Good HD for Portable/External - Advice??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mikeshep, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. mikeshep macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2008
    Midwest US
    Hi, I'm looking for recommendation on a reliable external HD that will be used for both media recording and general back-up, anything from 80-200g
    should be sufficient.

    I have recording studios with multiple Macs to transfer large audio files between, which I'd use the portable HD for.

    The other purpose is, for use as a "dedicated" HD that acts when recording in multitrack audio apps like Pro Tools.

    On one hand 7200 speed is suggested for media work but does it matter all that much vs 5400 speed?

    Any known issues to consider with any particular brand as far as my particular use needs?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ... it really depends on if you have an external power supply or want it powered from only your USB port(s)...

    I have a Seagate 100 GB that's worked great and a WD 250 GB that's worked great... both are only USB powered which is why I chose those drives (and they were avail locally/quickly)...
  3. mikeshep thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2008
    Midwest US
    Hmm. tough call. I would like to be able to just run it on bus-power when possible. I'd be using it with 4 or 5 different Macs. All have FW and USB or
    at least USB...

    For audio work, vs data backup, 7200 speeds have been mentioned as a factor but also comes the issue i'm not clear on - isn't the speed limited to that of FW or USB 'capacity' ..? Just trying to reach a sort of quick decision on this and
    it's the only hanging point - I certainly have no issues with my external Seagate 160g drive but it is not nearly as portable and can't be bus powered
    like the OWC Mercury "on the go" deal. I'm pretty sold on that enclosure, just not sure what HD would be best suited -- i guess i'd like to have the ability of "Either" bus power OR regular power.


  4. ThirteenXIII macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2008

    The OWC Mercy on the Go Pro is pretty solid and nice.
    you can pick up one of the sata versions for 28$ that just does USB connections and then pick up a $5 power adapter from OWC aswell if you want to use it as a standalone drive not being powered off the comptuers bus. World Computing/MOTGPWR/

    I picked up a 320GB Westerndigital from newegg for around 70$ to clone my macbooks onto, works great.

    The 7200RPM speed vs the transfer/bandwidth of the device itself operates differently, the RPM of the drive how fast the drive is spinning seeking reading and writing on itself, as opposed to going down a transfer bus (FW, USB) but granted youll definitely get a much more responsive result using 7200 + fw800, but fw400 and usb with the 7200 should also be fine for what your doing.
  5. claimed4all macrumors 6502

    Sep 26, 2008
    If its going to be used for recording, make sure you get one with FIREWIRE, its much fast. I purchased an Iomega 250gb Firewire/USB drive and you would swear it was a diffrent drive if I used USB. Many cases have both Hookups, which would be your best bet.

    Take a look at the Iomegas, bought more than one and a few friends have them also with no issues, and they come in a really nice aluminum case.
  6. iambryan macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2009
    Middle of Nowhere, Alberta
    I have to agree with claimed4all on this one. If you are looking for performance (such as audio/video editing) there is no substitute for firewire. Firewire 800 is the best, second spot goes to Firewire 400 (even though it has a slow transfer rate than USB2).

    The reason behind this is that Firewire is dedicated where USB is shared. This will really show itself when you are doing more than a single task on your machine. Firewire will use less CPU and memory to do the job.

    Next to the 5400/7200 debate... The difference between these rotation speeds is dramatic. Yes, you will need an external power source, but if that is a deal breaker then you may want to look to some gigabit ethernet connected storage rather than toting around a brick to each machine (if they are on the same network of course ;) ). $0.02

  7. mikeshep thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2008
    Midwest US
    #7 bout OWC's drive choice

    Hi and thanks belatedly for these posts in response...

    For simplicity sake, the OWC On The Go Sata Combo (117.00 with the HD
    included) seems suitable for my needs. Anybody know of any "issues"
    with OWC's particular choice of this Hitachi HD ((Travelstar, 7200)

    I'm not real current on the smaller scale drives... Seagates have always
    performed pretty well for media recording but if the Hitachi is a good
    stable model it seems like the OWC on the go Pro would be fine with
    a power adapter. If anyone has a particular recommendation on a
    better HD to go in the enclosure, i'd consider just buying that separately
    and shopping for another HD to put in myself tho.. 200g should easily
    fulfill capacity needs.

    Thanks again for your knowledge and thoughts!


  8. PuckDaddy macrumors regular


    Oct 16, 2008
    looks like the Hitachi Travelstar / WD Scorpio / Seagate Momentus are the better 7200rpm drives for the "On-the-Go" enclosures

    you can get up to 500gb if you choose to go 5400rpm or you can pre-order a Seagate Momentus 500gb / 7200rpm drive, but I think I read somewhere that they didn't work right in these enclosures
  9. EB66 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    if you want portability at all i would say stick to bus powered

    and for the record the mybook i have is not portable in my opinion

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