SSD or HDD for External Storage Drive

Gaslight

Well-known Member
Looking to purchase a largish, around 4TB external drive for my new Mac rather than investing in an internal drive, which as ever with Apple is a ridiculous cost and stays with the computer come resale time.

I was looking at the Crucial SSD's, but reports are showing the transfer rate drops down massively when large files are moved.

Amazon product

Would I be better with a standard HDD for this purpose?

It will probably end up partioned to give me 2TB of storage (music. video files accesible through the Mac) and 2TB to use as a Time Machine back up.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Regular HDD will be far slower, but if its just for scheduled backups its fine for that task.

SSD will be faster in copy operations but for reading of backups/music/video the HDD is fine.
 

Gaslight

Well-known Member
Thanks, i think I have narrowed it down to using a Samsung SSD with an Asus SSD external enclosure

It works out more expensive of course, but then the whole setup runs on SSD storage which fits my OCDness!
 

JollyJamma

Active Member
You should use some spinning rust for regular backups.

I don't disagree that SSDs can be used for backups but its far more expensive and a good 4tb HDD can be really nice for larger projects that need to be stored for longer term.

I have 5 SSDs (970 Evo Plus 500gig, 840 Evo 1tb,Crucial MX100 250gig, Crucial MX500 1tb, etc) and a 4tb HDD for longer term backups.

I run 4 operating systems and disconnect the HDD because I don't want Windows to be stupid and use the 4tb as an installer drive (it has happened to me before).
 

D'@ve

Well-known Member
Looking to purchase a largish, around 4TB external drive for my new Mac rather than investing in an internal drive, which as ever with Apple is a ridiculous cost and stays with the computer come resale time.

I was looking at the Crucial SSD's, but reports are showing the transfer rate drops down massively when large files are moved.

Amazon product

Would I be better with a standard HDD for this purpose?

It will probably end up partioned to give me 2TB of storage (music. video files accesible through the Mac) and 2TB to use as a Time Machine back up.

Thanks in advance for any advice!


Just noticed this thread, so just a couple of things not mentioned. I have a few Crucial CT1000 SSDs, one internal and a couple of external USB ones for backup. Not sure what "transfer rate drops down massively when large files are moved." means but I regularly copy single files of 250GB or so from one to the other via USB and I get consistent 350MB/sec transfer rates throughout. Not the best - but far faster than HDD copying, 4TB versions may be faster, and the prices are good.

For long-term archival storage, a spinny HDD should be safer as SSDs can lose data after (varying numbers of) years without power. Can - not necessarily will - but HDDs should keep untouched data for longer.
 

Gaslight

Well-known Member
Just noticed this thread, so just a couple of things not mentioned. I have a few Crucial CT1000 SSDs, one internal and a couple of external USB ones for backup. Not sure what "transfer rate drops down massively when large files are moved." means but I regularly copy single files of 250GB or so from one to the other via USB and I get consistent 350MB/sec transfer rates throughout. Not the best - but far faster than HDD copying, 4TB versions may be faster, and the prices are good.

For long-term archival storage, a spinny HDD should be safer as SSDs can lose data after (varying numbers of) years without power. Can - not necessarily will - but HDDs should keep untouched data for longer.

Great to know as I am going to try a Crucial drive next.

Ended up buying a Samsung SSD with external inclosure, and it was an utter PITA with IOS, and eventually the drive fried itself with over 20 formats and partititions. In APFS it would not transfer more than 20gig of a 200gig folder before it caused an error, in OS Extended it would not allow a Time Machine backup on a seperate partition.

A very old Seagate HDD I have used for years did both without error.
 

D'@ve

Well-known Member
Forgot to mention, you probably know this though, but copying many separate small files will be far far slower than a handful of very large files - the latter is what I do. I create single backup files from my many small files, and then copy the backup file - it all depends on the number and sizes of the files, you can do tests of course to find out.
 

Gaslight

Well-known Member
Forgot to mention, you probably know this though, but copying many separate small files will be far far slower than a handful of very large files - the latter is what I do. I create single backup files from my many small files, and then copy the backup file - it all depends on the number and sizes of the files, you can do tests of course to find out.

It was a 200gig folder, I just send the whole folder, a single folder at a time..

Still, it wouldnt do it whatsoever, so debating on trying another Samsung SSD or calling it quits and sticking with HDD
 

D'@ve

Well-known Member
Yeah but it's what is in the folder that counts, the more separate files there are in it, the slower it will be. Shouldn't crash though.
 

KBD

Well-known Member
If you're having trouble moving data & you have room, compress it first.
 

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