Need to buy a case to make an external HDD... no idea how to do this.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by seenew, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #1
  2. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

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    #2
    Go here:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?N=2010090092+1053807123&Submit=ENE&SubCategory=92

    Just make sure that it lists IDE as the internal interface, and NOT SATA. Each one will say if it has USB 2.0, Firewire, or both usually in the title. If it says "IEEE 1394", that means Firewire, though they'll usually also say Firewire for good measure.

    Edit: Oh, and look for FW400, as you won't be able to use FW800 on your iMac (no ports for it!). It'll be cheaper that way, anyways.

    Edit 2: You can also check out macsales.com nice selection here: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/add-ons-and-hubs/enclosure-kits
     
  3. seenew thread starter macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    edit: I had the same link as you!

    Any recommended brands? Or brands I should stay away from?
    Recommended features to look for? I heard building your own external HDD makes them more fragile, so is there a way to make it more durable?
    Sorry for all the questions!
     
  4. cube macrumors G4

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    May 10, 2004
    #4
    I wouldn't buy that drive because it couldn't be put inside the iMac in case you wanted to eventually, and you would have to buy an Ultra ATA (IDE) case which would force you to the same for future drives.

    Buy a SATA drive and a FW/USB case for SATA drives. The drives cost about the same as the older technology but I think the cases cost more.

    For example, "Quad Interface" case at macsales.com
     
  5. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

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    Not all are compatible, just make sure they don't say SATA. I think I narrowed it down, but sometimes one will slip through. As for brands, there are many different opinions on the subject. I've always liked the Rosewill cases I have (which they stopped selling on newegg, actually), because they're fanless. Fanless = much more quiet. Of course, your drives can also get really hot that way. If you're going to use them a lot, I recommend getting a case with a fan.

    I would also avoid plastic enclosures, as I get the impression that they don't dissipate heat as well as metal, and are more flimsy. Read the reviews for individual cases you're looking at, as a lot of times people can tell you if things don't fit right, and what the construction quality is like.

    Edit: This is the Rosewill case I have, which I can't seem to find on sale anywhere any more:
    http://www.siliconpopculture.com/review/135_0_2_0_M/

    I agree with cube that if you're looking to put this drive into your iMac later, you should get a SATA one.

    It seems more likely that you're interested in just having an extra external drive, though, so I think your best bet would be IDE, since the enclosures are cheaper on the whole.
     
  6. cube macrumors G4

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    May 10, 2004
    #6
    Many cheapo case vendors just use the firmware as provided by the chipset vendor and they offer little support.

    Make sure the vendor that makes the case provides firmware upgrades.

    Self-made externals are not more brittle if the components are good and you handle them with normal care (not touching the electronic components, not pulling cables from the cable instead of the connector, not getting them wet, not keeping the disk in the electrostatic packaging until you really need to get it out, not grounding yourself and walking on a carpet, etc.).
     
  7. seenew thread starter macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #7
    I think I'll get this one, since I don't plan to mod my iMac much, internally (though if it's possible, I might switch to a Core 2 Duo down the line). This will be purely for extra space/backup, since I already have 500GB internally.

    Thanks for your concern, though. :)

    Well, out of those in the linked list above, which would you choose? I'm looking for something minimal in appearance, solid color, few external cosmetic features. I used to have a really nice-looking LaCie that was just a brushed-aluminum box.
     
  8. seenew thread starter macrumors 68000

    seenew

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  9. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

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    Between the two cases you've picked out, I'd say go with the MacAlly one - it's gotten better reviews, especially in regards to sturdiness. Lemme see if I can't scare up a link to a place selling the Rosewill one I use (and recommend!).

    Edit: Here's a link to the Rosewill site:
    http://www.rosewill.com/product/product.aspx?productId=80

    I can't seem to find anyone selling it online anymore, though. Might wanna post a WTB in the marketplace, if you're interested. I like the case a lot, as you can no doubt tell!
     
  10. neib macrumors newbie

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    Feb 21, 2006
    #10
    You want to buy one with a good chipset so it will function properly. For firewire, the Oxford brand is the best while for USB Cypress is the best. Improper chipsets can lead to instability or whatever. . . I'm not really sure, but this is just what I have been told. It's hard to tell what brand will have said chipsets, but I'm sure you can manage to find a list out there somewhere.

    I personally have the AMS Venus DS3 because it features such chipsets for both technologies.
    Other than that, for your drive, make sure it connects to a PATA interface and that should be it :D.
    edit: btw, the DS3 is alluminum and fancooled which is a nice plus.
     
  11. reubs macrumors 68000

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    Jun 22, 2006
    #11
    I've got a big seagate drive in an Adaptec enclosure that's worked really well. The case gets a little warm, which only means it's distributing the heat away from the drive. It's hooked up to my desktop via USB (no firewire ports...), but I can access the data on it fine. I stream my Itunes from the external HD and also use it for backup. Highly recommended.
     
  12. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

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    #12
    If you get a Firewire enclosure, make sure it has an Oxford chipset. This is VERY VERY important. Do not buy any chipset that has a chipset by Genesys or Prolific or any other company. They are total crap. You will believe me when you test them side by side like I did and get xbench scores that are 5 TIMES higher on the Oxfords than on anything else - with the same drive. I had a 7200rpm Seagate Barracuda mounted in a Genesys GL711 and it was literally slower (by far!) than my 5 year-old 4200rpm laptop HD old. It literally could not sustain 2 MB/second write speed, and all transfers pegged the CPU.

    Stay away from Genesys like the plague. Oxford is the best by far. If you are not sure what chip an enclosure uses, don't buy it.
     
  13. seenew thread starter macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #13
    Okay, I just ordered both the Seagate 300GB, and the MacAlly case for it.
     

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