External Hard Drive question

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jcandrada, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. jcandrada macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    Paraguay
    #1
    I'm looking for an external Hard Drive for my MBP. I have a couple of questions... First, is there a big difference in speed when transfering files to the HD between Firewire 800, USB 2.0 and 802.11n (yes, I'm considering time capsule as well). Second question, does the HD speed makes a big difference?? for example, if I use a 5400rpm HD with FW800 and a 7200rpm with USB 2.0, which would be faster??
    And the last question, how well does TimeCapsule perform??
    The HD I'm currently considering are:
    -LACIE RUGGED ALL-TERRAIN 250GB EXTERNAL FIREWIRE 800/FIREWIRE 400 & HI-SPEED USB 2.0 HARD DISK 5400 rpm
    -LACIE 500GB EXTERNAL HI-SPEED USB 2.0 HARD DRIVE - DESIGN BY F.A. PORSCHE 301103U 7200 rpm
    -TIME CAPSULE 500 GB

    any additional advice???
     
  2. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #2
    Just get the Time Capsule, you'll be satisfied. Wireless is slower than firewire but has the obvious advantage of, well, being wireless.
     
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #3
    hey man,

    1. YES there is a MASSIVE difference between interfaces. FW800 will get you around 100mbps (with a good quality HD in it), fw400 will be around 30-40mbps. USB is around 10mbps-35mbps. (USB deviates a lot depending on your processor usage though). 802.11n will give you around 20mbps-50mbps..

    HD speed makes a little bit of difference, not an incredible amount. definately get a 7200rpm hard drive, unless your on a pretty tight budget.

    timecapsule performs very well, i have the 1tb model and have no problems with it at all. its very stable, however i thought it would be a bit faster (im using gigabit ethernet) but it only copies at 30mbps for some reason...

    im not that fond of LaCie so i wont suggest anything of the sort...

    i would highly recommend making it yourself. i.e. buy the case and HD yourself! its much much cheaper and you know what your getting. with LaCie they buy what is on special, so your not guaranteed the best quality HD.
     
  4. jcandrada thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    Paraguay
    #4
    do you know if you can expand time capsules signal with an airport express??
     
  5. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #5
    most certainly can
     
  6. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #6
    AND - take a look a few posts up at: lacie disk failure - help.
    Interesting.
     
  7. pwn247 macrumors 6502

    pwn247

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Location:
    West Virginia, USA
    #7
    You also might consider going for an internal drive + an external closure. ;)

    But the Time Capsule is a great little external storage device. Plus it works flawlessly with Time Machine (a fantastic backup option). :D

    But you want to get the fastest data transfer possible. Firewire 800 will, of course, move data faster than Firewire 400. It's always faster to transfer data on a wired connection, rather than wireless (unless, of course, you're like me, and you enjoy a wireless workspace).
     
  8. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #8
    I think it depends on why you want an external.

    Is it just for backing up what is on your MBP or is it to just store movies/music?

    If you are just backing things up, then the timecapsule is great.
    I have a hard disk hanging off an airport extreme, and it's easier than easy. It just wirelessly backs up every hour. Set-up and forget. :)

    If you need to store movies then maybe I would go for a big external. Don't forget that if you connect it too a airport extreme/timecapsule then you can access the files wirelessly over 802.11n. In my experience it is slower than usb, but still very usable.

    firewire 400 is much faster, and makes a huge difference in files over say, 10gigs. never used firewire 800 but I imagine it flys!

    If you are connecting over 11n/usb or firewire400, then the bottleneck will be the speed of this connection, not the speed of the hard disk. it'll make no difference if you get 7200rpm or whatever.

    Personally speaking I would avoid lacie, and just buy an external case, filling it with a huge Western Digital SATA drive.
     
  9. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    #9
    If you have a lot of data to transfer on a regular basis then get firewire - but if not then your HD options are a lot bigger with USB...
     
  10. MacBass macrumors 6502

    MacBass

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    La Crosse, WI
    #10
    FW800 interfaces will give you the quickest speed (save for perhaps a NAS drive with a gigabit network), but also probably the most expensive.

    USB 2.0 will be one of the slower (depending on what wireless protocol a wireless drive will have - AP Extreme uses 802.11n), but the most plentiful and cheapest drives.

    AP Extreme would be a good bet if you want to have backups of multiple macs in one household. A bit too rich for my blood, but that's just me. Also a plus if you despise cables running through high traffic areas.

    Also consider eSATA, if you have a MBP or MP, you can easily add an Express Card or PCI Express card (respectively) and be able to use that connection. This I'm not 100% sure about, since I haven't been able to test eSATA with Time Machine.
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #11
    eSATA will work with Time Machine. :)

    Syba makes an eSATA card (2 port) that isn't expensive, and it works with Macs. :D
     

Share This Page