Firewire 800 external drive opinions.

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Redbeastmage, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. Redbeastmage macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2009
    Hey guys, I'm looking into getting an external FW800 drive for the holidays, something in the 1TB+ range. Anyone care to share any suggestions or opinions on what to get? I've got two old 160gb lacie FW400 drives and they are both full and I'm near full on my iMac internal HD.

    I'm leaning towards the Lacie 2d 1tb firewire800, but nothing is set in stone. Reliability and cost are my two priorities. Thanks.
  2. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    We've been using the G-Techs with Avid MC on MacBook Pro's.
    Works great :)
  3. lighthouse_man macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2005
    Whichever you get, hook them up to a surge protector. Most have lousy power adapters. I used to swear by Lacie disks but I'm on WD Studios these days.
  4. liberalart macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2009
    Ditto on WD

    Even the best drives fail and a 5yr warranty is pretty rare these days. Go with WD, and upgrade that surge protector to a UPS. Dips are more common and more damaging than surges.
  5. MrSEC macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2008
    Same here. I've got 2 500gb Gtech drives and love them. I also have a lacie that goes under my mac mini that has worked perfect for years,and I even booted from that external drive for well over 2 yrs.You can't go wrong with any of the drives mentioned,WD makes good HDD's.

    The only drive I stay away from is Maxtor. I used to really like this brand years ago,but I've had nothing but trouble from the last 3 that I bought for my Windows machine.
  6. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    i'll third the G tech. I've got two, 2tb drives (G Raid) only thing i hate is the extremely bright LED, very annoying when exporting!
  7. Cinematographer macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2005
    far away
    I've owned six or seven LaCie drives over the years. Never had any problem.
  8. MrSEC macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2008
    The only problem with Drobo is it's loud. A friend of mine has one and it works perfectly,but he has it in a location so he can't hear it...still it's an impressive product.
  9. TTLaRue macrumors newbie


    Sep 25, 2009
    Los Angeles
    The LaCie Rugged 500gb FW800 would do the trick. I own one and its A-Mazing.
  10. eRondeau macrumors 65816


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    I would not recommend Lacie. I've had three, and two of the three have failed -- not the drives, but the interface electronics. Including a 1TB FW800 that I used to archive raw iMovie footage and old iPhoto libraries -- all gone now.

    I would recommend you take a look at the external drives by OWC (Other World Computing). I bought a big one when my Lacie 1TB died and so far it's working great.
  11. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    No. That is not the only problem with Drobo. There are many problems with Drobo. However, it all depends on what the OP wants to use the drive for. If it's for video editing, you'll run into this characteristic of Drobo, which in such a case will definitely be a problem: Drobo is dog slow. DOG SLOW. Unacceptable for video editing.
  12. harddriveowner macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2007
    LaCie La-Sucks

    I have had 7 LaCie harddrives. 6 are worthless with hours of backed up video etc. Their warranty is worthless because if you lose the data who cares if they will give you a new drive. Never again. I thought it was just me. All are on surge suppressors but none on UPS. Maybe that is the key.
    WD is not that much better.
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Most of these companies only make aluminum boxes. They buy drives and controler chips from third parties. It hardly matters who makes the box. I buy empty enclosures then put drives inside. The bare seagate drives come with 5 year warranty. The boxes either one year or 90 day. As for failures. It is going to happen. They 100% WILL fail. So plan on it and have more than one backup and a backup to the backup plan. Theft of the equipment or fire is common so don't leave all the backups in the same building.

    I buy about one new disk drive every year. The biggest drive is used for Time machine, the second largest for data storage and the others for rotating off site backups

    I don't recommend any brand. Just read the specs. If you like a FW800 enclosure then buy that. When the drive gets filled replace the drive and keep the aluminum box.
  14. MrSEC macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2008
    What drive do you recommend? I've never had a problem with WD drives.

    I'm being serious,I'm not asking this to be argumentative.
  15. MrSEC macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2008
    I've heard a bunch of people complain about them,but I only know one person that uses it and it's works really well for him,but he doesn't use it for video editing either.

    I guess that's the downside of being on the internet for many years, I've heard people complain about everything so much,I guess I've become desensitized to complaining.
  16. jalyst macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2009
    Yes these are technically not NAS's but the single drive option only has a Gb interface...

    Now unless they're implementing some form of iSCSI or Gb+AoE the speeds are going to fairly ordinary compared to FW800.
    If OP wants to use the external enclosure as the their boot volume, then they can forgot about it entirely as it's not 'yet' possible to boot via Gb.

    Even with a 'SAN-like' interface (depending on what it is exactly) it'll only be the same speed or marginally faster than FW800.
    It is possible to boot via eSATA and it's heaps faster than FW800, lots of people mod their macs so that eSATA can be used.

    I suspect the main emphasis with Drobo's devices is storage flexibility, not optimum performance.

  17. Redbeastmage thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2009
    Thanks for all the responses guys, certainly given me some options.

    As for my purpose, it's mostly a backup drive, but I want to be able to work off it if I'm just doing touchup work without copying to my internal drive.

    I'm actually now wondering what you guys think of doing something like this. I spoted a Voyager Drive Dock, which will let me hotswap 3.5" SATA hard drives into it and connect via Firewire 800. It's a bit costly to get as a port, but i figure if I pay the higher cost of entry, I can buy the cheap internal drives for all my future backup needs. Looking at prices, I can pick up the dock and a 2TB Seagate Barricuda from newegg for about the same price (or less) as a 2TB External with FW800. And then as I need more space in the future (I'm a pack rat, what can I say) the costs will always be decreasing.
  18. jalyst macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2009
    Not costly at all, this is pretty cool, who needs good heat dissipation when 75% of your drive is exposed to open air?! :D
    I still prefer something a little more aesthetically pleasing but it's good enough for your needs if you don't need more than 2TB.

    If it's mostly for BU, fw800 is more than good enough, if you're going to do a lot of r/w intensive stuff, fw800 will mostly be fine too. Although eSATA would be even more ideal of course...
  19. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Oct 19, 2009
    Cedar City, Utah
    I would also like to thank everyone! I am in the market for getting an
    external as soon as I sell this copy of unopened Creative Suite Design
    Premium.. and was thinking of a 500gb firewire option. I even have the
    wife convinced too.
    I have a 160gb HD in my MBP, and she is getting an HP laptop early next
    month with likely a 250 gig HD.. I can partition an external firewire for
    Windows and Mac right? That way she can back hers up once a week or
    something like me.
    Oh one other question, I know it's off topic (and sorry OP for hijacking your
    thread), but can I boot off a Firewire drive? Say I install Windows 7 on it?
    So have say.. 3 partitions, 200gb for my backup + photoshop stuff and maybe
    some Itunes, and then her backup area, and maybe a w7 boot partition?
  20. jalyst macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2009
    Last I checked it was only possible to boot USB with windows, not fw400/800.

    I don't think this would've changed with windows 7 as it's simply not a spec M$ & other parties are interested in from that perspective.
    But as always do your own homework!

    As I recall there's a pretty large thread on this forum discussing/helping users to get USB boot working.

  21. excommie macrumors regular

    May 12, 2009
    I Rosewill FW800 enclosure, it's fan-less. I use itwith WD black 1TB drive. This combo looks good and it's quiet. Cheaper than G-tech, I think
  22. Stella macrumors G3


    Apr 21, 2003
    I could recommend the GTech RAID, apparently made for video editing.

    Trouble with these drives is that they have no fan to keep them cool - they just get hotter and hotter, turning the case into coffin, in the long term.

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