Best External Hard Drive? (for MBP)

Adokimus

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 2, 2007
841
3
Boston, MA
I'm wondering what people think is the absolute best/fastest external hard drive on the market, preferably at a reasonable price. I'm talking pure transfer speeds, since I'll be moving a lot of data. Here's one that I came across that looked like it had pretty solid specs:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MEAQ7500GB16/

Has anyone bought one? Let me know if it's a good buy or what you recommend please. I hate to just decide which one I'll buy next depending on what Apple happens to sell in it's store.


Thanks!

Ado
 

CybrMike

macrumors member
Mar 16, 2006
39
0
I prefer ones that have a gigabit ethernet port. Might one to look for one with that capability that way you don't have to be tethered.
 

kellah

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2007
121
0
East Lansing, MI
I'm not sure of the exact speeds, but I've had a great experience with my Western Digital My Book Pro. Firewire 800 certainly gets the job done quickly and it's been reliable. Although if you are going for raw speed there may be better options? I'm not sure... I just thought I'd throw my experience in the mix.
 

fr4c

macrumors 65816
Jul 27, 2007
1,253
129
Hamster wheel
I personally went with a external HD enclosure and installed a HD in it myself. Easy to service it and usually cheaper. I've been using mine for months and works like a charm. Just my two cents.
 

odinsride

macrumors 65816
Apr 11, 2007
1,143
0
I've heard good things about the OWC drives. Thinking of getting a couple myself
 

/V\acpower

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2007
549
370
The absolute fastest would be a eSata enclosure (with a fast HD in it) with a eSata ExpressCard for the laptop. (if you have the Macbook Pro of course, since the Macbook doesn't have an ExpressCard port)
 

jesstech

macrumors member
Jun 12, 2007
37
0
I'm not sure of the exact speeds, but I've had a great experience with my Western Digital My Book Pro. Firewire 800 certainly gets the job done quickly and it's been reliable. Although if you are going for raw speed there may be better options? I'm not sure... I just thought I'd throw my experience in the mix.
I've heard the MyBook pros don't come anywhere close to the theoretical limit of Firewire 800. Instead of 80mb/sec, they get something like 55, which is not a whole lot of improvement over FireWire 400.

I'm looking into options, too, and so far I have been really impressed by the OWC drives for the price. I'll probably end up getting one in the ~$150 range.
 

-hh

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2001
2,523
322
NJ Highlands, Earth
I've been thinking about this sort of question for awhile ... and have made some hardware investments.

I have a couple of old 2GB SCSI drives, if you're interested :D


Okay, what I did for my G5 desktop was to find an external enclosure that had USB / FW400 and which installed its hard drive (PATA) on a removable tray. I bought 1 enclosure + 3 trays so as to give me the proper triple-redundency in data backup. My original cost to set this up was around $150 for the enclosure + trays, plus three 3.5" PATA HD's at $100 each. At the time, to spend $100 for a bare drive resulted in around a 250GB unit; today that would buy 500GB drives instead.

While its been good about it is that I have a rock-solid system for conducting periodic backups. Of course, what's not been so great about it is that I still have to remember to do them. Also, because it uses PATA and not SATA drives, as I upgrade my internal HD's, I'm not able to recycle them into this configuration. As such, if I were to do this same exact approach today, I'd look for external removables that used SATA. I'd also deliberate using an interface that's faster than FW400, which brings me to part II.

Part II is where I'm looking at heading in the next couple of months.

I've thought about eSATA, but eSATA is not a ratified standard, and in comparision to FW800, it offers no real speed advantage unless your storage is in a RAID 0 or 10 configuration. As such, I'm looking at adding my next major increment of storage to my home network through a Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive, and the one that's on my short list is the 1TB by LaCie for just over $300. This would be hooked up primarily via Gigabit Ethernet, which I'll be able to reach wirelessly for my laptop and wired for my desktop.

What's nice about the LaCie is that it is true Gigabit, not just 10/100, and it also has a USB port which I believe that I can daisy-chain another HD off of, which means that I'll be able to recycle my existing external w/removable trays hardware so as to make a second (& third) backup for redundency.

BTW, I believe that the Apple Airport also has a USB port with which you might be able to hang off a USB drive which would afford network access. Granted, USB isn't fast, but a lot of this comes down to the question of "what are you using this additional storage space for?" My opinion is that priority #1 should be for backup, whereas #2 would be for keeping 'more stuff'. Overall, I'd recommend that you include your long term backup plans while making your decision as to what precisely to get.


-hh
 

-hh

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2001
2,523
322
NJ Highlands, Earth
This one is interesting. What would the top choices for this (mid-range pricing ;) ).
I've not done a thorough search yet, but LaCie has a 1TB for $325-ish. Considering that a bare SATA 500GB drive retails for $110-ish, this effectively means that you're paying only $100 for the drive enclosure with a Gigabit Ethernet port (& USB) and all of the smarts for it to also serve as a NAS.


-hh
 

Tomaz

macrumors 6502
Feb 24, 2004
311
0
Switzerland
I thought eSATA is MUCH faster than FW800.

They also write that here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA Check the table at the bottom.

Does anyone know?

Cause I'm also thinking about getting a 7200rpm external HD, but I don't want it to be slowed down by the bus. Does anyone know if eSATA is a bottleneck in such a setup ?
 

bienboy2710

macrumors newbie
Jul 10, 2008
6
0
New York City
Multiple Ports

yea just wondering if they make external hard drives with ports that allow you to connect in more than one spot. It's hard to explain.

Say there is an external hard drive with 2 usb ports on the hard drive. could you connect two of the usb ports to your computer to make it work faster? or would read/write speed not be fast enough that it would matter
 

Radio Monk33

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2007
309
0
I thought eSATA is MUCH faster than FW800.

They also write that here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA Check the table at the bottom.

Does anyone know?

Cause I'm also thinking about getting a 7200rpm external HD, but I don't want it to be slowed down by the bus. Does anyone know if eSATA is a bottleneck in such a setup ?
I too would like to know. I just ordered the Lacie Express 34 eSata card for MBPs. Heh, lots of possible bottlenecks. The internal drive, the external drive, the connection (eSATA/usb/FW) or even the Express34 bandwidth? Damn, I hope it's still a bit faster than FW800 or I'd be choked.