Upgrading To USB 3

If you have purchased a new Mac recently, it comes with USB 3 ports. These look just like USB 2, but are much faster. If you are still using USB 2 external drives you will want to consider upgrading as the speed difference is worth the price. Thunderbolt may seem like an even better option, but unless you are paying a lot for an SSD, the speed of standard drives will give you the same results between USB 3 and Thunderbolt, so you may as well go for the much cheaper option.

Comments: 16 Responses to “Upgrading To USB 3”

    Mike
    4 years ago

    Perhaps Gary your viewers may have an interest in learning more about RAID technology in a future post. I chose getting an enclosure with two 3.0TB Drives to connect to my Mac Pro thunderbolt 2 port along with using individual USB 3 Drives. Very pleased with that choice.

      4 years ago

      Never found the need to use a RAID before. In a world where you can now get 2TB SSDs, I’m wondering why you would even need one. In the past I’ve seen video editor use RAIDs for speed when cost wasn’t an issue. But now you would just buy a large SSD instead, right?

        Mike
        4 years ago

        I will likely go the SSD route when they become increasingly more affordable. My Mac Pro (refurb.) only has the 250GB Drive which is why I went the RAID route until I can afford to put at least a 1TB drive in it.

          4 years ago

          Right. Things have changed so quickly. 1TB SSDs are now well under $500. But not too long ago RAID was a clear winner just based on price.

          Jasper robinson
          4 years ago

          I was about to get rid of my slow 2010 mbp but decided to replace the HDD with ssd. The improvement in performance has been stunning and I now use the old HDD in a usb 3 caddy for back ups.

            Dennis
            4 years ago

            I did the same thing with my 17″ MBP (mid 2010) with it’s i7 2.66GHz and 8MB of RAM. I placed 2 x 240GB SSD. Works super fast. The only downside are the slow USB 2 and Fire-Wire 800 ports. I hope there is an eSATA express card available that works on my MBP. So far, I have bought 2 different sATA express cards but none of them work on OSX :( Still hoping to find one because my MBP is running smoothly and I do not want to spend 3000 hard coins on that new fantastic iMac Retina ;)

    ccoontreras
    4 years ago

    I found this for my imac 27″ mid 2011 http://www.kanex.com/thunderbolt-esata

    Carlos
    4 years ago

    Are there any certain USB 3.0 external hard drives that you recommend for time machine backups? I currently have a Mercury Elite Pro 2TB from OWC (USB 2.0). Thx!

      4 years ago

      I wouldn’t recommend any without first trying out a variety of them and testing them against each other. I would just check reviews and see what the “crowd” says about them. I ended up getting a 4TB Seagate one.

    Per Falkjær
    4 years ago

    I bought a new card-reader and might now consider shooting in RAW;-))

    Ray
    4 years ago

    How can one tell which USB one has?

      4 years ago

      One way is to look at the product specs for the Mac you bought. But if you don’t have those handy, just go to the Apple menu, choose About this Mac. Then System Report. Look for USB on the left and select it and you’ll see the details.

    Rick
    4 years ago

    I wished firewire had become the standard, USB is so problematic.

      4 years ago

      Care to elaborate? Firewire 800 is half the speed of USB 3.

    mctavish
    4 years ago

    I bought my most recent EHD on the basis of this report -https://www.backblaze.com/blog/best-hard-drive/. The accompanying comments indicate some controversy, but overall it seemed like a pretty good guide.

    Jamie
    4 years ago

    Very informative video.

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