Deciding on an external HDD

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by loveAffair, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. loveAffair macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2006
    Hi all, I got a MBP that's yet to ship (2.0Ghz 100gb 7200 rpm hdd) that I ordered on March 1st with an Est. Ship of March 29th, and an Est. Delivery of April 5th.

    I plan on buying a few accessories for my new investment before it arrives so everything will be ready.

    One of the few things I'm looking to get is an external hdd to as storage and backup.

    I'm deciding between the Lacie Porsche 250gb 7200rpm usb Hdd and the Western Digital Essential 250gb 7200rpm usb Hdd. I find the WD is about $20 - $30 more than the Lacie, and it has a 2mb cache buffer compared to the 8mb of the Lacie, but then again, the WD has faster seek times?

    Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated. Any other good external Hdds out there is also welcomed, as well as guiding me to where I can get either for the lowest price. :D

  2. Alistair macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2004
    Questionable quality of LaCie drives

    I've only ever had two external LaCie drives so my one failure is admittedly a small sample.

    However, due to an unrelated recent drive failure in a server I've spoken to two professionals (one a hard disk data recovery expert, and another that handles returns at Both mentioned, un-prompted that they have more problems with external LaCie drives than any other manufacturer.

    I believe they have a fairly big market share, which may go someway to explaining it, but both mentioned that in recent years as they have expanded greatly into the Windows based p.c. market their quality has deteriorated.

    Sorry not to provide much comparison but I thought I should pass on what I've heard. Good luck in your decision.
  3. loveAffair thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2006
    Does "their" refer to LaCie, or LaCie AND Western Digital? I'm leaning towards the WD at the moment.
  4. biozombie macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2005
    . . .

    I bought a Rosewill external firewire/usb enclosure and bought a Seagate 250GB, both from NewEgg. I use SuperDuper! to make my backups. Bootable back up in the event of a HD is very comforting. You won't miss a beat.
  5. Ashapalan macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2005
    i'm in the same shoes at the moment, and i have been reading alot of reviews on the WD (from amazon) and a lot of them are very negative, with a shocking number of cases mentioning the hard drives failure at 6 months.

    Im leaning towards a LaCie
  6. Alistair macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2004
    Sorry not to be clear. The "their" refers to LaCie's quality. I didn't discuss WD with either of them I'm afraid (except not being warned is a good sign I guess). The only other product that I was warned about was a specific SCSI drive from Seagate manufactured around a year ago but was told generally Seagate drives were good.
  7. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    While it may seem a bit out sorts, I would recommend the miniStack (I've got a thread about how impressed I am with it going in this forum). While it's designed to work with a mini, the style would look nice with any brushed metal Mac. You can buy your own high speed HDD (stick with WD, in my experience) and get a free USB and FW hub in the deal. has a sale going, so $60 for the enclosure, plus the HDD of your choice.

    Since the MBP only has FW400, this is a pretty good choice for an external drive.
  8. bruf macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Montreal, QC
    I too was also looking for an external HDD solution recently. I finally decided to go with a Vantec 3.5" enclosure (Model NST-360SU-BK) + a SATA Seagate 250 GB internal HDD.

    I love it. I paid about half the price of a comparable external HDD from LaCie or Maxtor. The big advantage imo is that you can get whatever HDD you want, from any brand or size you need. I choose the Seagate for the 5-year warranty. My Vantec enclosure model is USB 2.0 + eSATA, so I'm using USB 2.0 with the MacBook Pro and eSATA with my desktop PC. eSATA speed is incredible, it smokes FW400/800. As soon as eSATA ExpressCard 34 cards becomes available, I'll get one for the MacBook Pro to benefits from the increased speed. Forget FW800, you'll never want to look back after using an external HDD connected via eSATA. Vantec also has FW400/USB2.0 enclosure, but you'll have to get an IDE drive instead of a newer SATA II HDD.

    I would avoid LaCie products, I know a couple of people (mostly coworkers) who had problems with their LaCie HDD, and they paid a premium for it.

    Hope this helps, let me know if you have any question. Take care,
  9. turbopants macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2006
    If you can, I would suggest building your own external drive. It's very simple to do. I prefer Seagate drives because of their 5 year warranty as bruf has said, and they have been very reliable in my experience. I have a Macally enclosure I got from amazon for about $85 that has Firewire 400 & 800 & USB2, and works great. Good luck.
  10. loveAffair thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2006
    Thanks for everyone's input. The idea of the Hdd + enclosure combo did cross my mind but I've went with a Western Digital DualOption 250Gb (7200Rpm 8Mb, It's been a very long while since I've bought any computer hardware (but still tried to stay up to date), but maybe I could do a little quick review of early experience with my MBP, the WD external Hdd, and any other accessories I'll have when the MBP arrives. I can't wait! :D
  11. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Damn you! I just made an impulse buy - wife will love this one. Going to yank the drive out of my Maxtor One Touch and put it in a more appropriate enclosure!

    Anyone want to buy a Maxtor One Touch Case???

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