Help deciding between a few external HD options!
Old 30th December 2012
  #1
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Help deciding between a few external HD options!

I just ordered a new 2012 Mac Mini with 2.6GHz i7, 16 gb ram (3rd party), and a 256 GB SSD as system drive.

I currently have a 500 GB Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid in a Firewire 800 enclosure but really want to take advantage of the Mac Mini's Thunderbolt Port or maybe the USB 3.0's!

Here's a few choices I've seen:

1. Large SSD (OCZ Vertex 4, Samsung 840, etc) in a USB 3.0 enclosure (I cannot for the life of me find an empty Thunderbolt enclosure...)

2. Another small (256 GB or so) SSD external from LaCie, maybe their rugged one and use that for recording to and holding samples/audio and get a very large regular HDD to back up project files and keep things on there that I won't use often.

3. Stick with my Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid and stick it into a USB 3.0 enclosure

Will I notice any difference between USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt in actual use? What's a read/write speed where I will have no problem whatsoever?

Thanks in advance!
Old 30th December 2012
  #2
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Anyone? =(

I may actually end up just installing a second SSD (larger, like 500 GB or so) with OWC's kit. Hmmmm
Old 30th December 2012
  #3
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Cheapest option is to take your existing drive and put it in a new case. You'll get faster speeds with USB 3.0 and you won't spend a fortune.

Do a Google on OWC's SSDs. Over the last two years there have been a number of incompatibility issues which OWC has moved slowly on. Personally if I was looking for an SSD right now I'd get the Samsung 840 Series SSD 500Gb and put it in a USB 3.0 case.

A case can be purchased for around the same price as the OWC kit, portability has its advantages, and the real-world speeds are not appreciably different from what I've read.
Old 30th December 2012
  #4
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Alright, that makes sense! And you don't think the 840 Pro difference is worth the 200 extra bucks right? I guess it adds MLC and faster write times, which I don't think I'll be caring about as much.

As for Thunderbolt I think I'll just wait until there are empty enclosures that aren't a fortune!
Old 30th December 2012
  #5
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No most people don't need the Pro. For loading audio you really don't.

I think everyone's waiting for cheap TB cases. Supposedly new, smaller and cheaper controller chips will be out in 2013 and that's when we'll see some good choices.
Old 30th December 2012
  #6
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Sounds good! Thanks for the help. I think I'll be going with the Samsung 840 with USB 3.0 enclosure.

I'll use my other external for iTunes library and other files so it gets put to use still =P
Old 30th December 2012
  #7
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Sweet, the Fry's near me has it for 350 (370 on newegg)
Old 30th December 2012
  #8
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Old 30th December 2012
  #9
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Oh, nice! That case is sweet, and much cheaper than their Mercury case

Another question, that I MOSTLY know the answer to but want to make sure:

What exactly should be kept on the external instead of the system drive?

Can plugin presets/kits be on the external in addition to sample libraries?
Old 31st December 2012
  #10
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Can't help you much with the file housekeeping, sorry.

FYI, B&H just dropped the price of that Samsung SSD to $314. Now I'm thinking about getting one myself!
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