and the new Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SSD really gave my old Mac a new lease on life.

I also have been using an external Seagate 2TB hard drive as a Time Machine backup, but now that has gone kaput. Does anyone have experience with using an external SSD for a Time Machine backup? I know that Samsung makes their T5 and T7 lines of external SSDs, but I’m not sure if anyone might be aware of any issues with regard to macOS Mojave?
I like the idea of using larger, slower disks for my backup because I really don't care how long my backup takes, and restoration is rare enough that speed isn't a big concern for me there. I'd rather have a larger disk that'd allow for more backup history.
 

weaztek

macrumors 6502
Aug 28, 2009
341
162
Madison
With Time Machine you can back up to any kind of storage you want: SSD, USB thumb drive, hard drive, etc. It won't backup any faster on an SSD though since the write speed is done slowly in the background so as to affect computer performance as little as possible.

When my external hard drive went kaput I bought a new hard drive dock ($20), took it out of the old one, and tried it in the new enclosure with success. Now I can just buy HDDs without an enclosure and swap them into the dock as needed.
 
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Irishman

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Nov 2, 2006
2,781
630
I like the idea of using larger, slower disks for my backup because I really don't care how long my backup takes, and restoration is rare enough that speed isn't a big concern for me there. I'd rather have a larger disk that'd allow for more backup history.

Do you use a Time Machine backup for your Mac?
 

glenthompson

Contributor
Apr 27, 2011
2,734
669
Virginia
I use a SSD for a Carbon Copy Cloner backup in addition to Time Machine to spinning hard drives. The CCC backup lets me boot in the event of a catastrophic failure. Makes for a faster restore. While a SSD would work for TM its a waste.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
22,745
8,581
I doubt that an SSD would be of much use for time machine.

HOWEVER... for either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper... it's great.

I have the internal 512gb drive on my 2018 Mini partitioned into 4 "pieces":
Boot
Main
Media
Music
... and I keep my data segregated to such partitions.

Most of my day-to-day data resides on the "main" partition which is 50gb in size.
I can launch CCC and run an incremental backup of that drive.
It takes... 2 seconds (that is not a mis-type).

The boot partition takes a little longer... about 2-3 minutes (much of it "updating the caches" at the close of the backup).
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
5,952
2,841
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I use SSD's for Carbon Copy bootable clones. This would get me back up and running immediately in an emergency. But I use a 5tb hard drive on my LAN for time machine. I agree, there would be little advantage to a SSD for Time Machine.
 

Ifti

macrumors 68040
Dec 14, 2010
3,051
1,307
UK
I have no spinning hard drives at all (other then in my NAS). All my external drives are SSD, including those for Time Machine and CCC.

8TB ThunderBlade V4 - work drive used with FCPX
4TB Thunderblade V4 - also used with FCPX - more of a spare drive really!
2TB Sandisk Extreme Pro - used for Time Machine Backups
1TB Sandisk Extreme Pro - used for CCC
2TB Glyph Atom Pro - spare drive, currently unused.

I have several other external SSD drives that I have up for sale in the marketplace - I seem to have amassed more then I need!
 

IowaLynn

Contributor
Feb 22, 2015
2,063
557
Me: SSD TimeMachine - bus power, silent, easy to be always on and connected.

I got out my 2012 2TB WD Green drive, and while it works it also has its own power, larger drive case.

Everything I have runs off UPS to insure there are no interruptions of power. And those big power adapters that hog outlets.

I saw one person with mini had taped their SSD to underside of the desk out if the way.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
14,544
615
Lard
I've got a 4TB hard drive for backups. I doubt that an SSD would hold much of an advantage and the longevity of such a device is a bit scary for long term storage.
 

ChedNasad

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2020
20
32
Why are people saying it wouldn't be advantageous for time machine? I went from hour+ long backup times on an HDD to 5-10 minutes on an SSD. Restoring from time machine on an SSD has also been drastically faster with the copying process taking 20-30 minutes max instead of hours. I won't ever go back to HDD backups. My internal storage is 1 TB and my backup drive is likewise 1TB. They're reasonably priced these days too. If you store TBs of data then maybe it's better to go with HDD but the performance, small form factor, and resistance to water, drops, magnetic fields etc is huge.
 

glenthompson

Contributor
Apr 27, 2011
2,734
669
Virginia
Why are people saying it wouldn't be advantageous for time machine? I went from hour+ long backup times on an HDD to 5-10 minutes on an SSD. Restoring from time machine on an SSD has also been drastically faster with the copying process taking 20-30 minutes max instead of hours. I won't ever go back to HDD backups. My internal storage is 1 TB and my backup drive is likewise 1TB. They're reasonably priced these days too. If you store TBs of data then maybe it's better to go with HDD but the performance, small form factor, and resistance to water, drops, magnetic fields etc is huge.
Generally better to have a Time Machine backup drive that's larger than your source drive to provide better versioning. That ramps up the cost. Also some of us are still in the mindset of SSDs being fairly expensive - I paid almost $500 for a 512gb SSD for my 2011 MBP. In my experience TM backups to a SSD aren't that much faster unless you have a huge amount of changes to backup. Most of mine take just a few minutes to backup to a spinning drive or over the net to my NAS with spinning drives. I absolutely want my clone to be on a SSD since that's my main recovery drive in the event of a failure.
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 65816
Jul 5, 2020
1,451
389
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Why are people saying it wouldn't be advantageous for time machine? I went from hour+ long backup times on an HDD to 5-10 minutes on an SSD. Restoring from time machine on an SSD has also been drastically faster with the copying process taking 20-30 minutes max instead of hours. I won't ever go back to HDD backups. My internal storage is 1 TB and my backup drive is likewise 1TB. They're reasonably priced these days too. If you store TBs of data then maybe it's better to go with HDD but the performance, small form factor, and resistance to water, drops, magnetic fields etc is huge.

It's just the balance of Time vs Expense vs Capacity.
Figure our your own need of Capacity, then adjust between the Time and expense.
Or otherwise, set an amount of money spent for Time Machine, then balance Time with Capacity.
 
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