External Hard Drive Buying Advice

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by MBPro825, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. MBPro825 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #1
    I would like to buy either a 500mb or 1TB external hard drive. I thought about getting a time capsule, but realized I wouldn't need to take advantage of the wireless because I only have one computer. Therefore I decided I should get one connected by firewire or USB. I was wondering what are good brands of external hard drives. I have heard good things about Seagate and LaCie but I found a good price Simpletech. If you could give some of your opinions, experiences, and advice that would be great. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #2
    I assume you meant 500GB.

    After Taking Part in Numerous Threads and Purchasing Numerous Drives after Research, I have come to a couple of suggestions and a massive "guide."

    There are three (basic/main) parts to the speed of your external drive:
    1. Connection Type – This is the one most people will know about, if they know one. Things like Firewire 800, Firewire 400, USB 2.0, eSata, etc. It comes to how your drive connects to the computer, in general (fastest to slowest) eSata, Firewire 800, Firewire 400, USB 2.0. Firewire is preferable because it is not only faster then USB, but it transfers at a constant speed, whereas USB is variable. eSata is the fastest but it requires a port that is not available without an adaptor, and those adaptors are hit and miss in terms of quality. Chances are most users will do fine with Firewire 800 and have no need for eSata.
    2. Hard Drive Speed – For some reason people seem to forget that if you have 4200 RPM Drive inside your enclosure, it's going to be slow. This depends on the physical drives inside your enclosure. Speed from fastest to slowest: SSD, 7200 RPM, 5400 RPM, 4200 RPM. The higher the revolutions per minute, the faster, unless there are no revolutions at all ;).
    3. Cache – The one people forget. The cache is just like your computer stores the information temporarily. It is important that if you look at this, especially if you are going to try to play files from your drive. Even if you are using it is a back-up, you don't want a 4MB Cache. Higher the cache the better; 64MB is the general highest speed for most stock drives.

    Or you could be OCD, anal and paranoid like me and have two back-up drives...

    Other User's Recommendation's:
    Buffalo: techfreak85 (DriveStation Combo4 1TB)
    Build Your Own: uberamd, kufford, SaSaSushi, nanofrog, Ti_Poussin, bigdaddyp; Cave Man, chkdg8, kdp.slider, mahen
    Drobo: gatepc recommends it, further mixed discussion here. A Drobo v. alternative discussion was had here.
    EZQuest: LizKat has owned a variety of Monsoons
    G-Tech: RebornKillah recommends the G-Drive Quad 500GB, but it's currently out of production; Bill Gates (500GB Mini); Digital Skunk notes the great warranty; jaysmith & tcphoto recommend G-Tech
    Hitachi: Trag (SimpleTech Signature Mini 500GB); J&JPolangin (SimpleTech 2TB SimpleDrive Pro Duo); BlizzardBomb recommends the Go; bigdaddyp recommends the Signature Mini. Thedesolateone also recommends Hitachi. Also of note is that Hitachi acquired G-Tech recently.
    Iomega: mc3s (Ultramax 34495 1.5 TB); Justin Lee & quantum003 (eGo 500GB Portable Mac).
    ioSafe: Tterb recommends.
    LaCie: Note: there is an entire thread dedicated to LaCie, I have summed up support from users below, but simply a tally
    jrotunda85 & Kronie (d2 Quadra 1 TB); RedTomato, gatepc & eVolcre, Cousin Dirk {although eVolcre owns the one with eSata and Firewire 400}(Hard Disk, Design by Neil Poulton 1 TB); iGary (LaCie Rugged); Gymnut (F.A. Porsche, out of production); VanMac (BigDiskExtreme, out of production); Digital Skunk (2Big Triple, out of production)
    Users expressing general support: cmcbridejr, dpaanlka, LethalWolfe, mpsrig, UltraNeo*, iPhoneNYC, chocolate632, Hellhammer, romanaz
    Users not so happy with LaCie: surfmadison (not a big fan), accacc57, dave12345 (Little Disk), jaysmith, Jerkfish, auero, mperkins37, dfs & jessica.
    cluthz has mixed reactions regarding the (d2 and Neil Poulton)
    Maxtor: adamvk purchased a OneTouch 4 1TB (not sure what version)
    OWC: GGJstudios (1TB Mercury Elite-AL Pro) & (On-The-Go 200GB)
    Seagate: steeler (FreeAgent Desk 1.5 TB); MacMini2009, rick3000, cluthz & soo (Seagate FreeAgent Desk 1 TB USB Mac); suekitch recommends Seagate because of its warranty; Acid303 does not recommend the (new) Seagate FreeAgent Desk series
    Western Digital: MacMini2009, xpress1, patrickdunn, iphonematt & MacDawg (MyBook Studio 1TB); Thiol notes purchasing an incredible seven Western Digital MyBook Studio drives all working flawlessly; pprior (MyBook Studio Edition 2TB) Acid303 also notes a positive experience with a non-Studio Edition Western Digital drive; terp2007, odinsride, Samuriajackon, cluthz & matthewscott661 recommend the Passport Series; munkees notes a failure with one of the drives purchased, but a positive experience overall; rikdiddy, RebornKillah & Jerkfish also recommend Western Digital. chrono1081 does not recommend Western Digital & romanaz was also not happy.


    Other Threads:

    1TB is prbly a good size to start at it, I would say most people looking for non-mobile externals start at that size, here is a (not-so) recent thread about that...
    More literature found here.
    Here, is another thread on 1TB Hard Drives
    This one is about LaCie...
    Here is another, there is some more discussion about LaCie in there...
    Here is one on USB 1TB, I'd stick to Firewire...
    Just for kicks, we had a random thread.
    And if all else fails, MRoogle
    If you wish to have your name added to the list, PM Me.​
     
  3. MBPro825 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #3
    Thanks for the advice. I ended up buying a 1TB LaCie. You did correct me when I meant to say 500gb rather than mb.
     
  4. theLastBeatle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #4

    Please dont get a "My Book Pro" see my post "USB Transfer Rates" in the mac peripherals section.
     

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