Tech: Expanding Your Macbook’s Storage – Part 2 (TarDisk)

This is a second part series of my expanding your Macbook’s storage. You can check out the first post which I did here.

As I scour the internet to find alternative ways to increase my Macbook Pro’s storage space, I chanced upon TarDisk.

TarDisk Breakdown

Just like the JetDrive, the TarDisk is a drive which slots into the slot on both your MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. But that is where the similarities end and where TarDisk’s unique software and bundle differentiates itself from the rest of SD card slot drives.

When you use a standard card slot drive, what your Mac will recognise is just another drive. In the case of TarDisk, it’s software basically combines the storage capacity with your existing SSD. If you have a 128Gb SSD with say, your Macbook Air, adding a 128Gb TarDisk and using it’s Pear software, it will combine and all you see logically on your Mac is a single 256Gb drive.

Pear 2.0 by TarDisk enables commands at the root of OS X to logically allocate files between Pear enabled hardware and your original (probably-full-by-now) Hard Drive.

This makes it unique to other solutions out there and by using a bit of clever differentiation of how often you use individual files, the software then chooses where those files should reside physically. Files used often would be stored in the SSD whilst files which are only accessed rarely will be parked in the TarDisk drive.

Several review sites have managed to perform a benchmark on the TarDisk and with it combined with your existing SSD storage, the performance is still maintained. Why is this important? Well, a standard read speed on your SSD on a Macbook Pro is around 500MB/s whilst a standard drive card running from your SD slot only gets you a speed of around 95MB/s. That’s like just 20% of the performance of an SSD but due to how Pear combines both drives, you still maintain the same SSD transfer rate performance.

If you are thinking that this is just too good to be true, think again. There are downsides to it. For example, with a solution, say JetDrive, if I needed to use my card slot to get data out of my camera or other devices, all I need to do is eject the drive on Mac OS X and then physically remove it. With the TarDisk, because of Pear’s software of combining both your SSD and TarDisk, that option is no longer feasible. You probably would require an external card reader to read SD and SDXC cards.

The real question is, would I get one? With the current exchange rate as it is, a TarDisk would be too expensive. They currently retail at USD$149 for the 128Gb size and USD$399 for the 256GB model.

There is an alternative option which I will cover in part 3 of this series.

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