External hard drive advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by ScotRobson, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. ScotRobson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Torquay UK
    #1
    Hi all

    I know there have been threads on this in the past and I have tried to search but nothing came up for me.

    I am looking into getting an external hard drive - I'm not sure what size I will need. My computer hard drive will be 160GB so im guessing an external one would only need to be the same?

    Also I have been looking at the LeCie d2 they seem pretty cool, but i'm not sure on how firewire compatibility works either. I am awaiting a new iMac G5. Can someone tell me what I would need?

    Also I have seen maxtor drives talked about, but I seem to remember someone saying that his kept breaking.

    Many thanks
    Scot
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    We liked the Lacie Big Disk Extreme because it had both Firewire 400 (6 pin)and 800 (9 pin) ports complete with cables so we could use it with our older G4s as well as the new G5s.

    Check out your new Imac specs at www.apple.com/imac, I think it's got FW400.

    It's fast, too.

    We've had a SCSI Lacie external 2gb drive run off a beige G3 for over 7 years... and it was still going strong when we ditched it.
     
  3. bobpensik macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    #3
    I have always herd good things about products from http://www.macsales.com they have good external drives and offer lots of variety for reasonable prices!
     
  4. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Yes, OWC (http://www.macsales.com) rocks. I have 3 d2s from LaCie and I like them all very much. Personally, I don't like Maxtor or IBM or Western Digital drives. All crap. I like Seagate drives.
     
  5. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Mac since 7.5
    #5
    I have a LaCie D2 160 and am jonesing for that 1TB drive, baby...all the useless crap I could stuff in that thing!
     
  6. MacRumorSkeptic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2002
    Location:
    Southern California
    #6
    I recently purchased a couple LaCie d2 160 drives and couldn't be more satisfied. The firewire800 connection is very fast, it has a firewire400 connector for my older computers, and they look cool.
     
  7. tateusmaximus macrumors member

    tateusmaximus

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Location:
    sydney
    #7
    buy a lacie 80gig and a 250gig internal drive
    pull the lacie apart
    pull out the 80gig drive from the lacie housing
    put the 300gig drive in the lacie housing
    put it back together
    throw out the 80gig drive left over.

    there you have a really CHEAP 250gig external lacie!!!
     
  8. DickArmAndHarT macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    #8
    Lacie D2

    I have a Lacie d2 160 gig drive ands great. Beautiful small design. Although your imac doesnt have firewire 800. It is firewire 800 compatiable and that what i use it with my powerbook and it speed. video rendering file transfer you name it. Also i need things that look great and the d2 has met my high expectation

    good luck with your purchase.


    Dick
     
  9. jsalzer macrumors 6502a

    jsalzer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    #9
    A Vote for EZQ

    Whelp, I'm going to put in a plug for EZQuest. I have 3 devices from them of various ages (CD-RW, DVD-RW, and External HD), and I love them all. They buy the actual drives from others (Pioneer, etc.), but the casing is beautiful and super rugged. They always provide any cables that are needed, as well as software. And, they cater to the Mac market as their first priority.

    My one and only gripe - the power button is in the back, so you have to make sure to place it on your desktop in such a way that you can easily reach it (assuming you want to turn it off when it's not in use.)
     
  10. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #10
    I have a Lacie d2 250gig and it works a treat.
     
  11. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #11
    That would be kind of a waste since the iMac he's buying is coming with a 160GB Serial ATA drive. If you are going to do that, just buy an external Firewire box and put a Parallel ATA drive in it from someplace like Newegg (you can buy any size, it doesn't have to be 160GB). You can probably buy a cheap 200GB drive with a ton of rebates from someplace like CompUSA, Best Buy, Fry's, or Circuit City. They're always running specials for stuff like that. And an external Firewire enclosure can be about $40 for a cheap one, to about $80 for a good one. OWC has some good ones, and some that are prebuilt like the Lacies. It's more expensive to buy a prebuilt, but easier and better supported if you have a problem. Don't bother with a more expensive FW800 device, the iMac only has FW400. You could get a USB2 enclosure or a FW400/USB2 device, but USB2 is actually slower than Firewire despite having higher #'s. Just make sure you get a 7200 RPM drive with 8MB cache.
     
  12. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #12
    I don't think anyone has specifically answered this, but you can go for any size external drive it does not have to be the same capacity. Like others have already said the Lacie D2 extreme drives are very good, I have the 250GB Version
     
  13. ScotRobson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Torquay UK
    #13
    Thanks for that, and thanks to everyone else for all your advice. looks like it will be the LeCie 2d :) - now to decide which size.

    Scot
     
  14. Mark James macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Sarf London
    #14
    Is now a good time to mention that I bought the triple interface Lacie D2 160GB a few weeks ago and have had to send it back due to repeated failure?

    Lacie seem to be much more interesting in design than functionality these days...

    What I really wanted was an old-style FW400/USB2 PocketDrive, but sadly they've disappeared :(
     
  15. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #15
    I would rather go for a lacie 250gb before a 160gb,
    the reason? The lacie 160gb hds only has 2mb cache versus 8mb on the 250gb... Thats a huge difference..
     
  16. Godfather macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    #16
    yes it's 4x the amount... But does it really matter? I mean, explain why cache is so needed.
     
  17. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #17
    With 8MB of onboard cache to use, more frequently accessed data would be held in the cache. When the system needs the data, it's pulled from the cache instead of having to be read from the hard disk.
    Cache is basically RAM and since retrieving data from RAM is much faster than retrieving data from the hard disk, the larger amount of hard drive cache is a boost for system performance.

    This doesn't mean that you would get 4x speedboost with 4x amout of cache, but you would probably get a +10% boost.
    New SATA drives has 16mb cache, this will make the boost even larger.
     
  18. Coolvirus007 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Location:
    Tokyo
    #18
    Does this mean that you want to use it as a back up for your internal hard drive. In that case, you should get the SAME size hard drive.

    But if its just used as another hard drive, unless you really need one right now, don't buy one if your not sure. I mean, you have 160 GB. I would use that up before considering to buy another one.

    If you were to buy one, get Lacie (except the Porche ones) or OWC. I have both and there are both brands and their excellent.

    As far as compatibility goes: FW800 hd works with FW800 and 400. Firewire will not mix with USB in anyway.

    Don't get MAXTOR. I have never heard a single positive comment about it.
     
  19. ScotRobson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Torquay UK
    #19
    Thanks for your advice everyone, it will be for backing up my main hard drive and maybe extra things on there aswell. I have a lot of movies etc which take up a lot of room.

    I went for the LeCie d2 250 in the end and should be being delivered today! :) A new toy to play with!!!!

    Thanks again
    Scot
     
  20. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Mac since 7.5
    #20
    Sounds like a good choice to me. It'll net you an extra 90GB beyond what you need to back up your 160GB primary, and LaCie D2 drives are great.
    New toys are always good fun.
     
  21. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #21
    Congratulations Scot, Hope you enjoy your new drive, post back after you have played with it and tell us what you think.
     
  22. ocellnuri macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    #22
    Why do you say except the Porche ones? I'm asking because I've been looking at getting the 200gig for a while now. :(
     
  23. ScotRobson thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Torquay UK
    #23
    Thanks James, i will let you all know how it goes. Its the first time I have had an external Hard Drive so it will be a learning curve for me. It should have been delivered today before 17.30 but it's now almost 19.00 aparently the guy is still out on the road, but I will believe that when I see it. Looks like i'm not going to get it today (so to speak!) :(
     
  24. DJY macrumors 6502a

    DJY

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra AUST
    #24
    How much did you pay aswitcher?
    I'm keen for an external hard drive - and was looking at LaCie.
    Don't know if it is just me or Canberra...

    but the prices seem to be almost double that of other brand names?
    I expect more markup (and exchange conversion) so can't compare our prices with those of the threads that are USA based...

    but seems over $2 per GB?
    I thought other brands were generally $0.50 per GB or even
    I can buy a normal drive alot cheaper and put it in my own box?

    Would like to buy one that looks good (only moderately important though) but reliable - which is why I didn't necessarily want to build one myself.
     
  25. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #25
    ~$500 AUD (macmal.com.au - slow service (a week or three for something promised in 24hrs) and shipping costs but generally prices can be competative) for 50 gig tripple port d2...fw800 is what I am using but USB 2 as another option.


    Sounds about right.

    I think Lacie are my benchmark. Sure some others can be a bit cheaper BUT I have also heard a few dodgy things about some of them, and I agree, build one yourself and risk relying on something that has a greater chance of crashing. Haven't seen 50c per GB....where did you see that?
     

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