external HD question

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by pank, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. pank macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2005
    I'm going to get a new external HD for my iMac (2.8 extreme / 4GB of ram).
    I'm looking at the WD mybook (which I have one now) and the Seagate FreeAgent. They both look good.

    My question is if I get a USB or Firewire external drive is it a good idea or safe to use that as a raid 1 setup. The one thing I miss about my G5 is the internal HD. I'd really like a raid 1 for a constant clone/backup. I've just never thought about using an external HD to do such a thing.

    Also I'm guessing it really won't matter if I go USB or FireWire. From what I've seen the speeds are nearly the same (correct me if I am wrong).

    I was just curious if it was alright to do. Not sure if it would slow things down since it was not internal, etc.

    Also am I safe in assuming that if I plug in a new drive and set it up as a mirror I will "not" lose my data on my main drive?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. funkychunkz macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    USB will bottleneck any ATA harddrive (or newer), as will FW 400. Although theorerically USB is faster, it relies on the CPU to do a lot of protocol work whereas FW has a dedicated card. If at all possible, go with a Firewire 800 external.
  3. Iscariot macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2007
    Truth. FW externals end up with better speeds.
  4. pank thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2005
    Thanks for the replies.

    I ended up keeping and erasing my 250GB mybook Firewire drive. I'll just use that as a clone. I picked up a 1TB mybook USB drive at Best Buy yesterday. I could not pass up the price of $249.99 for that much storage (USB or not).

    To be honest I used CCC to clone the Firewire drive and it took 1 hour and 8 minutes. It only took 1 hour and 3 minutes via the USB drive I picked up.

    So for backups it seems the USB will be fine and I still have the Firewire as well.

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