Recommendations on portable external FW800 HD?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Ruahrc, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #1
    I have a WD My Passport Studio which has a dual USB2/FW800 interface. It was working fine on my old Powerbook G4 but when I upgraded to my new MBP I noticed that heavy IO on the drive when connected via FW800 causes the drive to hang, and subsequently hangs the entire computer. Shuttling files back and forth seems to be pretty reliable but I've worked off the drive when doing photos in LR and it seems to crash it pretty regularly if I'm not careful.

    I read online that others have had this problem too and it seems to be some kind of hardware issue and honestly I don't expect there to ever be a fix. Using the drive over USB2 seems to be reliable but there is a performance penalty with the slower interface.

    I was thinking of retiring the drive to do USB-based archive duty of my Time Capsule (this would simplify my current backup scheme a little), and replacing my "working" external drive with a new USB2/FW800 external that does not have such problems. Anyone have recommendations?

    I am aware of the OWC enclosure but personally I don't care much for the looks and would like to see if there are other alternatives as well.

    I had to go to the Apple Store today to get some service on my computer. I mixed up the appointment time and ended up arriving early. While I was there waiting I looked at the external drives they had available there and was wondering if anyone had experience with some of the other brands. I saw there was an iomega eGo which was USB2/FW800. I liked that it had a metal enclosure and also the dual interface. Anyone use this drive or know of problems with it?

    Other recommendations?
     
  2. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #2
    I'm very happy with my 500GB G-Tech G-DRIVE mini. It has a metal enclosure, USB, and FireWire 800. When used with USB, I have to hook it up to two of the USB ports on my MacBook Pro, but since I always use it with FireWire, it's a non-issue.
     
  3. quantum003 macrumors 6502a

    quantum003

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    #3
    I didn't expect to love it, but the Iomega 500GB 7200RPM triple interface (FW 400, 800, USB2.0) has really won me over. It's a sleek looking red drive that performs perfectly and was cheap enough for my boss to spring for; probably around $120.
     
  4. Twin B macrumors newbie

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    Aug 13, 2009
    #4
    A couple of months ago after I bought my iMac, I was spending some quality time in the local Apple store with one of the sales kids. He was pushing me into buying a LaCie 1TB external for well over $200. I'm glad I resisted because I've read some online reviews from unhappy LaCie owners. I still don't have one but I'm leaning toward the OWC package with the external case and a Hitachi 1TB drive. Looks don't matter to me because I plan on hiding it behind my 24" display. Also, prices are dropping faster than Obama's popularity rating.

    (So ah, Quantum there, ah, whadda want to talk about? And what is this hidden forum of which you speak? I'm the new guy in town.)
     
  5. rkdiddy macrumors 65816

    rkdiddy

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    #5
    If you can swing the G-tech that is one of the best externals IMHO. Not only do they look sweet, I've heard nothing but positive things about them.
     
  6. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    #6
    This is the WDMT5000TN? I bought this in April for use with my 15" 2.2ghz MacBook Pro SR and haven't noticed any problems (paid $139 for it from NewEgg).

    On a unrelated noted, I'm looking for a regular desktop external hard drive with Firewire 800.
     
  7. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #7
    Try this. :D
     
  8. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    #8
    wow, nice link. A lot information to go through and consider. I'm hoping to buy something soon and would like a nice deal.
     
  9. nukiduz macrumors 6502

    nukiduz

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    Apr 23, 2006
    #9
    I'm between the models you guys have mentioned. My question is if they power from their FW800 port or if they need the power cable to be pluged in. Thanks!
     
  10. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #10
    I believe both are Firewire powered.
     
  11. Ruahrc thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #11
    Do you know if the internal drive is easily swappable with that G-Drive mini? It looks like it has some screws on the bottom and might be pretty easily opened for a drive swap. Right now my WD external is 400GB and I'd probably buy a 500GB in the new external. Ideally I would swap the 400GB drive in the Passport with the 500GB drive in the new external, so that I could use a 500GB drive in the Passport and have it match the size of the TC's internal drive. I don't need more than 400GB with the external drive anyways so using the 400GB in a new enclosure is fine with me. The price tag of that G-drive seems pretty high but if it's easily user swappable it amy be worth the premium. Compact size is something I'd look for too as the Passport is pretty compact. The Iomega drive seems unecessarily wide owing to the swooshed curves of the casing.

    Where do you find that identifier? This is an external not an internal drive. It shows up in Disk Utility as "WD PP III Studio II Media"

    Ruahrc
     
  12. Rizvi1 macrumors 6502a

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    Laurel, MD (Baltimore, MD / Washington, DC area)
    #12
    I found that identifier looking at the box to the Western Digital My Passport Studio 500 gb. Order# WDMT5000TN, model WD5000MT-00
     
  13. anthemus macrumors regular

    anthemus

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    Denver
    #13
    Personally I just configured an esata option. The card takes care of the I/O processing freeing up CPU cycles. This should mean increased performance. Also the card support Port Multiplying so you can put a sizable raid on this card. More bandwidth than firewire 800. My plans include HD editing and after effects.

    Express Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16839104018

    Hard Drive:

    Single 1.5TB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822186166

    RAID-0 2TB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822204072
     
  14. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #14
    Perhaps Obama's harddrive.

    Firewire 800 bus powered clear case, 3 year warranty.
    http://obamapacman.com/store/clear-case-portable-storage-external-laptop-hard-drive/

    You can, I am guessing all 2.5" SATA drives would work but you'll void the warranty on the G-Drive (they have a do not remove sticker covering some of the screws).

    Firewire drives has its own chip for transfers, thus more expensive than USB but do not use CPU (you are thinking about USB which uses CPU power).

    esata is not bus powered, yes it can be faster but I think bus powered is much more portable for laptops.
     

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