Best External Hard Drive For iMac??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mac2004, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Mac2004 macrumors regular

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    #1
    What is the best external hard drive for a iMac computer? I want a brand that has good reputation for quality, good support, good software, etc. Also how much space should I get for a iPhoto Library (14,000 photos) and iTunes library, and miscellaneous documents? I see there are good deals on the 1 terabyte models. My one friend told me that Western Digital makes the best and then another friend said Iomega. Please help. Make sure you specify the model if you leave a suggestion. Does anyone know if the Western Digital external hard drives still are loud and make the humming noise? Thanks...
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    Commonly named brands are Seagate and Western Digital. Iomega does not make hard drives, they make enclosures and stick 3rd-party drives in them (same with LaCie). You can search mroogle for "external hard drive suggestions" and a bevy of threads will help you answer your question. 1 TB should be enough for your libraries.
     
  3. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #3
    I bought one of these and put in one of these. The IcyDock enclosure features the Oxford 924 chipset and with Firewire 800 file transfers to my iMac are lightning fast. It is solidly designed and runs next to silently. Oh, and it looks great too next to the Mac. I haven't had a single problem with the Seagate 1.5TB HDD either. It came with the latest firmware.

    You might be able to get a prepackaged external cheaper but you did ask about the "best".
     
  4. convert09 macrumors member

    convert09

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    #4
    I have a Western Digital 1TB and 320GB HD. I had these prior to buying my MacBook about a month ago. They both seem to work fine. I did reformat the 320 so I could start using Time Machine.

    I use the 1TB for my photos of which I have nearly 25,000. The 320GB holds my music and movie library.

    Also, I put a 500GB internal drive in the MacBook two weeks after bringing it home and everything just works.
     
  5. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #5
    OP: you will NEVER get an answer on the best quality HD, because that is like asking what is better mac or PC... there are good and bad points.

    you need to ask yourself what you want, if you want a 1TB HD - do you want to configure it yourself or buy a premade one?? (by configure i mean choose your own external case, choose your own internet HD and combine them).

    i personally configure my own external HDs, because i can choose the interface (USB-FW etc) and hard drive brand. with most pre-made hard drives you hvae no idea what brand hard drive will be in there.
     
  6. Mac2004 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    I have a question..... There were 2 models I was looking at and I am not sure which one to buy.

    The first model was a Western Digital MyBook (1 terabyte) but it had only USB and that was going for $119.00. Is USB slower than FireWire 400? This one was in a green box.

    The second model was a Western Digital MyBook (500GB) with USB, FireWire, and eSata and that was going for $119.00. This one was in a blue box.

    Is FireWire 400 a nice change over USB and is eSata feature worth it.

    I guess I have to ask myself which is more important.... the extra 500GB of hard drive space (1TB model) or FireWire 400 and eSata feature (500GB model).

    The clerks said that USB is fine and that is what most people get and that I wouldn't notice much difference between USB and FireWire 400.
     
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #7
    hhmm firewire is much better, but in your case you wouldnt really notice a difference. double your space and go 1TB.

    oh and you wont be utilising eSata on an iMac - its another connection method (like usb and firewire)
     
  8. Mac2004 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    But in a way isn't 1TB overkill? It's double the size of my 24 inch iMac hard drive so you would think the 500GB would be more than sufficient. I have 13,000 photos and about 50 iTunes songs and that's about it (and some Pages and AppleWorks documents). I wonder if I will even use up the 500GB in the next 3-4 years?? I am only using 48GB right now on my computer.
     
  9. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #9
    in your case for the current position your in, maybe.. but why not backup your whole computer using Time Machine AND keep a copy of all your pictures aswell??

    if you want the 500gb then go for it haha
     
  10. nutritious macrumors 6502

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    #10
    really, anything with firewire will be fine considering none of the macs have esata.
     
  11. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #11
    I've been considering a Drobo for a while now. It uses FireWire 800 and USB 2.0. I know there are several people here that have one.
     
  12. Mac2004 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    I'm so confused..... don't know if I should get the 1TB model or the one that is 500GB with FireWire 400. The 1TB model only has USB 2.0. I wonder if I will ever use that much space as on my 24 inch iMac (that I have had for 2 years) I have only used up 65GB out of about 300GB on the hard drive.
     
  13. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #13
    well seeing as though your iMac doesnt have a firewire 400 port (pretty sure it doesnt have one) its a waste of money
     
  14. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    #14
    He said he has had his 24" iMac for 2 years. Only the most recent iMac revision earlier this year removed the FW400 port.

    I definitely recommend going Firewire over USB with the iMac. The performance boost, especially with large file transfers, is well worth it. The question of whether 500GB is enough for you or not is something only you can answer. Personally, I still think buying an enclosure and popping in your own HD is the best. That way you could get one with FW800 and even more performance.
     
  15. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #15
    lol you are even doubting.

    If you've used only 70 GB after 2 years, why do need 1 TB at all???

    I think the 500 GB is still more than you need.
     
  16. Mac2004 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    I noticed tonight that Western Digital has a "Mac Edition" of their MyBook external hard drives. What is the difference???

    Here is the link: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=606

    Does that mean that the Western Digital MyBook external hard drive I bought for my iMac will not work if it isn't the Mac Edition?

    How do you format the hard drive to make it work with a Mac and Time Capsule if it isn't the Mac Edition?
     
  17. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #17
    its probably formatted as FAT32, instead of the NTFS formatting of "PC' drives
     
  18. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #18
    Its just formatted in HFS+, no big deal.

    The rest of MyBooks are formatted in FAT32 or NTFS, but you can easily reformat them in Disk Utility.
     
  19. Mac2004 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    So you just go into the Disk Utility program and highlight the MyBook external hard drive and then do what to reformat it? Just select an option? Do I need to partition it or just reformat it to work with Time Capsule.

    What is the best format to use for an iMac? As you can tell I am new to a lot of this stuff (ha).
     
  20. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #20
    Select Erase tab, set the format to Mac OS Extended Journaled (or whatever its called) and click erase.
     
  21. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #21
    in their advertising, i wonder if they mention that it cant be read/written on PC's :rolleyes:
     
  22. Mac2004 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    USB 2.0 vs FireWire 400

    I tested out a USB 2.0 external hard drive and then a FireWire 400 external hard drive and I hardly noticed any difference in speed. It looks to me like all the hype about FireWire 400 isn't really worth it if all you need is a good external hard drive for minor backups on a home computer. Does anyone feel like I do??? USB 2.0 seemed pretty speedy to me. I didn't notice any difference between the 2 connections.
     
  23. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #23
    This kind of comparison isn't accurate at all. You need to test with exactly the same drive on exactly the same computer with exactly the same OS/drivers, etc.
     
  24. MayForth macrumors newbie

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    Apr 18, 2009
    #24
    Best external for Macs is always FIREWIRE

    forget USB and the fact USB2 is slightly faster than FW400, I've been using FW and USB2 for 5 years now and FW is just the best, go a FW800 drive nothing less than 1TB and I recommend LaCie Externals they're triple interface usually ie FW400/800 and USB2 perfect for iTunes and your iPhoto Libraries and scratch discs for Final Cut etc, the only bummer is you'll need another drive to clone it using SuperDuper or Time Machine however I'm using 8 external Lacies now ranging from 160gb to 1TB for 3 years and never lost one, but the moment you start putting precious files, photos, music on a drive you need to back it up.
    all the best.

    I don't know anyone that would rick using a USB2 drive as a scratch disc, iTunes Libraries (large_ run like poorly on USB as opposed to Firewire) anybody that tells you otherwise doesn't own a FW drive and will put up with the crashes etc, trust me go firewire always over usb2, it's like the difference between Macs and Pcs or Bruce SPringsteen and Rick Springfield.
     
  25. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #25
    its not accurate because he didnt test actual throughput either. tests have to be conducted properly, not just "oh it feels faster" type stuff.
     

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