External Drive Advice, Please!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dizzy130, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. dizzy130 macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    I'm trying to decide on an external drive. I want at least 1TB so I can store all my movies, tv, music, etc and back up my Macbook. Portable is not important to me.

    I found a basic one on Amazon for ~$80. But the Apple Store has refurbed Time Capsules for $219. ($299 is just more than I can justify spending.)

    Right now I live by myself, I have a wireless router through Comcast, I mostly leave my Macbook on my desk so it's not really a problem to plug in to back up and I don't have a printer. BUT the ability to replace my router, reduce my cords and get all that lovely storage without increasing the number of gadgets on my desk is drawing me towards the Time Capsule.

    So what I'm asking is, what's your experience been with both of those options? Is the Time Capsule worth the money, and has anyone had experience with a refurbed one? I'll be able to return my router to Comcast and save a couple bucks a month because I won't have to "rent" it from them anymore.
  2. xi mezmerize ix macrumors 6502a

    xi mezmerize ix

    May 24, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    I care more about getting the best price and reliability when it comes to external drives and don't really care about cords/size, so I passed on the time capsule, got a 3.5" drive, a case, and put it together myself. 1.5 TB, firewire 800, internal fan and power supply, and a 5 year warranty for around $150.
  3. dizzy130 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Thanks. I live in a really small studio apartment (we're talking around 200 square feet for the whole place) so getting rid of extraneous gadgets and wires is a real consideration for me - my TV, computer, cable box, modem, router and DVR are all in the same entertainment unit, and that's a lot of devices and wires in a really small space. I just can't decide if it's worth the extra $, plus I'm a bit worried about using a refurbed unit as my backup drive.
  4. xi mezmerize ix macrumors 6502a

    xi mezmerize ix

    May 24, 2010
    Maryland, USA
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Apple Certified Refurbished Products
    MacRumors Guides: Apple Refurbished Store

    A few threads where the quality of refurbished products are discussed. To make a long story short, refurb is as good, if not better (due to thorough testing) than new.

    Refurbished MBP or New?
    Getting an iMac - New or Refurbished?
    Refurbished vs new
    HELP: Refurbished 17" or New High End 15"?!
    Are Refurbished Macs as high quality their new counterparts?
    Do refurbished fail more often than new MBP's?
    New MPB or refurbished model?
  6. Penn Jennings macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2010
    I got this a few months ago and love it.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MEPT934AL2C/

    The only issue that I see with TC is that the access speed will be fairly slow compared to FW800 or even USB 2.0. IF you can live with the slow access times, it's not a bad choice.... And you never need more than 1 TB.

    I had the same choice, I went with the dual bay enclosure with a single 2 TB drive currently. It's very fast (over twice the speed of USB) and quiet. I can also add another drive later without adding additional cables or using additional desk space.
  7. pyramis macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2008
    Palo Alto, CA
    If it's purely for backup and the invisibility of it is your major concern, then TC may make sense.

    If you want a real external drive that is an extension of your computer's usable storage, you're gonna want an external drive. The ones from macsales.com are top notch. I own several of them.
  8. yogitc macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2010
  9. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    had you considered an Airport Extreme + external USB hard drive combination? tad cheaper then the TimeCapsule route.
  10. cz9h3d macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2009
    I obsessed over this same question earlier this year for my iMac i7. I ended up with a G-Tec 1TB Firewire800 3.5" (well, actually it has every interface). I too was just using it as a backup. In retrospect, I should have just purchased a USB 5200rpm drive. Probably a 2.5" to limit size and cords. Since I'm not writing directly to the drive, do I really need to spend extra for the fastest drive and interface?? Costco has Seagates and WD's for $109 for a 1TB at present.

    And if I was writing directly to the drive, then I should have another one for backup!

    It seems like every drive has fans, and some who hate it (they got the bad ones).

    Of course I can always crack open my G-Tech and upgrade the drive size if need be.
  11. dizzy130 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Thanks for the advice, everyone. I decided to go with this Western Digital 1 TB drive from Amazon - it just fit into the budget better than any other option. I've just started ripping my DVD collection and it's filling up my early 2007 MB's 80 GB hard drive reeeeally quick :eek: (besides taking forever on a 3 year old MB, but she's served me well and still runs beautifully!)

    If I want to use the external for backups and also to host all my movies and TV shows, I should partition the drive, right? (I know I should be backing up the external I just bought too, but I'm going to keep everything I buy from iTunes on the MB and keep all the DVDs, so I won't have just one copy of anything.)
  12. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    The WD elements work great for Macs because they are just basic drives without all the bells and wistles and backup software that Mac users will never use anyway.
  13. tonywang.xmpt macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    If you want a cheap yet reliable external HD,
    you should get an iomega, WD, ect.
    There's plenty of good cheap HD.

    If you have some cash in your pocket,
    I would consider getting a TM (Time Machine).
    Its not only an external HD,
    but could also be used as a "router" per-say.
    More like a wireless "emitter"
  14. xi mezmerize ix macrumors 6502a

    xi mezmerize ix

    May 24, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    ...I think you mean Time Capsule.
  15. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    I'm looking for something like this but I want to hook it to my network with gigabit ethernet and I don't see anything like that on OWC unless you look at Drobo and I don't want one of those... I already have WD green drives and I was looking at Synology but they say their diskless NAS boxes don't work well with the WD green drives.

    Does anyone have a suggestion?

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