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ExFAT vs NTFS

i have 2 WD external drives i just dumped to my NAS and i want to reformat them

Which is better?

and does Mac OSX write on exFAT? I know it doesn't write on NTFS :( wtf..
16 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about exfat ntfs
  1. Go with NTFS (New Technology File System) - FAT (File Allocation Table) is the old system.

    Don't know about Macs
  2. I'm pretty sure OSX can see NTFS just fine. I don't use apples though, so I'm not positive.
  3. cjl said:
    I'm pretty sure OSX can see NTFS just fine. I don't use apples though, so I'm not positive.


    Not natively you will need a program and most are read only. Writing to NTFS from OSX is possible but not assured
  4. razercultmember1 said:
    i have 2 WD external drives i just dumped to my NAS and i want to reformat them

    Which is better?

    and does Mac OSX write on exFAT? I know it doesn't write on NTFS :( wtf..


    OsX can write to NTFS but you need a program/driver to translate to the NTFS proprietary format

    http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/ mentions 1 http://www.tuxera.com/products/tuxera-ntfs-for-mac/ trial 15 days

    haven't used exFAT my other option would be to read the mac drive from windows using Macdrive software or something similar it supports reads and writes

    Macdrive link http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive/

    best regards
  5. http://www.apple.com/support/

    Mac OS X 10.5.x and 10.6.x support reading and writing to and from FAT32 formatted Windows drives.

    I really doubt that has changed over the years.

    I would not hold your breath over exFAT support under Mac OS X.

    The best option is to use a network file system and shares, or a product like VMware which can do something similar using a virtual network within the Mac. You'll need to read the manual on it, and have at least 3GB of physical RAM.
  6. Best answer
    Realistically:

    If the NAS presents a network file system (similar to Samba, or SMB, etc) then it does not matter what file-system they are formatted in any network aware Operating System should be able to read and write to/from the device if the permissions are set to allow it.
  7. thats true Scott2010au i have a WD worldbook NAS and it works fine

    but i need a portable hdd should i just make 2 partitions on it one for my mac osx and one for my windows 7?
  8. You could, or you could just use FAT32.

    Apple recommend "Mac OS Extended and Mac OS Extended Journaled".

    Microsoft recommend the latest version of NTFS.

    Using FAT32 would limit you to 4GB as the maximum file size, which can be rather annoying at times. It's also not an ideal filesystem overall for drives of todays size / speed ratios.
  9. This is worth knowing if you are a Mac user too:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2426
  10. I would go with NTFS.
  11. razercultmember1 said:
    i have 2 WD external drives i just dumped to my NAS and i want to reformat them

    Which is better?

    and does Mac OSX write on exFAT? I know it doesn't write on NTFS :( wtf..


    Yes Mac OSX will write to exFat, but not NTFS

    Do not confuse Fat32 And exFat they are not the same, fat32 is limited to 4g

    Both the Mac and Windows, Vista and 7 ( xp with a Patch ) will Read and Write to exfat.

    There is no file size limitation with exFat, so it will support files much larger then 4g.

    A better more informed explanation can be found at http://www.ntfs.com/ntfs_vs_fat.htm

    If your sharing the drive between Mac OSX and Windows. I would, and do, use exfat.
  12. Scott2010au said:
    You could, or you could just use FAT32.

    Apple recommend "Mac OS Extended and Mac OS Extended Journaled".

    Microsoft recommend the latest version of NTFS.

    Using FAT32 would limit you to 4GB as the maximum file size, which can be rather annoying at times. It's also not an ideal filesystem overall for drives of todays size / speed ratios.


    exFat is not the same as fat32. There is no 4GB limitation with exFat. and its just as fast as NTFS.
  13. No, it's not as fast. I tested it myself with a ADATA S102 16GB USB3.0 stick on a USB2.0 port on my Vaio laptop with Windows 7 64-bit. Speeds (MB/s)?
    FAT32 - about 25-30 write / 30 read, but of course the limitation of a single file that's not larger than 4GB is silly on a 16GB stick
    NTFS - about 25-35 write / 30 read
    exFAT - about 17 / 25

    the write speeds were enormously different (copying same files - an ~8GB .iso file, and a full HD movie in .mkv format (~8GB)).
    I tested it because I use Windows at home, but there are Macs at my University and I wanted compatibility. But when I saw the write speeds on exFAT... I just decided "No way, I'm goin' back to NTFS!" and so I did.
  14. Anonymous said:
    No, it's not as fast. I tested it myself with a ADATA S102 16GB USB3.0 stick on a USB2.0 port on my Vaio laptop with Windows 7 64-bit. Speeds (MB/s)?
    FAT32 - about 25-30 write / 30 read, but of course the limitation of a single file that's not larger than 4GB is silly on a 16GB stick
    NTFS - about 25-35 write / 30 read
    exFAT - about 17 / 25

    the write speeds were enormously different (copying same files - an ~8GB .iso file, and a full HD movie in .mkv format (~8GB)).
    I tested it because I use Windows at home, but there are Macs at my University and I wanted compatibility. But when I saw the write speeds on exFAT... I just decided "No way, I'm goin' back to NTFS!" and so I did.


    You first said "No, it's not as fast." Then at the end, you said exFAT is faster. So which is which? What's the real deal?
  15. Ubrales said:
    Go with NTFS (New Technology File System) - FAT (File Allocation Table) is the old system.

    Don't know about Macs


    exFAT is actually newer than NTFS.
    In terms of newness:
    exFAT > NTFS > FAT32 > FAT16 > FAT

    However, newer is not the same as better. exFAT is specifically designed for USB thumb drives (for SSDs without wear leveling). Such drives should not be formatted using a journaling file system like NTFS or ext2+. This is why they are most commonly formatted using FAT32, however FAT32 is ancient and thus MS made exFAT especially for such drives.

    A western digital external drive is going to be a spinning disk drive and as such should be formatted as NTFS on a windows system, not exFAT
  16. Ubrales said:
    Go with NTFS (New Technology File System) - FAT (File Allocation Table) is the old system.

    Don't know about Macs


    ExFat is the newer system. I believe you didn't read the question properly or else you didn't understand it.
    If you want to swap files between Windows and Ubuntu then you need your USB stick formatted to ExFat.
    Ubuntu won't use NTFS because it's Microsoft's copyrighted version of Fat 64. This led me to believe that ExFat must be public domain. Having read some of the replies I now think that it may not be the case.
    However, Ubuntu and Windows speak Fat32 which is public domain.
    Fat32 has limitations but can be read by any computer and that is why USB sticks are sold with it.
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