Mac USB 3.0 External Hard Drives

The USB 3 Mac backup drive market is maturing rapidly. Many people are already enjoying the benefits of SuperSpeed with all recent Mac models now shipping with on-board USB 3.0 ports. USB 3 SSD and hard drive manufacturers quickly switched from USB2 to USB 3 chipsets in their external drive enclosures to take advantage of the USB 3 Mass Storage drivers that OSX Mavericks, Leopard and Lion now includes.

External USB 3.0 Hard Disk Drives

Here's a sampling of some of the best portable hard drives for Mac backup via USB 3.0:
#1 Choice : Seagate Backup+5 Colors - WD DriveLaCie Porsche Portable
Seagate USB3 Backup+

Optional Interfaces
TBolt - eSATA - FW800
Western Digital USB3

Up To 2 Terabytes!
LaCie USB3 Backup Drive

500GB and 1TB Drives

Mac USB 3.0 Hard Drive Performance

Although USB 3 delivers huge leaps in data transfer speeds over USB 2.0, single-mechanism mechanical hard drives that the average Mac user is likely to purchase can't take advantage of most of the increased bandwidth. The mechanical drive is itself a bottleneck. However most USB3 Mac owners WILL typically see a noticable reduction of typically 20% to 30% in, say, Time Machine backup times. USB3's Bi-Directional data transfers are more efficient and involve less CPU overhead. And, unlike ThunderBolt data storage solutions, USB 3.0 drives don't cost any more than their USB2 predecessors. However, to really take advantage of USB 3's prowess, MULTI-drive USB3 RAID arrays with 2 or more hard disks, or a USB 3 SSD backup drive are needed to significantly decrease backup times and file transfers.

Apple Compatible USB 3.0 Backup Hard Drives

The Mac backup drive market rapidly adopted the USB3 standard and nearly all USB desktop and protable drives are now SuperSpeed enabled. The cost of a USB3 vs USB2 chipset is so negligible, there's no point in making USB 2.0 only HDD or SSD drives anymore. Apple Macintosh users can now buy Macintosh desktop and MacBook laptop systems with USB 3.0 across Apple's current computer lineup.

Most US3 drives come preformatted for Windows - but work out of the box on a Mac because of OSX's ability to read different drive formats. However for OPTIMAL use on Mac OSX, you may want to reformat the drive with Apple's Disk Utility with a GUID Partition Table in OSX Extended Format before you do your first Time Machine backup.