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U.S.B. or Thunderbolt? Comparing the price of high performance storage on the eve of 2015

Now that it’s Christmas time, many technology aficionados are choosing to give themselves away or give away storage upgrades. That usually means buying an external drive for your Mac . These days, prices are low enough to consider it.

But the most affordable solutions always go through a traditional hard drive, with a USB 3.0 cable. I’m not saying they’re bad, but… Is there a chance to go one step higher in efficiency ? Has the price of Thunderbolt disks gone down? Let’s have a look.

If you want performance, you want an SSD

U.S.B. or Thunderbolt? Comparing the price of high performance storage on the eve of 2015
U.S.B. or Thunderbolt? Comparing the price of high performance storage on the eve of 2015

First of all, if we want to stay in real efficiency, we have to be clear about one thing: don’t go for a Thunderbolt disc if the speed of that disc causes a bottleneck . That is: why spend money on a 10 or 20 Gb per second Thunderbolt disk when the disk itself does not reach even one tenth of those read or write speeds? That’s why you have to go straight to an SSD if you want a real performance boost .

Therefore, the fair comparison here is a traditional hard disk and USB 3.0 connection with an SSD and Thunderbolt connection. We will ignore the models specially prepared for Mac, since any dico can be formatted in HFS+ or ExFAT as appropriate .

Mechanical disks with USB connections

The advantage of USB external drives is that they are cheap right now. Portable and ultra thin models, like this Seagate, range from 59.95 euros for 500 GB of space to 124.95 euros for 2 TB . And we are talking about portable discs, which usually are more expensive. Of course, the price varies depending on which disk you want: a LaCie 1TB costs ?94.95, while a Rugged range costs ?149.95 for more connections.

But if you look around, you’ll see that low- or mid-range portable USB storage solutions range from 60 to 200 euros depending on the options and size. Then there are other more professional and expensive solutions, such as this G-DRIVE desktop disk that reaches 4 TB for 289.95 euros.

SSD disks with Thunderbolt

Let’s move on to the interesting part: how much extra money do we have to put in to have an external SSD connected to Thunderbolt? I’m not talking about intermediate steps like this mechanical G-DRIVE disc or this Western Digital one, but about the good stuff the best . We went from the classic platters to the chips.

Well, here’s a LaCie Rugged disc that provides the perfect example. External SSD with Thunderbolt connection: EUR 279.95 for 250 GB and EUR 479.95 for 500 GB . It’s already getting harder.

The icing on the cake is this LaCie desktop disc with 1TB of space for ?1249. The conclusion that we can safely draw is that if we want this high performance I was talking about we have to invest between five and eight times more money .

What is the best thing to do?

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Temas de interés Of course it does. Do I need it? I’m not one to tell you for sure. Everyone has their own needs, but I’m sure you won’t even think of buying one of these SSDs with Thunerbolt if you’re only going to store movies, series, photos or small documents in it for everyday use.

The price is still too high for these SSDs to be purchased as standard. I would advise it, for example, for all those who need storage and performance at the same time. Video editors, photographers who retouch large amounts of photos… are examples of people for whom working with a Thunderbolt cable can save a lot of time .

In addition to external drives, there are also Flash cards that are integrated into MacBook Pro

If you’re stuck with the little worm , don’t ignore some other interesting options like Nifty’s Flash disks either. They perform better than a mechanical disk and expand the space of a MacBook Pro with up to an additional 128GB . No, it’s not much, but perhaps it’s more than enough for most people. Another similar alternative we reviewed a year ago is the StorEDGE.

If you are considering expanding your digital storage these kings, you already have something to think about. My last piece of advice this year: don’t eat the best, but eat what you can get the most out of. No Ferraris to pick up the kid from school.

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