External HDD questions.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Joshh1, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. Joshh1 macrumors regular

    Joshh1

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    Northern Michigan.
    #1
    Well. My 20GB disk is just not enough (Who woulda thought? :eek:) So I plan to buy a 500GB WD MyBook The one with Firewire 400, USB 2.0 and eSata.

    I'll be making this my itunes libary and will be watching movies and such from it. But with me having the cube, will I experience lag on anything? I'm sure the firewire 400 will be fast enough. But I was just wondering if anyone had any insight.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #2
    I have a Cube in my collection as well and I can tell you that using an external drive with the FW 400 connection works fine, as I use one to backup the internal drive. You have already identified that the USB connections is not a viable option (since the Cube was a USB 1.1 superslow type, not USB 2.0), but the FW option is not a problem.

    Another thing to consider is that the internal IDE/PATA drive can be replaced pretty easily too- I did mine in about 30 mins with no difficulty. The only consideration there is that the Cube does not have "large drive" support natively, so without addtional software it can only support a drive of up to 128Gb out of the box (which the closest standard drive sizing is 120Gb). You can use some of the following (like the 160Gb) but only 128Gb will be recognized.

    There are still IDE/PATA drives available from suppliers like OWC (who has these) and [​IMG]these from newegg.com.
     
  3. Joshh1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joshh1

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    Northern Michigan.
    #3
    Thanks for clearing that up for me, Sickmacdoc.

    I appreciate the reply! I've been looking at upgrading the hard drive lately as well. Right now I want to pick up the external so I can use it between the couple of computers I have so it's a 'better buy' in my case. But I plan to buy one of the new Macbooks soon-ish. (Hopefully!:D).
     
  4. deorg macrumors 6502

    deorg

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    Miami, Florida
    #4
    I have a WD disc too it works like a charm, not sure on the cube but on my imac it runs great.
     
  5. Joshh1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joshh1

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    Northern Michigan.
    #5
    I've read a few reviews and asked friend that has a few and everything I've heard is good.

    I also read that it will spin down after 10 minutes of inactivity.. Is there anyway to shut that off with the included software?

    Thanks again. You guys are a great help.
     
  6. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #6
    Stopping the spindown is not an option on the MyBooks. I used to have five MyBooks in my backup "farm" and that used to drive me nuts so I did some research and found out in the knowledgebase at Western Digital that it is not an option. That "energy saving" feature as they describe it is built in the firmware of the controller they use in their enclosures so can not be overridden. I eventually took the SATA drives out of them and put them in a drive tower and tossed the MyBook enclosures, so no more spindowns.

    Other than a few second delay when writing data to a spun down drive (and the sound of it spinning up and down in a quiet room- especially the "clunk" when it begins the spindown) it's not that bad for normal use. Where it could get to be a problem is if you are doing some heavy duty video rendering and the drive was inactive long enough period to let it spin down. The delay in spinup time can cause no end of grief in that specialized situation.
     
  7. Joshh1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joshh1

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    Northern Michigan.
    #7
    Thanks again.

    I've found this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=298694 last night after some Google-ing. So I suppose I will do this.

    I just don't want my drive to sleep when playing music. Since iTunes buffers the music. (or should I be fine?)

    Thanks again, guys, you've been a lot of help.
     

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