Icy Dock Solution For Back Up and Media Center

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by chkdg8, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. chkdg8 macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2007
    So I've been reading and researching all threads concerning backup storage solutions and comparing them to reviews on newegg and amazon. Sifting through them took some time and patience but I think I narrowed it down to some decent items. I think it was Cave Man who mentioned in one of his posts that he'll never again settle for another "canned" drive and I'm beginning to think that this is solid advice considering the costs involved in data retrieval. I'd rather spend a couple more dollars up front than thousands recovering data.

    I almost pulled the trigger on a WD My Book Studio II but there were several complaints that daisy chaining through FW800 was a major issue and their tech support isn't even aware of this feature. I even considered a 1TB Time Capsule but I think my needs will be met with either the ICY DOCK MB559UEB-1S or ICY DOCK MB662UEAB-2S or both!

    I have a HUGE media library and I'm running out of space on my iMac so I need to make a decision fast. I'm thinking of making the 1S my dedicated backup for Time Machine and the 2S for all of my media. Now what it comes down to are the actual hard drives. I'm debating between Seagate or WD and even some Hitachi drives are pretty decent. 1.5TB are out of the picture for me because I've read several posts in regards to instability issues with 1.5 drives. So it'll be either 1TB or I'll bump it up to 2TB drives.

    As far as price in concerned, it might just be cheaper to stick with a 2X-1S Icy Dock set up and just daisy chain it through FW800 than deal with RAID and pulling hairs on choosing the proper drives for the 2S. Your thoughts.
  2. esaleris macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2005
    I do this exact thing with two of the ICYDOCK 1S via FW800 daisy chained to my Mac mini. Each of them have Western Digital 1TB "Green" drives in them. For media, I wouldn't bother doing striped RAID or anything - unless you are talking about mirror - because you never know what can happen to the drive, controller, etc. to cause complete loss of data. Plus, for media (I assume music and movies), FW400 should be enough, much less 800 - I have no problems streaming DVDs off of it.

    I have an additional two drives that I have on an additional tray that I use for backups via Time Machine, which I switch out at my safety deposit box every so often (though I haven't been good with that recently).

    One thing to watch out for is if you leave the 1S on all the time, the drives get pretty hot. I haven't had issues, but I'm well aware that heat eventually translates into shorter equipment lifespan. That said, the 2S features that fan, which is pretty nifty. One other note is that the 2S doesn't feature trays that are swappable with the 1S, unfortunately.

    P.S. - I bought some nice, attractive, short FW800 cables from OWC - check them out.
  3. chkdg8 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2007
    This is great news. Thank you for your review. One thing that I wondered about your setup was your choice in the WD Green drives because they run at 5400rpm. Why didn't you go with a 7200? Price?

    Edit: You mentioned that the drives get hot if left on for a longer period of time. I turn off my iMac every night and so is it safe to turn off the Icy as well?
  4. esaleris macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2005
    The Green drives are specifically tailored toward low power consumption (and indirectly, lower temperature) operation. Do NOT use them in a RAID context, as they are designed to park the head after very short periods and apparently, RAID wears them out (see newegg.com reviews of the WD10). It makes sense with this design philosophy that they are the slower 5400rpm - but I've never needed them to be faster...

    I've not fully investigated what made mine hot yet, to be honest. Sometimes I will leave them on the entire day, as it is my SimplyMedia server, and I'll come home and it will just be warm. But there are a number of instances where I will wake up and it's just piping hot. It may have something to do with whether or not the host machine was able to sleep the hard drive...

    FYI - I stand mine straight up, so the vents face up, and - I assume - convection is doing a better job cooling the unit.
  5. chkdg8 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2007
    Ok, so I'm ready to purchase the Icy Dock 1S from newegg. Now, what would be a good 1TB drive to stream media from? esaleris, do you still recommend the WD Green drives?

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