Which external hard drive should I buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jamdr, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. jamdr macrumors 6502a

    jamdr

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #1
    I've been researching this fro quite some time and I don't think I'm any closer to a decision. It seems that every external hard drive out there has a bunch of negative reviews about it failing after a few months of use. Here's what I'm looking for:

    •costs $100-$150
    •at least 100GB
    •relatively portable, bus-powered would be a plus (using it w/ an iBook)

    I don't know if 4200 RPM is fast enough or if I should be looking for 5400 RPM. My iBook only has a 4200 HD so that should probably be fine. I've liked Iomega products in the past, so I'm looking at this. Is that a good drive?

    Any advice?
     
  2. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #2
    Give Lacie a try, I always hear good things about them and i've bought drives off them, none have ever failed.

    Of course, you'll only ever here about the bad things in reviews so don't sweat it.
     
  3. jcoop macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #3
    I have a couple of Smartdisk FireLite drives, and they've served me well. $140 will get you a 100 GB, 5400 RPM, bus-powered firewire drive at Newegg.
     
  4. Philberttheduck macrumors 6502a

    Philberttheduck

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Location:
    HB, CA
    #4
    Go for the WD portable harddrives. They're slick and thinner than their predecessor, and keep in mind that they're bus-powered. For 160GB, you can pick it up for 130 (140 online for some reason) at your local costco. Or 120 for $100.

    Wherever you get it, I highly recommend them. WD has really stepped up their game with the MyBook and portable HD.
     
  5. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #5
    i like the mybook alot. have had it since july and works perfect. i know around here its like 80-90 bucks for 160 gig and 150 bucks for 250 gigs
     
  6. TuckBodi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #6
    Yeah, I have 3 WD My Books myself and I love them. Although they may not be portable enough for what you are looking for I find them attractive and they run nice & cool (versus my Fantom drive which is hot to touch). Keep an eye on dealmac and you can get deals like I did ($70 on the USB 250Gb and $160 on the 500Gb).
     
  7. Multimedia macrumors 603

    Multimedia

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
    #7
    Build Your Own For Radically Less Money

    Build your own. Buy an AcomData External USB2/FireWire enclosure $40 and a cheap 400GB Seagate, Maxtor or WD HD for $100 at Fry's. Total cost about $!50.

    I bought a 400GB Maxtor SATA/300 drive yesterday at Fry's for $100 and they also have 400GB ATA Drives on sale for $100 quite regularly - especially on holidays. Do you have Fry's nearby?

    Bus powered is a whole different story. Sorry. Much more money per GB to run it off your bus.
     
  8. operator macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    I've been using a Western Digital Passport since Christmas. It's only been a month and a half, but no problems yet. I'm using an iBook, and this drive uses the power from one usb port. It's also quite small, which is nice for traveling. The only disadvantages so far is the lack of a firewire port, and it's not the most durable drive out there.
     
  9. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    NE Hoosierana
    #9
    I've a ~3 yo Seagate, 250GB, has worked very well [actually formatted for Windows, have not reformatted to be read/write w/ my Apples as of yet]. Am also actually looking at buying another ext. HD, but this time min of 300GB size.
     
  10. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #10
    I just bought one of these from G-tech. It's costs a bit more than you would like though.

    If you want bang for the buck, the WD passport drives are pretty cheap usually around $100 for 120GB drive. They are USB only though, not sure if you need FW or not. If so the Mybook series seem to be very popular and have reasonable prices.
     
  11. SpaceJello macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    #11
    My vote goes to Mybook or whatever WD has... I think they have a new line of portable drives.... I would not use LaCie... i have had a lot of problems with them in the past.

    As for G-drives... i have been eyeing them but not too familiar.
     
  12. jamdr thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jamdr

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #12
    I ended up getting a 120GB OWC Mercury On-the-Go FireWire/USB2 drive for $150. I think that's a fair price and I know it will work well with my MacBook Pro. I looked closely at the WD Passport but I just read too many bad reviews. The G-drive mini looks great but is just way too expensive. It should come this week.
     
  13. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #13
    Well it looks like you got a good one, and certainly at a good price. Let us know how it works out for you.
     
  14. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    NE Hoosierana
    #14
    Any thoughts on this?

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item-specials/Other World Computing/ME8R7800GB32/

    Price:Size seem quite good [2.29GB per $; or $0.438 per GB]... as does reviews.

    Well, after some more research/calls, found that, for example, from talking w/ couple different techs, that best value is going w/ Seagate. WD has one of the worst failure rates. In any case, get 7200 rpm, largest RAM possible, and then look at a service plan.

    The cream of the crop is supposedly thus:
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=external+hard+drive&tt=1&go=Go!
     
  15. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #15
    My 300GB LaCie Triple Drive failed after 15 months.
    I now have a Micronet MiniMate 500GB.
     
  16. shuffle1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    #16
    USB Powered WD Passport didn't work on my PB...


    Hi. I bought a WD 160 GB USB-Powered Passport the other day at Best Buy and it didn't power up on my 1.67 Powerbook G4. I did a search and found that some USB bus-powered drives don't work with just one port on Mac portables. I know it didn't work on mine. Could I have just gotten a bad drive. It sounded like it was spinning and then stopping, spinning, stopping, etc, and the light was flashing between dim and bright... Thanks a bunch for any help on this!

    shuffle1
     
  17. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #17
    So what's your point?
     
  18. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #18
    My point is that La Cie drives also fail, contrary to your experience.
     
  19. andysc macrumors regular

    andysc

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #19
    Get the Apricorn EZ enclosure and buy a separate internal HD. Much cheaper. Apricorn EZ cases have fans, and keep the HD very cool. They are also very quiet.
     

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