500GB external HD -- what to buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Corman922, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Corman922 macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2007
    I'm in need of an external hard drive for my Mac. I'll be using it mostly as a backup drive. Are there any brands that I should consider or steer clear of? Thanks!
  2. 119576 Guest


    Aug 6, 2007
    Try using the forum search (top right corner of the site). There are a whole host of threads on this exact subject.

    Also; you'll want a 500GB drive. :)
  3. MikeDTyke macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2005
    You'll get plenty of people here bitching and moaning because of some drive that didn't work for them and lost all their holiday snaps.

    As long as you stick to the big three you'll be alright. For Mac's that is Western Digital, Seagate or LaCie. I'd love to include iomega, but to my mind they've always been the slow expensive option.

    Personally have WD Studio drives, ie. with firewire 800 & eSata for future proofing.

    Cheers. M.
  4. tpete macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2007
    I've read that the most recent Iomega 500GB integrates well with Leopard and Time Machine. Since I don't have Leopard, I don't know what that entails, but I'm looking at getting a back-up drive soon along with Leopard, so if anyone has any thoughts along those lines, I'd appreciate it.
  5. mondesi43 macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2007
    Yessssuuurrrr.... I second a WD with FW. The new ones are quieter (green my book [?] was loud), and the FW makes it easy to daisy chain in/for the future.
  6. jnash macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2007
    x2 I love my 750 GIG WD with Firewire/Esata/Usb sooo quiet and I love having a on and off switch
  7. mondesi43 macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2007
    WD 500GB FW sale

    Best Buy has it for $130 this week. Price difference +10% back from Circuit City for a purchase 3.5 weeks ago... Gotta love CCs return/price matching policies!!!
  8. dcv macrumors G3

    May 24, 2005
    I've always bought the LaCie Porsche drives and never had a problem with them but I was in Cancom last week looking for another drive and the guy in store was recommending Formac drives such as this one - he said they're very reliable and they actually crack them open and use the hard disks inside some of their Mac Pros; also v quiet, fast and have a triple interface. Might be worth a look.
  9. Morod macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2008
    On The Nickel, over there....
    G-Tech f/w

    I've been reading about G-Tech external drives and from what I've read it's a good one as well. Got to do more research before I plunk down the bucks, though. Here's the link:


  10. Shadow macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2006
    Keele, United Kingdom
  11. 150hp macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2004
    Door County, WI, USA
    FWIW, I went with an empty NewerTech miniStack V3 & a WD Green Power 500GB HD. I wanted the USB Hub & FW800/ESATA for future-proofing. I chose the GP drive for its quiet operation & low power use. Yes I paid a bit more but I got exactly what I wanted.

    Here's the links:

    NewerTech miniStack V3

    WD Green Power 500GB HD
  12. tamvly macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2007
  13. dcv macrumors G3

    May 24, 2005
    Get a drive with both interfaces if you can (or "triple" interface i.e. FW400, FW800 & USB 2.0)

    FireWire 400 is faster than USB; FireWire 800 is faster still but not all macs have a FW800 port.

    USB has greater compatibility with other devices and can be plugged into some routers for use over a home network.

    FireWire allows you to use target disk mode.
  14. filman408 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    Target Disk Mode is only for computer to computer (ad hoc) connecting.
  15. dcv macrumors G3

    May 24, 2005
    Sorry, wrong terminology :eek: I meant you could boot from the FireWire disk
  16. tamvly macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2007
    Re: USB vs. Firewire ... as I expected. Alternatives are good. My experience is that Firewire is a bit faster.

    So I assume that the configuration that 150hp uses magically transforms the device interface of serial ATA to Firewire in the external enclosure?
  17. S600MBUSA macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2007
    Intel Macs can boot from at least some USB drives.
  18. ebmx66 macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2006
    i just picked up a WD 500gb Home Edition from Best Buy for in the $130's its got firewire 400, usb, and eSATA.....great deal in my opinion
  19. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    IMHO eSATA is a must if you're looking for a "future-proof" drive.

    I picked up a Seagate 750GB at Costco a few months ago that came with separate plug-in modules for FW800/400 and USB2/eSATA.

  20. nhexima macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2007
    Wow, that enclosure looks fantastic port-wise. Let us know how it works out for you, I'm probably going to be looking into a similar solution a few months from now.
  21. joefinan macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK
    But the specs for the WD HDD say that USB is 480Mbps where as Firewire is 400Mbps.

    So how come FireWire is faster??
  22. S600MBUSA macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2007
    Those numbers are theoretical, not real world.

    I'm not an expert, but it is my understanding that the Firewire architecture is simply more efficient and better designed.
  23. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    If you don't care so much about looks, it's cheaper to get an enclosure and an internal drive separately.

    Either as just a case or as the whole unit, I'm a big fan of these. I've got six of the 500GB drives.

    Exactly. Firewire is much faster at real-world file transfers in most cases.

    FW800 is dramatically faster. As mentioned, eSATA is even better, but isn't (yet) supported by most systems.
    I have the older v2 model with my mini. I love it. The v3 is even better from all I've heard.
  24. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    seagate freeagent pro. Fast, lots of connections, power button, nearly silent, reasonably priced. I really like mine.
  25. NicoleRichie macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2007
    I say do 2 500GB drives... Over Compensation is so COOL! Ohh I am a fan of Lacie

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