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What will the best Mac Pro storage expansion be this christmas?

post #1 of 4
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I'm going to buy one of the new Mac Pros this Christmas, but the storage is way too low to fit my iTunes library.  What are the best storage expansions (thunderbolt 2?) that would pair well with a Mac Pro and will be out by Christmas?

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post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I'm going to buy one of the new Mac Pros this Christmas, but the storage is way too low to fit my iTunes library.  What are the best storage expansions (thunderbolt 2?) that would pair well with a Mac Pro and will be out by Christmas?

How would we know? I mean really if it isn't out already how would we know anything. If it is pre announced it is vapor ware.
post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I'm going to buy one of the new Mac Pros this Christmas, but the storage is way too low to fit my iTunes library.  What are the best storage expansions (thunderbolt 2?) that would pair well with a Mac Pro and will be out by Christmas?

It depends on how much storage is needed. Thunderbolt 2 is overkill for basic storage needs because the drives aren't fast enough to come near the bandwidth offered. If it's just for a basic amount of space, one of these would suffice:

http://www.amazon.com/BUFFALO-MiniStation-Thunderbolt-Portable-Drive/dp/B008D4X9VC

even just USB 3 would do:

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Expansion-Portable-External-STBX1000101/dp/B008R7FC74

They are bus-powered so no external adaptors.

If you need more capacity, the next level up would be the 3.5" drives:

http://www.amazon.com/LaCie-Thunderbolt-Series-External-9000353/dp/B00AJJIUKO
http://www.amazon.com/G-Technology-External-Firewire-Interfaces-0G02484/dp/B009PK6VWM
http://www.amazon.com/LaCie-Thunderbolt-External-Drive-9000359/dp/B00AXUB9CA

If you need bulk storage above 8TB, the next level would be the RAID enclosures:

http://www.amazon.com/Mobius-trade-5-Bay-FireWire-Enclosure/dp/B00CH94GMK
http://www.amazon.com/DataTale-RS-M4T-Thunderbolt-Storage-Enclosure/dp/B00CC0VRQC

Beyond that, there are options at higher price points:

http://www.amazon.com/Areca-ARC-8050-Thunderbolt-RAID-8-Bay/dp/B009ZM9PYQ
http://www.amazon.com/Promise-Technology-Enclosure-Product-PR402US/dp/B0055SHVYK
http://www.amazon.com/Promise-Technologies-Pegasus-Enclosure-PR6HD24TUS/dp/B00CWG3T80
post #4 of 4

I would add to the excellent summary above that the Areca ARC-5026, a four bay Thunderbolt RAID enclosure, recently became available. Amazon doesn't list it yet, but they have it at Newegg.

 

I would also add two points to keep in mind:

 

1) Media files such as music and videos can be streamed from relatively low speed storage with no impact on performance, so it is a waste of money to keep these on high speed storage devices.

 

2) There will be build to order options to get a higher capacity internal SSD than what the base model has, up to a 1TB SSD. Prices aren't available yet, but on the iMac it is $300 to go from 256GB to 512GB, and $800 to upgrade to 1TB.

 

So for some people considering a RAID enclosure, it _might_ be more cost effective to use the money to get a larger SSD and then buy a couple of inexpensive external USB 3 drives for media and Time Machine backup. If your "real work" (the stuff you interact with when using the computer) will all fit on the SSD drive, it will be faster than even a RAID array with conventional hard disks, and a couple of conventional external disks will take up less room, and generate less noise, than a RAID enclosure.

 

I did a survey of what I have on my own disk. I have about 1.5TB on my internal 2TB and some media files on an external disk. Of the 1.5TB, about 1TB consist of more media files and about 0.5 TB with "real work," so in my case I would keep the 0.5TB on the external disk and offload the music, movies and pictures to an external disk.

 

The only drawback I can see is that I have a lot of photos that I manage with Aperture and I would like to see some benefit from an SSD when using Aperture. However, I have always kept the original photo files in a separate folder, not in the Aperture library itself, so I could offload the photos to the external disk and keep the Aperture library on the SSD. I think I would still see good performance since Aperture keeps the generated thumbnails in the library.

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