Need External HDD help!

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

  1. theman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2007
    I am going to get a 500gb external for Time Machine and to install games on (my MBP HDD is only 120gb, not enough for games and other files together). I will probably store large files on it also like movies, shows, etc.

    So it needs to be a pretty fast drive. I am pretty sure I want a firewire drive, but my options seem to be limited and more expensive compared to USB.

    I don't have much to spend so I am trying to keep it below $150 if possible...

    My question is basically what will generally perform better from the options I have, being:

    1. A firewire external drive (these are kind of too pricey, mostly in the $200 range...)

    2. A SATA internal drive with a firewire enclosure (for some reason, i can find only 1-2 of this type of enclosure, 3.5", SATA, Firewire. They cost $60-$70. So I can get an internal SATA 500gb for $89. The total would be over $160, not too bad.

    3. An IDE internal drive with a firewire enclosure. These enclosures are way cheaper, and there are lots of them. I can get it for $24. The IDE drives are a bit more expensive so that would be $105. So total would be about $130. So that's definitely cheaper, but would the performance of the IDE drive hurt me? Both the SATA and IDE are seagate drives BTW.

    4. USB external - i think i can get it for $120. not sure how it will perform though, in games...

    Basically, i am just not sure what the performance benefits are for the prices... does it really matter if I get a SATA or IDE drive? would IDE+firewire be slower than USB?

    just offer me some words of wisdom...

  2. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    On an external drive, you really won't notice the difference between IDA and SATA, so I wouldn't worry about that.

    Firewire is worth having - it's noticeably faster than USB2. Personally I'd be inclined to buy one of the cheaper LaCie firewire models - the housings are nicely made and, at least here in the UK, it's tough to build anything better for less.

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