Hi. Hardware, I'm sorry to say, generally makes my head hurt.
Today Apple's delayed Thunderbolt-to-FW800 adapter made it appearance in Apple Stores.
Purchasers of the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display (rMBP) now have a nearly full set of options for using external drives with Aperture. I had been using a stable of FW800 drives (with my MBP 5,5). I'm looking for recommendations on what to upgrade to.
(Aside: I've been too busy to post a comment recommending the rMPB. It's my main Aperture machine (I use Aperture every day, but work in two different locations) -- I'm _very_ happy with it. Highly recommended. My machine is 16 GB RAM and 500 GB SSD. But there's still this ports problem ... .)
The options I know of:
- use the new adapter and use the old FW drives. These can be daisy-chained, as before. Afaik, the total throughput is limited by what TBolt allows (which may be more than enough).
- move drives to USB3 enclosures. I did this as a stop-gap measure while waiting for the adapters. I got my enclosures from OWC. The drives are not daisy-chainable. The rMBA has two USB3 ports.
- buy eSATA hubs and use the eSATA ports on the drives. This one just became available. Expensive, imho. Not sure how the Mac will handle it (I always have Originals referenced to external drives; I sometimes have Libraries on external drives).
- move drives to TBolt enclosures. These are slowly coming on the market. They are very expensive (imho).
- replace the drives with TBolt drives. Also very expensive.
- replace the drives with USB3 drives
I'm looking for a reasonable middle-term (3-5 years) solution. Fwiw, I'm not convinced that external drive throughput is even an issue with running Aperture. It seem to run well on my rMBA even when a large library is connected via USB2. (I assume Aperture is good at taking advantage of the 16 MB RAM and the SSD "scratch drive".) I need to have one USB2 port, and one TBolt port, available at all times (various peripherals; the TBolt is for external monitors).