External bus powered firewire+usb hard drive advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by aldog, May 16, 2008.

  1. aldog macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2007
    So I'm looking to get a new external hard drive, and these are my needs
    Bus Powered
    Firewire (800 preferable)
    USB 2.0

    I'm on the verge of buying the lacie rugged 120gb from newegg for 100$. But I hear so much back and forth about whether or not lacie's good, and that it's kind of a crap shoot that I don't know if I should.
    There's the OWC Mercury On-The-Go hard drive for 135$ for the 120gb. Although I'd most likely step up to the 160gb for 145$ if I ended up going with OWC.
    But as far as I can tell those are my two choices. I'll also be purchasing 2x4gb of ram at the same time. Which newegg has for 85$ and owc has for 115$, although I'll probably just go with newegg for that because now that I think about it the 40$ difference would be worse than paying to ship 2 different products from 2 different places.
  2. brianp macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2008
  3. aldog thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2007
    Thanks, seems your post got a lot more attention than mine :)

    As much as I didn't want it to be like this, your thread just gave me yet another bad review of lacie drives. So I'm not even going to take my chances. I would like to build my own, but I just don't feel up to it right now (especially since I'm so adament about the bus powered feature), definitely next time though. Thanks for pointing yours out, I'm definitely just going to go with the owc one. The 45$ more hurts, but considering how great of a deal I found on ram everything almost evens out.
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    You're not up to building your own? It requires 2-3 minutes of your time to snap together. :confused:

    I think you can find a bus-powered FW + USB case, and add any harddisk you want.
  5. aldog thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2007
    I haven't ever even looked up how to, this is the first time I've needed a new hard drive in 5+ years.
    And I had a conversation with my boss today about a hard drive that he had laying out, and that alone made me want to give up on looking.
    But come to think of it, he's the worst person at explaining anything, ever.
    which is why I'll no longer have that job in 2 weeks.

    but you seem better than him ;) so I'll take your word for it.
    If I can find the time to find a good usb+firewire bus powered enclosure and a 160gb+ hard drive for under 145$ in the next 2 days than I'll go for it.
  6. powerdave macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2004
    I'm in the same boat.

    I was going to get a 250 Gb WD Passport drive until I realised that my PowerBook most likely won't be able to power it without a Y cable, which given that I have one USB port on each side of my PB, makes things awkward and stupid!

    So now I'm looking into external USB + Firewire 400 or 800 drives, but of 2.5" form factor. If I find anything good, I'll let you know...

    I've only seen one drive so far and it was a fairly ugly looking thing... if anyone knows of a nice one, or a good 2.5" Firewire+USB enclosure, please post!

    Edit: Is there such a thing as a 2.5" Firewire powered external drive / enclosure?!
    Edit II: Just looked up the OWC enclosures
  7. merl1n macrumors 65816


    Mar 30, 2008
    New Jersey, USA
    I have had many LaCie drives in the past as well as drives from OWC.

    I no longer purchase anything from LaCie. IMO, their power supplies stink, their warranty period (1 year) also stinks and after the warranty period they will no longer even discuss the option of sending the drive back for repair, even if you are will to pay for the repair.

    I now purchase all of my drives from OWC. They are very reputable, have much better warranties (2 - 3 years) and great tech support. I also purchase memory upgrades from them and never had a problem.

    I have over 4 TB of storage, all OWC.
  8. aldog thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2007
    Thanks powerdave, now that I know there's someone else looking I'll post up everything I find too.
    also a concern, considering the butt ugly thing I'm upgrading from

    Here's a link for the owc enclosures for anyone wondering

    I didn't think that they sold bus powered enclosures either, but the owc kit corrected me.
    Would it be better to get a sata or IDE/ATA drive?
  9. aldog thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2007
    So I'm starting to think that for me the 160gb owc makes more sense http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MS8U5160GB8/ than buying an external enclosure that fits my needs (65$-85$) and a 160gb hard drive (65$-85$ as well) and putting it together myself.
    the 160gb owc mercury on the go is 145$ and it would be either 10$ more or 10$ less, depending on the sata/ide-ata question. I'm guessing if I didn't want firewire 800, usb 2.0, no ac adapter necessary, it would make more sense to put it together myself. But I can't find a 2.5" hard drive for less than 70$ so Ill go with the premade from owc.
  10. barnowl66 macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2008
    What do people think of the 'iomega eGo' with usb & firewire?

    I need an external drive for my PB G4 and like 'powerdave' I too was going to get 250 Gb WD Passport drive but now I'm worried about this power issue and not sure what to do? I need to get something within the next couple of weeks!

    Appreciate any advice!

    (I'm in the UK)
  11. vultureboy70 macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2006
    San Francisco
    Hi aldog, I was in the same boat as you and went with the OWC 320 GB SATA 2.5 inch FW800/FW400/USB (basically same one you're thinking of getting, but with 320 GB). I needed the space for home movies, moving large files around, etc. Like you, I looked at a lot of online shops trying to pair an FW enclosure and a SATA 2.5 drive and OWC just made sense to me. Plus they just dropped the price on a lot of these Mercury drives and that's when I pulled the trigger. It was $20 cheaper and their shipping was only like 5 bucks.

    I've had it for about a week now and it's great, the FW800 kicks ass, around 5GB of data transfer in a minute. It gets a little hot, but that's expected, and it has the aluminum heat sink thing anyway, so I don't think heat will be an issue. This 320 GB model comes with the WD Scorpio drive, the 160 GB model seems to come with the Hitachi Travelstar, which has mixed reviews, so you might want to check that out. Oh, I also got 320 and the SATA because I might switch it out with the 160 GB stock drive in my MacBook in the future.

    BTW, I got my Kingston 4GB RAM from newegg, but OWC RAM probably would have been okay too.

    Long story short, I'd recommend the OWC Mercury product. It's competitively priced and it's partitioned for a Mac already, so it's easy to use quickly.
  12. aldog thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2007
    cool, thanks for making me feel better about my choice vulture. I've worn myself out price hunting these last few weeks so I was a bit worried I might have missed out on something but I think I'm happy with my choice now.
    I'll check out the bigger drive models and see if the hd inside has better reviews than the hitachi you mentioned.

    The ram I ended up going with is the g.skill from newegg, I've only heard 1 bad review about them and it seemed to be from someone simply giving the bad review because they hadn't heard of it like they had heard of kingston/crucial/etc... so I hope that I'm safe there. it's 40$ less than the owc ram, and the exact same specs. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231154
    I don't always aim for cheap when it comes to things like that, but I still think I made a good choice.

    sorry barnowl, I have no experience with the iomega ego, hopefully someone will chime in to help you.

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