HD external enclosure question: is usb sufficient?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pmbooks, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. pmbooks macrumors regular

    pmbooks

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #1
    I'm about to swap out my HD and have an external enclosure (Bytecc BT-280) that's USB 2.0. With 100+ GB to transfer, am I asking for trouble (i.e., should I get a firewire enclosure instead)? Thanks, pm
     
  2. jshbckr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #2
    Depending on what you need, USB 2.0 can work just fine.

    If you're just backing up, like you said, it can work perfectly. In fact, it has a slightly higher transfer speed than FireWire 400. However, it's not as consistent as FireWire 400. Because of this, if you're using the drive to store videos (if you edit) or sound files (working with audio), you're not going to want a USB drive.
     
  3. gwerhart0800 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    Loveland, CO
    #3
    I have an enclosure that is USB 2.0 + FW400. I benchmarked the two interfaces via SpeedTools QuickBench. With FW400, sequential reads peaked at ~39MB/s. For USB 2.0, it peaked at ~23MB/s.

    FW will be the best performing connection method with a Mac. USB seems to perform much better on a PC with Windows. IF you want to "future proof", get an enclosure with USB 2.0/FW400/FW800/eSata ... they cost more, but you are covered for all of the possibilities!
     
  4. macworkerbee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    #4
    I agree with gwerhart, why not just go ahead and future proof it with the quad interface. The enclosures don't cost that much more money and you will have much higher transfer speeds for years to come.
     
  5. pmbooks thread starter macrumors regular

    pmbooks

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #5
    thanks for the speedy replies. I suppose I might use the enclosure for a back-up HD, but really, I'm mostly interested in cloning the old HD onto the new, once it's installed (or maybe before...still have some reading to do before deciding best path). In Carbon Copy Clone it calls for a FW enclosure, but wonder if this is only for the sake of time in transferring (in my case, as I said, about 105GB).

    FOr that matter, I may not need this at all, since I have a FW back-up in place with Time Machine--still have to read up on this option of transferring to the replaced HD.

    Also, what about formatting the new drive? Something about it needing formatting GUID? Not even sure what that's about.

    WD 320GB 7200 coming my way...when I get up the nerve.
     

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