$129, WD 500GB USB or WD 320GB USB / Firewire 400

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by buffalo, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. buffalo macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2005
    Colorado Springs / Ohio
    Like many others I need an external HDD for Time Machine. This will be a first time external HDD so advice needed.

    In today's Best Buy ad there are several external hard drives advertised. There are two Western Digital drives that are both $129. The first is the 500GB 3.5" My Book Essential 2.0 External Hard Drive. The second is the 320GB 3.5" My Book Home Edition USB 2.0 / Firewire 400 and eSATA Interface External Hard Drive.

    Which should I go for? I will be using this for two Macs. The first is a G5 iMac with approx 100GB used (160GB total drive). The second is a MacBook C2D with approx 50GB used (80GB total drive). What is more important, HDD space or having Firewire?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    That's up to you. Firewire is definitely faster than USB 2.0. But the extra HD space is nice too. So it basically comes down to space or speed. Which do you want?

    (if you're only using it for Time Machine and occasional other files you put there yourself, then IMO space would win out, since Time Machine works in the background, you wouldn't notice if it's a bit slow anyway.)
  3. buffalo thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2005
    Colorado Springs / Ohio
    A plus with the 320GB model is plugging it into the Firewire port. It will be plugged into the iMac until Time Machine works with Airport Extreme. The iMac only has three USB ports which are used with the keyboard, printer, and iPod plug, so it would be nice to plug it into the unused Firewire port.
  4. Foxglove9 macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2006
    New York City
    I have that exact 320GB version, and it is very fast. But if you are using it just for Time Machine any cheap USB 2.0 drive would be fine. Go for size over speed.

    USB drives are pretty good for most tasks even besides Time Machine.
  5. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    For TM, I would buy the 500GB. The first transfer will be slower but after that you won't see a difference.
  6. mmzplanet macrumors regular


    Nov 4, 2004
    I had the same question for a slightly different purpose.... I got the 320 for time machine, My firewire ports suddenly stopped working and I bumped it over to USB. What if you were using the drive for your iTunes Library? Is USB still gonna do well?

    Also any ideas for the Firewire issue I still need help on would be cool too :) Its the Aluminum iMac with the problem.

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