Deciding on a Lacie External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by macreator, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. macreator macrumors regular

    macreator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    New York City
    #1
    Hey so I've decided to buy an external HD for my PB and really like Lacie's external hard drives. I am, however, having trouble deciding on whether I should buy Lacie's F.A. Porshe designed hard drives, a regular d2 HD or a firewire extreme one that includes firewire 800. I am about to buy a new PowerBook 15" 1.5 Ghz that will come with FW 800. I suppose it comes down to whether I need firewire 800. Will Firewire 800 really be a noticeable improvement compared with regular firewire and will it be worth the extra cash?
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    What do you intend to do with the drive? For backup, storage, etc., FW 400 is fine. FW 800 is faster, but not twice as fast (I forget the speed bump in the PBs). I've got a LaCie 120GB HD that's two years old, and it works great!

    Personally, I'd go for size over speed (FW 400 vs FW 800, not drive speed) unless you really truly need fast transfers.
     
  3. Duff-Man macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #3
    Duff-Man says...I basically agree with jsw - size over the speed diff between firewire 800 - 400...unless you are using it for something where every little bit of access speed counts, like high-end audio or video stuff. But if it is just for extra file storage, MP3's and backups etc..the a FW400 will do just fine. You could also look into making your own - buy an enclosure and drive and slap it together - you may get the FW800 speed and bigger size for less than what the Lacie drive costs...just won't look quite as cool...oh yeah!
     
  4. CalfCanuck macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    #4
    d2 is sweet but heavy

    I have the d2 250 GB FW800 model. It's very heavy, so if you are thinking of doing a lot of travelling and want the ultra light option, this case is not for you. But light may not always be so good when it comes to durability.

    The d2 was my 4th external HD in the last 4 years, and I decided to get it after yet another (my 3rd) had failed - all under warranty. How do you spell BACK-UP???

    FYI, the first was a build it yourself model, using a top of the line case from Granite and a fast IBM drive. I managed to get my data off it onto drive #2, just before it failed. The drive was replaced under warranty, but I could never go on the road with it again.

    The second one was a light QPS M3 (120 GB) - nice and small, but it started making noises during another long business trip, so again I bought a Quicksilver 120GB drive (#3) and managed to transfer data off before #2 croaked. I believe they gave a reconditioned hard drive on that warranty repair.

    The Quicksilver was even lighter, but after 8 or 9 months the case started making lots of noise and taking about 60 seconds to mount!!! Needless to say, I sent that one in ASAP after transfering my data to the d2. They only swapped out the case (I assume a bad fan and bad power supply were the causes).

    The moral of the story is BACK UP. I don't appear to be that harsh on drives. While I do travel across voltages (Europe) a lot, that's merely a transformer problem that is built into all power supplies these days, as all these hard drives are shipped to multiple countries from the factories.

    All I can say is that I've had my bad share of luck, and now have lots of externals to use for BU's, as extra drives, etc. After a drive goes and I get a recon in it's place, I feel a little hesitant going back on the road and trusting my business to that sort of equipment. Luckily HDs are now so cheap that this is a viable strategy, but never forget the BUs.
     
  5. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #5
    i got a cheap ByteCC enclosure for 79CAD. then a 160 GB drive for 138CAD. the enclosure has FW400 and USB 2.0. works perfectly and saved at least a 100$ if i were to get an OWC external.
     
  6. cornfedgrowth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    #6
    F.A. Porsche HDs

    Hey, jsut thought i'd add my two cents. I recently bought a 250Gb F.A. Porsche hard drive and its been a huge hassle. When i first got the drive, it was dead on arrival. nothing worked on it. Sent it back straight away, but it still took 3 weeks to replace (government buracracy). so i got a new one... worked fine for a while until it started smoking. Like litterally, smoke was coming out of the vents. After that, i sent it into Lacie, they replaced the power supply or something like that, under warrenty and were real friendly about it (quick too), got it back, and havn't had any problems since. However, i would be cautious about buy a Lacie again. I've heard tons of great things about them, but my experiences haven't been that great. Plus you can get a kit for aobut 100 bucks less than the drive from lacie...
    -Alex
     
  7. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #7
    lacie D2 is fanless design, so if you want to keep your drive quiet, buy one. if that doesn't matter, buy any drive you want. also, lacie uses oxford firewire bridge chipsets so you shouldn't have any compatibility problems with those.

    BUT...

    there's one thing you must take under consideration if you buy the D2 - the firewire connectors are not very durable. the connectors are not attached to the metal body but rest directly on the circuit board. so a lot of road use, plugging and unplugging and twisting the cable WILL BREAK IT EASILY. if you however buy the D2 because you can attach it to a 19" rack, well, there's just not many better firewire hard drive enclosures.
     
  8. Sabbath macrumors 6502a

    Sabbath

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #8
    I am also having the same dilema, I can't seem to find the old firewire 400 drives over here in the UK so its basically D2 vs Porsche. I know the Porsche is a lot smaller which is tempting but I like the fact you can stand the D2 up. Also the Porsche being cheaper is in its favour.

    I have a few other questions if someone could help; Do both drives have 2 firewire ports so I can daisychain with them? does the Porsche have a fan in it? and does the Porsche not require external power (does it require a second poweercable USB I think, I don't like the sound of that design)? I can't seem to find this info?
     
  9. Mustafa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Shenfield, Essex, UK
    #9
    Call them!!!

    The LaCie UK website seems to answer most of your questions. Failing that, why don't you call them? A couple of seconds on their site revealed their phone number -- 020 7872 8000
     
  10. Sabbath macrumors 6502a

    Sabbath

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #10
    Whereabouts on the site I can't seem to find anything on daisy-chaining, whether the Porsche has a fan or not and the literature on the Porsche power supply is contradictory. The webpage says it has an external supply but the datasheet says it has a USB power sharing cable. I can't call them right now and would prefer not as my phone bill is going to be huge(I only have a mobile at the moment and my girl friend is away).
    Shesh I was just asking for a little help from someone who owns the product and knows, just like I offer help when it is an issue I know about, this is a community after all!
     
  11. macreator thread starter macrumors regular

    macreator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    New York City
    #11
  12. macreator thread starter macrumors regular

    macreator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    New York City
    #12
    Also I have the Tiger BETA from WWDC (legal), will running it on a Firewire 800 disk over FW 400 really feel faster?
     
  13. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #13
    you can compare firewire speeds to IDE interfaces - in theory fw800 equals to ATA100 and fw400 should be slower than ATA66. does that make a difference? yes it does, but not always. nowadays most dramatic speed increases can be obtained by speeding seek times and not data throughput. in other words, partitioning the hard drive wisely.

    (hard drive's platters are round so the farther away from the center the data is located, the faster it is to read/write/seek it, because one cylinder can take more data closer to the edge, and going 1 round takes equally long time wherever.)
     
  14. Mustafa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Shenfield, Essex, UK
    #14
    Self-help

    I think you'll find most communities prefer their members to help themselves first before calling for others to do the legwork for them -- this information is pretty easy to track down.

    If you can't afford a phonecall, try an email -- sales.uk@lacie.com.
     
  15. jiminfrance macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    #15
    LaCie Choice

    The choice between drives for me was price. I bought a Lacie 160 GB Firewire some time ago, and it has never fluttered once.(It is a 400 Firewire, BTW, and has 2 FW ports). I think that Lacie says it is better NOT to daisy chain, but it can be done. I then bought, last week, a Lacie Porsche 250 GB USB 2.0 As yet my 2.0 card has not arrived, so it is running on USB 1.1 and it is deadly slow. A word of caution if you buy one, though. If you erase it after formatting it, it will disappear from the desktop. It required several reboots, switching off the power and unpluggings before it mounted again. Lacie say this problem was fixed under 10.2, but obviously not, as I am running 10.3.4
    The good news is that it is a beautiful looking drive in brushed aluminium.
    I know it is not the forum for this, but I also bought the Lacie d2 DVD +- DL It is based on the NEC machine but as an external machine it works wonders with the Superdrive. Copies and DOES write at 8x. Have not got any dual layer disks yet.
     
  16. afterhorus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    #16
    Has anyone taken apart a lacie porsche drive

    So I'd like to upgrade my pretty little porsche drive. Does anyone have a good take apart that doesn't involve destroying the case? Thanks.
     
  17. ThomasJefferson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia
    #17
    Thanks for the tip, did not realize this. I have the a d2 HD, works great. Highly recommended.
     
  18. timsq macrumors regular

    timsq

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #18
    Take the F.A.Porsche, unless that is you don't just go on over to www.coolerexpress.com and buy or build one yourself. Oh and get the biggest volume with the biggest cache and the fastest rpm's you can afford. Firewire 800 is nice for streaming video, otherwise 400 is just fine!
     
  19. bshiro macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    St Louis, MO
    #19
    Save $$$ and buy drive + case seperately.

    I just spent the last couple of weeks thinking about which external drive to get for my PowerBook too. If you can afford it, the LaCie drives are great. They're probably like the Mercedes of external drives. If you're on a tight budget like I am, then save yourself LOTS OF $$$ by buying the enclosure and drive separately. I scoured the net for the cheapest Firewire 800 / USB 2.0 enclosure and found that someone from Orange Micro is selling them on eBay cheap (http://cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.d...d=juliemtcs&include=0&since=-1&sort=3&rows=50)
    When I got mine, it was only $25 for the enclosure + FW800 cable + USB2.0 cable. That's a savings of about $100 already since Firewire 800 enclosures and cables aren't cheap. Then just look around for whatever hard drive you want. I got a Seagate 200GB for $90 after rebate from outpost.com, which is a savings of about $40 off an already reduced price (deal ends tomorrow). If you look on dealmac.com, you can see the current deals out there for hard drives. That means I spent $115 total for the drive (plus $11 shipping), which is about half what a comparable LaCie setup costs.
    ......
    As for whether to get the Porsche or d2 design from LaCie, go with the d2 for sure. The blue LED looks really good, and the case design can't be beat. Unless you don't like the drive in a vertical format, it's much better than the Porsche. Beware of LaCie's models <250GB because they only have 2MB buffers for the hard drives. You'd have to get the 250GB model to get a drive with a modern 8MB buffer.
     
  20. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #20
    Also need help - don't know much about hard drives!

    I'm also looking to buy a FireWire hard drive and I think LaCie appears to be one of the best makes. I'm thinking about the 160 or 250GB (£99 or £130 respectively on dabs.com) Porsche drives and am wondering if someone could offer me some advice too.

    I have a 12" PB (4200rpm internal drive 80GB, no FW800). I've become interested in video editing and have FCE but am only doing family video stuff etc in a non serious way.

    I really need a cheap external hard drive because my internal HD is clogged and I could benefit from the 7200 spindle speed! However, I'm unsure about things like cache. I know the drives I'm looking at have a 2MB cache. Will this be fine for my importing and editing, etc? Bear in mind I'm only using my internal 4200rpm drive at present and that works fine (apart from the lack of space!).

    I'm assuming I will be able to plug my mini-DV camera into the hard drive and then capture directly onto that, and then edit the footage from that drive. So, to buy or not to buy?

    I'm a student and can't really afford too much, so I'm not expecting a really big top-of-the-range thing. Oh, and I'd rather not mess about with separate cases, etc. Cheers.
     
  21. Arizona_Joe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    #21
    Putting new replacement drive in old LaCie d2 case

    I have a dead 120GB LaCie d2-case external firewire drive I'd like to rebuild. In searching what's available, options come up right away that I wanted to double-check...
    1: ATA-IDE. All listings seem to be ATA, old drive says IDE... these are the same, right?
    2: MAC-PC. Mac vs. PC... one source makes you choose early in the search process. But either is fine in OS X, once it's in this Firewire enclosure and hooked up, no?.
    3: SERIAL-PARALLEL No specifics on the drive, box or website. LaCie's site says serial ATA is the latest in parallel ATA. Outpost.com makes you choose between the two, others don't mention it. Does it matter? Sounds critical.
    4: BUFFER AND CAPACITY SIZE LIMIT? Bshiro says "just look around for whatever hard drive you want." but also says "Beware of LaCie's models <250GB because they only have 2MB buffers for the hard drives. You'd have to get the 250GB model to get a drive with a modern 8MB buffer." .... My old one is 160GB with 2MB buffer, but that's all a matter of the drive I'm replacing, no? If I get a new bigger one with 8MB buffer, will the chipset or case limit it or be incompatible? Or is this jus all the more reason to go bigger?
    5: CAPACITY SIZE LIMIT? The biggest LaCie offers in this case (basic old d2, not Big or Bigger or Extreme) is 250GB, but I can easily get a 300GB replacement... any reason not to? too hot, chipset, buffer, etc.?
    6: BRAND AND PHYSICAL SIZE? The old one is Western Digital... I know LaCie currently uses Maxtor and one other, not sure which. The Western Digital ones now look too big (in online photos), with an arc on one end for the drive itself, that looks like it could keep it from fitting in the case... know anything about this? Recommend a brand? They give no dimensions.
    7: IS THE DRIVE WHAT'S BAD? One post somewhere else referred to a drive in which it was the power supply and fan that went bad... any way for a person without an instrument to tell?
    All I want to do is go to CompUSA or Fry's and buy one asap. I could get one online, probably even for a little less, but all those same questions (and more) come up right away in the search, plus I'd like to get the job done without the wait. THANKS FOR ANY ADVICE!!!!
     
  22. JLS macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    Kent, England
    #22
    I love my D2. Triple interface, rock solid alu casing, nice and fast, no fan. Vertical or horizontal (comes with a stand and feet so you can choose either)

    Come on people.. reccomending the porsche drive that has a FAN in it is madness!
     

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