I want to start using non-enclosed external hard drives. Is this the hardware I need?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by oxband, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. oxband macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #1
    I am starting to use a lot of hard drives cause of HD film. Because of this, I want to stop buying "normal" external hard drives and buy non-enclosed ones.

    I dont know what I need to put them into, however. I'm guessing I need something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153071

    Am I right? What is a quality brand for this type of product?
     
  2. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #2
    Something like that would work for connecting one drive at a time. I have one from Newer Tech. Works fine, but I don't use it to store active content - just backups. I couldn't tell you if there is a better brand available - I've seen several of these and they all look identical - makes me suspect they are all the same and just marketed under different brands.

    I think something like a Drobo would be more convenient though. The drobo is sort of unique in that you can easily mix and match drives, or add drives on the fly. So start out with a single 1TB Drive and add more as you need more space.

    With the device you linked, you are going to have bare drives sitting around and have to swap them in and out to get to parts of you content.
     
  3. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    I've been using that product (or at least one that looks identical) for over a year now for backups that I then store offsite. The cost of housings for this limited use application was getting to me! One thing to keep in mind is that these "toasters" don't do FW800 so will be slow. That's all right for my use but might not be for yours. The NewerTechnology Voyager toasters from OWC have FW800 interfaces and will have 2x the transfer rate.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. ytk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    #4
    That's exactly what I've been doing for the past few years, and it's worked out great so far. The savings is substantial—not just in terms of cost, but space and hassle as well (having just bare drives means no lost power adapters to chase down). I have about 30 bare drives now, of which I mainly use ten or so. The rest are backups and archived material.

    I use one of these: http://www.sansdigital.com/towerraid-plus/tr8mbp.html. It can hold 8 drives at a time, and connects over eSATA, so you need a separate card. I'm not sure if the one it comes with is Mac compatible, but I went with a RocketRaid Quad eSATA card (http://store.apple.com/us/product/TW106LL/A. The whole thing isn't quite as simple as just popping a drive in the reader (I have a couple of those too, but they don't get much use to tell the truth), but it's pretty simple to change out the drives. I've had this setup for about a year now, and it's been quite reliable.

    If you have the bucks, though, you might even want to step it up a bit and go with SAS instead of eSATA. You can still use eSATA drives that way, but the connection to the computer is faster. For that, you'd need one of these, which I believe is bundled with a RocketRaid 2722, which should be Mac compatible.

    One nice thing about doing it this way is you can easily set up a RAID 0 or 5, which is particularly handy for high bandwidth stuff like HD editing (particularly if you're doing any onlining). I use a RAID 0 of four drives, and do regular backups (remember: RAID 5 does NOT count as a backup!) to another pair of drives I have installed in the Mac Pro's internal drive bays. If you do go that route, don't bother spending the extra money on the 7200 RPM drives for your system. The "green" drives work just as well, if not better, for a RAID—as spindle speed only affects latency, not throughput—and tend to be substantially cheaper.

    Lastly, these are really handy for storing bare drives. They fit a 3.5" drive perfectly, and provide great environmental protection for handling or transport. Not a whole lot of shock protection, I guess, but modern hard drives are surprisingly tough.

    Of course, this is all assuming you have a Mac Pro. :) If not, avoid USB like the plague for doing video. If you can't get this setup to work over eSATA or FireWire, don't bother—your performance will just plain suck. You might want to go with one of these instead (the version that has FireWire, obviously). A bit more expensive than the one you linked, but you won't want to bang your head against the desk when your system is dropping frames like they're on fire.
     
  5. oxband thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #5
    What other products exist that can let me use and write to more than one hard drive at once?
     
  6. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    #6
  7. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #7
    I have one of these and have been satisfied with it. In JBOD mode you can access both disks simultaneously/independently. The version I have (2009) wouldn't spin down and sleep in JBOD mode with Snow Leopard, and after I told them about it they put a notice on the unit's page saying so. Evidently it was an Oxford 936 problem. It's not there now, so presumably it's fixed.

    http://oyendigital.com/hard-drives/store/RS-M2QO.html

    It's an interesting set up -- you load drives from the top. Swapping them in and out is very easy. If you buy a few extra handles, time-to-swap is under a minute.
     
  8. oxband thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #8
    It seems like I can only use one hard drive at a time with this. Am I right? I feel like I'd want to dock more than one at once so i can be backed up at all times, but that might be overkill.
     
  9. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #9
    If you're responding to my post -- no, you can have 2 at once in the Oyen Digital case.

    They also have a 4 drive unit.
     

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