Large-ca­pac­ity hard disks

Six drives speed-tested and re­viewed

Mac Format - - FRONT PAGE -

In an at­tempt to make their prod­ucts stand out, con­vince us to part with even more cash and, ob­vi­ously, keep up with the de­mands of ever-chang­ing tech­nol­ogy, hard disk mak­ers are in­creas­ingly turn­ing to bun­dled ser­vices, cloud stor­age and NAS. In other words, it can some­times be hard to find the kind of straight­for­ward, no-frills, high-ca­pac­ity desk­top drives that lots of us still want as a place to store our vast iTunes li­braries, photo col­lec­tions, Time Ma­chine back­ups and more. Well, we’re here to help.

Over the next two pages, we’re test­ing drives that, for the most part, do noth­ing more than mount on your desk­top to add ter­abytes and ter­abytes of stor­age. Our only re­quire­ment, when invit­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers to sub­mit their drives, was that they were large- ca­pac­ity drives with at least USB 3.0 con­nec­tions. We chose that in­ter­face as we could guar­an­tee your Mac has a USB port; it may only be USB 2.0 (or, even USB 1.1), so you won’t see the same speeds as we re­port here, but it will at least work.

Some of the drives have other in­ter­faces too, which could pro­vide you with some ex­tra fu­ture-proof­ing. If you have a Mac with FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 ports, for ex­am­ple, the La­Cie 2big Quadra is worth con­sid­er­ing be­cause it

It can be hard to find a straight­for­ward, high-ca­pac­ity desk­top drive to store our many files

runs at the fastest speed you can achieve over FireWire, but when you up­grade your Mac to one with USB 3.0, it goes even faster. Sim­i­larly, the 2big Thun­der­bolt 2 con­nects over USB 2.0, but when you buy a Thun­der­bolt 2-ca­pa­ble Mac, the per­for­mance will sky­rocket.

La­Cie, in­deed, looks like it’s over­rep­re­sented here, but that’s only be­cause it has dif­fer­ent styles of drive that match the cri­te­ria while other man­u­fac­tur­ers don’t; no­body’s been ex­cluded to make way for La­Cie.

And so, while NAS drives, por­ta­ble drives, flash drives and more, have a role to play, some­times all you need is noth­ing more com­pli­cated than a big, re­li­able hard disk hooked up to your Mac. We’ve lined up six of the best to put them through their paces. Let’s be­gin! Christo­pher Phin

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