replacing old external extra storage / back up drives

bunyboy

Active Member
Hi All,

I'm looking to replace several old style spinning disk external hard drives, but am not sure if getting the unpowered portable SSD drives will be good enough. One would be a 'time machine' back up of my MacBook Pro internal drive, and others for external storage. I can't find any powered desktop style SSD external drives so assume they don't exist. Can I just replace my powered old reliable (but slow and chunky) drives for external SSD's?

I can't seem to find much information on this. Any advice welcome!
 

oneman

Active Member
SSD consumer very little power so unless there is a real problem then you don't need to provide additional power. Also you will need USB 3 or above port to get the best throughput and that should also provide more power.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
I've never come across unpowered drives, do you mean USB powered?

The cost of the memory used in SSDs is currently the limiting factor, rather than the physical size and power consumption, which is why large and power hungry SSDs don't exist in the consumer space.
 

bunyboy

Active Member
I've never come across unpowered drives, do you mean USB powered?

The cost of the memory used in SSDs is currently the limiting factor, rather than the physical size and power consumption, which is why large and power hungry SSDs don't exist in the consumer space.
I mean drives that require plugging in to a plug socket. All my back up drives are those kind and I assume they are more stable than USB powered old style hard drives (although that might be wrong) and so I was looking for external SSD's that need plugging in too.

And yes, they are still very expensive.. although a lot cheaper than when I last looked a couple of years ago... So worth keeping an eye on as the reliability, smaller size and potentially not needing to be plugged in would be very helpful under my desk!
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
The mains powered vs. USB Powered distinction came about because standard desktop hard drives drew more power than USB could provide, while lower power laptop drives could work within those requirements.

The larger desktop hard drives are faster and cheaper for the same capacity, as well as having a bigger maximum capacity. So it turned out to be worthwhile producing larger drives for those who need big and cheap and don't mind the extra power supply, and USB powered drives for those that need portable.

As far as I'm aware it's nothing to do with any sort of stability.
 

bunyboy

Active Member
The mains powered vs. USB Powered distinction came about because standard desktop hard drives drew more power than USB could provide, while lower power laptop drives could work within those requirements.

The larger desktop hard drives are faster and cheaper for the same capacity, as well as having a bigger maximum capacity. So it turned out to be worthwhile producing larger drives for those who need big and cheap and don't mind the extra power supply, and USB powered drives for those that need portable.

As far as I'm aware it's nothing to do with any sort of stability.
It's interesting to know that they aren't any more stable but faster is very helpful and cheaper never hurts either. Thanks!
 

Maxatoria

Active Member
It's interesting to know that they aren't any more stable but faster is very helpful and cheaper never hurts either. Thanks!
Drives die and generally you should always plan for them do go boom even under warranty and thus have a backup plan ready.

I always tell people it's like being a driver in that not matter what skills you have sometime down the line some idiots going to make you need to call the insurance company.
 

bunyboy

Active Member
Drives die and generally you should always plan for them do go boom even under warranty and thus have a backup plan ready.

I always tell people it's like being a driver in that not matter what skills you have sometime down the line some idiots going to make you need to call the insurance company.

Exactly! That's what I'm trying to do now...
 

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