External Hard Drive ???

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by FBCoachJJ@yahoo, May 6, 2007.

  1. FBCoachJJ@yahoo macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2007
    I want to purchase an external hard drive ... I would like it to have USB 2.0 and I am wondering if I should get one with the SATA plug ... and I am definitely wondering what is the best external HD while still being economical ...

    I have an eMac ... and I like to edit footage of my youth football team ... I have run out of space but I am not willing to delete the old stuff yet ... LOL ... anyway does anyone have any advice about what I should buy ???
  2. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    For video editing one that has firewire would be the best, instead of using USB, but most should have both.
  3. ghall macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2006
    Rhode Island
    For what you are using it for, I don't think the size would have to be too big. No more than 80GB, I would imagine.
    Oh, and I definitaly agree about the firewire. You do not want to be transferring video over USB. It's like watching paint dry. :)
  4. Andrew D. macrumors 6502

    Apr 17, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    As the previous two, I would also suggest a Fire Wire external connection HD. Good luck!
  5. FBCoachJJ@yahoo thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2007
    Actually most of my hi-lite vids are about 40G each ... so I am looking for a much bigger drive ... I have firewire and dont mind using it but isnt the 2.0 version of USB supposed to be faster than firewire ???
  6. thebrain74 macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2006
    thats actually a common misconception. While USB 2.0 does have a peak transfer rate that is somewhat faster than the peak of Firewire, USB sends data in bursts, wheras Firewire sends it data in a continuous stream. For video Firewire is better as it moves more data in a set period of time and USB due to its burst type transfer can cause stuttering in video. If your emac has Firewire 800 ( i doubt it but who knows?) thats even better. If you can use an eSATA port thats better yet (but this is a new port and I doubt you have access to it). I suggest getting an external HDD as large as you can afford as it is never as big as it seems. I did our high school highlight tape for the football season and with ten games of DV footage, music, etc. I shot right through a 250 giger.
    I suggest a drive with Firewire 400/800/ and possibly eSATA (to future proof it, however it will make it a little more expensive.)

  7. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    I have a dual interface (FW400/USB2.0) Western Digital MyBook 500G drive. I highly recommend it. I picked one up at Costco for CAN$250. I think they are CAD$230 now. Should be about $200 in the US.

    I was a little skeptical at first about MyBook drives but after using it, I have no regrets. Its about twice as fast (maybe a bit more) under FW as compared to USB. Just plug it in, turn it on and use Disk Utility to partition and format.
  8. juanster macrumors 68020


    Mar 2, 2007
    i just got a 200GB WD eide HDD from futureshop for 69.99(cad) it works great, very quiet and so fast and so cheap,, i love it
  9. jemeinc macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2004
    South Jersey
    That doesn't make any sense- just because the kids are small that doesn't mean the size of the digital video files will be.. an hour of DV is an hour of digital video, no matter what's on the tapes.. 80 GB is not even worth buying for DV editing- you'll fill that puppy up in a heart beat..

    I've also heard that USB 2.0 is faster 'on paper'- but in actual practice firewire handles video faster.. I don't know, I've only used firewire..
  10. defz macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2007
    I'll try and give you some numbers to work with, and I'll use read rates as the example to keep things simple. First off, most disks will have average reads of somewhere around 50MB/sec. USB 2.0 can handle 60MB/sec, FW400 49.152MB/sec, and FW800 can do 98.304MB/sec. eSATA can do 300MB/sec.

    If you'd also like to access the drive on a windows machine, get one with USB 2.0. Most windows machines don't have Firewire 400, let alone Firewire 800 included.

    You're going to see a 10MB/sec theoretical difference in transfer rates between the USB 2.0 and the FW400, which you'll probably never even notice. However, as others have said, the FW uses less CPU overhead, and isn't "bursty" like USB 2.0 can be.

    eSATA isn't really that useful unless you need to get over FW800's 98.304MB/sec transfer rate hurdle (or you absolutely need S.M.A.R.T.), which puts you in the realm of editing high def 1080p 10bit uncompressed video (most likely less than 1% of the reading population on these forums).

    One with both USB 2.0 and FW400 would probably suit your needs, now and in the future, and should be one of the cheaper options.

    In summary:
    -Get FW400 for video editing on a mac.
    -Get FW400+USB 2.0 if you want to use the hd on a windows machine
    -Get FW800 if you plan on doing hidef content, use high quality hard disks, or two-disk RAIDs. If you don't know if you need more than 50MB/sec transfer rates, then you probably DON'T.
    -Get eSATA if you want to use four-disk RAIDs and need to edit the next documentary for IMAX

    For the cost difference and what you're using it for, I wouldn't go with less than 200GB.

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