Most Important Spec for Backup HDD?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Val-kyrie, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. Val-kyrie macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2005
    I am looking to purchase an external, 1TB HDD to backup my 250GB Blackbook: 250GB Clone, with the rest split between archives, TM, and NTI Shadow; although I have considered archiving only to DVD. I am planning to enclose the drive in a NewerTech MiniStack v.2.5. I have narrowed down my choices to:

    WD Caviar Black
    Hitachi 7K1000.B
    Hitachi E7K1000 (but waiting for a review apart from initial speed comparison against the original 7K1000)
    WD Caviar Green 10EADS (not the older 10EACS)

    My concern with the WD is the vibration but it outperforms the Hit 7k1000.B in I/O and access time. The 7K1000.B is a good all-round performer with modest power requirements, so it will hopefully keep cooler longer. The WD is an option but it is the low end performer. So, my question:

    When deciding on a hard drive that functions solely as a backup drive, what is the most important spec(s)? access time? I/O? throughput? sequential read/write speeds? random read/write speeds? Each drive has strengths and weaknesses and knowing which spec(s) is most important would go a long way in helping me decide.

    Also IIRC, the Hitachi and WD Black drives all have 5 year warranties, while the Caviar Green only has a 3 year warranty.
  2. zorahk macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2008
    North Korea
    You are putting way too much thought into this.
  3. spiritlevel macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    If it's just a backup drive then speed is not so important - you want reliability.

    I just a bought a pair of the Hitachi 7K1000.B's for backup for the reasons you mention above.
  4. ThirteenXIII macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2008
    i have good experience with:

    1TB Western Digital Caviar Black
    1TB Samsung F1
    1TB Hitachi (0A35155 HDS721010KLA330)
    1.5TB Seagate (yeah yeah, im not a big fan of seagate personally, but i got them at a great deal and the CC1J firmware is the fixed solution and they all work fantastic for my multimedia maind rive and a back up for it)

    but even the green drives would be good for you.
    so you should generally be good with any of the drives you picked.
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I second this. ;) :)
  6. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    Generally speaking, I'm quite enamoured of WD at the moment in terms of bare SATA drives and usually buy the RE (Raid Edition) versions. They're intended for constant-duty applications so can be reasonably expected to have a higher reliability than the regular drives.
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I'm also interested in the RE series (RE3's to be specific). Unfortunately, they don't work with the ARC-1680 series RAID cards. The RE2's do however. ;)

    Me and my stupid SAS gear... :D :p
  8. Val-kyrie thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2005
    What type of enclosures are you all using?

    I have thought about the NewerTech Ministack, but might also be interested in a multiple bay enclosure (perhaps a server of some sort) to allow for future expansion of backups or to add multimedia files. Thought?

    Edit: I am considering the NT MiniStack simply for its hub properties, but it is not necessary.
  9. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    OP: in regards to my preferred system...

    1. i would recommend the Hitachi HD's, they are always very stable and quick. sure they may be a tad more expensive but thats the price you pay for a good setup.

    2. firewire interfaces are your best bet. DO NOT use USB, because it is pathetic.

    3. if you are going to use a NAS then i would urge you to consider Time Capsule, even me as a pretty intense nerd still finds this tool IMMENSELY effective for backing up. it is quick, sturdy and reliable.

    4. i have 2 MacPower cases, the Taurus range. they are perfect, tri interface. havent had any problems (not caused from the enclosures themselves).
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Just don't expect any customer service. :eek: They won't support their drives if you ever have a problem. Especially with firmware. :(
  11. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    oh wow ok, ive never had a problem so i guess i wouldnt know. thats for the verification i will consider saying that in my next recommendation :p :)
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008

    It turned up when dealing with CalDigit's HDElement box. ;)
    (That's what they used at the time. No idea if it still is though). :eek: :p
  13. OngL macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2009
    Used Western Digital My Studio II - 2TB (2x1TB) RAID setup. It has esata, fw 800 and usb.
  14. maestrokev macrumors 6502a


    Apr 23, 2007
    If you're only using as a backup drive, then you want good power savings mode since most of the time it won't be spinning. Keep in mind that most of the stats you read on review sites have only minor differences in performance and throughput.

    If you're buying the Hitachi drives OEM then they only have 3yr warranties. I just bought 5 Hitachi 7K1000.B and can vouch for them. Hitachi support has been very quick to answer any questions I have about future RMA's.

    Attached Files:

  15. mlts22 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    I'd mainly consider an external drive that can be configured as RAID 1 in hardware, where the Mac thinks it just has one volume. This way, should one of the drives fail, you don't lose your Time Machine saved data.

    I'd consider a Western Digital My Book Mirror Edition which has this functionality built in, and comes in a 1TB and 2TB capacity (so in reality, 500 GB to 1TB after mirrored.)

    Of course, for a high end solution, there is always a Drobo.

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