Mac HD's (ex. g-tech, laCie,iOmega) worth the premium price?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rbkhockey83, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. rbkhockey83 macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2011
    Hi guys, today I bought a 2TB SeaGate GoFlex from BestBuy. I bought it for Time Machine and I'm running iTunes off of it.

    But when I got home I went on Apple's site and all of their "Special Mac drives" cost twice as much. For example the g-tech is 2TB drive is $220, mine only cost me $90.

    Is it worth paying the premium price of those drives over the standard SeaGates/WD's? That are compatible with Win/Mac? I'm debating returning mine and getting a different drive because it seems like a lot of Mac users have problems with their Seagate Goflex spinning down and what not.

  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I use both. I have a LaCie firewire drive and a LaCie Network drive. I also have a WD 2 TB USB drive. The first thing I do when I get a new external drive home is format the thing as HFS+ Journaled. I don't have any windows boxes so there's no need for me to bother with FAT or NTFS formatted drives. Of course Time Capsule or AEBS won't recognize them if you don't format them HFS+ first.

    As for reliability, I think most rotating media is similar. What we are betting on is that two of them won't crash on the same day. Your Mac HDD goes belly up and you replace it restore from your external or NAS before the external or NAS also goes belly up. Of course there's always SSD but I can't afford one of those in the size I really need right now so I compromised and got a "hyrbid SSD" from Seagate. If you have the WD and it's working for you then just keep it. If it's making funny noises or doesn't work well with your Mac after you format it HFS+ then take it back and get one of the ones that tend to sell to Apple customers. You should be able to find them cheaper just about anywhere but Only go there to buy Apple branded stuff and never buy RAM or HDD from Apple unless you have to as they tend to charge a hefty premium. I suggest Crucial and OWC as places to check if you don't have a MicroCenter nearby. Best Buy is also a bit of a waste of time as they don't compare well to online prices.
  3. swedefish macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2008
    I've personally been very lucky with WD MyBook Studio line HDDs which, unlike the regular MyBook line has Firewire 800. However, these drives are definitely intended to be stationary and are not really portable for everyday use, althuogh I have made a transatlantic move with one of mine and it still works as flawlessly as ever.
  4. rbkhockey83 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2011
    I formatted my drive with "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)", I won't be using this drive with any other computer. Will I be able to get a replacement no questions asked if it crashes? (Within a reasonable amount of time, like a year or two). The only problem I have is it goes to sleep and spins down, so when ever I go to play a song after a period of time it has to 're-spin'. I've heard that's what puts the most stress on HD's? The G-tech still costs the same on Amazon and what not :/ But yea I upgraded my 1GB of RAM this year 3GB and used Kingston RAM from Newegg.

    I'm thinking of returning this drive and buying a monitor, then try using an old PC as a server for my iTunes, because that's all I really bought this drive for.
  5. treestar macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2010
    The premium drives are better in some ways. I think G-Tech is fantastic. I read of high failure rates with LaCie drives and I wouldn't rely on one. When I think of WD and SeaGate I feel the same way. Still, most of these drives should have warranties. I think 1-year warranties aren't enough. 3 to 5 years is appropriate. Most companies will replace disks within the warranty period without asking any questions, but can't replace data. You could stick with the GoFlex and if it breaks then you can get a replacement. Backup your data now. You might be able to manage the power settings for the drive in System Preferences to never power down. Don't worry about the repetitive starting and stopping. Drives are designed to do this. It might be more stressful, but it is part of its design. Constant power should help with your seek time issue. I think creating a PC file server would be great as long as you set the power settings to keep disks powered when they are not in use. You should test this now before you return anything. It might help you make a decision. has great prices on G-Technology drives.
  6. rbkhockey83 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2011
    I tried fiddling with the settings and nothing worked, and after reading online everyone seems to have the same problem. I think I'll return it and buy a monitor or get a 1tb G-tech from bhphoto (thanks for the link by the way).

    As far as the server goes, I think it's working fine lol. I turned off all power save settings, then I just turn off the monitor. I've gone hours without touching the computer and I'm still able to access it through my mac. Although, I'm not sure I'm doing it the correct way. I can easily get files off of it and put files onto it by dragging and dropping but I can't "save as" to it. For example, if I'm in word I can't do file>>save as>>192....(server ip). It only allows me to save to iDisk or SeaGate GoFlex (and my internal HD, obviously). I do not know if this is normal or not, I've never worked with servers and I'm not that Tech savvy haha.

    Thanks for you help.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I've come to the conclusion that very few (almost none) of the "premium-priced" hard drives are "worth the price".

    Easier just to spend $25 and get one of these:

    ... and then just add one or more "bare" hard drives of your choice to complete the package.

    If you need firewire, Other World Computing sells their "Voyager" line of docking stations that has firewire 400, 800 and eSATA. Warning: The OWC docking stations boot from USB, but may NOT be bootable when using firewire (not sure why).

    I've had no problems booting up from the "cheap" USB2 docking stations via USB.
  8. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I've been buying OWC Mercury Elite Pro cases and putting bare drives into them. Most of the commercial external drives have sealed cases and if the controller fails you can't access your data by moving the drive. The OWC cases are sturdy and seem reliable. Not the cheapest solution though.
  9. cz9h3d macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2009
    I would not pay the double premium for a Time Machine backup. Of course I did 1.5 years ago, and bought a G-Tech 3.5" external. I think it only makes sense if you need the FireWire for faster transfer speeds compared to USB 2.0. For an unattended backup, who cares?

    I also have a 2.5" Goflex with the FireWire connector - got the connector for something like $15 on sale. You cant daisy chain this drive. I did not pay the premium for the silver Mac version! Just reformat to HTFS as others have said.

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