I Need Suggestion on Hard Drives

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SamIchi, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. SamIchi macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    #1
    I know there's been many other topics about this, but I recently read the review article in Macworld, and it mentions Iomega. I've read the other topics on here, and only one person mentions it. A lot of people are suggesting LaCie.

    Then there are those who suggest makin your own, but how much does that actually save you? $20? I was searchin' for the compnents, and it got kinda confusing... Or maybe it's just me.

    Well some more insight would be nice. I'm lookin for somethin' between 160 and 250 GB. THanks guys.
     
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    I would go with LaCie, I don't have one myself, but I know many people who would recommend it.
    I wouldn't bother making your own; it's too confusing, and it won't save you hardly any money.
     
  3. Leareth macrumors 68000

    Leareth

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #3
    Go with Lacie
    I have a couple of the and they are very solid.
    I have a Western Digital external drive as well and while it is slow- 5400rpm- its is pretty good for my back up purposes and has been trouble free.
     
  4. dops7107 macrumors 6502a

    dops7107

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Perth, Oztrailya
    #4
    Going for an enclosure and putting in your own HD might save you money and gives you plenty of options (I would go for a Seagate Barracuda HD, for example) but I have found it depends where you live as to whether it is worth it. Here in the UK having to buy a drive, enclosure and cables came to significantly more money than a similarly specced Lacie Extreme 200 GB. So I went for the Lacie, and have been very pleased with it.
     
  5. Alte22a macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    back in London
    #5
    I would say lacie d2, I would in media and its the pretty much preferred standard as everyones choice in the offices that I have worked in. I have 6 Lacie drives they are all good. But I have seen a few lacie drives that have failed maybe 3 out 50 over a period of 4 years. It is the preferred choice so why not?
     
  6. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    build your own

    The price factor in making your own external drive depends on the price of the hard drive, since the enclosure cost is fixed (around $35 for a good enclosure - the price depends on the interface as well, like USB and/or firewire). So the higher the HDD capacity, the lower your per GB cost! Internal IDE/P-ATA hard drives are selling at around 30 to 35 cents per GB in the US (if you get a good deal). So for a 250GB self-built external drive, you would be spending 50 cents per GB. If a LaCie or Iomega or other external drive can beat that price, go ahead and buy it.

    Some points about making your own external drive:
    * It's extremely simple - the enclosure comes with photos and instructions that are very easy to follow
    * Enclosures also come with a one year warranty (like your LaCie or Iomega) and are quite reliable
    * You need some protection against static discharge and one screwdriver to fix the drive in the enclosure
    * If you can read this post, you can do it :D

    All that you avoid by buying a branded external drive is about 3 minutes of work and you may pay a huge premium just for that reason. :)

    If you make up your mind about making your own external, check http://www.dealsonic.com for the enclosures (I've repeatedly bought from them and have been happy with all the enclosures). Check http://www.edealinfo.com or http://www.dealmac.com for deals on internal drives.
     
  7. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #7
    I'd recommend buying a case seperate from the drive. That way you get the 3 or 5 year warranty on the drive instead of the year or so that most external drives have.

    The newertech miniStack case is nice - even if you don't have a Mac mini.

    As for drive brand, I would highly recommend either Seagate or Hitachi.
     
  8. steve0028 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    #8
    wd360, 10,000rpm sata-

    http://www.thetechzone.com/?m=show&id=118
    ive got two of these now, and they perform better than previous scsi's that ive had.

    Buffer Size: 8 MB
    <P>

    Drive Transfer Rate: 150 MBps (external) / 102 MBps (internal)
    <P>
    Seek Time: 0.6 ms
    <P>
    Average Latency : 3 ms
    <P>
    Spindle Speed: 10000 rpm
    <P>

    MTBF: 1,200,000 hour(s)
    <P>
    Start / Stop Cycles 20,000
     
  9. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    You might save some money making up your own external drive.You need to consider the following:
    1. Some chipsets in drive enclosures may give problems with OS X. The Prolific chipset has not worked for me. Some have suggested that Oxford 911 and 922 chipsets work ok with OS X. It might be difficult to find out what chipset is used in cheaper 'no-name' drive enclosures.
    2. Most drive enclosures are for IDE drives. Enclosures are obtainable for SATA drives, but you need an SATA interface card in your computer to connect it, so potentially only useful for Powermacs.
    3. You can't boot off a USB drive, only Firewire.
     
  10. sgmorr macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Location:
    DFW area Texas
    #10
    SamIchi,

    I just received my Iomega Black Series triple interface 250 GB HD that I bought mostly on the basis of that MacWorld article. I've never owned any other peripheral HD and I'm just starting to use the Iomega. Too early to fully evaluate. But so far I have partitioned it and made a bootable clone of my iMac's internal HD using SuperDuper!
     
  11. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    #11
    Ok, Cool. I'm still lookin'. It's probaly either goin' to be the LaCie, or Iomega. Let me know how you like it.
     
  12. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #12
    Good point. I would get the OWC aluminum enclosure and a Seagate Barracuda, with the 5-year warranty.
     
  13. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #13
    Maxtor.

    I have a 1TB Lacie and it is the biggest piece of electronic **** I have ever owned.
     
  14. sgmorr macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Location:
    DFW area Texas
    #14
    I wish I could offer you some meaningful advice about which brand to purchase. I did know I wanted to get a Firewire/USB combination drive although I'm not sure how important this is. I need FW now because I wanted to use the drive to make a bootable clone. I figured it would be good to have USB 2.0 also just in case Intel Macs of the future enable us to boot using USB.

    It's tough to decide, especially after reading the MacWorld article. I probably would have bought a LaCie had I not read the article but I think we'll probably get an upswing in interest now in Iomega. I suppose you could shop around for price and I also think it's nice to buy from a place that will let you make a return to them if you change your mind. I have dealt with some low price internet sources that will not take returns and make you deal with the manufacturer for defects. Anyway, I plan to get lots of use out of the Iomega I bought.
     
  15. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    1123.6536.5321
    #15
    Yes, the Lacie drives do rank fairly high in the reviews. One thing to keep in mind though, which is a common misconception, is that Lacie actually manufactures their own drives, like WD, Maxtor, etc. - they don't. If you buy a Lacie drive, you're probably buying a Seagate or Maxtor drive. Just wanted to bring that up FWIW, I still think they are a good product overall.

    Too confusing?!? :confused:

    - buy an internal drive
    - buy a HD enclosure
    - put drive in enclosure
    - plug into computer
    - enjoy

    Not exactly rocket science! :p ;)

    As previous posters have said, you have to make the decision that's right for you, and there are advantages and disadvantages with each option, just as with anything else in life. If you have any other questions though, feel free to ask.

    Lastly, FWIW, I have had nothing but troubles with Maxtor drives (directly and indirectly) and prefer Seagate and WD drives (in that order) - especially the Seagate drives with 5 year warranties.
     
  16. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    1123.6536.5321
    #16
    Yes, you are correct - if buying an enclosure make sure that it has an Oxford 911 or 922 chipset. Also, I would recommend buying an enclosure with USB 2.0 and FW400 connections, but not necessarily shelling out the extra cash for a FW800 connection - you probably will not fully realize that speed due to your physical latencies and read/write times of the drive itself.

    Excellent point, good to keep in mind.
     
  17. sgmorr macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Location:
    DFW area Texas
    #17
    Shard,

    Do you think that the Intel Macs of the future will boot via USB?

    What are the problems OS X has had with some of the chipsets in drive enclosures? Are they upfront big problems or are they tricky, vexing hard to pin down problems?

    Thanks.
     
  18. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #18
    To me it's like building your own PC, you really don't save that much money (sometimes you even spend more) and then if it breaks, you either have to take it apart, find the problem and then return just that piece. Just too much trouble for me.
    I'd buy the brand name one already put together and save myself some time.
     
  19. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #19
    A friend of mine who loves to build and tinker now swears by LaCie after the external drive/enclosure he built overheats and slows to a crawl every time he transfers a lot of data to it. I suggested LaCie, he bought one and it works flawlessly. iGary disagrees.

    I have a decent Maxtor One Touch 160 GB, and also keep a couple of USB/FW enclosures around for the homeless drives that seem to accumulate around here...

    Note that getting the heat out is really the biggest issue with any external enclosure. There is limited airflow for the drives, unlike in a tower configuration. So if you do build your own or buy one premade, make sure the case is metal for conduction (like the back of the iPod) and/or includes a decent fan.

    B
     
  20. iEdd macrumors 68000

    iEdd

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #20
    I'll put down a vote for LaCie. I have a 250GB one with Tri-interface and it hasn't played up since it was bought :)
     
  21. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    #21
    How about this guys?

    Western Digital Caviar 250GB Hard Drive
    49.99

    Specifications:
    250GB
    7200 RPM
    2 MB cache
    EIDE
    Does not include installation instructions or an IDE cable.
    Ultra ATA/100 – Up to 100 MB/s burst transfer rates.
    Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) technology – improves hard drive reliability; reduces heat, vibration, and noise.
    Shock Guard provides outstanding improvements in shock and vibration protection for WD Caviar drives. Shock Guard allows instantaneous data protection at high shock values to achieve leading shock
    System Requirements:
    IDE-ATA interface (40-pin connector)
    Ultra ATA-capable system

    It's refurbished. On Sale @ Woot.com, tell me if this is a good deal guys. Is the cache a problem? It's only 2mb.

    I looked through the discussion on the item on that site, and they frown upon the refurb, and 2 mb cache. I guess it's not that great of a deal.
     
  22. Solafaa macrumors 6502a

    Solafaa

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    #22
    LaCai

    I have used lots of external hard drives, i have used mobil ones and the huge ones you keep beside you desktop. I have had no problems with all the LeCai's i bought. I would very recommend LaCai, there products are solid. I would also recommend getting a larger size then what you would need, my friend got a 80GB LaCai and he soon discovered the power of ripping DVD's and watching them on his Mac so now he is looking for a larger one now :)
     
  23. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    1123.6536.5321
    #23
    Oh yeah, for sure, it's not for everyone. For those people who don't like DIY or who aren't as knowledgeable when it comes to computer hardware and so forth, it's probably best to keep it simple and avoid this.
     
  24. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #24
    Yeah, heat is the biggest enemy here! As ^^^ said, you have to be careful about this aspect even with branded external drives. It's always safer to have a fan or two within the enclosure and put up with a little extra noise than lose data. I always buy external enclosures that have two fans. :)

    [Note: LaCie has a series called Porsche that has no fans! Better to avoid them and get the more expensive ones with fans.]
     
  25. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #25
    the problem with buying an external with a drive already in it ius that you have no control over what brand of drive they use.

    personally I only trust segate and western digital.
     

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