External Hard Drive.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gskowal, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. gskowal macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2008
    Hey guys i`m planing on getting an external Hard drive to store mp3's and pictures on, since i don't want that stuff on my main drive causing it to slow down the system. What are some fast external hard drives? I see one on apple website but it got bad reviews. Anyone can advise?
  2. Oliver Barker macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2008
    well I use a i Omega 500GB Hard drive and its never failed me yet, didn't even have to install anything! Literally just plug and play.
  3. gwerhart0800 macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    Loveland, CO
    FW is faster on a Mac

    Can I suggest that you make sure that whatever you get, it has a firewire connection? I have benchmarked USB & FW on my Mac mini using an enclosure that offered both FW & USB. The FW interface was able to get ~38MB/s for sequential reads, where USB only managed ~22MB/s. Apple does not have the best performing USB drivers.
  4. gskowal thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2008
    I was actually going to ask about it. It seems that there is more USB drives in the stores.
  5. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    When I buy, I look for quiet drives without fans and reliability of the drive manufacturer (note that in most cases, the brand name you see on the case isn't the drive manufacturer). Some drives sound like vacuum cleaners.
  6. jalagl macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2003
    Costa Rica
    Lately I've been buying Seagate FreeAgent drives, because of the warranty (and I had to use the warranty to get a replacement on my 160 FreeAgent Go).
    I also put them together myself, and I buy the components mostly from Directron.
  7. yomibro macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2008
  8. gskowal thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2008
  9. Lexoticstylez02 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2007
    Orlando, Florida
  10. ThirteenXIII macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2008
    Personally I prefer a set up like this:

    1) External Enclosure

    I personally have a few of the ICYDOCK ones that are perfect and conveient, the one I have only has FW400 but there is one that has FW800 as well.

    2) Any drive you want. If you just need some back ups grab a 750GB drive back up or if you want a fast performing drive slap a raptor or WD640 in there.

    that way your not stuck with just one option.

    hope that helps!
  11. gwerhart0800 macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    Loveland, CO
    I second this observation. I have a closet full of loud enclosures. It is very hard to buy an external drive with a fan and get one that does not drive you nuts with noise. My Newer Technology miniStack v3 is currently powered off except for the occasional Carbon Copy Clone backup. I have two RAID USB/eSata cabinets that are on the shelf, empty.

    I have an Airport Extreme on order and I will consider sticking one of the RAID enclosures on it with two mirrored drives. The Extreme will be in the basement next to my kids Xbox 360 ... the Xbox is the loudest system in my house by far!!!

    If you choose to build an external drive yourself, then look for an aluminum, fan less enclosure and use a drive with low power modes that will keep the heat down when not in use. I have found that it is not necessary to get the fastest drive when using USB or FW400 because the connection protocol is far slower than the slowest drive. So, it probably will not hurt to get a 5400RPM drive. There are some drives marketed as being "green" because of low energy consumption. Typically, lower energy == lower heat. eSata or FW800 is usually faster or as fast as the drive, so you would need to get the fastest drive if you are looking for maximum performance. You can also use RAID striping to push the transfer speed up, but with USB or FW400, it would be a waste.

    My current external drive on my Mini is a Macally PHR-S100SUA enclosure with a Hitachi 750GB SATA drive. The enclosure supports eSata/USB 2.0 and FW400. (I still hold out hope that Apple will put eSata ports on future systems. Yes ... I know ... there is no way ...)
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    That is because they are cheaper and most buyers care only about the price. You will also notice they sell more $100 inkjest printers than they sell quality photo printers and more cheap LCD monitors then Apple ACDs and so on.

    Don't worry to much about the brand name on the outside of the box. It's what's inside that matters. Firewire is faster but do you care about speed? If the only thing you are putting on the drive is MP3 files speed does not matter much. Also for backups speed does not matter because you don't have to wait, it runs in the background. But for for day to day use the best way to go to FW800 if you can.
  13. scuzy macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2006
    i would go for something liek a ReadyNAS for storing my media files to share between the house.
  14. gskowal thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2008
    I`m actually thinking about Firewire 800 because i`m planning on doing some video editing and i read its better to have that on a separate drive as well.. So i think i`ll have to go with a F800 with 1TB i guess. pretty expensive...
  15. xmerz macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2008
  16. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Aug 29, 2007
    I would 2nd the G-Tech Drives... they are great enclosures, highly recommended!
  17. doobi18 macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    The name-brands are all much of a muchness. Get whatever is on special / at cheapest price.

    Make sure though that it was FW 400 or FW 800 if your computer has that.
  18. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Go with the WD MyBook series. They have 1TB units with a single drive for $200 if you shop around. They look really nice, stack vertically (take up less desk space), and I know they work with the AEBS. They seem very quiet to me, but I'll admit I'm not near them that often. They just sit there, hum along, not really screaming for much attention. They also have power-saving features that turn them off when not in use for a while.

    If you need one that's more portable, go with the Passport drives from WD. They're slower (since they're notebook drives at 5400rpm) but they don't require extra power and they're tiny.
  19. gwerhart0800 macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    Loveland, CO
    I would consider FW800 even if your current Mac does not have the necessary port. Think of it as future proofing ... FW800 is coming ... if slowly.
  20. Leon Kowalski macrumors 6502a

    Leon Kowalski

    Sep 20, 2007
    Gondwanaland Reunification Front HQ
    Agree. BTW, a FW800 drive will work just fine on a FW400 port.
    All you need is a cheap 9-pin to 6-pin firewire adapter cable.

    The best USB/FW800 enclosure available: $80

  21. Krispo macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2008
    I recently got my first Imac about 6 weeks ago and I would think twice about the WD Mybook Studio version which is what I got. It constantly dismounted all the time, worthless, I RMA'd it last week and ended up getting apple time capsule. Pricey but hasn't hiccup'd since i have had it, plus it gives me another wireless access point.

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