Best/Cheapest External Option for MBP 2010?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NateDogX, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. NateDogX macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2010
    Hey gang,

    Got my shiny, new 13" MBP in fine working order and was wondering what external HDD people recommend? I don't need anything with an incredible amount of speed, since it'll just be for Time Machine backups and some video/music/photos storage.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. mattrothcline macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2009
    For non-demanding uses like this, just get the cheapest, biggest USB hard drive you can. Online, I like Newegg and ZipZoomFly. If you want to get something at a brick-and-mortar store, external drives are available pretty much everywhere, from specialty retailers like Best Buy & Micro Center, to office stores like Staples, and even at general retailers like Wal-Mart.
  3. NateDogX thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2010
    I feel like I need to make use of the FireWire port, though. Is it a big price increase?
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Best and cheapest cannot go together. Inherently the best stuff is going to be expensive.

    What's your budget? How much money are you allocating to the enclosure? The drives? What interfaces do you want? Are you looking for bus powered for portability?

    For example a good enclosure that sports 2xFW800, FW400, and USB 2.0 in a 2.5" (which means it's bus powered) is maybe $80 for the enclosure? Then you need to add disks. A good enclosure will last very long, but will cost more.
  5. NateDogX thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2010
    Hmmm, maybe I should have rephrased the question. Perhaps "what's the best cheap option?" In other words, out of the cheap stuff (under 100 bucks, preferably) which is the best external drive to go with?
  6. ipponrg macrumors 65816

    Oct 15, 2008
    I went with the Toshiba 500 GB external HD formatted as NTFS. I use Paragon NTFS to read/write. Reason I formatted as NTFS is because I transfer stuff from my PC to my MAC instead of vice versa.
  7. NateDogX thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2010
    What if I've got a Mac and PC that both need to transfer files onto the drive and back out again?
  8. mattrothcline macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2009
    Whatever one has the highest capacity. If you find multiple drives that have the same capacity for different prices, get the cheaper one.

    Brands don't mean much in the disk drive world anymore. Some people swear otherwise, but I've never seen any real data to back that up, just stories.

    The one other thing you may want to look at is warranty. Seagate offers a longer warranty on their internal drives than some other manufacturers, or at least they used to. I don't know if that extends to the external drives as well, but it might be worth looking at.

    The answer to this question does not depend on which drive you get. This question has to do with how the disk is formatted.

    The situation without any additional software is this:
    1. Macs can read from - but not write to - hard drives formatted for Windows
    2. Windows can neither read from or write to hard drives formatted for the Mac

    There are two ways to solve this.
    1. Install a free program called "NTFS-3G for Mac OS X", which allows Macs to write to hard drives formatted for Windows. You can find the latest release here:

    2. Purchase and install a program called MacDrive on your Windows computer(s):

    However, the easiest way is to choose a third option - share files over the network, or with a USB flash drive.
  9. NateDogX thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2010
    Can I save Time Machine backups to the Mobile Me iDisk if I decide to go that route?

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