What is the best size drive for time machine?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by VideoBeagle, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Location:
    App Q&A testing by request.
    #1
    I have a 1 TB fusion Drive in my iMac

    I have decided to use Time Machine after just manually backing up for all this time

    I was thinking he three or four terabyte drive for it but I was hoping to get some opinions on what would be best
     
  2. RootBeerMan macrumors 6502

    RootBeerMan

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2016
    #2
    I assume you're talking about an external drive? The prices on 3 and 4 TB external drives is really good right and I would go with as big a drive as you can afford. My wife just had to delete some old Time Machine backups on her 1 TB drive to make room for newer backups. I, with a 3TB drive have never had to do that, (although I could easily get rid of some of the older backups). Go big and go good. The Western Digital's out there are really well made and easy to set up and use.
     
  3. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Japan
    #3
    General guidance is 2 times the size of your current drive for a start. More can be better as always. Gets you more dailies after that big first one.


    Some added guidance...if you happen to be virtual machine user you may want to turn off time machine backups for them. Time machine see that image as a file. Lets have you log into a 40gb VM and all you do is make a 5 kb text file and leave the VM. time machine will back up that whole 40 gb image as a result of that 5kb change. My VM's I exempt from time machine and backup manually when I care to. It be spamming backups otherwise for very minor changes and eating up space..and time.
     
  4. VideoBeagle thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    Location:
    App Q&A testing by request.
    #4
    Good advice, thanks! I have a 40gb VM for playing star wars online, and yeah, wouldn't need that backup'd all the time.
     
  5. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #5
    I have generally gone 2x the size of the data I have to back up.
    I've been using thise for about 7 years and haven't had any issues to date.

    My only reason being, I don't like the drives being completely full. So if I have 1TB of data and a 1TB of storage then I have room for a single backup for the most part.
    2TB will give plenty of backups.

    I wouldn't go 3TB or 4TB unless I was actually going to plan on utilizing that space. Because 2TB is cheaper to buy, I don't just want to spend extra $$ on another 1-2TB unless I'm ever going to use it or I forsee myself using it.
    If the prices were exactly the same then take whichever gives the greater space but I'm not one to simply buy more space because it may be a better deal. If I never use it then that space is wasted along with the extra cash spent to get it.
     
  6. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #6
    I have a 1TB SSD and went with a 3TB WD external as it was not much more than the 2TB thanks to sales. So 2TB should be plenty unless the price differential to 3TB is not much more.
     
  7. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #7
    Well its a math equation, what's the data set size, what's the change rate and how often do you want to keep data for?
     
  8. Efrem macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #8
    The size of your internal drive (1TB) is irrelevant. How much of that are you using, and of that, how much is for apps that you could just reinstall?
     
  9. Belgique macrumors member

    Belgique

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Location:
    Ocala, Floridah
    #9
    I have one and I just found out that it has not done a back up in 8 months...no notice...no silly icon....I would not recommend this...wifi is not working either.
     
  10. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #10
    Just in my opinion I think it is relevant just because I like to plan for worst case scenario.
    Which would be the internal drive would be completely full so he'd need a minimum 1TB to back up to, anything larger than that would be good.
    And then ideally you'd have a 2nd external to back up the 1st external to, if the data is that important.
     
  11. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #11
    I just look at this title... and I'm like yeah. The biggest size. Obviously the biggest size is the best.

    He's not asking about speed, or cost effectiveness, or anything else. You're only asking about size.

    Obviously, the biggest size is best, and in relation to you, the biggest size you can afford is best.
     
  12. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #12
    Everyone is giving their opinions, which is what was asked for.
    Opinions on best drive and depending on who answers, best is going to change from one person to the next.
     
  13. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #13
    No, but that's just the thing. Best drive size isn't an opinion. The best size is the biggest. Plain and simple. There is no debate on that.

    It is a question based on empirical data with absolutely no room to debate.

    Now, if he would've asked most cost effective drive, or the like, that is more of a discussion.
     
  14. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #14
    And that why opinions are opinions.
    Plain and simple.
     
  15. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #15
    Well I think I've proven my point.

    Hey OP, spoiler.

    The bigger drive size the better. Buy the largest one you can afford if your primary concern is size.
     
  16. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #16
    I'd also suggest an HGST drive. They have a higher reliability rating over Western Digital and Seagate drives.
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #17
    At least 2x the size of your internal drive, though you really don't want to full up your internal drive. Since TM has versions of docs, its not keeping a single backup, but multiple copies, which is why I think the larger the better.

    I agree with the advice regarding VMs, because the file is marked as changed every time you start up the VM, you'll be backing up the entire VM every hour or so. Exclude it from TM and manually back it up to another drive, or location.
     
  18. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    #18
    The size of your backups are determined by how much is left as static and how much dynamically change. If you have a 1tb drive that 90% of the content is static music files and photographs that never change, then your first backup with capture everything, but subsequent backups will only require to copy the remaining 10% of your drive. this will take up far less space.

    However, lets say that you have your 1tb drive that you only fill to 30% capacity but it dynamically changes all the time, then even though you have far less data to backup, as it keeps changing then the versioning of TimeMachine will use up far more space on your backups and you will run out of space far faster.
     

Share This Page