External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by newt2mac, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. newt2mac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    #1
    I am on a limited budget and am looking for an external drive of between 80 -200 G. I have a Powermac G5. Is it best to go USB 2 or Firewire? Any other advice?
     
  2. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #2
    LaCie gives you an option of both USB2 or Firewire. I've been pleased with mine. Don't know what budget you're looking at, but this seems reasonable.
    http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?pid=10024
    X
     
  3. sw1tcher macrumors 65816

    sw1tcher

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #3
    If you're on a budget, it's always cheaper to build your own.

    You can pick up a 200GB HDD for about $60-$80 and a enclosure for about $30-$60 (depending on design). Much cheaper than those pre-built ones, cost per GB-wise.
     
  4. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #4
    I am also looking for an external hard drive, but have decided definitely that it needs to be a bootable firewire drive (not all firewire drives are bootable). It may also have USB2, but that is optional as far as I am concerned. I already have an external USB2 drive (Buffalo 160GB) that I can cannabalize for a hard drive, and just put it into an external enclosure, but I haven't decided if I want to do that or not. Most of the prebuilt external drives have a very limited warranty, so you might be better off getthing the bare hard drive (generally for $0.25 per GB with a 2-5yr warranty) and get an external enclosure. Just be sure to get one with an Oxford chipset from what I have heard, just to be safe. And the fanless aluminum cases are better if you want quiet (I do).
     
  5. newt2mac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
  6. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #6
    Although the theoretical burst speed of USB2 is faster than the standard FW 400, the real life sustained speeds of firewire are superior to those of USB2. In addition, USB is a very processor-intensive architecture, requiring considerable cpu power to transfer data, whereas firewire is a hardware transport that requires considerably less cpu overhead. Also, only firewire drives can boot OS X on a Mac (but not all drives and all Macs can do this). Overall, firewire is a much more robust standard; it has been used for a very long time in video editing applications. The Mac mini only supports FW 400, but the iMacs and PMs support the faster FW 800.
     
  7. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #7
    Always get Firewire. The advantages were stated very well by the previous poster. If you can get one with both that's great since you can use it with PCs (which don't generally have Firewire) but I use Firewire whenever possible.
     
  8. vouder17 macrumors 6502a

    vouder17

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2003
    Location:
    Home
    #8
    Dont you have a PMG5 with Firewire 800. If so why dont you just get Firewire 800. That will be super fast.
    I have the Lacie porsche 160GB FW. I am mucho happy with it, no problems and it does it job very well.
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    Are both of the bays in your PM full? If not, you could always buy just a drive, install it inside, and then get an external FW case for it later... that would defray a lot of cost. :)
     

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