Bus Powered External HD?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by micvog, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. micvog macrumors 6502


    Sep 10, 2003
    I am looking to get an external HD to backup my system before upgrading to Tiger - backing 20GB of data to DVD is too much hassle.

    I have been leaning towards a "portable" external HD. Is there any down-side to a bus-powered HD? I like the idea of fewer cables, but I seem to recall that connecting the iSight and the iPod to the computer at the same time was causing issues which many felt were bus-power related.

    I have a strong preference for a FW drive as I am running out of USB ports.

    FWIW, I have a 1.8GHz SuperDrive iMac G5 w/1GB RAM and the following devices connected:

    * 3G 20GB iPod (thinking of selling for a 2G iPod Mini)
    * USB Bluetooth Dongle
    * Apple Keyboard/Mouse
    * HP DJ 5740
    * DSL Modem via Ethernet

  2. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    The biggest drawback is price, but if you're willing to spend some money you'll have a nice little bus powered drive.

    And you're right about iSight. If I just plug it in I immediately lose all my other FW devices--iPod, drives, EyeTV.
  3. Sedulous macrumors 68000


    Dec 10, 2002
    I don't have any actual statistics but it seems like FW powered drives are slower than the beefier A/C powered external drives.
  4. micvog thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 10, 2003
    Thanks. At this point I will assume it is an iSight-specific issue and not applicable to all bus-powered devices.

    Probably true. All of the bus-powered FW drives I have found are 2.5" 4200RPM/5400RPM laptop drives. The externally powered drives tend to be 3.5" 7200RPM drives, although there are externally powered 2.5" drives as well.
  5. kgarner macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2004
    FWIW, I love my LaCie Mobile Drive. Its only 40 GB, but that is enough for my needs. I haven't noticed any problems while using it, but I don't have an iSight or anything else bus powered. If you need to carry a drive around on a daily basis, I highly reccomend this drive.

    I got mine from LA Computer (found on dealmac.com) for $100. May be too much for a back up drive, but highly worth it if you need to carry the drive around a lot.
  6. micvog thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 10, 2003
    Thanks kgarner. I did not know about dealmac - that is exactly the kind of setup I am looking for.
  7. AZGINBOGA macrumors regular

    Dec 2, 2004
  8. kettle macrumors 65816


    May 12, 2002
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)

    Wiebetech are the people to see about bus powered hard drives.

    ..here is a link to a pdf explaining the long and the short of 3.5'' hard drives running on Firewire Bus Power.

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