I Promise: NOT another generic "which external should i buy?"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by drewsof07, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #1
    Okay, before you jump all over me, I have Mroogled and can't find enough information to make a conclusion.
    I've narrowed my search for a FW800 drive to the LaCie D2 Quadra 1TB or the WD MyBook Studio 1TB as both are in my price range and have received relatively similar reviews.

    My questions:
    1. I've read mixed opinions from users here about their experiences of failure with both Lacie and WD drives. Is there anywhere that I can find raw data of failure rates?
    2. Also, from the two I listed, which company has the best warranty (and customer service). Because I realize that sometimes paying a little more will reap benefits of superior customer service in the long run should I have an issue.
    3. Both those models are offered in refurbished flavors for $20-30 less than New. What are your experiences with refurbished drives?
    4. The Lacie drive has a 32mb buffer whereas the WD has 16mb, will there be a significant speed boost from the larger buffer?
    FWIW, this drive will be mainly used for my backup and photo storage to free up space on the MBP, so it will not run 24/7 but still fairly often.
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    As with any external, after ejecting you need to wait for drive to spin down (few seconds or more) if you want to power it off safely.

    3. Refurb harddrives typically have much reduced warranty and not really useful.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    If all you need is a simple FW800 external, Just go to OWC, buy a FW800 Enclosure and buy aSeagate SATA 1TB drive from anyplace. The seagate drive will have a five year warranty and cost about $100. Put the drive in the box and be done with it. OWC's house brand boxes are 1st quality aluminu with Oxford chips.

    I have no idea what is inside the boxes you listed but if yu do the above you will know what you are getting and save a few $$ in the process
     
  4. 321estrellas macrumors 6502

    321estrellas

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #4
    Another vote for the OWC externals (I have the Mercury Elite-Al Pro). Maybe it's not saying much that I only had it about a year or a bit more, but it's been working flawlessly ever since (I also switched drives once and archived the stock drive).

    As you mentioned, you found mixed reviews with the externals you listed. I honestly couldn't find any negative reviews of the OWC drives before I ended up buying it.
     
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #5
    None that are reliable. A company sure isn't going to release any undoctored numbers, while outside organizations won't be able to get access to the data.

    You should get a 5-year warranty no matter what brand you buy. If it does not have a 5-year warranty, don't even consider it. As far as doing an actual warranty return I have found that in most cases it requires site registration, filing the return, and printing out a shipping label.

    Experience has been fine, but I've only had 2. Not the greatest sample size, so I won't comment. The warranty issue is a good reason not to buy one though.
     
  6. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #6
    If you don't mind paying a little more for a better warranty, shop based on that and not the $20-30 you might save going with a refurb.

    If you're strictly using this as a backup drive, I wouldn't worry about the buffer size - speed isn't going to be too much of an issue. If you plan on using the drive routinely for read/write access due to productivity and not just backup, you may notice a difference.
     
  7. Big Boss Man macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    #7
    Just assemble your own. I have had good experiences with Samsung Spinpoint drive. 1TB will cost about $100. Add an external enclosure for about $30 or so and you get an external drive for about $130.
     
  8. drewsof07 thread starter macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #8
    The cheapest FW800 enclosure I can find is like $80 plus the $100 for a 1TB drive puts me at $180. I am leaning toward the Mybook at $149 from Newegg. They offer a 5 year warranty, and I don't think I can find a better deal than that for a quad interface 1TB drive. :eek:
    And I'm not just trying to find the cheapest drive, I want the best value and bang for my buck.
     
  9. Love macrumors 68000

    Love

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    Just southeast of Northwestshire
    #9
    I've had a lot of issues with WD - poor customer service, at least six drives I've had from them have failed within six months.
     
  10. Big Boss Man macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    #10
    Does it have to be FW800? I got the Macally G-S350SUA from Newegg for $30-40. It has USB/FW400/eSATA. I mainly use the eSATA connection. It works fine with my Samsung Spinpoint drives.

    $149 for the Mybook sounds like a decent price too. I don't have any experience with them though.

    Whatever you decide make sure any important data is backed up to a second external drive or discs. No HD manufacturer has a 0% failure rate.
     
  11. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #11
    Why bother with FW800 anyways? If you're just using it as a backup drive for TM and maybe another partition to use as traditional external storage space, USB will be fine.
     
  12. drewsof07 thread starter macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #12
    Well I plan to keep all my photos on the drive and run them through Lightroom over firewire, freeing up space on my internal drive. My photos folder is approaching 20gb :eek: I could do the same with my music and iTunes. Also I'm trying to cut down on transfer time. I get stir-crazy waiting on the TM backup to complete. It usually takes about 2hr, and the computer is "docked" during that time so I can't take it with me. Not to mention freeing up a USB port.
    Also, I want firewire so I can use it with my Powermac too. Since FW800 is backwards compatible with 400, it seemed like a logical choice to use with my UMBP and Powermac.
     

Share This Page