Best External Hard Drive for an iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by sap12690, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. sap12690 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #1
    Does anybody know the best External Hard Drive for an iMac? Something reliable, looking for 2TB. I was thinking about getting an Time Capsule, would it work well?
     
  2. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #2
    Don't get a TC. They are not very good, slow and prone to failure due to overheating.

    All HDDs will fail, but the TC is just more prone to failure than others. What are your exact needs? It's difficult to recommend the "best" external hard drive without knowing what you need it for, otherwise I may recommend a solution that costs more than your iMac, but it will be the "best".
     
  3. sap12690 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I simply need it to continue having space on my iMac... files, movies, music etc.
     
  4. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #4
    I assume you want something quiet? I've just got an extra g tech 3 TB external yesterday and it's as loud as a jumbo jet and slower than a g tech mini so I cannot recommend it, if you're planning to keep it on always.

    Your other main options are something from seagate or WD. You'll pay extra for a model with fw 800, but will appreciate the higher transfer speeds when copying movies. USB 2 will however be fast enough for your daily needs of watching movies and listening to music.
     
  5. dizmonk macrumors regular

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    Nov 26, 2010
    #5
    I got a Western Digital 3TB for less than $200 @ Best buy a few months ago. Works perfectly fine. I'd recommend that.
     
  6. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

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    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #6
    I have to disagree. While the early Time Capsules did have issues that was quickly resolved and the ones made in the last 2+ years have been fine.

    However there are three EHD's I strongly recommend for the build quality and features. They are:

    http://g-technology.com/products/g-drive.cfm

    http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?id=10330

    http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?id=10330

    Personally I used the LaCie's (I have 4) and have been 100% pleased with them. However G-Tech and OWC's drives would be just as welcome on my desk.
     
  7. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #7
    The problem with the TC is that even if the new ones are more reliable, they are very slow to transfer data - even slower than a normal external drive via USB 2. I was disappointed
     
  8. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

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    Far away from liberals
    #8
    I use Western Digital Elements HD's on my Macs. They're not that fast, but they're perfect for backups. Plus, they've been completely silent and reliable.
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    Location:
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    #9
    Are you using the TC wireless or wired? I agree the wireless is slow for a large backup but wired gig. ethernet works well for me. Not as fast as a directly connected USB drive as you said though.
     
  10. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #10
    I used both and I felt it was too slow. I now use a synology via gigabit Ethernet and various external drives via fw800
     
  11. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #11
    FW800 is for sure the best way to go if that is an option.

    So you find gigE faster on Synology than the Time Capsule? That's interesting as one would think they would be comparable.
     
  12. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #12
    It's a night and day difference. Check out the benchmarks on places like smallnetbuilder.com

    The TC manages about 20 MB/s writes whereas a synology ds1511+ does around 100 MB/s both running on gigabit Ethernet. The issue is not with the transfer method but the hard drive and controller in the TC.
     
  13. Chris 123 macrumors regular

    Chris 123

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    Jun 28, 2008
    Location:
    U.S. (New England)
    #13
    I have three separate WD external hd's on my imac right now. HD's do fail, but I've had the best luck with WD. I would recommend not getting a portable hd for your imac unless you really need it since they can be pretty slow. You may want a backup solution as well since you said you need it for extra space. I've liked the WD my book studio 4tb (2x2TB, so you can mirror/backup.) But you may not care about backing up.

    +1 for no TC.
     
  14. Weaselboy, Dec 29, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011

    Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #14
    Wow... that is a huge difference. To be fair though the 1511 is $799 with no drives included so I'm not sure comparing it to a $299 Time Capsule is going to be helpful for the OP.
     
  15. philipma1957, Dec 29, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Howell, New Jersey
    #15
    yes but the low cost synology is a good deal a 710 2 bay is 490 and has the option to add a 5 bay on to it. plus you can hide it out of site with a cat 5 wire connection.

    http://www.amazon.com/Synology-Disk...KX5S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325176165&sr=8-1

    http://www.amazon.com/Synology-Plug...LXKG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1325176165&sr=8-2

    or a real bargain but runs at 40MB/s no real good expansion except to buy a second one and use a gigabit switch


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822108042&Tpk=synology ds110j



    http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-DGS-10...1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1325176298&sr=1-1


    using the gigabit switch will let you add on more Nas units once again you can do long cat 5 cable runs and put the gear in another room.


    wireless options stink slow and not reliable is common on a home to home basis due to endless possible causes of unknown interference
     
  16. boraxatude macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    #16
    I just got a 2tb G-Drive. It supports up to 3tb, so you could conceivably upgrade the drive if you need to. If you shop around, it can be a pretty good deal when compared with building your own drive with an enclosure. fw800/400/esata/usb2
     
  17. Sandman1969 macrumors 6502a

    Sandman1969

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    #17
    I would recommend against a Time Capsule as well. I bought one after the apparent problems were resolved and had the power supply crap out after about 13 months of use.

    They are poorly designed for heat dissipation. Which is why you find so many mods to them to help with that.

    I purchased the following external case and put the drive from the TC into it and have had no problems with it. I love how it looks like a Mac Pro and supports USB 2.0, FW 400 & 800, as well as eSata.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VTZFN4/ref=oh_o01_s00_i00_details
     
  18. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
  19. Unkei macrumors member

    Unkei

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    #19
    Passport

    I have 3 Passport drives. Purchased 2 for Windows PC, found one in a case in my yard. Could not find owner so reformatted with Geek Squad's help. Point being... they are inexpensive, reliable, and come in several capacities. Hope this helps.
    Unkei
     

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