Best solution for multiple external drives?

Which Option?

  • Option 1: Add more FW enclosures

    Votes: 8 42.1%
  • Option 2: Set up a computer with the drives

    Votes: 3 15.8%
  • Option 3: Some sort of multi-drive enclosure

    Votes: 8 42.1%

  • Total voters
    19

livingfortoday

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Nov 17, 2004
2,903
0
The Msp
Hey everybody. As I started looking into getting a new external hard drive, bringing my total up to three now, I wondered if maybe there wasn't an easier way to do this. I have three options, as far as I see, and would like your guys' opinions on which of the three would be:

a) better for the drives
b) most energy efficient
c) fastest for media playback
d) most inexpensive overall

Option 1:
Get a third FW400 enclosure, daisy chain them all, and access all my files like that. Three external drive enclosures.

Option 2:
Get a low-end Powermac G4, stick the drives in there with a PCI IDE controller card, and access them over my network.

Option 3:
Get a multi-drive FW400 enclosure, and stick them all in there. Also, if you know of any good ones of these, please give me some links, too!

I may want to get a fourth drive soon as well, so I guess keep that in mind too. Thanks for your help!
 

solvs

macrumors 603
Jun 25, 2002
5,684
1
LaLaLand, CA
I bought a 4 drive external firewire drive from eBay. Works great, and it was only about $150 with shipping. I also got one of these things so I can attach SATA and notebook drives. Works really well for me. Then just sell your current cases, maybe keep one as a backup. If you're only going to get 1 or 2 more drives, you could always just get one of the 2 drive kits. They're cheaper, and then you'd still have your current cases to stack.
 

livingfortoday

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Nov 17, 2004
2,903
0
The Msp
Those IcyDocks look really awesome, though I'm only seeing SATA ones, and I have two IDE drives right now. Also, I don't know if I can find those in the US?

Edit: OK, I see that it's also IDE. I can't seem to find 'em in the US, though. Any suggestions as to where to look?
 

Keebler

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2005
2,944
191
Canada
E-sata all the way baby!

I had the same issue. after countless hours of research, i decided on a 4-bay external E-sata HD tower from addonics.com
http://addonics.com/products/raid_system/ast4.asp

you have to buy the cables and the HD connectors, but it's fairly cost effective.
you also need a pci e-sata card. i bought this one from sonnet:
http://sonnettech.com/product/tempo_sata_x4p.html

I have 2 500 GB drives in it and soon to add at least 1 more.

but the addonics site has some others listed.

the HDs appear on the screen as if they are in the system already. pretty sweet. the huge advantage is that the sata connection is much faster than FW400 or 800 from my research.

the only complaint (and it's a small one), is that the fans are a touch loud, but not as loud as my G4 wind tunnel , but the addonics sits near my G5 which is silent so any noise would be heard :)

oh and the addonics tower can be be upgraded to be RAID or use the 5 port multiplier (which is just insane - possibility of 20 HDs??! :)

e-sata is the way to go overall. external HDs are great for portability, but they are very expensive when compared to this solution.

cheers,
keebler
 

Keebler

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2005
2,944
191
Canada
livingfortoday said:
e-sata does look cool, but I have a Mac Mini, so I'm kinda outta luck there. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
oops...my bad...i'm an idiot for not reading your description. sorry. an enclosure will still be cheaper if you get a FW solution. internal HDs are cheaper. good luck.
 

livingfortoday

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Nov 17, 2004
2,903
0
The Msp
Keebler said:
oops...my bad...i'm an idiot for not reading your description. sorry. an enclosure will still be cheaper if you get a FW solution. internal HDs are cheaper. good luck.
Yeah, I've found some nice 4-bay Firewire ones with removeable racks for around $150. Not too shabby, especially if I sell off my current enclosures.
 

Markleshark

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2006
6,240
0
Carlisle, Up Norf!
I was thinkin about doing your 'Option B'. How hard would this be to setup do you think, and what software would I need? Could do it headless of course, with a low end G4 or high end G3 PowerMac Im guessing
 

hayduke

macrumors 65816
Mar 8, 2005
1,177
2
is a state of mind.
Just my two-cents...

Try to find an enclosure that is quiet. I bought a rather noisy enclosure (lots of fan noise) and it is a bit annoying. I also went the multiple-enclosure route, but I'm not sure I'd do the same again. I think its better to have multiple power supplies and multiple controller boards. You'll pay more for multiple enclosures, but they can fail seperately and you aren't totally toast. This is the same reason I don't like iMacs (combine screens and CPU) and combo DVD/TVs.

This is the one I bought. It looks nice, but I think its too noisy.

http://www.cooldrives.com/copr0fi80ald.html
 

poolin1243

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2005
302
0
Kansas City,MO/Milwaukee, WI
i was wondering the same question as the OP kinda.... i have about 8!!! yes...count em 8 external firewire drives. all 2.5 inch i belive (smartdisk firelite and g-mini brand drives)

whats my best solution. is there such a thing as like a multible firewire cable splitter thing to daisy chain a ton of drives together? whats my best option?
 

Lollypop

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2004
829
0
Johannesburg, South Africa
Would have to say option 1, but I like option 2 a lot, it wont be the cheapest option, but you make the drives accessible to any other computer you have, you can apply security, have transparent backups and it also allows for mobility via a WiFi connection.
 

solvs

macrumors 603
Jun 25, 2002
5,684
1
LaLaLand, CA
livingfortoday said:
That's similar to the one I have, only mine is just the 4 5.25 slots with brackets for the drives. Bought it from the same guy I think. Shipping is a bit expensive, but it got here quick, and it's nice and quiet. Drives seem to stay fairly cool too. Pretty happy with it. Much better than the stacked drives I used to have.
 

develove

macrumors newbie
Aug 25, 2006
3
0
poolin1243 said:
i was wondering the same question as the OP kinda.... i have about 8!!! yes...count em 8 external firewire drives. all 2.5 inch i belive (smartdisk firelite and g-mini brand drives)

whats my best solution. is there such a thing as like a multible firewire cable splitter thing to daisy chain a ton of drives together? whats my best option?
I think what you need is a Firewire hub. Check Belkin.
 

livingfortoday

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Nov 17, 2004
2,903
0
The Msp
Well everybody, I actually ended up getting a PM G4 to hold my drives, since as someone on here mentioned, I can easily access things on it over my network (which will be rather helpful). Plus, the price was right!

Thanks for all your help!