Storage Upgrade: External for speed or Internal for convenience?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sammich, May 5, 2009.

  1. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Sarcasmville.
    #1
    So here is my situation: I'd like to upgrade my storage. I'm currently sitting on the stock 160gig drive in the MBP, a 500gig TM drive and a 1TB drive for media and misc, both USB, and thus slow. Both of these drives are about 50% full.

    I've settled on two possible options:

    1) Upgrade my Late 06 17" MBP with a Momentus 7200.4 500gig for (some rough estimate) around AUD$350-400 (they supply the drive), installed by Apple Techie. Warranty will run out in December this year, so it's either I wait until then and do it myself (and get the drive for cheaper) for about AUD$270.

    2) Buy a 2-bay eSATA/FW800 OWC Case with a cheap eSATA expresscard for the MBP. This comes to about AUD$280, shipped (without any drives). I've decided to go with the Seagate 1.5TB drives which I can get in Australia for about AUD$205 each. I'll only get one to start off with. Total is about $500 Aussie dollars.

    Over the long term, ie if I sell my MBP, I will need to part with that 500gigs of storage, and I would be again stuck with slow USB drives to play around with. Whereas if I got the external, I would be chained to my desk if I wanted to boot off it. This isn't a big problem since 99.9% of the time it will be on the desk.

    But is the external a bit of overkill? I mean, I don't need the whole extra 1.5TB (with the option for 1.5TB more). Plus, the Momentus compares favourably with it's 3.5" cousins.

    Ideally, I'd like the external, but $500 is a small chunk of change. Please help me make up my mind.
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #2
    More food for thought. The Momentus will be cheaper by the time you buy if you self-upgrade. Have you thought about FireWire 800 drives?
     
  3. sammich thread starter macrumors 601

    sammich

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Sarcasmville.
    #3
    That's very true, but I'm just a little sick of how slow my internal drive is atm. I would like to be able to get this setup done in about 1-2 months, but in reality there isn't a time constraint, just an urge and too much time spent thinking about it.

    When you say FW800 drives, you mean like the WD My Books? (googles...) I didn't know they had them in eSATA as well. The price seems to be roughly the same as the setup I had above. There's a special for the 1TB eSATA too, good low entry point :D
     
  4. CarlisleUnited macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Location:
    Nederland
    #4
    If you often take your mac places I would recommend the internal drive but if you use it like a desktop you might as well get the external drive. Have a look at a firewire enclosure as well, saves having to but an eSATA card.
     
  5. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #5
    Depends on the MyBook. I have two, one with a FW800 interface and another with the eSATA. Maybe just buy a cheap eSATA card and try it with one of your MyBooks.
     
  6. sammich thread starter macrumors 601

    sammich

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Location:
    Sarcasmville.
    #6
    I forgot to mention, I can stick the old 160gig in my PS3 if I decide to go that route.

    My Mac rarely leaves the table, it's chained down with about 5 cables. The eSATA card is US$20 from OWC, so it's next to nothing. eSATA would be more suited for RAID 0 if I ever get that 2nd drive. I probably will never find the upper limit to FW800 to be much of a constraint though. I'll definitely consider a FW800 drive now.

    That RAID box is starting to look like a luxury now isn't it?
     
  7. CarlisleUnited macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Location:
    Nederland
    #7
    Unless you really need RAID1 just in case your drive fails there is no real need for a RAID box, most drives are fast enough by themselves, especially externally where the performance increase of having RAID0 won't be as big compared to having and internal RAID0. Plus you get twice the storage if you don't decide to use RAID and install two disks without it.
     
  8. RatVega macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Southern California
    #8
    An alternative for fast external storage is an gigabit ether-based NAS. There are several low cost units (like the WD MyBook World Edition) that offer a lot of storage and attach via your 1000 baseT ethernet port. We frequently move data over gig ether at 60-75MB/sec.
     

Share This Page