1. Welcome to the new MacRumors forums. See our announcement and read our FAQ

A Good External Hard Drive?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by ump3, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. macrumors member


    Can anyone recommend a good external HD? I own a G4 867. are the LaCie d2's any good?

    If I wanted a USB2.0 external would i have to buy a USB2.0 card? would a USB2.0 drive be quicker than a firewire drive

  2. macrumors 6502a

    Due to the nature of i/o on drives, despite USB2 being rated at a higher rate than FW400, FW400 is faster. LaCie (and most makers these day) make most of their drives available with both USB2 and FW400 connections on board so you don't have to choose.

    For reliability and service, I favour Maxtor externals (with the 8MB cache). My second choice would be Western Digital. I find LaCie to be less reliable and less cooperative in warranty issues than Maxtor. (However, the LaCies are "prettier":cool: )
  3. macrumors 65816


    The LaCie d2 case is nice -- stackable, rackable, even has a neat little desktop mini rack available. And if speed is your concern, you might consider their FW800 models -- compatable with what you have now and useful if (read: "when") you get a FW800 Mac.
  4. macrumors regular


    I would also recommend the Maxtor with 8mb of cache. But, if your looking for the fastest transfer speed than a FW800 drive would be the best. If thats not possible it really doesnt matter if you get a FW400 or USB 2.0 drive. The FW400 transfers at 400mb and the USB 2.0 is 412mb. You won't even notice a difference between that marginal amout.

    So, inconclusion, get a FW800 if your computer supports it, if not, get the Maxtor with 8mb of cache.
  5. macrumors 65816


    My understanding is that the edge FW400 has over USB2.0 is that FW technology allows peripherals to communicate directly, rather than through the processor -- so when copying a file from your on-board HD to your external HD, FW allows the two drives to talk directly, while USB requires the processor to transfer. This gives a higher *average* through-put even if theoretical peak through-put is the same for the two (or even, I think, a bit higher for USB2.0).

    Besides, FireWire is a far cooler name :cool:, while "USB" is just some dopey acronym.:D
  6. macrumors 68040



    That and FW400 communicates at no less than 400mbps. USB 2 has to scale up according to demand, and is limited by the slowest device on the bus, and that it rarely passes 350mbps in such bandwidth - on a good day.
  7. macrumors member


    I don't need excessive speed (not doing video or anything) the 7200rpm one already in my mac is fine speed wise. I'm looking more for reliability.

    the FW800? is this only available in the US? (I'm in the UK) I can't seem to find much info about it.

  8. macrumors 65816


    What does a drooling hamster look like anyway?


    When I first saw this, I thought "Oooo, let's get us one" -- then realized that hooking this up to my Rev. A 500Mhz TiBook would be like that GE commercial where the have their turbofan jet engine mounted on the Wright brothers' plane...but in reverse! Big plane, weasly little engine....

    Also, I like the bit in the animation about compatability -- and the fourth possiblity ("not a chance"). :D
  9. macrumors member


    what models have the 8mb cache? the 3000DV 80GB FireWire? or is it all of them?

  10. macrumors 65816


    I have an 867 G4 Powerbook and a 120GB Lacie D2. The HDD is pretty and seems really good with literally no hitches. If FW800 is twice as fast as FW400, then wow.
  11. macrumors 68040



    Before anyone gets their hopes up for doubling the speed of thier hard drives, please remember this: FW800 is twice the conection bandwidth/speed. So you probably won't see a doubling of total performance on a single 7200RPM drive. You won't really reap the benefits of such a fast connection until you are dealing with a RAID array - capable of pumping out HD performance to match such a connection with all of the read/write heads.
  12. macrumors 68020


    Do not get IBM drives

    I have an external 60GB IBM drive and it is terrible. It looses only the herarchical structure and it ask me to be reformated already 2 times. I got Disc Warrior to rebuild the internal structure and resque my files. I los 50GB 2 month ago and I'm waiting for a replacement of other brand.
  13. macrumors member


    I have looked at the Maxtor drives and the cheaper models don't have a power button, does this mean when you shutdown your mac the drive/fan will still remain on? and will I have to remove the power cable to stop this?

  14. macrumors 6502a

    They all have power buttons (you just have to look closely.) As for 8MB caches, no, they all don't have that (but it's really only necessary for the larger drives because of the number of platters and the data density-- on smaller drives, performance improvements are small with larger caches; this is a bit of simplification about drive tech-- there's actually more to it) The only confusing thing about Maxtor externals is that I've seen in the retail markets two drives given the same model numbers but actually have different cache specs, that's where you have to be careful to specify which one you want.

    The more I think about it, what you may be thinking is the power button on the more expensive Maxtors is actually their one-touch backup button (using Retrospect from Danz) It's the big button on the front.
  15. macrumors member


  16. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    I have a LaCie d2 120 Gig and love it, its been working fine and looks good on the desk.

  17. macrumors member


    does this drive have a power button?
  18. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Of course it does.....;)

    Here's a clip from the pdf manual.


    Attached Files:

  19. macrumors member


    the reason I ask about the power button is, I'm sure I read somewhere that a certain external doesn't come with one and you have to unplug the power to stop it whirring.

    has anyone heard anything about these too:


    presumably its just a case redesign, not entirely sure if I prefer the look of these to the d2's though. They look a bit like their covers are missing or something, and wheres the power button?! (I'll shut up about that now!)

  20. macrumors 6502a

    ump3, just for you:D :D :D I'm going to go and take pics of the power button on the 3000DV at the local Frys tomorrow and post them here.

    I can see the button, but I guess I know what I'm lookin' for so it's easy to find.

    As for the F.A. Porsche drives... uhhhh, don't know what to make of 'em. The older LaCie pocket drive designed by F.A. Porsche were kind of cool (looked like a little ingot of silver) These new ones just look like metal boxes-- give me a machine room and I'll put one together in about 10 mins.:rolleyes:

Share This Page