Firewire 3.5" Enclosures - Recommendations? Things to Keep in Mind?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Xtreambar, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. Xtreambar macrumors regular

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    #1
    I'm planning on buying my own enclosure and HD instead of a pre-made package because 1) the prices are generally a little cheaper and 2) some hard drives have 5 year warranties (most externals only have 1 year, Seagates have 3 year).

    1) Do you have any recommendations for 3.5" enclosures with Firewire?

    2) Do you have anything to keep in mind when buying? Perhaps some brands to just stay the hell away from? I know I should buy a metal case with a passive cooler rather than a plastic case with a fan.
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    With all externals, when powering off, after ejecting, wait 10 seconds or so for the drive to spin down before powering off.

    Yes, metal one would work, but somehow many metals ones use non-heat-conducting plastic tray or rubber washers for mounting the drive.
     
  3. operator207 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 24, 2007
    #3
    Oxford 924 chipset for the firewire. NOT Prolific. Prolific suck.

    Something that takes SATA2 inside and eSATA outside. If your lucky, you can keep at least the enclosure around for a laptop or 2.

    Fan's are ok, as long as the case is not crap. I have one with and one without. The fan really does not do much, but does more than nothing.

    I bought this: Rosewill RX81-MP-SC- SLV 3.5" SATA to USB & 1394 a/b & eSATA External Enclosure (Silver) - Retail at NewEgg. Then bought a 1tb drive to put in it.

    The only downfall is the blue LED. Its pretty damned bright. it stays on, and blinks when data is being written or accessed. Electrical tape can fix that.

    The case it built pretty tough, their is an inner case that slides inside of the outer case. All aluminum.


    I bought my external drive this way because I did not like the specs on any of the all-in-ones out there. It might be a few bucks more expensive, but I have a "server class" 5 year warranty drive in an enclosure that will do FW400 FW 800 eSata and USB2. Most of the other ones I looked at had 1 or maybe 2 connections, and had a warranty of 1 year.
     
  4. rpaloalto macrumors 6502a

    rpaloalto

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    #4
  5. Dimwhit macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

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    #5
  6. xisforextreme macrumors member

    xisforextreme

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    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    #6
    Hey,
    I'm also looking to buy an external HD for my Macbook (2Ghz core duo first edition).
    Firstly, sorry if this is a stupid question but I've been out of the Mac scene for a while (1 1/2 years on expedition in the south pacific) so I have no idea what's going on :(.
    Is it possible to boot from a USB external HD with my current Macbook? If it is possible is it desirable (ie. stable/fast enough)? I ask because I remember having huge problems with my iMac g4 and iBook g4 trying to find a compatible disk.
    Secondly, say I don't use the ExHD as a boot disk - would you guys give a usb link-up your seal of approval?(If say the drive was just used as a file storage/backup drive):eek:
    Thanks!
     
  7. Xtreambar thread starter macrumors regular

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  8. wjk94061 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 8, 2008
    #8
    The enclosures with Oxford chipsets (see http://www.oxsemi.com/products/storage/das.html) seem the most popular with MacOS X users. These come with single and duel SATA drives bays. Oxford's 936 (hardware RAID 5) chipset is coming. I expect it'll take 6 - 9 months to get the software (e.g., rebuild array from drive failure) right. While the Oxford chipset keep up with Firewire 800, keep in mind a lot of the bandwidth of modern SATA drives is left in the enclosure. Take a look at the datasheet for the Barracuda ES.2 (http://www.seagate.com/docs/pdf/datasheet/disc/ds_barracuda_es_2.pdf).

    Today, I'd go with a duel drive, Oxford based enclosure, and two ES.2 running stripped (RAID 0 - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID). In 18 months (another turn of Moore's Law - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moores_law), look a buying a quad drive enclosure with RAID 5 or 6 in hardware.
     
  9. jollyraider macrumors newbie

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    Jun 9, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA, USA
    #9
    I second the Rosewill! These are the perfect enclosures for Macs. They are indeed tough and come in aluminum in black or silver(aluminum) with a MacPro-look. The Oxford chip is rock-solid and provides every connection you'll need for a long time: SATA 3.0 inside, FW800, FW400, USB 2.0 and eSATA outside. For some reason I've never felt comfortable buying an external HD w/o being able to choose exactly what's inside. :rolleyes:
     
  10. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

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    #10
  11. pinktank macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Pay attention to cooling, it usually helps with keeping your data safe
     
  12. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

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    #12
  13. zephyrnoid macrumors 6502

    zephyrnoid

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    #13
  14. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

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    #15
    One thing, the RAIDstream twin enclosure rocks.

    It suports RAID 0, RAID 1 and JOBD and I can simply swap out the drive, change different RAID level without turn off the computer and shut down the enclosure. Simply insert new hard drive and hit reset.

    I used to have a G-RAID but I can not change any RAID settings and I can not swap out my own drive.
    I use a lot of hard drives for backup and scratch disk and getting external drives for each project is just a big waste.
     

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