External Hard Drive question?

Tall Steve

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 28, 2006
39
0
Looking for suggestions on external hard drives.

Are there any web sites that have especially good deals?

Also, is there much difference in the brands? On one site I saw a 250 GB one for 119.00 and a different brand of 100 GB for 139.00. When it comes down to storage rather than performance does quality matter as much. Granted I do not want my files to be lost, but do brands matter much on external HD.

I guess I am looking for a middle of the road product, does not need to be the latest and greatest but it needs to work. In the 100-250 GB range.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Don't trust any other brand than Seagate. They are the most reliable, and have the best warranty. I think 250-300 GB Seagates are around $100 now, which is a pretty good price. Search newegg.com or CompUSA.

What you should do is buy an internal Seagate drive and then a separate enclosure. At most this should run you $150, but chep enclosures only cost $10-20. It's much less expensive than buying pre-fab external drives from LaCie or what not of comparable size. All you have to do is plug the cables into the drives, slip it into the enclosure, and put in a few screws....takes 5 minutes max.
 

Foggy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 4, 2006
513
5
London, UK
miles01110 said:
Don't trust any other brand than Seagate. They are the most reliable, and have the best warranty.
Quite a bold statement there - in all my time in IT I have only ever had 2 hard drive failures, one was Maxtor, the other Seagate.

The only manufacturer I repeatedly hear about problems with is Maxtor, but realistically if they were really that bad then they wouldnt be about any more as no-one would buy them! With all things it is pot luck. I have never ever had a problem with either Hitachi or Western Digital drives but that doesnt mean to say you wont.

As other posts have said - get an internal drive and then buy an external case for it - it will normally work out cheaper for you.
 

slackersonly

macrumors 6502a
Apr 13, 2006
525
0
Here is a great website to search for information on external hard drives.
Try here
Click on 'search' and enter 'external hard drive'
 

thechris69

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2005
377
0
i have a external 160gb lacie external drive, the one that was designed by FA Porsche, lol my dad bought that and a few other unnessesary tech gadgets with his tax return last year, but ya anyways... its a great drive and ive had zero problems so far with it
 

crazzyeddie

macrumors 68030
Dec 7, 2002
2,790
0
Florida, USA
In general, do not pay more than $0.75 per gigabyte for an external hard drive (with Firewire AND USB2). If you want something cheaper, you can get a device with only USB2 for around $0.50 per gigabyte.
 

®îçhå®?

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2006
1,828
2
The difference in price is probably because one of them is a 2.5" laptop drive and the other is a 3.5" desktop drive. You pay more for the portability
 

deebster

macrumors 6502
Oct 21, 2004
276
0
Olde Englande
If you get an internal Seagate HD then it will likely come with a 5 year manufacturer's warranty. I haven't looked much but I don't remember seeing an external with a warranty that long.

Cases are everywhere and providing they use a decent chipset (Oxford Semiconductors seem to be the most common) then to me they are all fairly similar beyond that.

So, get an internal and a case and put it together yourself. It takes all of 5 minutes and you'll then have maximum choice in drive and case brand. Plus you can feel good about having done it yourself and probably saved a few beer vouchers too :)

Remember, Lacie and other manufacturers of 'external' drives only make the case and shove in it whatever HD they can source, which is going to be one of the major brands anyway (Maxtor, WD, Hitachi etc).

Why be tied to their choice when you can do exactly the same thing yourself?
 

miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,264
30
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Foggy said:
The only manufacturer I repeatedly hear about problems with is Maxtor, but realistically if they were really that bad then they wouldnt be about any more as no-one would buy them! With all things it is pot luck. I have never ever had a problem with either Hitachi or Western Digital drives but that doesnt mean to say you wont.
People used to buy Maxtor drives because they were usually cheaper than a comparably-sized Seagate. Maxtor drives were terrible, but luckily Seagate put them out of their misery by buying the company. Hopefully it won't dilute Seagate's quality.
 

vicki2314

macrumors member
Jun 1, 2006
82
0
Texas
I recently bought a Seagate internal drive and placed it in a case myself as well. I liked the approach because I got to choose the drive and case seperately since a lot of pre-made external drives came with either a drive I didn't like or a case I didn't like. Seperately, the price came out to be about $150.

This was the drive I bought: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148139
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10, 320GB Perpendicular Recording, 16MB cache

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817146602
Macally, both Firewire and USB

I highly recommend both as they have worked excellent for me and if you read up on their reviews you'll find that many people are happy with them as well.

Oh and if you haven't heard by now, Newegg is the best when it comes to customer service and fast shipping!

dealmac.com posts many sale prices on external drives if you look under 'storage'- the only drawback is that some will have mail-in rebates and others expire or are one-day sales
 

SMM

macrumors 65816
Sep 22, 2006
1,340
0
Tiger Mountain - WA State
Many good choices

Seagate have make their share of poor drives, just like everyone else, so do not believe that earlier post. Their QC has been very good in recent years. But, so is almost everyone else's.

If you go with the 'build your own' method, it is fairly easy to accomplish, but check out a few different ones. In fact, after you decide what model(s) interests you, do a web search for pricing. Prices can really bounce around.

I like the LaCie drives, especially for Mac's. They are truly plug-and-play. I own several personally and have purchased many more for my company. We have NEVER had an issue and the performance is extremely good. Most support USB 2.0, FW400 and FW800. So, you have a choice. The only negative is the original 1TB drive is noisy if it right next to you.

Here is a link to an article that is dated now - but illustrates there few 'perfect' solutions. You can probably find one more up-to-date.

http://www.driveservice.com/bestwrst.htm

As an added note, the last two Dell laptops our company purchased (last week) had refurbished hard drives in them! Now we open every box and look.
 

VanMac

macrumors 6502a
May 26, 2005
915
0
Rampaging Tokyo
Hey.

I just bought a LaCie Big Disk Extreme 1TB.

Verry happy with it. Just plugged it in and it works. Runs nice and quiet. Goes to sleep when my iBook does, and just wakes up when I need it. Stellar.
 

purelithium

macrumors 6502
May 28, 2006
355
0
Kingston, Canada
Foggy said:
The only manufacturer I repeatedly hear about problems with is Maxtor, but realistically if they were really that bad then they wouldnt be about any more as no-one would buy them!
I disagree with this statement, which will be dealt with in the second part of my post. Almost every Maxtor drive I've owned, my friends have owned, family have owned, etc have all died right after the warranty period ends (typically 1 year).

the ONLY reason why Maxtor is still around is because they have spent the marketing dollars to get themselves into stores like Best Buy and Futureshop, and Circuit City. Also often the Maxtor drives are 10-20 dollars cheaper than Seagate or Western Digital. Which drives are uninformed computer users going to pick? Of course the cheaper one.