Best portable FW800 scratch drive for MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Rokusaburo, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. Rokusaburo macrumors member


    Sep 30, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hey Guys,

    I recently ordered a Penryn Macbook Pro, which I'll be using a lot for video and sound editing (Final Cut, After Effects, Soundtrack...)

    I was looking to get an external hard drive to use as a scratch drive and I figured that a Firewire 800, 7200rpm, 16MB cache drive would be best. I was also hoping to get a bus-powered portable drive that doesn't require a power adapter.

    After looking at different drives, I've concluded that the OWC Mercury On-The-Go 200GB Triple Interface (FW400/800, USB 2.0) drive probably suits my needs best.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for similar drives? Or has anybody had any experience using this drive?

  2. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
  3. vocaro macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2004
    For a 7200 rpm drive, eSATA is not going to be any faster than FW800. It certainly won't be cheaper when you have to spend an extra $40 on an adapter, considering that the MacBook Pro has FW800 built-in. And who the heck wants that fat ugly adapter sticking out of their shiny new MBP anyway? You'd have to lug it around with you, and it also uses up the ExpressCard slot that could be used for something else. And most importantly: The original poster wanted something bus-powered, and unlike FW800, eSATA is not bus-powered! FW800 is the clear choice here.
  4. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    well..considering the adapter was 20$ and the enclosure was 20$ and hd go for maybe 70$ for a 320 gig hd...yes it is much cheaper than the hd he listed going for over 200$. And eSATA has higher transfer speeds..just go look up some benchmarks. The only downside is that it's not bus if thats what you really need then fine.
  5. vocaro macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2004
    I've been in the same boat and spent some time researching the options, so I think I can give some good advice here. First, note that your options are limited. A bus-powered drive is most likely going to be a 2.5-inch (laptop) drive, and very few of those come with FW800.

    Personally I'm a fan of LaCie -- I like their design style -- and they've got the Rugged All-Terrain Hard Disk and the Little Big Disk, both of which have models that are 7200 rpm bus-powered FW800. I bought the Little Big Disk, and it's quite fast, but also large and heavy. The All-Terrain is smaller and lighter.

    But the problem with LaCie drives, as well as just about any other manufacturer, is that you have to take what they give you. For instance, if you wanted a 200GB drive at 5400 rpm in the Little Big Disk, you're out of luck. They just don't sell them in that configuration.

    So here's what I suggest: Don't choose a drive, choose an enclosure. Then you can buy whatever drive you want, separately, and just pop it in the enclosure. You can also easily upgrade to a bigger or faster drive later if you want to. The enclosures from LaCie and other companies make upgrading the drive rather difficult.

    I recently bought the ToughTech Mini enclosure and put a Western Digital 320GB disk in it. It's not cheap, but it's very small (smaller than either of the LaCie enclosures), stays relatively cool, and is available with FW800, USB, and eSATA interfaces all in one. The only bad thing I have to say about it is that the logo is glaringly stamped on the top of the case. It hurts the aesthetics. Other than that, it's great! I highly recommend it.
  6. honeycrisp macrumors regular

    Nov 28, 2007
  7. cobbe1 macrumors member


    Feb 17, 2008
    I used to like LaCie too. But recently I found out they use IBM Deathstar drive and that's NO GOOD. 2 500GB LaCie die within 6 month after purchase and when I open them up, they are Deathstars!:(

    I told my nephew about this and he opened up his 25GB LaCie and it's also a Deathstar. So he went and brought a Seagate and swapped it out before it die on him.

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