Hard Drive Questions--external vs. internal w/kit...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by stevietheb, May 19, 2004.

  1. stevietheb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2004
    Hello All...

    Now that I'm actually doing some FCP editing with my iBook, (as opposed to doing it all with nice (though quickly becoming outdated) system at work), I figure it's time to invest in a proper scratch disk.

    I don't need crazy amounts of storage, I'm looking in the 160-250GB range. My upper limit (budget-wise) is $250. I've been looking at either buying a pure external (preferably with both FireWire AND USB 2.0) or buying an internal and one of those kits that allows you to use an internal drive as external. It seems to me that the kit option might be cheaper in the long run, since internals are cheaper, and I would be able to buy another internal drive at a later date--were this one to become crappy/obsolete.

    Here's my major question. When I look at the specs on these drives, the typical data transfer rate for the internals seems to fall in the range of 100-150 MBps, whereas the rates for the externals typically fall into the 400 MBps range. I was wondering if this is true? If using an external drive does actually give you faster transfer rates. If so, why? Are the drives built differently?

  2. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
    Here's the fact. The "pure" external HD is nothing more than an internal HD w/ a fancy case and bigger sticker price. The typical external HD uses 7200 rpm IDE HD w/ a max transfer rate of 66MB/sec if you're lucky. Slapping a Firewire 800 or USB 2.0 interface to a IDE HD won't increase the speed, but it does sound nice. NOTHING goes to 150MB/sec, not even internal SCSI RAID. I'd get a Hitachi/IBM internal HD and a USB 2.0 enclosure for the best performance/price ratio.
  3. musicpyrite macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    Where exactly would you get one of these external enclosures you speak of? I'm in need of a new HD too,
    so...much...music... :D
  4. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    I bought a LaCie 'designed by Porsche' 250GB drive for about $230 and it is small quiet and fast. At the time, I could not find any internal drive and enclosure that came close.
  5. JOD8FY macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2004
    United States
    Go to www.newegg.com and do a search for them. I bought one from there and installed my 200GB 7200 RPM HD into a USB 2.0 enclosure with ease.

    Best wishes,

    EDIT: Forgot to mention that you don't need to buy an enclosure online, they sell them at computer stores like CompUSA also. It's just that online, they're cheaper.

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