OWC vs WD (or) Drobo - Photographer

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by BJB Productions, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. BJB Productions macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Nov 10, 2008
    Hi all,
    I have owned a referb 1TB WD MyBook Studio for..(i'm amazed to say this..) 5 years and it's still running strong. However, it's finally getting full and now that I have a business, I need to get more serious about storage.

    I'm a wedding photographer so my main use is storing/working with large RAW files and big amounts of data. I also do video once in a while, so I'll be editing off one of them possibly. (A separate drive for video)

    I'm on the fence: I've been so extremely pleased with my WD that I would consider going with them again, however, I seem to be the only one who's lucked out having the drive last that long. Everyone else seems to have them fail often. I live about 10 miles down the road from OWC, and I know their company very well and a lot of people seem to be happy with their drives.

    SO: In your opinion; which is the better option: OWC, or WD?.. (Or Drobo?)

    What I need:
    • FW800
    • Must be fast
    • Good quality and going to last

    A side note; I have BackBlaze, so everything is backed up to the cloud. Obviously, I still want something that is fast, reliable, and going to last me as long as possible.

    Another side note: I've considered the Drobo, but not sold on it. I had a friend who's Drobo crashed and they lost all their work. Was also hoping it would gain Thunderbolt, but Thunderbolt is so expensive it's not even worth looking at. I'm open to this though.

    Thank you
  2. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    Another photographer here: all I buy are OWC enclosures. Sometimes I buy an empty enclosure and install my own drive. It depends on the brand of drive OWC is using when I am in the market...

    I always get a FW800 enclosure.

    I can count on OWC being bootable. Having purchased enclosures that would not boot Macs I'm done with taking a chance on other enclosures.
  3. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    I use two drives for Aperture storage.

    (1) LaCie 2Big Thunderbolt ($650 for 4TB) when my MBP connected to 27" Thunderbolt Display and (2) OWC Mercury Elite Pro mini ($200 for 750GB 7200rpm FW800) when I am mobile. The data is replicated via Vault feature.

    If I was on a budget, I probably would've settle for OWC Mercury Pro Dual mini ($370 for two 750GB 7200rpm for 1.5TB).

    OWC drives are built like a tank and I am very satisfied with them, but I wish blue indicator light wasn't as bright. LaCie is better in this regard, aside from the fact that they are not sold without the drive.
  4. Revelation78 macrumors 68000


    Dec 18, 2008
    North Carolina
    If you like WD, I've grown fond on them in recent years, you should look into the MyBook Live Duo. It has a gig ethernet connection, faster than FW800 and $200 cheaper than the thunderbolt equivalent.

    I would go for the 6TB version; then I would mirror the internal drives. Thus you would have 3TB of storage and a 1:1 copy on the second 3TB drive. This would give you great speed, reliability and data backup.

    I got rid of my Drobo, I did like it, due to the proprietary raid implementation they use. Makes data recovery in the event that the Drobo fails rather difficult.

    You can also look into other NAS setups like Synology that will allow you to have more drive, thus more storage - you only run into similar issues as the Drobo.
  5. auero macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2006
    I was in a similar situation as you a few months ago.

    I had a growing (legal) media library of blu-ray backups and I was getting tired of using externals. I decided to look into different products like Drobo but found it to be incredibly slow. Synology makes a popular device but I didn't get to try it.

    Ultimately, I bought some computer parts and created a file server running Ubuntu. I'm not sure how technical you are but this was the fastest and easiest solution for me. I house 10TB of data and run services throughout my house now on this box. FreeNAS is an alternative to Ubuntu.

    It comes down to how much space you need. I'd recommend RAID 1 so you have a duplicate copy of anything you have.

    I also have to mention that the cost of this was ~$150-200 without hard drives. Although at the time, I was getting 2TB for $70 before the floods occurred.

    If you look into anything WD, google wdidle3. A lot of their "green" drives and externals have this enabled and it makes the head inside the drive park too frequently, eventually killing the hard drive. There is a way to disable it though. I saved two drives after hearing it and googling to see what it could have been. The health on both drives dropped to 80% after only a few months use.

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