External SATA USB enclosure to work with Intel iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by netdog, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    Hi There,

    I am trying to find a good storage solution for my music collection and plan to get two external drives and mirror them. People seem very unhappy with the reliability of the all-in-one external drives, so I thought I would just get two good enclosures and two good 3.5" drives.

    Can anyone tell me if an external enclosure such such as the SATA-cases by Icy Box will work with my Intel-based iMac? Can anyone recommend any other cases? Are SATA boxes compatible with ATA and S-ATA drives? I will be connecting to the box via USB.

    Also what drives or enclosures do you recommend? I like the Icy Box because, by all accounts, it cools the drive well without a fan, and I do want to keep noise to a minimum.

    A friend has advised not to go above 250GB per drive for reliability, though I would like to go higher. Any differing thoughts? I would prefer 400 or 500GB drives.

    As for the current raid 1 options, I have had bad luck with Lacie reliability and the others seem very expensive. Your thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. plinkoman macrumors 65816


    Jul 2, 2003
    New York
    what i would recommend doing is to get regular ATA drives instead of SATA because it wont make a difference in speed since you have it going through a slower usb interface. i also recommend you get a firewire enclosure instead of usb. despite what the theoretical peak speed of usb says, firewire is a good deal faster in all real world applications. (most good enclosures have both usb and fw)

    as for compatibility, it will work just fine with your iMac. enclosures don't need drivers or anything like that, so any enclosure you get will work.
    you can find alot of good enclosures here:

    i also wouldn't recommend going over 320GB drives, because after that, prices pretty much skyrocket. for the price of 1 500GB drive, you can get 2 250GB drives and have plenty of money to spare. so if you really want to mirror everything, and have around 500GB, you might want to buy a 4 drive enclosure, 4 drives, and set them up in a RAID 0+1 or RAID 5.

    hope that helps ;)

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