Advice on External HD

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bbskater, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. bbskater macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2010
    I am looking for an external hard drive to back up my computer with Time Machine and store my movies on. I would like to be able to plug it into my Macbook and be able to watch movies off of the hard drive itself without having to put them on my computer. Would a USB 2.0 drive be sufficient for that or should I go for a Firewire 400 drive? I would like at least a TB, if not 2 TB. I've found these two:


    The LaCie give me the option for both USB and Firewire. I like that. But the WD is twice the size. I like that more because I have a ton of music, movies, and tv shows. If it did not have a read speed fast enough for me to watch movies, how long would it take to copy a 1 to 2 gig movie onto my computer to watch it? Do you think the WD would be able to get the job done if I am watching a movie off of the external HD?

    I have been reading so much stuff recently that I am rather overwhelmed lol. I appreciate any help.
  2. MonkeyET macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2009
    Coachella, CA
    I recently purchased the WD hard drive to connect to my Airport Extreme. So far it has worked well. Obviously it is slower than the FW800 drive I previously had, but since I needed to be able to back up both my computers it was the best solution.

    I have not tried watching a movie stored on the drive yet.
  3. al2o3cr macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2009
    You should be able to easily get a 20-30 MB/s transfer rate out of a decent USB external, waaay more than even a disc image of a Bluray would need (1x Bluray is 4.5 MB/s). If you don't, send the broken drive back. :)
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Bear in mind that the movies on the external HD won't be backed up. You may want to go for 2 HDs. One for the movies, and the other one to back up everything. Depending on how often you add movies to your library it may be easy enough to just manually copy new additions.
  5. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Also be aware that TimeMachine drive content will expand to fill the entire drive over time. If you want a drive as both TimeMachine and media streaming you need to initially partition the drive into a TimeMachine partition and a media partition.

    For both of the uses USB2 will be fine.

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