Sweet External Hard Drive Options...

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by noahsnyc, Aug 14, 2004.

  1. noahsnyc macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    I've decided that I need an external HD and that the most cost-effective way of rockin' it is going to be building it myself.

    The sexiest option is a 2.5" with a cheap-o enclosure from ebay. Now, if I'm correct, USB 2.0 is actually just as fast as my firewire 400 on my iBook, so I can get either a USB 2.0 or firewire enclosure, whichever is cheaper and still not lose any speed, right?

    Also, as far as chipsets and different ATA numbers, what should I look for? I don't think that 2.5" enclosures come with a chipset, let alone an Oxford 911, but I could be wrong.

    Is there any reason one would go for a 3.5"/Oxford set-up or even a 5.25" set-up?

    Any recomendations for good companies building the HDs or enclosures?
    Reviews? Experiences?

    N.
     
  2. sonofslim macrumors 6502a

    sonofslim

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    #2
    you get what you pay for -- i've been burned by cheapie enclosures/chipsets in the past. if you can find an Oxford or other reliable bridge, i say go with it.
     
  3. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Northern Virginia
    #3
    I have yet to be able to boot from USB2, unlike FW on my PB 12" rev. B.

    OWC does seem to have some great enclosures with the Oxford chipset.
     
  4. Veldek macrumors 68000

    Veldek

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    Germany
    #4
    I thought tests did prove that FireWire (theoretically: 400) has a higher transfer speed than USB2 (theoretically: 480), because USB2 doesn’t keep the speed at 480 but fluctuates while FireWire has a constant transfer rate. I think it has something to do with the controller (HW vs. SW) or something like that.
     
  5. krimson macrumors 65816

    krimson

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    #5
    i have 3 Bytecc 3.5" (ox911) enclosures, they're great. One of them hold my oem CD-RW. I havne't used any of the 2.5", so i can't say anything there. The 3.5's are a good fit, unless you need that extra 2" desk space, and i'd assume that the extra space would be good for keeping the drive cooler that if there was no air space around it.
     
  6. Redboy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    #6
    Wouldn't you have to buy a smaller, more expensive hard drive (laptop) to get it to work in teh 2.5" enclosures? Not worth it, in my opinion. I'm in the market now, but I need to see if the usb 2.0 pci card I bought will actually work in my system. My firewire is somewhat buggy, so I think usb 2.0 will be the way to go in my case.
     
  7. noahsnyc thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 27, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    Yeah, 2.5" drives are much more expensive, almost twice as much, as 3.5" drives. The issue is space. A 2.5" and it's enclosure can take up as little space as two packs of cigarettes. That's as opposed to a 3.5" drive with a cheap-o enclosure, Oxford911 or not, that'll be half the size and three times the width of my laptop...
    n.
     
  8. noahsnyc thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 27, 2003
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    Los Angeles
    #8
    What exactly were your experiences?

    I guess the real question is: Are there 2.5" Oxford enclosures out there? Isn't Oxford just for 1394/Firewire, so if I was looking for a USB 1.1/2.0, wouldn't it automatically be an in-system chipset?

    N.
     
  9. musicpyrite macrumors 68000

    musicpyrite

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    #9
    Yes, you are correct.

    FireWire (400) is good for large ammounts of data transfer, while USB 2 is good for things like mice, keyboards, joysticks, ect.

    http://www.barefeats.com/usb2.html
     
  10. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
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    #10
  11. sonofslim macrumors 6502a

    sonofslim

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    Jun 6, 2003
    #11
    i'll second OWC; they've always treated me right. i've purchased 2 enclosures and some other gadgetry from them and haven't had a complaint yet.
     
  12. noahsnyc thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    OWC

    Still, purchasing from a "reputable" source, such as OWC, really increases the cost.

    Froogling or eBay seems to result in anywhere from $5-$20 for an enclosure, and anywhere from $50 to $90 for a 30-100GB HD.

    OWC, on the other hand, would cost about $60-$90 for the enclosure, then about $90 or more for a HD. That may be less than retail already put together, but definitely a price increase. The concept was to somehow beat retail, not just to build my own HD. Externals already beat are almost the same as purchasing from OWC.

    Just a thought from someone who doesn't know much about it...

    N.
     

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