Seagate Freeagent or WD Passport series?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nph, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. nph macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2005
    I am looking at getting a portable drive as a companion to my existing MBP or future MBA.

    WD Passport elite/essential and Seagate Freeagent seems to be in the same price range.
    What would you recommend judging by:
    - speed
    - reliability
    - quietness?

    Bta, USB only is fine for me at the moment.

  2. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    Ah ha... I'm in the same boat here, except I would like Firewire, so I guess I'm heading down the WD route; the Seagate dock doesn't support firewire does it?

    I managed to send my WD 320GB Studio desktop drive crashing off my desk... clever stuff. Predictably it wasn't so happy about the treatment.

    Seagate portables look better imo:cool:

    Edit: All my previous WD purchases have been excellent. Solid products. Desktop drives are super silent.
  3. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    Seagate and Western Digital are the two most-respected names in hard drives, and their offerings are almost exactly the same in terms of quality and price. Either one will work fine.

    Seagate offers FireWire on its FreeAgent Pro model, and Western Digital in a number of its more-expensive lines. Again, generally the same pricing for the same features/quality.

    Seagate has been getting some bad press of late for firmware issues that are leading to widespread drive failure, but I don't believe the drives used in the FreeAgent line are affected.
  4. joedavis34 macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2007
    I've used a seagate freeagent for 3 years now and it's great...

    It's just now too small for me to back up everything so I bought a WD My Book 1 TB for 120 dollars today.
  5. nph thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2005
    I meant Freeagent Go

    Sorry, of course I meant Freeagent Go vs WD Passport portable drives.

  6. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    Ah, well I have a 160 GB FreeAgent Go and absolutely love it. I have all my games and movies installed on there, so I can take it over to friends' houses to play, or tuck it at the bottom of my file drawer during exam times. I'm sure the WD Passport is basically the same.

    Bottom line: you can't go wrong with either. Just buy whichever you think looks nicer and is cheaper.
  7. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    I went with the WD Passport, its the 320GB? version. 320 or 360 whatever 300 number they sell. Point is I haven't had any problems with it. And yes it does work on both my Mac and Windows partition which is fantastic, and on top of that I like the gloss black look and the sleeve that comes with it which I just keep it in. It was on sale for around $100, I couldn't pass it up.
  8. scubasteve03 macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2008
    Tulsa, OK
    Passport essential

    I purchased a silver 320Gb WD Passport Essential about 3 months ago and I love it. It matches my MB Alu perfectly. It's USB only which is great for me. Transfer speeds are on avg 20mb/sec. It already has 260Gb on it with all my music and movies. It is easy to carry around every where my laptop goes. It has it's own little case that I purchased for like $15. I am able to just plug it in and play all the movies right off of the HD. You don't have to copy the file to your HD to play or listen to the file. I paid $99 for it at Best Buy. It comes with a 3yr warranty from WD. You can't go wrong with this guy, unless you need the 500Gb model which runs around $150ish. If you have any other questions, let me know.
    Oh yea, it is very quiet. You can't even hear it. Also if you look on amazon, you will see nothing but 5 star reviews. WD is know for their quality. Read some of the reviews on amazon. Make sure you always have your data backed up in at least 2 places
  9. xilni macrumors member


    Jan 16, 2009
    Washington, DC
    I have a FreeAgent Xtreme 1TB and I haven't had any problems at all with it. Very satisfied so far. As far as connectivity goes it has USB 2.0, 2 x Firewire 400, and eSata.
  10. hvp macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2008
    I have 3x 320Gb WD Passport drives.
    1 is used for swapping stuff about, 1 as a media library containing all my music, photos etc and the 3rd is a permanent backup of the library.

    The media one is used for many hours every day, the swapping one is used erratically, sometimes moving large data sets and often being left idle. The backup is used very rarely apart from syncing with the media one every couple of months.

    I haven't had any problems with any of them and would definitely rate them highly. I don't have any experience with Seagate drives so i can't comment on them. When i (eventually) get my MBP I will most likely fit a WD 7200 500Gb into it, assuming one exists at the time!

    Hope this helps,

  11. Patriks7 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2008
    I'd go with the WD! I have like 3 at home and I use them all :p
  12. islandman macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2006
    Personally, I've always been a fan of Seagate. Both companies make great products, but at the time I bought my Seagate Free Agent Pro, Western Digital did not have something that was as attractive to me. However, if I had to buy another drive today, it would still be a coin toss.
  13. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    Bought a WD My Passport Essential 320GB/GO for my girlfriend for Xmas and it's really nice. Works very well with her new unibody MB and seems to have good speeds and very quiet when using time machine. Priced well and easy to travel with which is what she needed but then all small HDDs would do the same. I picked the WD because it was in stock and the sale was good not to mention a few people I know have been using theirs with great results for quite some time now.
  14. jimothyGator macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Iomega eGO Firewire

    I just picked up an Iomega eGo 320GB drive with Firewire 400 and USB 2.0. I'd highly recommend it. It's a great looking drive, and its aluminum case helps dissipate heat. The OWC drives, mentioned above, have the advantage of coming with FW 800 and a 7200 RPM drive, if you feel the need, the need for speed, but I'm very pleased with this Iomega.

    If you've got a Firewire port, I definitely recommend getting a drive with Firewire. It's faster, and because Firewire allows daisy-chaining, you won't use up a valuable port.
  15. rhyx macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2008
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    It doesn't matter which you go with.

    I have a WD 250 GB Passport, but that was back when Seagate's biggest drive was a 160 GB drive, I believe.
  17. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
  18. Robertus macrumors member


    Feb 5, 2009
    the great state of O-H-I-O
    Hi, I'm new here.

    Does using any of the mentioned backup drives less (meaning turned off for a lengthy time period before re-using to back-up, then turn off again) could prolong the life of these drives?
  19. SecondDealer macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2009
  20. bobriot macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2007
    I have a MyBook and it's bloody noisy and requires an external power source, that said it's bleedin' fast on Firewire 800. My time machine is on a WD Passport, no extra power source, silent and tiny.
  21. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    Although I'm a fan of Seagate, for a drive like this that you might not be able to firmware update, go Western Digital.

    For those who aren't aware, Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 drives have a big firmware defect that requires a firmware update to fix.
  22. brendanm14 macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2007
    Passport as an AirDisk?

    can I hook up a Passport to an Airport Extreme and use it as an AirDisk? The only problem I would see is that it would be on all of the time...probably not good for the drive correct?
  23. claimed4all macrumors 6502

    Sep 26, 2008
    I would agree with this. I bought an Iomoga 250 for time machine. Its has 2x Firewire 400 and a USB. The firewire is alot fast than usb. The case is made of sturdy aluminum. The Firewire cable is thick and bulky that comes with it, luckily I had an Apple firewire cable, very thin. Also I have never used the usb cable, it has 2 ends incase one USB port does not have enough power. You could easily use a single ended cable though.
  24. claimed4all macrumors 6502

    Sep 26, 2008
    Yes you can, and I believe that the Airport will idle the drive when not in use, so the drive is in "sleep" mode.

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