External Hard Drive Help

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Moshiiii, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Moshiiii macrumors 6502a

    Moshiiii

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    #1
    Greetings! :D
    I'm looking to purchase an External Hard drive for my Macbook Pro. I concur that MBP don't support Firewire 8 so the fastest way to go would be Usb 2. There's so many external hard drives out their and I cant seem to find one I think is right. I've spent alot of time looking on Newegg.com. My price range is 100-150$ and gig range is 150-250, doesn't need to be portable. Any tips, brands to stay away from, cheap/reliable internet sites, Anything. Thanks!
     
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Incorrect. While the theoretical speed of USB2.0 might be slightly faster than the theoretical speed of FW400, USB uses data burst, while FW uses sustained data speed, so overall, FW400 will end up being faster than USB2.0. Add to that USB2.0 bus is kind of unreliable on PowerBook (and probably the MBP too), especially USB2.0. Add to THAT you cannot BOOT from an external USB2.0 drive, while you CAN boot from an external FW400 drive, that should help you make your descision.

    Since it's for a laptop, you can go with a FireLite drive from Smartdisk. Probably outside your price range, but it's VERY small and light and powered by the FW bus.
     
  3. Moshiiii thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Moshiiii

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    #3
    Whats BOOT mean?:confused:
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #4
    You can install OS X onto an external FireWire drive and use it as your system disk. You can turn your computer on off of a FireWire external drive.
     
  5. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #5
    You can clone/install the OS onto an external FW drive and startup from that.
     
  6. emaja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #6
    That price range for the capacity you want is kinda low for external storage. Even if you buy a bare drive and stick it in a quality enclosure, you are not going to get what you want for that price, unless you find a super deal on the drive itself. Even a 160GB drive will cost about $70 and a nice enclosure with the Oxford 911 USB/FW400 chipset will cost about the same. That puts you at the top of your price range, but the bottom of the capacity you want.

    I would suggest that you get a enclosure with the Oxford 911 chipset as it is the most reliable and you can clone your internal drive to that external and boot your Mac from it. Avoid the Prolific chipset. It is unreliable and you may not be able to boot or even read the drive. OS updates have rendered some Prolific drives unreadable until new firmware comes out and that is a pain.

    I really like the Mercury Elite Pro drive enclosures from OWC. I have had one for the last year and a half, been through several updates and never once has it failed or even shown any signs of spotty behavior.
     
  7. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #7
    Note that since the OP has a MacBook Pro, he should be able to boot from an USB drive, since the new Intel Macs' EFI support USB booting... I've not actually heard of anybody confirming this by actually doing it, but it should be possible.

    Also: CanadaRAM has benchmarked Firewire 400 at twice the speed of USB2 on a real world test.

    Seagate makes excellent drives, while LaCie's Porche (and Brick) drives are more stylish... ;)
     
  8. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

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    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #8
  9. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    Bergen, Norway
    #9
  10. Moshiiii thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Moshiiii

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    Apr 4, 2006
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
  11. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #11
    Got me a 250 GB USB2 Porche just a couple of weeks ago (even if I wanted a Seagate combo, but the offer on the LaCie was just too good ;)). And I must say I'm quite happy with it. It's pretty quiet and even if large USB transfers are a strain on my poor old iBook G4@800's CPU the drive is fast enough for my purposes...

    It also matches my LaCie Porche DVD-RW perfectly... both are pretty gorgeous... ;)
     
  12. sjshaw macrumors regular

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    Feb 18, 2004

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