/ External SSD drives for Mac book air

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Denni on 29 May 2014
Hi all,
I didn't even know what a SSD drive was until today but apparently it is ideal for me to use as an alternative to my ageing hard drive.

I basically need an external device to back up my MacBook Air, mostly photographs with the odd random document. My old hard drive is near capacity and when I plugged it in to save a couple of things from my Mac, of course it wasn't Mac formatted as everything was from my old windows laptop so I need to get one specifically for it.

Any advice from anyone? Would prefer something smaller and not a big clunky hard drive hence the SSD recommendation from a friend. 1TB should suffice.

Thanks, Den
stewieb on 29 May 2014
In reply to Denni:

Solid State Disk (SSD) is really designed for very fast performance and you are not going to benefit from one if you are using it externally. 1TB of SSD is also going to be very expensive.

If it is just to back up files to you would be better looking for a small external hard drive that is based on a laptop size hard drive.
Doug on 29 May 2014
In reply to Denni:

You could probably reformat your existing external hard disc to be compatible with a Mac, but I guess you'd loose the data already on it unless you have somewhere else to store it temporarily.

Overwise for an external disc just buy a standard disc, I don't think SSD give any real advantage as external drives
Denni on 29 May 2014
In reply to stewieb:

Cheers for the replies folks. Looking it up, seems it is more performance than storage driven.
Appreciate the advice, Den
Only a hill - on 29 May 2014
In reply to stewieb:

> Solid State Disk (SSD) is really designed for very fast performance and you are not going to benefit from one if you are using it externally.

Sorry but this is quite simply not true. If you use a USB3 or Thunderbolt enclosure then performance is about the same as if the same drive was mounted internally.

How do I know? I currently use an external USB3 SSD as my boot drive, and it's indistinguishable from using it in an internal drive bay.

Kipper - on 29 May 2014
In reply to Only a hill:

> Sorry but this is quite simply not true.

It is; if you read 'use it externally' as 'use it externally for data storage' rather than O/S or heavy read operations.

It seems a waste of money for pure data storage.

stewieb on 29 May 2014
In reply to Kipper:

> It is; if you read 'use it externally' as 'use it externally for data storage' rather than O/S or heavy read operations.

> It seems a waste of money for pure data storage.

Thank You. If anyone wants to spend an extra 400 so they can back up a photo in 0.2 seconds rather than 1 then good luck to them but that doesn't sound like the case from the OP.
craigloon - on 29 May 2014
In reply to Denni:

> I didn't even know what a SSD drive was until today

Your MacBook Air has one!

On the backup issue, why not consider a service like Dropbox for backing up photos and documents?

remus - on 30 May 2014
In reply to Denni:

as has been mentioned an sad is probably unecessary, far more expensive on a per GB basis than a traditional drive and no real benefit if you'll only be accessing the data very occasonally.

Amazon do a 1TB external drive for 45. Couple of those and you'll be good to go.
tom84 - on 30 May 2014
In reply to stewieb:

actually it would be like 0.1 rather than 0.2 ;) but i agree, for storage theres no point spending over a grand on 1tb of ssd storage!
In reply to Denni:

> My old hard drive is near capacity and when I plugged it in to save a couple of things from my Mac, of course it wasn't Mac formatted as everything was from my old windows laptop so I need to get one specifically for it.

This shouldn't happen. Macs can read PC formatted disks. Plug it in and start up Disk Utility to take a look at it. There may be some other problem here.

> Any advice from anyone? Would prefer something smaller and not a big clunky hard drive hence the SSD recommendation from a friend. 1TB should suffice.

As others have said, SSD for storage is going to be expensive. Get something like this:

http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/samsung-2tb-m3-portable-hard-drive-usb30-a76nn

Tiny, uses power from the USB and has vast storage. Always buy more than you can if you get the chance (ie. if you think 1TB is enough, buy 2TB). Make sure it has USB3 connection.

You can get Thunderbolt versions as well which are even faster but they tend to still be more expensive and USB3 is fast enough for storage.

http://www.dabs.com/products/lacie-2tb-rugged-thunderbolt---usb-3-0-external-hard-drive-97P3.html

Alan
ben b - on 30 May 2014
In reply to Denni:

Hi Denni
Some good advice above. I'd suggest (in order):

1) Slim down your files. Use something like Daisy Disk or Space Gremlin and clear out the rubbish. That should help for a while but ultimately you need to do something else as well.

2) Buy an external HDD (no need for SSD - you have one already in your MBA and that's enough). On an MBA you can either use a USB (cheapest) or Thunderbolt (most expensive) without the need for any adapters. If you get a BUS powered drive it will be portable and not need an external power supply brick, which makes it much easier to carry around with you. They contain laptop 'portable' drives (2.5' rather than fat 3.25' desktop hard drives that need more power).

Cheaper large drives will need their own power supply and are best left on the desk.

3) Alternatively, assuming you have a MBA with an SD card slot e.g. for cameras, there are a number of companies who make cut down SD cards that slot in and add storage e.g. http://www.amazon.co.uk/PNY-StorEDGE-Expansion-MacBook-Display/dp/B00DC9U2Q8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&...

These slot in and fit near flush to the edge of the MBA - up to 128Gb of solid state storage - no leads required. I have one in as I type this and it has worked perfectly so far. I also have a LaCie Thunderbolt rubberised 1Tb portable drive which was more expensive but also much larger...

4) Lastly somewhere like OWC can sell you replacement SSDs for MBAs - big 480Gb drives and a screwdriver are about USD400 if you are feeling brave and want to crack open your MBA...

If you aren't sure what model of MBA you have then everymac.com can tell you.

HTH

b
ben b - on 30 May 2014
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Not all Macs have USB3 though, so assuming you the OP isn't planning on replacing it soon he could use a USB2 model... but not much cost difference these days.

b

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