My system specs:
- late 2011 13 non-retina
- thunderbolt (1?)
- optical drive
- usb 2
- sdxc @ 2.5 gt/s
- firewire 800
- 128gb ssd
I am wrestling with a few options since I don't have USB3.0:
- USB 3 drive running at usb 2 speed
- Firewire 800 drive
- A few SDXC cards
I am also considering for the long term:
- Thunderbolt to USB3 adapter to usb 3 drive (not ideal since I can't use my TB to dvi anymore)
- Thunderbolt dock (would consider this heavily if it allows me to run 2 external monitors, but I am still not sure if this is possible)
- Thunderbolt drive (expensive)
- Replace optical drive with SSD or HDD (expensive)
I am looking for a solution with less wires and as quick as possible. I am not sure how the transfer rate of the SDXC stacks up to firewire800 and usb 2, but I appreciate the lack of wires. I can get a firewire drive or usb 3 drive pretty cheap locally (obv the usb3 drive would run at usb2 speed but would be more compatible in the future). I am planning to use this for movies, music, dev project backups.
The Thunderbolt dock is interesting to me since it claims you can run an external TB display from it, 3 usb3 slots, AND an external hdmi monitor but it states "Yes, the Thunderbolt Station can support two monitors if one of them is an Apple Thunderbolt Display". If it can support a non-apple thunderbolt display then I would be more interested since were talking about a lot of cash for this setup, still waiting for them to get back to me.
The TB drive isn't really an option if it can't support the daisy chain either, so also looking at a very pricey setup that way.
It seems like replacing the optical drive with a non-ssd is also bad practice since it will increase battery load? And it doesn't really seem worth it to spend so much to add another low capacity ssd?
I am thinking the best options are either the firewire drive (the one I'm considering requires external power), or just picking up some SDXC cards.
Anyways, I apologize for the novel, would really like hear any opinions or experiences with this. Thankee-sai!