external hard drive choice (fw400 vs fw800)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by iwanttobeonmxc, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. iwanttobeonmxc macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2007
    Hello all!

    With the recent iPhone $100 rebate, I was thinking of getting something to better my productivity in my dorm :)

    I use the newest revision of the MBP (2.2 C2D, 4GB RAM, 120GB 5400rpm, etc) and currently have a chunky ol' Maxtor 200GB FW400/USB2.0 external hard drive. I was looking to get an AirPort Extreme at first to network this drive so I don't have to keep plugging it in and unplugging it (to save space, I keep the drive stored away until I need to get it out).

    Then, why not just get a portable external hard drive that's bus-powered? I love the design of the G-Drive Minis and them being bus-powered, it felt like the right choice... but then the problem of choice came up.

    What I want to do, ideally, is to partition the external (whichever one I buy) so that I have one for backups and storage (movies, music, software, crap, etc) and the other an actual Mac OS X bootable volume (or maybe just to partition the whole damn thing, but I just want the external to be bootable). The reason is I want to be able to install and run Adobe CS3 off of this drive via booting into it via either FW400 or FW800 from the Intel Mac Pros in the design computer lab (they only have Adobe CS2). I figure I would get the best performance with the FW800, but is it really that much faster than the FW400 drive? 5400rpm vs 7200rpm? Would the bottleneck be in the drive speed or the transfer speed?

    On a side note, is there a way to manage whole system + bootable volume backups? I essentially want to clone my MBP onto this external, and whatever changes I make to either one to be able to quickly and easily synchronize them. Any apps out there that can pull this off?

    Thanks a bunch! :eek:
  2. wallaby macrumors 6502


    Jun 5, 2007
    I've heard that if your drive is slower than 5400RPM, firewire800 is a bit of a waste. But in most technical reviews of hard drive enclosures, fw800 is about twice as fast as fw400 using the provided drive (ex. a WD MyBook Pro review). If you're using the 7200 RPM drive, get fw800.
  3. /"\/oo\/"\ macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2007
    depending on the size of the files you're wanting to work on, you're absolutely going to want FW800 and 7200 rpm if you're going to boot the drive and do photoshop work on it...
  4. jepjepjep macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2004
    enclosure recommendation

    Can anyone recommend a good firewire enclosure that's not too expensive?
  5. gormond macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007

Share This Page