External HDs: quiet drives & future-proof ports?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by old john, May 11, 2009.

  1. old john macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2005
    I'm planning to buy a new external hard disk, probably 1TB, which currently looks as if it's the most competitive and best value size. We don't currently need excessive speed, but our uses may include an "EyeTV Archive" folder (files of non-HD DVB-T recordings).

    Some external HD I've owned have been rather noisy. Does anyone have recommendations for quiet makes and models that are currently available?

    Also, I need to consider which ports to go for, having been left with SCSI drives when Apple dropped SCSI ports as standard, and now having Firewire 400 drives that won't connect directly to new Macs. Then there's consideration whether and, if so, how soon manufacturers will move from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 . . . or will the move be to eSATA, which is already available on some external HDs?

    So, among those ports available on current external HDs, which do other people think will be most useful in the next several years?
  2. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2007
    I will be selling my OWC Mercury Elite AL-Pro Dual soon (I purchased in advance of buying an iMac but bought a Mac Pro in the end) so it's hardly been used. It is a QUAD interface type (USB, FW400/FW800 and eSATA). It is a bare enclosure only so you can fit your own drives as you see fit. (SATA).

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MEFW936AL2/

    PM me if interested.
  3. Hemingray macrumors 68030


    Jan 9, 2002
    Ha ha haaa!
    Personally? USB. It's been around for a long time, and it'll still be around for a long time.

    If you're not concerned about performance, then FW800/SATA isn't really worth it IMO.

    You can grab a 1TB Western Digital w/ USB on Amazon for like $117. I have one and it's great for occasional storage and access. I wouldn't recommend it for 24/7 usage. (Read the reviews on it and they'll explain more).
  4. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    If you are looking to futureproof in terms of compatability USB will be your best bet, as a 3.0 port is backwards compatible. FW800 probably won't go anywhere for a while since Apple put it on all their new macs (of course not the mb and air) , so if you got a decently priced fw400 enclosure it will be compatible with FW800, and even FW3200 when the time comes.
  5. old john thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Thanks but I don't think I need anything that sophisticated.

    I assume you mean USB 2.0, as that seems to be the version that's currently available. I also presume a future Mac with USB 3.0 will still connect to an HD with only USB 2.0; am I correct?

    I suppose the alternative for a faster drive is to look for a USB 3.0 drive, though I haven't seen one advertised. When USB 3.0 HDs do arrive, I wonder whether they will be at a premium to USB 2.0 or just replace them at a similar price?

    Thanks for this suggestion, but why not 24/7 usage?

    It's important that the drive I buy is quiet. Do you find the 1TB Western Digital w/ USB quiet and how does it compare for noise with other HDs you may have experience of?
  6. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    this site is definitely your friend:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...150414 50001306 131021336&name=1TB and higher

    There is a great list of WesternDigital externals (I prefer WD over any other brand personally...)

    the first one is 109.99 for a 1TB external with just USB.

    honestly USB should do you fine and have really no issues...yeah FW800 is optimal but unless your encoding raw movies or music to it then USB is perfectly fine.
    You can also get a cheap FW400-FW800 adapter or cable on monoprice.com for under 5$ so youre still not left out or behind.

    I dont know why someone said to be careful about running them 24/7...??? doesnt really make sense to me as I run my drives all the time 24/7 for back ups and remote access.
    My drives are not noisy at all, most westerndigitals arent

    you should be fine...find a drive you like and go from there

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