MyBook External Hard Drive - USB or Firewire???

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by icemantx, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. icemantx macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    I am in need of an external hard drive for backups of my new 24" iMac due to arrive on Wednesday March 25. I am moving from the PC works (old Dell) and will need something larger than the old one I have for the long term. I have an old external hard drive case and a 250GB ATA hard drive inside I can use for the time being with the new Mac if I reformat it.

    That said, I would like to get a drive that is at least equal to what is in the iMac with is 1 TB.

    I have read a lot of postings and believe I will get a Western Digital MyBook for Time Machine backups (unless someone has a better alternative). Is there any reason to get the Studio 1 or II (FW 800) over the Essential (USB 2.0) for my purposes - backups only? The price difference is $40-80 for equivalent drive space with connections being the difference.

    If anyone can provide feedback it will be greatly appreciated!
  2. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    If you're using it solely for Time Machine backups, then USB will be more than good enough for you. Granted the FireWire 800 has much greater speeds that you will notice for the initial backup, the incremental backups afterwards will probably be small enough for you not to be able to notice a huge difference in speed. Unless somebody could provide another reason to go with the FireWire models over the USB one, I say save your money and go with the USB.

    Just my 2 cents.
  3. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    If you're going to use the drive just for backups, USB should be perfect.

    If you're going to use the drive for anything in addition to backups, i.e. storing and playing back digital video, using high end video editing or sound editing apps, etc., then you may want to go FireWire. It'd be faster in that case. You could still use USB for that stuff, but you'd probably see some slowdown.

    So if you're just using it for Time Machine, USB is great.
  4. icemantx thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    Yes, for now I can only see the need to use the external hard drive for Time Machine. With 1 TB internal to the iMac, I think I should be able to do whatever iMovie video editing I may need to do. I am going to get a HD Camcorder soon, but will not be taking hours and hours of video of our 3 month old right now...

    If my needs change down the road, I could always use the USB drive for time machine and add a FW 800 drive for video editing.

    Would you consider the MyBook from Western Digital the best choice for a 1 TB drive to go with my 1 TB internal to the iMac?
  5. ender78 macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2005
    I have always purchased my own enclosures without a drive and then bought a drive on my own. This was a bigger deal in the past when the externals only had a 1 year warranty.

    I have purchased a few enclosures from OWC [] and purchased my hard drives locally. I want to be able to choose which drive goes into my enclosure.

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