Best solution for multiple external drives?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by livingfortoday, Aug 31, 2006.

?

Which Option?

  1. Option 1: Add more FW enclosures

    8 vote(s)
    42.1%
  2. Option 2: Set up a computer with the drives

    3 vote(s)
    15.8%
  3. Option 3: Some sort of multi-drive enclosure

    8 vote(s)
    42.1%
  1. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #1
    Hey everybody. As I started looking into getting a new external hard drive, bringing my total up to three now, I wondered if maybe there wasn't an easier way to do this. I have three options, as far as I see, and would like your guys' opinions on which of the three would be:

    a) better for the drives
    b) most energy efficient
    c) fastest for media playback
    d) most inexpensive overall

    Option 1:
    Get a third FW400 enclosure, daisy chain them all, and access all my files like that. Three external drive enclosures.

    Option 2:
    Get a low-end Powermac G4, stick the drives in there with a PCI IDE controller card, and access them over my network.

    Option 3:
    Get a multi-drive FW400 enclosure, and stick them all in there. Also, if you know of any good ones of these, please give me some links, too!

    I may want to get a fourth drive soon as well, so I guess keep that in mind too. Thanks for your help!
     
  2. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
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    Oregon
  3. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #3
    I bought a 4 drive external firewire drive from eBay. Works great, and it was only about $150 with shipping. I also got one of these things so I can attach SATA and notebook drives. Works really well for me. Then just sell your current cases, maybe keep one as a backup. If you're only going to get 1 or 2 more drives, you could always just get one of the 2 drive kits. They're cheaper, and then you'd still have your current cases to stack.
     
  4. danielbriggs macrumors 6502

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    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #4
  5. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #5
    Those IcyDocks look really awesome, though I'm only seeing SATA ones, and I have two IDE drives right now. Also, I don't know if I can find those in the US?

    Edit: OK, I see that it's also IDE. I can't seem to find 'em in the US, though. Any suggestions as to where to look?
     
  6. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    E-sata all the way baby!

    I had the same issue. after countless hours of research, i decided on a 4-bay external E-sata HD tower from addonics.com
    http://addonics.com/products/raid_system/ast4.asp

    you have to buy the cables and the HD connectors, but it's fairly cost effective.
    you also need a pci e-sata card. i bought this one from sonnet:
    http://sonnettech.com/product/tempo_sata_x4p.html

    I have 2 500 GB drives in it and soon to add at least 1 more.

    but the addonics site has some others listed.

    the HDs appear on the screen as if they are in the system already. pretty sweet. the huge advantage is that the sata connection is much faster than FW400 or 800 from my research.

    the only complaint (and it's a small one), is that the fans are a touch loud, but not as loud as my G4 wind tunnel , but the addonics sits near my G5 which is silent so any noise would be heard :)

    oh and the addonics tower can be be upgraded to be RAID or use the 5 port multiplier (which is just insane - possibility of 20 HDs??! :)

    e-sata is the way to go overall. external HDs are great for portability, but they are very expensive when compared to this solution.

    cheers,
    keebler
     
  7. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #7
    e-sata does look cool, but I have a Mac Mini, so I'm kinda outta luck there. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
     
  8. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    oops...my bad...i'm an idiot for not reading your description. sorry. an enclosure will still be cheaper if you get a FW solution. internal HDs are cheaper. good luck.
     
  9. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #9
    Yeah, I've found some nice 4-bay Firewire ones with removeable racks for around $150. Not too shabby, especially if I sell off my current enclosures.
     
  10. Markleshark macrumors 603

    Markleshark

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, Up Norf!
    #10
    I was thinkin about doing your 'Option B'. How hard would this be to setup do you think, and what software would I need? Could do it headless of course, with a low end G4 or high end G3 PowerMac Im guessing
     
  11. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #11
    Just my two-cents...

    Try to find an enclosure that is quiet. I bought a rather noisy enclosure (lots of fan noise) and it is a bit annoying. I also went the multiple-enclosure route, but I'm not sure I'd do the same again. I think its better to have multiple power supplies and multiple controller boards. You'll pay more for multiple enclosures, but they can fail seperately and you aren't totally toast. This is the same reason I don't like iMacs (combine screens and CPU) and combo DVD/TVs.

    This is the one I bought. It looks nice, but I think its too noisy.

    http://www.cooldrives.com/copr0fi80ald.html
     
  12. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #12
    Hey, bringing this thread back to life... I was looking at this as an option:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5156998176

    Whaddya'll think? I wanted something that'll fit my three drives as well as the external DVD-RW, so that could work... right? It says up to 500GB drives, but I can't imagine it wouldn't take a 750GB instead... or am I mistaken?
     
  13. poolin1243 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Location:
    Kansas City,MO/Milwaukee, WI
    #13
    i was wondering the same question as the OP kinda.... i have about 8!!! yes...count em 8 external firewire drives. all 2.5 inch i belive (smartdisk firelite and g-mini brand drives)

    whats my best solution. is there such a thing as like a multible firewire cable splitter thing to daisy chain a ton of drives together? whats my best option?
     
  14. Lollypop macrumors 6502a

    Lollypop

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #14
    Would have to say option 1, but I like option 2 a lot, it wont be the cheapest option, but you make the drives accessible to any other computer you have, you can apply security, have transparent backups and it also allows for mobility via a WiFi connection.
     
  15. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #15
    That's similar to the one I have, only mine is just the 4 5.25 slots with brackets for the drives. Bought it from the same guy I think. Shipping is a bit expensive, but it got here quick, and it's nice and quiet. Drives seem to stay fairly cool too. Pretty happy with it. Much better than the stacked drives I used to have.
     
  16. develove macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    #16
    I think what you need is a Firewire hub. Check Belkin.
     
  17. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #17
    Well everybody, I actually ended up getting a PM G4 to hold my drives, since as someone on here mentioned, I can easily access things on it over my network (which will be rather helpful). Plus, the price was right!

    Thanks for all your help!
     

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