Good External HD for MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jamin., Mar 8, 2008.

  1. jamin. macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    Hey Friends

    I will be getting a new MBP tomorrow. Would eventually like to get an external HD. I don't understand what the need is for a high speed HD like 7200rpm? Who cares how fast it is, when your just backing files and storing files on it? Or am I missing something?

    I will be going to UNI next year to study Graphic and Video Editing and Design. What do you think would be a nice sized drive for me? Something without a power cord, something that isn't big, heavy and bulky and that just connects easily.

    I don't understand why there are all these connections USB, USB2.0, Firewire 400,800?

    It would be nice if something could explain in NOOB language for me. I don't want to make a bad decision. A 1TB would be nice but I think theyre too bulky and require external power, not to mention $$$.

    Recommendations and Explanations anyone?

  2. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I really think you are missing something.

    First of all, I'd recommend one of the Western Digital My Book drives. You can get 1 terabyte for about $230. These are 7200rpm (which is pretty much standard on desktop and big external drives), which means they spin faster than 5400 rpm drives, which means you can get to data faster. It's not as important as it is in a boot drive, but it never hurts.

    If you're going to study video editing, you need all you can get. 1 terabyte is about the point where the drives are economical. Once you get bigger, they start getting really expensive per gigabyte. Just keep adding terabyte drives to a USB hub.

    Speaking of the connections: Most people use USB 2.0. Most anything made today is USB 2.0 (which is oodles faster than the original USB, which got phased out years ago). FireWire is pretty good, but it's mostly used for video connections that require a streaming connection. That's why most digital video cameras have FireWire output instead of USB. The difference between FireWire 400 and 800 is, well, one works at 400Mbps, the other at 800Mbps. Guess which is which.

    Lowdown, go with Western Digital. If you *really* have this deal about not wanting a power cord, get one of those itty bitty drives. If you're actually trying to back a huge chunk of data up, don't even bother with those. The ones with power cords are much cheaper. You're going to have 200GB of space on your MBP, so you need volume more than portability.

    My recommendation:
  3. jamin. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    USB HUB?

    Can't I get a 1TB HD without a power cord?

    Also I am in Australia. I only wanted to spent up to $350AU on one.

    P.S Your Link didn't work.
  4. jamin. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    Say I want the ONE HD, for backup and extra storage? Do I partition it for both?
  5. jamin. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    That Western Digital one, looks good, where could I buy that in OZ.
  6. torpy macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2007
    Sydney + Los Angeles
  7. jamin. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    Is it possible to Install XP on this extneral HD and run it off it?
  8. katejones macrumors regular


    Feb 6, 2008
  9. digitalpencil macrumors 6502


    Jul 2, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    If you're intending to do video-editing i'd recommend getting an FW caddy. 400 or 800, it's still considerably quicker than USB2.0
  10. Alexmo123 macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2008
    Hey so I have a bit of info and I hope it helps. First of all there are two different types of drives you need to know about, 2.5" and 3.5". Obviously a big difference between these is size, and the 2.5" is actually much much smaller. Google for pics. Another important difference is power. 2.5" droves can run off the power of your laptop meaning you dont need an external power source. 3.5" drives however such as the my book all use anexternal power supply. There is a cost difference between the two, basically with the 3.5" you will be able to get more storage for less cost but the trade off is size and no additional power supply.
    As for as plug ins go if your doing any video stuff definately get a external which supports firwire 400 of 800. These will beuch faster than usb2 for video transfers.

    It is tough for me to give you a recomendations but I'd say if you plan on leaving the drive on your desk all day then minds well get the 3.5". But if its something your going to move around much I think the 2.5" is a good option.

    I think that I would recomend buying an enclosure then buying a drive seperated. Owc has a great 2.5" enclosure with all the ports and there's 3.5" ones all over
  11. markrivers macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2008
    Valencia, California
    for general use, go with a western digital passport 2.5 external hard drive.
    thery're on sale right now.
    check with amazon or new egg
  12. burningrave101 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    FireWire 400 and 800 is a whole lot faster than USB 2.0 for sustained transfers of large files on a hard drive. It's part of the reason why FireWire enclosures are more expensive.

    If your primary concern is storage I would definitely recommend a 3.5" drive. You can either buy a retail external hard drive or you could buy an OEM hard drive by itself and your own external enclosure to put it in. The second option would probably be the cheapest if you want to get the FireWire but I haven't checked prices.
  13. daysgoby macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2008
    I own 500 gig Western digital ext. hd. the one with USB and firewire. it works fine and pretty good. i use that to store video files (not movies, my own video files from panasonic dvx100, not HD tho)
    it failed on me once and went through hell to retrieve all the datas but that was because i pulled the firewire plug without turning it off properly.. so keep that in mind.
    another one i have is acomdata 250gig with just usb. so far so good i had this one for longer than the western digital one.

    right now, i'm looking into time machine from apple and few others from Lacie. price of these guys came down alot since i got mine.
  14. gibbz macrumors 68030

    May 31, 2007
    I had been using a FW400 500GB Western Digital. I recently picked up a cheap esata express34 card and the Mercury Elite-Al Pro dual sata enclosure from OWC. I plopped in 2 cheap 320GB HDs and now I have a very fast external solution.
  15. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Maybe you should opt for the mac pro?? You can put up to 4 tb worth on the machine And not to mention how much faster it is than the mbp and the ease of access of 4tb drives that you can transfer inbetween which is fast and user upgradability for years to come(gpu and Ram) and you can upgrade monitors as well(hopefully led 23" add in the future!

    But if not then you could always build your own external hd. Make sure you get the firewire 800(transfer speed is very fast compared to the usb 2.0 or firewire 400). I usually move around 100-200gb of hd movies/files and it would be a pain the ass with a USB 2.0, FireWire 400 is ok but prefer 800. Even if you only transfer 20-30gb of files FireWire 800 is godsend.

    You can go to and look under the external firewire section and they sell their own already built external drives or you can buy the external enclosures and add your own hdd.

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