Desktop or portable hard drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by camardelle, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. camardelle macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I currently have an iMac and am about to pull the trigger on a 13" MBP. I am considering the purchase of an external hard drive for back up and maybe a network drive. My question is what is the difference between a desktop hdd and a portable drive other than physical size? 500 gigs is 500 gigs, right?

    I admit noob-ness but any help is appreciated.
     
  2. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

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    #2
    destop externals have AC power adapter, portables use the power from the usb plug so no AC power needed
     
  3. camardelle thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    That makes perfect sense now doesn't it? Thanks for the quick reply. I want it primarily for home use so I'll probably go with a desktop version. Thanks again.
     
  4. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

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    #4
    no problem, yes i use desktop externals for the same reason I do my backups at home
     
  5. robvas macrumors 68020

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    #5
    Desktop ones are bigger (in both physical size, and data storage) and cheaper
     
  6. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #6
    But remember desktop drives are built for staying in one place and usually produce more heat (since they are designed for desktops which have better cooling).

    Laptop drives (which are used in portable externals), are designed to be moved around and therefore more robust whilst producing less heat due to both lower power requirements (why it can be [USB] bus powered) and must conform to the lower cooling capacity of notebook computers.

    When I pick out an external drive I try to pick out a portable external drive oppose to a desktop version that uses an AC adapter. In my experience with using many external drives, I've had a few desktop externals fail due to heat or whatnot, but never a portable even with all the bouncing around they go through in portable use.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #7
  8. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

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    #8
  9. camardelle thread starter macrumors 6502

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  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #10
    Yes, it does.
     
  11. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    #11
    If I were doing it now I might go with a docking station; many take both 2.5 and 3.5" drives (SATA).

    Macsales has one that does eSATA, FW 800 & USB for $68 (who knows, maybe they'll have some MacWorld specials later this week). Probably not the best for an always-on scenario depending on cooling needs, but dynamite for archiving and backups. Maybe the last one you'd need to buy.

    Rob
     
  12. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    #12
    desktop drives are cheaper, bigger, larger capacity potential, and use more power. Laptop drives are more expensive, smaller, and lower power.
     
  13. camardelle thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Update!

    I ended up ordering a 500g usb kit from OWC today. I saved about $40 bucks with the kit and I've never done anything like that before so I'll gain some knowledge and save a couple bucks. The vids make it look easy. Thanks for everyone's help.
     
  14. camardelle thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    One last question...

    Once I hook the USB drive to my iMac, will there be some utility to use to format the drive? And what will the drive designation be? Also, shouldn't time capsule be used for backups and will that be automatic?

    I know...three questions. :)

    What I basically need to know is what's going to happen when I plug in the new drive? Thanks!
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #15
    Format A Hard Drive Using Disk Utility (which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder)

    Choose the appropriate format:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.


    Mac OS X doesn't use drive letters like Windows. Your internal drive (C: drive in Windows) is "Macintosh HD" (unless you've changed it.) Other drives will be recognized by whatever name has been given them. You can always change the name to suit your preference.
    You can use any drive for backups, as long as it's formatted as HFS+ (see above).
     
  16. squeakr macrumors 68000

    squeakr

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    #16
    A point that has not been mentioned yet regards the speed. Although this is changing, generally desktop models will operate faster and have better throughput because of this. It is easier to find desktop models using 7200 rpm drives and faster speeds, with larger platter densities (unless they are the green or eco models), and with larger memory caches when compared with their portable counterparts. Look at some of the reviews (such as the Seagate Go Flex models, I use these as an example because I have recently researched them and that is the only reason) most of the portables are running 5400 and less for RPM to be more power conscious yet this yields slower throughput results than their desktop counterparts. The transfer rates usually are faster for the desktops compared to the portable when comparing models using the same connection and data transfers.
     
  17. camardelle thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Wow! You guys are sharp. Maybe I should just ask if there is a link to a page with these answers already listed.

    Sorry about the noob questions. I'm a pretty quick learner and I'll try not to ask the same questions more than once. Thanks a bunch!!
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #18
    You'll find that most questions have been asked dozens, hundreds or thousands of times in this forum. If you don't want to post and wait for responses, you can search the forum for most topics and find answers very quickly. Be sure to check dates on posts, to make sure you're getting current information, as some threads are several years old and may not apply to current software.

    No need to apologize for asking questions. That's what we're here for.

    Helpful Information for Any Mac User
     
  19. camardelle thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19

    That's a good link, as was the About.Com link. I've bookmarked both. I've been on DOS/Windows machines for over 25 years first having a Radio Shack personal computer. The leap to Mac has been different to say the least, but man I'm having a ball learning new stuff. Thanks again for all your help. This is a great board.
     
  20. Alaerian Guest

    Alaerian

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    #20
    What did you end up buying? I'm curious.
     
  21. camardelle thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I ended up with this. It looked easy enough to build, but I'm having second thoughts about having gone with firewire now. It's not a biggie. If I do ok with this, I'll pick up a better version for my desktop and use this one for the MBP later.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #22
    Why second thoughts about Firewire?
     
  23. camardelle thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I'm not sure I was clear. After ordering a usb version, I'm almost wishing I'd ordered a firewire version. That would be my only remorse at the moment.
     
  24. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #24
    Now that makes sense! I thought you had gotten the FW and was having 2nd thoughts about it. FW800 is 2-3 times faster than USB 2.0.
     
  25. TechStooge macrumors member

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    Jan 16, 2012
    #25
    is it ok to carry te apple time capsule around?
     

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