Looking to buy a new External drive to for Apple's TimeMachine

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macaddict23, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. macaddict23 macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2006
    MacVille, USA

    I will be upgrading to Leopard in a few weeks In the meantime, I would like to buy a 500GB+ external drive that I can use for TimeMachine. My budget is around $300.

    Current Machine: A 2GHz Dual-Core G5 with I believe has both FW400 & FW800, and USB 2.0

  2. overanalyzer macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2007
    Boston, MA USA
  3. ginger.al@gmail macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2007
    From asking people of their experience, I found out that Lacie and Maxtor are the preferred brand among professional when it comes to backing up important data. They tries to aviod Western Digital and Seagate as much as possible.

    With that said, I just brought this baby. Link.
  4. J@ffa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2002
    Behind you!
    The professionals I know stay as far away from LaCie as possible, since they never know what type of drives are used (LaCie just make the enclosures). Western Digital have a bad reputation from the nineties, but they're fine now really. Seagate purchased Maxtor, so they're about the same, and Seagate are one of the best brands going. On Amazon, Seagate's excellent FreeAgent Pro is $189.99, and the top-of-the-line 750GB model is $253.33. :)
  5. garethh macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2006
    I was thinking of buying a new drive to replace my current external and was considering whether I should get one with just a USB2.0 connection instead of a more expensive alternative with FireWire as well. The current one has FireWire which I use, but is it an advantage nowadays? Is USB good enough?
  6. filmgirl macrumors regular

    May 16, 2007
    Firewire still has an advantage in that it has a constant speed of 400mbps, whereas USB 2 takes time to build to 480mbps -- but honestly, if you are using it for backup, or even for running movies or music off the drive, USB2 is just fine. If you are doing something where you need really, really fast read/write access, well, eSATA should be your aim anyway (assuming your Mac supports it or can take an expansion card) - but Firewire would still be better.

    Honestly, for 99% of users, I really think USB2 is sufficient.

    Also, one note on the Seagate Free Agent drives -- depending on when it was made (and that can be hard to tell - because they look the same on the outside), they overheat like a mofo - because there is little ventilation and the case isn't aluminum, but metal/plastic. A 5-year warranty is great, but kind of moot if it is voided if you have to rip the thing open to have a shot at recovering your data if your external overheats.

    I actually like the MyBook series, in terms of ventilation. Just my opinion, but I'd look at Iomega (they typically use Seagate drives inside their enclosures) or WD unless you can be guaranteed that the FreeAgent isn't one of the older design models that overheats.
  7. J@ffa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2002
    Behind you!
    If you were to purchase one now though, from an online store like Amazon that sells their stock very quickly (as opposed to a bricks and mortar store that keeps old stock for yonks), you'd be fine, right?
  8. filmgirl macrumors regular

    May 16, 2007
    I think Amazon or NewEgg would be fine -- I would be weary about Tiger Direct or a place that is smaller/doesn't have a huge reputation.
  9. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2003
  10. TimJim macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    the online apple store has a 500gb usb for $140 i think
  11. jackc macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
    Unfortunately there are horror stories about any brand. I think you've pretty much got to buy one of the well-known brands and take your chances.

    I had a LaCie that died on me, now I'm using Seagate, so far so good.
  12. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    Firewire vs. USB

    On a related note...

    I am in the same position (looking for a Time Machine drive), but I already have a firewire drive I can use. The problem is the best way to back up all the machines in the house would be to connect a drive to the network using an airport extreme (haven't got one yet though), and the associated USB hole on the back of it.

    I have always used FireWire instead of USB as I prefer it. Also, everyplace I have ever worked uses FireWire drives and every Mac user I know uses FireWire drives, but the current Airport Extreme does not connect to anything but USB drives.

    Since I was thinking of buying the Airport Extreme soon anyway, does anyone know if it will be supporting FireWire soon? It seems lame to purchase a giant USB drive when I already have access to a giant FireWire drive.
  13. thestaton macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2006
    Would it be more efficient to buy say 2, 500GIG drives and an enclose that supports 2 drives? Join them via raid then let time machine do the backing up?

    Or is this crazy speak and I should just get a 1TB FW drive?
  14. jimmayor007 macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2007
  15. brobson macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2004
    The Maxtor is $229.00 at Frys
    It was on sale $179.00 but the reg price is good too
  16. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    It's cheaper to get two 500GB drives. In fact, it's cheaper to get three 500GB drives than one 1TB one, for the most part.

    If this is for backup, I strongly recommend getting two 500GB drives in a RAID 1 (mirrored) setup, or three in a RAID 5 setup. Any manufacturer's drives can fail at any time (I had one in my MBP replaced, and then the replacement failed a few months later, for example). A single drive is always a bad idea for backup... although it's a lot better than no drive at all for backup.

    And as for USB vs FW: I think it's always better to get external enclosures that support multiple formats, because you might be able to move to the faster FW or eSATA connections later. USB is terribly slow, and your initial backups will take forever and a day.
  17. paddykev macrumors member


    Oct 16, 2007
    I've just purchased a Freecom external 500gb hard drive. It only has USB 2.0 but for the things i'll be doing on the machine that’s more than enough for me. I opted for the Freecom because it didn't have an internal fan so I know its going to be quiet. I think they use the case to dissipate heat much like the mbp and also it was cheap :) which always help.
  18. naftalim macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2007
    Vancouver, BC
    I had a LaCie 500GB USB/FW/400/800 for a while and now a LaCie 1TB and they work nicely, very quiet. The 1TB cost me $329.00 at Future Shop here in Canada and I use it on FW800. Don't use any Retrospect Software that comes with the drive, they are terrible. Go with SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner instead.
  19. armani macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2007
    New Western Digital My Book Studio Edition is a great buy. You can buy it on Amazon for 195. I have been using my book drives and they work great. I am probably going to buy one for myself.
  20. armani macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2007
    I have just gotten Lacie as well, 1TB for 329. But buzzing sound when drives are accessed is a little bit annoying. I am not sure I'd keep it. If I knew WD new studio edition came out, I would probably not go for Lacie. BUT, it does seem to be working OK. After I bought Lacie I spoke to my fellow at post production facility, as I remembered they used Lacie, and he said to stay away from it. He said it frizzed both Mac many times, would not mount, would shut down for no reason.... weird, used to be great drives, but lately many people complained about them.
  21. dhubb macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2007
    Oregon Coast
    Hard Drive for Time Machine

    I have decided to go with 500GB NewerTech miniStack v3 7200RPM 16MB Cache Performance eSATA / FireWire 800/400 + USB2 Drive, Powered Hub. hooked up to my airport extreme. 239.99. I like the fact it is a powered hub, so I can hook printer and harddrive to my airport extreme.
  22. edenwaith macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2001
    I've had pretty good luck with the d2 line of LaCie products. However, stay away from the Porsche-designed LaCie drives, those don't seem to disperse heat very well and have not been very reliable.

    I just went through a pile of dead hard drives, and 6 of them were Western Digital, 2 Seagates, and 2 Maxtors.
  23. Bengt77 macrumors 68000


    Jun 7, 2002
    Bootable backups?

    Can Time Machine make bootable backups? That's the only way I want to make backups: as a perfect clone of my internal hard drive from which I can boot up. Then, if my internal drive fails, I can just boot from the external drive, replace the internal with a new drive, and back down from the external. Right now I use SuperDuper! for this, which I love. Will Time Machine be a worty replacement?

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