advice on external hard drive purchase

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by memphismac, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. memphismac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    #1
    I'm looking to replace my current external drive with a newer, larger drive. My current drive is connected via Firewire and houses my iTunes library, plus movie files, documents, etc.

    I'm trying to decide between a portable drive (the Western Digital Passport, for example), and another desktop drive (like say, this one:http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Western...7952&skuId=9467178&st=WDBAAF0010HBK&cp=1&lp=1)

    Questions I have:
    - Is there any reason to be concerned about longevity when using a portable drive?
    - Does a desktop drive typically perform better than a desktop drive?
    - Is there a noticeable speed difference between USB 2.0 and Firewire?
    And should that be a deciding factor in what I buy?

    Thanks for any help here...

    Brian
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Not really, it can fail after 2 hours or 20 years, no matter is it 2.5" or 3.5"

    Yes, but because you are using externally, USB or FW800 will be limiting it

    Yes. With USB you can get roughly ~60MB/s while with FW800 ~85MB/s. FW800 drives are more expensive so unless you need speed, USB is fine and you already have FireWire one so use it as well
     
  3. Velin macrumors 65816

    Velin

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Hearst Castle
    #3
    Um.

    Yes. Firewire is def. better.
     
  4. memphismac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    #4
    That's what I thought. And unfortunately, drives with Firewire are a lot more expensive and outside my price range.

    I went out today and got good deals on a Seagate FreeAgent (http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-FreeA...1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1270665533&sr=1-1-fkmr0) and a Western Digital My Book Essential (http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digit...1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1270665468&sr=1-1).

    Both 1.5TB. Both $129
    Seagate has 5 year parts warranty.
    WD has 2-year parts & labor warranty.

    Seagate says it's up to 7200 RPM.
    Western Digital doesn't make any kind of claim on speed.

    Seagate says it has a 32MB cache.
    Western Digital doesn't make any kind of claim on cache size.

    I'm going to take them home, stare at them, and decide which one to open.
     
  5. memphismac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    #5
    Oh, and I meant to say "Does a desktop drive typically perform better than a portable drive?"

    My bad.

    Since this thread probably belongs in buying tips, I've opened it there instead. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=891954

    Feel free to move or delete this thread. Thanks.
     

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