Hard drive: External vs. Internal+enclosure

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by memphismac, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. memphismac macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2003
    I've got a G5 iMac with an 80GB HD, a nice videocamera and a 10-month old son. So I need more space. Mostly for video storage/editing and backing up my 45GB iTunes library.

    The nice lady at the Apple store has about talked me into a LaCie drive, and the 300GB d2 triple interface drive looks quite nice.

    However, I've been reading some threads around here about buying an internal+enclosure instead of an external.

    What are the pros/cons of that setup? I'm all about saving a few bucks, but if there's not a BIG difference...

    The simpler the better - I could spend all day researching internal vs. external, LaCie vs. Seagate vs. Maxtor vs. Iomega. I just want to find a solution and get cracking.
  2. iPhil macrumors 68040



    these cases are good and many members have them:


    and if you want quiet drive then look into seagate IDE drive not 7200.9 .. 7200.8 will work with Macs ..

    Pop open the external case,connect the powercable/IDE cable to drive, insert drive close case tight screws or snap case back together .. Power the case/plug the firewire into case/computer then format it using Disk Utility :eek: :eek:
  3. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Jan 4, 2005
    well the 3 big names in hard drives is seagate, Western digital and Maxtor. All 3 are good drives to buy.

    there are others but for 3.5 drives I would say go with one of those 3. One hard drive maker to say away from is IBM. They are still paying the price for there now call Death stars. and no one trust them. but meh.
  4. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    I'd recommend buying and internal and an enclosure due to warranty issues. Seagate's internal drives come with either a 3 or 5 year warranty, while their external ones (a seagate internal drive in their own enclosure) only come with a one year warranty. It will probably end up being about the same price as an external, but you'll have a better warranty.
  5. SeRgIo_42 macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2004

    I have an iMac and a few weeks back I had the same questions.
    After getting one internal HD (a sweet deal of US$ 99,00 for
    Seagate Barracuda 300Gb at Circuit City) and one external
    enclosure (Venus DS3, quiet, cool and cheap), I wonder why
    someone would still get external HDs. Then, I remembered that
    these external HDs have one advantage : you do not need to think
    about setting up the HD as a master/slave and usually there is only
    one button to have all backup done. If you do not want
    to think a bit, this is the way to go.

    On the other hand, you do not need to be a genius to setup an
    external enclosures and even better you can upgrade them later,
    probably keeping the same external enclosure. It is the cheapest
    way to go.

    I must say that for the long, long run you might get stuck with two or
    three external enclosures but the same is valid for the external HDs.
    Therefore, the best way to solve this problem for good is to buy a cheap case,
    cheap motherboard with a network card, put all HD's there and use it as
    a (linux ?) server. Since I did not have the space to put this server,
    I decided to get the external enclosure which was every penny worth it.

  6. memphismac thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2003
    Does using it externally void the warranty?
  7. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    Not usually.
    Not all pre-made external drives have one-button backup. Also, you won't have to worry about whether the drive won't work with the enclosure (or rather, the chipset inside it). That and some drives (like the DiamondMax 8) just don't fit perfectly inside some cases (OWC Mercury Pro).
  8. plinkoman macrumors 65816


    Jul 2, 2003
    New York
    i'd just go with the lacie, your really not going to save much of anything with an internal drive. just do a quick froogle of the lacie you want, you should be able to find it for a good deal less then the list price.
  9. memphismac thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2003
    I don't really want to think, but if I can save some $$$, I can think some.

    One-button backup isn't that big a deal (although I don't back up as often as I should). But can you tell me more about the "master/slave" issue?

    And just for argument's sake, I'm looking at this combination:
    250GB (300 if I can find a similar price): http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1265028&Tab=5

    enclosure: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/MacAlly/PHR100AC/
  10. blackstone macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2005
    Washington, DC
  11. prostuff1 macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2005
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    I like this case.

    Here is a search i did on newegg for firewire enclosures, IDE, 3.5in enclosure, and AC adapter. This will give you an idea of what is out there. Some of them are very nice and i suggest you read the comments on any you might consider buying.

    I went the internal plus exteranl enclosure router and it was very simple. I ended up getting two internal 160GB drives on sale at circuit city and then putting them in enclosures. Works great to back up my purposes. I use one on my iMac for a complete backup and the other i have partitioned. I have it partitioned so that 40GB is for a complete backup for the iBook and the remaining part is for random files. Works great!!
  12. SeRgIo_42 macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2004

    Blackstone is right : newegg could be a best way to save some bucks.
    Also, I add that newegg has an unbelievable good forum for these enclosures.
    Since there are many different enclosures on the market, it is confusing to pick up one and this site helped a lot. I remember that I crossed to the chipset discussion that Conterfeit mentioned here but my experience has been 100% positive so far.

    I mentioned that I have the AMS Venus model (you can give a look on its reviews :
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/CustRatingReview.asp?Item=N82E16817145656 ) but I also have a cheaper one from Bytecc. I forgot to mention this because AMS is much superior than Bytecc. Bytecc is a few bucks cheaper but its fan is horrible, the case is much bigger than AMS and the software that came along is a joke. You can check bytecc here :


    About the settings, for both enclosures, I had to setup the jumper to Master even though "cable select" sounds to be a more reasonable choice. That was it.

    Just a important note : if you have any intention on using the enclosure as a boot device, you must get one that offers firewire. USB2 is fine for me because it is just for backups.
  13. kugino macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2003
    master/slave issues are not a problem. for the most part, you don't even have to deal with it. just insert your HD into the enclosure and you're good to go.

    and who really uses one-button backups anyway? (yes, i know a few do)...
  14. memphismac thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2003
    Alright then.

    Barring any last minute objections, I'm off to buy the Seagate 250GB drive and the Macally PHR-100AC enclosure.

    I read some things about some of the Macally power supplies not being strong enough to power larger drives, but that Macally will replace them. Here's hoping it goes off without a hitch.

    Thanks for all the help,
  15. EMKoper macrumors regular


    Dec 18, 2002
    Stafford, VA
    Use Newegg for this product... I had real issues with one of mine and Macally support was not helpful and were minimally responsive. Tech support answered e-mails with one word responses and refused to give me some sort of case tracking number. I talked with Newegg and they sent me a replacement in a few days, no questions, after it was used for some period of time. I have two of these enclosures and they seem to be working fine with 300G Maxtor in each.
  16. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    as a computer addict, who gets a machines from computer repair clients in my business or buys them new, and as a longtime computer student, there is one thing i have seen too many times...a person gets their ultimate computer, outgrows it, or the hard drive space, and then adds an internal hard drive, and then realizes that the whole getup is too obsolete and sells the whole thing super cheap

    my advice, get an external hard drive so you can use it from machine to machine being that most users keep their main machines, as their main machines, for about 2 years now or in the case of many here, less than one year (i must be on my 15th new or used machine since 1999)

    ...and the only time that i would get an internal hard drive as an extra purchase is when i first buy the machine
  17. ender78 macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2005
    Lets not forget the safety factor. Should you have an issue with a power supply, the external drive will likely be unaffected, any and all internal drives could be fried by the power supply.
  18. Maxwell Smart macrumors 6502a

    Maxwell Smart

    Jan 29, 2006
    I have the exact same case (well the firewire version) and its great, installation is a snap, and it works equally as nice in my windows machine as in my mac machine (no drivers!)
  19. iPhil macrumors 68040



    I actually own an A-Power case fw/usb2.0 model AP35C, i bought it@ www.geeks.com but it's not showing in-stock there no more :mad: :mad:

    EDIT: The case from Macsales.com i posted earlier is an recommendation of others on here.
  20. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Would it surprise you that the technology in today's drives is almost completely different from the ill-fated Deskstar 75GXP series of what? 4 years ago, 5 years ago? And that they are now made by a diffferent company, Hitachi, who bought the business from IBM?

    The Hitachi Deskstar series today are well made and high performance drives with three year warranties.
  21. memphismac thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2003
    What do you mean?
  22. munckee macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    I have a couple of questions along the same lines...

    I have already put together my own external with an old drive I had laying around, but I need another/larger drive. I've been debating a few solutions:

    1. Lacie Brick - costs a bit more than putting together your own (costs about the same as a DIY 300GB drive for the Lacie 250GB)...but it looks so damn good.

    2. Newertech ministack - doesn't look so nice; allows DIY construction; adds a USB and Firewire hub into the mix (which I need); I don't have a mini

    Can anyone recommend a direction and a reason?
  23. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    Well... you don't really have to tell them you are using it externally do you? What they don't know won't hurt them.
  24. memphismac thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2003
    The drive and enclosure have arrived!

    Any advice/links on how to set it all up? I've read about booting from an external drive, mounting, sleeping, OS updates hosing external drives, etc.

    I want to make sure I do everything nice and smooth.
  25. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    It's Basically just a few screws to attach the HD and a few screws to shut the enclosure. Other than that it's just plug it in and let it go. If you're only going to be using it with macs, I'd recommend opening disc utility and reformatting it into a mac format.

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