External HDs

Bowser

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 24, 2005
45
0
Okay so I have been playing with my stock iBook for a week, and as i predicted the HD is getting cramped. I thought I could take it slow, and I was planning on starting a music library from scratch instead of importing mine from my old pc (for ***** and giggles of course). Anyways, I wanted to know what the deal was with external HDs. Do they act exactly the same as internal HDs? What external HD would you guys recommend (im lookin in the 80-120GB range, ive been leaning towards maxtor one touch, but with no real reason why i would lean towards it)? Your input will be greatly appreciated (as it was when you guys guided me to my pretty white new born [not racists])

edit: did some searching on the forums with regards to this topic. it seems the most economical solution is buying a HD and an enclosure. This opens up a whole new can of worms. Will any HD suffice? Where and what type of enclosure should i get? (ive heard reference to getting an enclosure with Olympus something and make sure its firewire 400...)


lord
 

iEdd

macrumors 68000
Aug 8, 2005
1,956
4
Ok.. In my 14 years of experience (I've used macs since I was born :D).

External HDDs end up as a disk appearing in the OS X native environment. Just like a cd, or a floppy, or another comp in target mode.

What you can do, (same with iPod), is to put OS X on it and make it a boot disk. Then, depending when you turn the drive on, it will boot off it, or just mount it.

I have a tri (firewire 400&800, USB 2.0) interface lacie external HDD 250GB. I got that from macmall.com.au . It's really a matter of preference. I love lacie overall as a brand.
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,343
402
Boston, MA
epepper9 said:
I have a tri (firewire 400&800, USB 2.0) interface lacie external HDD 250GB. I got that from macmall.com.au . It's really a matter of preference. I love lacie overall as a brand.
i have the same lacie drive. it's great. starts and sleeps with my PB. not too noisy. i have two partitions that can be used as boot disks.

andi
 

Angelus520

macrumors regular
May 22, 2003
133
0
Chicago
The OWC aluminum enclosure came with FW400 and FW800 ports and uses a custom Oxford 912 chipset. It's rated at:

FireWire 800 - 800Mbps (or 100MB/sec)
FireWire 400 - 400Mbps (or 50MB/sec)

and the 400GB Seagate drive is rated at:

Transfer Rate
Maximum Internal (Mbytes/sec) 95
Maximum External (Mbytes/sec) 150/100
Sustained Transfer Rate OD (Mbytes/sec) 65
Cache, Multisegmented (Mbytes) 8
Average Seek (msec) 8
Average Latency (msec) 4.16
Spindle Speed (RPM) 7200

Hope this helps.
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
43
1123.6536.5321
I would recommend going with a HD enclosure, as it is the most cost-effective solution. With the rapidly increasing capacities and decreasing costs per GB, this is your best bet. You can purchase the overall solution for less, the internal version of a HD is cheaper than its external version, and you can always swap the drive out at a future date. Just do a search for "Hard Drive Enclosures" on the Forums and you'll find a lot of great advice and further information on the subject. :cool:
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,824
4,503
"Between the Hedges"
I'm too lazy to build my own. I want to just take it out of the box, plug it in and it works. That's why I went with the LaCie 250. Never a problem. In fact I'm backing up to it right now using Superduper, but you can also use the SilverKeeper software that comes with it.

Woof, Woof - Dawg
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
43
1123.6536.5321
MacDawg said:
I'm too lazy to build my own. I want to just take it out of the box, plug it in and it works.
Well, it doesn't take much more effort to plug an enclosure into your computer instead of the external drive, and then pop an internal drive into the enclosure. But if the extra 30 seconds that takes is too much for ya, that's cool. ;) :)
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
43
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AJ Muni said:
yea u like lacie as well
Just keep in mind that Lacie doesn't manufacture their own Hard Drives. If you buy a Lacie drive you're actually buying a Maxtor or Seagate drive, most likely. And there's nothing wrong with that, but it's a common misconception that Lacie actually manufactures drives - they don't. :cool:
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,824
4,503
"Between the Hedges"
~Shard~ said:
Well, it doesn't take much more effort to plug an enclosure into your computer instead of the external drive, and then pop an internal drive into the enclosure. But if the extra 30 seconds that takes is too much for ya, that's cool. ;) :)
Just shows exactly HOW lazy I am :)

Haven't done so in a while, but I put together an internal drive and an enclosure a while back (I mean years ago). At that time I had to have the right mounting hardware to put it in and I had to set jumpers. It was a pain.

Not so bad these days, huh...

Woof, Woof - Dawg
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
43
1123.6536.5321
MacDawg said:
Just shows exactly HOW lazy I am :)

Haven't done so in a while, but I put together an internal drive and an enclosure a while back (I mean years ago). At that time I had to have the right mounting hardware to put it in and I had to set jumpers. It was a pain.

Not so bad these days, huh...
Haha - no, not too bad at all... ;) An external drive is definitely easier to set up when all is said and done (i.e. plug it in!) but the enclosures are definitely not a pain either. In the end, it just comes down to what you need and what you want. :)
 

killmoms

macrumors 68040
Jun 23, 2003
3,721
13
Washington, DC
I'm a design whore, I'll admit it. I like LaCie's sense of style, and I haven't found an external casing that matched my PowerBook as well. I'm probably going to buy another one of their drives soon—running out of space! But beyond that, this FW800 d2 Extreme I have has been great, very reliable and fast. I'll probably get an F.A. Porsche drive next, as they're smaller and quieter and I'll be using it for personal data, not digital video as with my d2.
 

ebow

macrumors 6502a
~Shard~ said:
I would recommend going with a HD enclosure, as it is the most cost-effective solution. With the rapidly increasing capacities and decreasing costs per GB, this is your best bet. You can purchase the overall solution for less, the internal version of a HD is cheaper than its external version, and you can always swap the drive out at a future date. Just do a search for "Hard Drive Enclosures" on the Forums and you'll find a lot of great advice and further information on the subject. :cool:
I've often wondered about the cost effectiveness of using an enclosure + internal drive. When I do cost comparisons, they usually come out pretty close.
Both of those come really close in price to the LaCie 250 GB d2 which is normally $219, or $199 with my educational discount, plus free shipping.
  • Is it because of the educational discount that I could do nearly as well or better with LaCie, and the non-edu price difference ($219 - 190 = $29) is the savings that people are referring to?
  • Is it because I'm choosing quality components instead of more basic ones?
  • Perhaps I've hit a cross-over or break-even point with my particular specs (250 GB, FW + USB) and for other specs DIY has a stronger price advantage.
  • Or finally, is DIY a better value because in a few years I can easily take out the 250 GB HD and drop in a much larger HD, plus I'll know exactly who to complain to / blame if one component or the other has problems?
:confused:

I'm not trying to challenge anyone or be obstinate, I'm just trying to get a better idea of how others see the situation so I can get the best-value "companion" for my brand new iMac. Thanks for listening, everyone! :)
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
ebow said:
I've often wondered about the cost effectiveness of using an enclosure + internal drive. When I do cost comparisons, they usually come out pretty close.
Just that there are way less expensive choices than the Mercury enclosure. Look for the MacAlly aluminum enclosures, PHR-100 series
http://www.macally.com/spec/firewire/storage/35enclosure.html

Randy Singer (on another list) recommends Argosy cases
http://www.pcmicrostore.com/PartDet...6232;p:10500933
The price is good if you are in the USA, not so good after costs of importing to Canada though.

The other thing is if you buy your own Seagate mechanism, you can choose one with a 5 year warranty. (don't buy the OEM versions with 0 - 1 year)

With any packaged external drive, you're getting only 1 year warranty.
 

wako

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,404
1
ebow said:
I've often wondered about the cost effectiveness of using an enclosure + internal drive. When I do cost comparisons, they usually come out pretty close.
Both of those come really close in price to the LaCie 250 GB d2 which is normally $219, or $199 with my educational discount, plus free shipping.
  • Is it because of the educational discount that I could do nearly as well or better with LaCie, and the non-edu price difference ($219 - 190 = $29) is the savings that people are referring to?
  • Is it because I'm choosing quality components instead of more basic ones?
  • Perhaps I've hit a cross-over or break-even point with my particular specs (250 GB, FW + USB) and for other specs DIY has a stronger price advantage.
  • Or finally, is DIY a better value because in a few years I can easily take out the 250 GB HD and drop in a much larger HD, plus I'll know exactly who to complain to / blame if one component or the other has problems?
:confused:

I'm not trying to challenge anyone or be obstinate, I'm just trying to get a better idea of how others see the situation so I can get the best-value "companion" for my brand new iMac. Thanks for listening, everyone! :)


... you also dont need the top of the line enclosures..

I bought a 30 buck enclosure stuck in a 200gb hdd (the enclosure only recommended a 100, but I got the sucker to get in there :)) and BOOM! I saved myself a hundred bucks
 

Sttesuhc

macrumors member
Jul 17, 2005
48
0
This has been a good thread to read since I'll probably cross the bridge at some point.

In my opinion, I don't always feel confident tinkering, particularly if it's for a machine that I really need to use. Hopefully I'll keep my G4 tower to play with, and I'll probably try to "build" my own external HD. BUT.... if I needed an external HD tomorrow, I'd rather spend a little more to get a "turn-key" solution and some peace of mind.

--> Of course, with the help of everyone on these forums, and with reference to past threads, there are probably great "turn key" solutions available in the DIY camp.
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
43
1123.6536.5321
Sttesuhc said:
This has been a good thread to read since I'll probably cross the bridge at some point.

In my opinion, I don't always feel confident tinkering, particularly if it's for a machine that I really need to use. Hopefully I'll keep my G4 tower to play with, and I'll probably try to "build" my own external HD. BUT.... if I needed an external HD tomorrow, I'd rather spend a little more to get a "turn-key" solution and some peace of mind.

--> Of course, with the help of everyone on these forums, and with reference to past threads, there are probably great "turn key" solutions available in the DIY camp.
Although I am a DIY guy (at least I am in the PC world, I don't have much to do in terms of DIY when it comes to my Mac! ;)) I would still argue that going the way of a HD enclosure isn't exactly "tinkering", or such an ordeal as some people think. Really, it's plugging the enclosure into your Mac just as you would an external HD, and then plugging the internal HD into the enclosure. Simplistically, that's all there is to it! ;) ;cool:
 
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