External Multi-Bay Hard Drive Enclosure

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Pyromonkey83, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Pyromonkey83 macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2009
    Hey everyone,

    I have been searching for a while for a decently cheap external enclosure for 3 3.5" Hard Drives I pulled from my PC when I bought my 27" iMac. I know everyone says NAS's are the way to go, and I am quite strongly leaning toward one, but the slight problem I have is that they are rather expensive. The other issue I have is that I would much prefer to have these Hard Drives physically attached to the iMac as an extension of my computer.

    These HDDs range from 1.5-3 TB drives and house all of my immense music, photo, and video library. I use iTunes and my Apple TV 2nd Gen to stream them throughout the house, and as they are part of my iTunes library, I would like to limit the daisy chain effect as much as possible. I would also like to say that I am NOT interested in jail breaking my Apple TV to use something like Plex or another media streamer, I like the way iTunes and the Apple TV work just the way they are, and don't want to change that.

    Ideally, what I would love to have is 3 extra bays for HDDs inside of my iMac that I can put them in, but this obviously cannot happen. So what is the next best thing? Is there such a thing as a Thunderbolt External 4-bay HDD Enclosure? Or would a USB 2.0/Firewire 800 one work well enough that I could be happy with the read/write capability of not only streaming 2-3GB .M4V files from it, but also converting 50+GB Blu Ray rips and encoding them myself using HandBrake? And finally, should I just say screw it all and go for a NAS?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated... I would really, really, really like to keep this under $200, but if it were good enough to do everything I want I would definitely entertain the notion of going to something pricier.

    Thanks all
  2. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
  3. rlogan814 macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2012
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9B176 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I'm doing the same as you on my Mac mini. I have a 2TB seagate goflex desk external hard drive hooked up right now via FireWire 800 connection. I purchased that because seagate came out with a thunderbolt base for it. Just waiting for the price to eventually go down for that, not appealing at $150 which doesn't include another $50 to the thunderbolt cable. Have you tried using just a USB connection on your external drives before? I'm wondering if FireWire and thunderbolt are just overkill at this point, I'm not using the drive for anything other than HD movie and tv show playback. Can you use USB 2.0 for HD playback with no hiccups? If that's the case I would probably invest in 2 of the 4TB western digital drives. One to expand my library, one for back up. Back to your original question if you are interested in thunderbolt I'd recommend seagate enclosures and thunderbolt base for your drives, unfortunately that's gonna add up quickly if you do it all at once. Very interested in which way you'll end up going because my own iTunes library grows GB per week which makes my storage solution options always on my mind.

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