A few more questions before buying

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by pMad, May 18, 2008.

  1. pMad macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2008
    Everyone on here has been great helping me as I'm a little clueless about some of this.

    I just ordered the iMac (4GB 3.06) with a 750GB Hard Drive.
    I'm looking at a 1TB external harddrive for back up purposes only.
    (Time Machine)

    I was thinking about just buying the Western Digital 1TB My Book Home Edition (FireWire 400, USB 2.0, and eSATA) - Costco by my house has it for $229.

    But, I've been told in other threads that I should go with an internal and an enclosure. I looked into this and it is slighltly more expensive than the "My Book" mentioned above, but I could get a 5 year warranty over the "My Book" 3 year.

    My main question is, Is there any reason why I shouldn't just go with the 'My Book"?

    If I was going to go Internal + shell, I was told I would still want to go Firewire. So, I was looking at this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817198004

    What internal would you suggest?
    What's the difference between OEM & Retail and which do I want?

    Thanks again for the help - you guys are great.
  2. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816


    Jan 11, 2008
    The argument about getting a nice internal and installing it into an enclosure makes sense if that drive is to be utilized for say... video editing, or streaming data. But to use strictly as a back up device, saving some money and getting a decent external HD (already enclosed) is fine.

    Heat is what typically kills hard drives. So look at an external HD that has information about how it's kept cool. Often the external enclosures have fans built in, or passive cooling, but if no mention is made about how it's cooled, I'd keep looking.

    USB 2.0 is faster than firewire 400. Firewire 800 is the next fastest, followed by eSATA, so I imagine those who advised you to use firewire meant for you to use firewire 800? But USB 2.0 should be fine for doing backups. The drive you're looking at has 5400 RPM's, which is slower than the HD in your iMac (7200 RPM's).

    Since you're going to use this for backing up your data, and have critical files you can't afford to lose, the smart thing (more expensive too) to do is to go redundant, such as Raid 1 with mirroring (avoid Raid 0 for backup storage). This utilizes 2 drives (two 500 gigs for example) and duplicates data on both, so that if one drive should fail, the other has the same data, and you've lost nothing. In an external enclosure, the the RAID controller is built in, and you just plug in the USB 2.0 or firewire cable to your system and backup.

    Here are a few options to consider:

    LaCie 500GB

    G-Tech (I own/love this one, and they're a little spendier, but great quality)

    LaCie d2 Quadra 1TB

    Good luck on your decision, and sorry the ones I suggested are a bit spendier than the WD MyBook, but shop around. :)
  3. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    No. FW400 is actually a LOT faster tha USB 2.0, especially for connecting hard drives. Numbers in specs isn't everything, ya know?
  4. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    Good god

    No, USB 2.0 is NOT faster than FW 400. USB's strength lies in burst speed, which makes it great for input devices, like mice and other such things.

    For sustained data transfer, USB 2.0 lags far behind FW 400. I've had it run at a third of the speed (transferring ~60 gigs of random files) when copying a lot.

    Just because the specs say the top speed is faster surely doesn't mean much after the first few seconds.
  5. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816


    Jan 11, 2008
    Thanks for the info. eXan, and appleretailguy. :)

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