Need Advice--External HDD Enclosures

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by darkplanets, May 25, 2010.

  1. darkplanets macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #1
    Hey guys, I need some advice about external HDD enclosures. More specifically, I have narrowed it down to two, and I need advice as to which one is better.

    This enclosure will be housing a WD Caviar Black 1 TB 7200 RPM Drive, so its going to make some heat and noise. I plan to be using this enclosure quite a bit, so it will be running often (500 GB scratch, 500 GB TM). With that in mind, I have three criteria to consider:

    1) Heat management.
    2) Noise reduction.
    3) Build quality.

    My two (or three) choices are as follows:

    1) IcyDock MB559UEB-1S
    Here

    2) OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro 0GB Quad Interface
    Here

    3) Or whatever else you can recommend that meets my above criteria, with the following additional stipulations: a Quad Interface (Oxford 924 chipset required), 3.5" SATA Drives, and below $110-- fans are allowed.

    Basically I need opinions as to which of the three will meet my requirements above the best.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Why Caviar Black? It's useless as USB or FW will be gapping its speed anyway. Caviar Green is cheaper and as fast when using USB or FW
     
  3. darkplanets thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 6, 2009
    #3
    I've heard bad things about the Caviar Green... besides poor read/write speeds my friend's had reliability issues with a few of them, some of which (3) crapped out after a couple months of use. While the price per GB is fantastic for these drives, I'd hoped to get a drive that lasted so I could potentially use it elsewhere if needed (Hence the Caviar Black). Online reviews as well as friend's experiences indicate that it's a good drive, and while a caviar green 1.5TB is 100, I can still get a 1 TB Black for 100, which isn't too terrible considering the (expected) "quality". :D

    Even if I did get the green, what case would you recommend?
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #4
    I would get the OWC, just because OWC makes great products even though they might cost few tens more. I'm not the best one to recommend as I have no personal experience but I've never heard anything bad about OWC's products
     
  5. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #5
    They are both good choices and I'm sure you will be happy with either one. I don't own either product, but was considering them myself for a recent drive purchase. In the end I decided to stick with an all-in-one external as opposed to a build it yourself. It's amazing how firewire jacks up the cost when it comes to external drives or enclosures.
     
  6. darkplanets thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 6, 2009
    #6
    I would definitely have to agree-- its almost absurd, but thats because FW800 typically comes only on the quad interfaces, which is usually an oxford 924, which clearly costs much more. Ive seen some cheaper FW400 externals (both cases and all-in-ones), but I really do want FW800.

    Just out of curiosity, what all-in-one external did you pick? Do you like it?

    Seagate externals have had poor reviews, as well as WD. It seems neither of which are high quality, with heat and drive failure being a big issue. Also connectivity, as apparently the chip sets they use are either older Oxford chips or just low quality junk. My main reason for building my own was the lack of reliability and poor heat management. OWC's all-in-one seems pretty decent, but I figured for the cost I might as well put a HD in I like instead of the Hitachi Deskstar, which I've heard mixed things about.
     
  7. darkplanets thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #7
    Any more opinions on the thermal capabilities of both enclosures??

    The IcyDock is mostly aluminum with small ventilation holes in the top.

    The OWC case is all aluminum with decent ventilation holes on the front.

    It's a bit nit-picky, but that's pretty much what this purchase is coming down to. Thoughts?
     
  8. CalfCanuck macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    #8
    OWC has eSATA

    For me it's a no brainer, as the OWC has eSATA. This the way to go if you can drop a cheap card in a MacPro or have a MBP with an Expresscard slot.

    The OWC also allows this eSATA option for whatever computer you might own in the future, where you won't have any extra overhead of the bridge that allows the USB/FW connection.

    FYI, I currently have about 18 external HDD's knocking about my office (ranging from USB to FW400 to FW800 to eSATA), and the OWC is one of the few cases I'd bother to recycle with a new HDD. Most of the others aren't worth the hassle.

    And all the nonsense about garbage cases and figuring out what power block works with what external HDD made my last case purchase a 2 bay eSATA Firmtek housing for $180. I bought two extra $18 hot swap trays, so I now have the 4 new 2TB HDDs set up for easy swapping in and out of the Firmtek, with no cabling or power bricks. These pairs rotate into a safe deposit box for my regular backup. No cables, swap out in 10 seconds, 2-4 times the speed of my other HDDs. Should have done this years ago!
     
  9. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #9
    My purchase was a Seagate 2TB Triple Interface (FW800/FW400/USB). My local Micro Center had it on a close out sale for $183.00 and I just couldn't pass that up.

    [​IMG]

    I actually own 4 all in one externals, three of which are Seagates. I also run an old G4 tower as a server that has four 1TB Seagate drives in it. I've never had a problem with any of my externals. My oldest Seagate is going on 4 years now and it works flawlessly. I always go with FW because I want the faster speeds. I must say I really like the new one though. It spins up very quickly from sleep and is very quiet.

    Best of luck with your purchase. I hope everything works out like you want it to. :)
     

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