Best external drive enclosures?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Blu101, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Blu101 macrumors 6502a

    Blu101

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    #1
    I just got my first ever apple last week. Upgraded the hard drive and I'd like to use the factory 320GB drive as an external for backups. Should be a while until I need more space, so this should work well until mid-late next year.

    I have no experience or knowledge whatsoever doing this - I've never backed up before. I know, I know, but in 21 years I've never had a hard drive fail on me (knocks on wood).

    In any case, I'm already pretty overwhelmed just learning my new mbp, so I'd like to take recommendations from you guys to ease the burden.

    Basically I'm looking for an external enclosure to the 320GB that came with my mbp, which is a Hitachi model, if that makes a difference. I'd like to be able to use my mbp's fastest connection for this, which I'm guessing is the firewire. Other than that, it would be great if the aesthetics matched or complimented the mbp. Oh, and something that has shock/vibration protection.

    Thanks!


    ps: when I upgraded the hard drive in my mbp, the 320GB original had a negotiated link speed of 1.5Gb/s, but the new one, a 500GB 7k500 also from Hitachi, has a negotiated link speed of 3Gb/s. Can someone briefly tell me what negotiated link speed is and why the difference? Is it related to the 5400RPM vs 7200RPM drives? I saw a thread in these forums a couple of weeks back where people reported both link speeds for 7200RPM drives, so I don't know how these speeds are "negotiated" between drive and computer...:confused:

    pps: what do I do with the 320GB drive once I have it in an external enclosure as far as getting it ready for a backup drive? Do I need to re-format? It has OS X and iLife pre-installed from factory. On this topic, does the backup utility in OS X back up data only or data and system (OS X + applications/prfeerences)? I'd like to backup both data + system/apps/preferences, so I don't have to redo all those downloads and preferences set ups. Oh boy :(
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
  3. PhelpsiPhan macrumors 6502

    PhelpsiPhan

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #3
    i think ebay is a good place to get good cheap ones, i have got a couple from ebay (hong kong) and they work great!
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    The backup proogram to use is Apple's Time Machine. It backs up everything unless you tell it to exclude something. Ideally you want the backup drive to be twice as large as the sum of all the data you have.

    To buy a drive enclosure ask these guys for a "0 GB enclosure" Firewire 800 is best but you can use FW400 or USB. http://www.macsales.com/ They are not the cheapest but they have good support and can answer question like yours.

    What really matters on drives is simply how many bits fly under the read/write head per second. This is the product of RPM and the number of bits in one circular track. The advertising copy only talks about TPM because that is easy to understand "product" sounds like math and confuses people. The interface speed of 300bps is likely way faster than the speed of the bits under the head and is another marking number
     
  5. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a

    milbournosphere

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #5
  6. Blu101 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Blu101

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    #6
  7. joaoferro99 macrumors member

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    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    S. California
  8. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #8
  9. henry999 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    #9
    future proof?

    I need an external drive enclosure now but I'm also planning on getting a new Mac later in the year -- probably an MBP whenever the new ones come out. Without knowing what ports / connectors the new Macs will have, it's difficult to decide what to get now.

    I see no sense in buying an external enclosure that supports USB2 maximum.

    FireWire800 is OK but I don't think it has much of a future; plus it adds a lot to the cost of the box.

    eSata looks good but running it through a CardBus adapter just introduces a chokepoint. Will it ever be a built-in port on a Mac? (I suspect not.)

    USB3 looks OK and I think there's a reasonable chance of seeing this on a Mac sooner rather than later.

    Ideally, I'd like an enclosure with both eSata and USB3 but I haven't been able to find one anywhere. Am I missing something?

    What I have found is an intriguing Addonics box. It holds a 2.5, 3.5 or 5.25 drive and bridges SATA I II or III to an eSata port. There is an adapter to connect it to USB3 or USB2 on the computer. With cable and power supply, the package is called ZESU3CS and sells for $65.

    This looks like it could be just the ticket. I could connect now to USB2 and to eSata or USB3 if / when they are available on the Mac.

    Is anyone familiar with this particular bit of gear? (I googled for reviews and didn't find any.) What about Addonics stuff in general? Good reputation? Bad? Mediocre? Informed comments or advice greatly appreciated.

    cheers,

    Henry
     
  10. MacForScience macrumors 6502

    MacForScience

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    http://www.cooldrives.com/

    I have bought 4 or 5 enclosures from them and have liked all of them. You can get anything from quad interface to barebones simple.

    Cheers
     
  11. henry999 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    #11
    They do sell just what I'm looking for -- but after checking them out on the 'net I'm not sure I'd ever want to buy anything from them.

    http://tinyurl.com/coolgear-bad

    cheers,

    Henry
     
  12. MacForScience macrumors 6502

    MacForScience

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    Never had any issues, but can't be too careful.

    Cheers
     

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