USB 3.0 External Hard disk

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Spybe, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. Spybe, Oct 6, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012

    Spybe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I plan to buy a new external USB 3.0 hard disk for my retina Macbook pro. The hard disk will be used for 2 things :

    • Bootcamp games will be installed on this hard disk
    • Classic file storage & backup (and maybe my iPhoto library)

    Because of the first point, I'll need a hard disk that has a good access time / transfer rate. Of course it has to be USB 3.0.

    After some researches, 2 models appears to be quite interesting :

    • Lacie Porshe Design P'9233 (specs)
    • WDC My book essential (Specs)

    Both are USB 3.0. The Lacie is much more beautiful than the wdc but I've read that it has a 5400 RPM drive inside whereas the WDC has a 7200 RPM inside (Western digital caviar Black). Logically, the My book will be faster than the Lacie but also louder. Lastly, it appears that the Lacie model has a special usb 3.0 designed to be faster on OSX.

    What would you choose between those 2 hard disks? I really like the lacie one but the fast that it has a 5400 RPM drive scares me a bit for the access time.

    thank you !
     
  2. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #2
    Would you consider buying an enclosure and then filling it with the disk of your choice? You're not going to find LaCie Porsche design and style, but you can get a functional USB3 enclosure with what you want in it.

    From the links it looks as though you're in the EU community somewhere, so I don't know what enclosures are available there. But there must be some.

    Installing a disk in an enclosure is very easy and should require nothing more than a cross-head (Phillips) screwdriver.
     
  3. MiniMoke macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    #3
    Watch out, the WD MyBooks have the disks hardwired to the enclosure - no way of EVER replacing the disk inside! If the disk fails you throw away the whole thing!

    I bought two of those and well.... they'll show up on ebay soon!
     
  4. Spybe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    #4
    yeah that could be also an alternative. Icy box is one of the famous brand of hard disk enclosure available in europe (http://www.raidsonic.de/de/products/external-cases.php?we_objectID=6815).

    Could be great with a caviar black or red or blue ! But the Lacie is soo nice ! Any feedback for the lacie ?
     
  5. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #5
  6. CatsTide macrumors 6502

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  7. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #7
    I DO NOT recommend the 7200 RPM WD Black drives in passively cooled enclosures. They generate a lot of heat. I've two, which i replace with two 5400 RPM drives (4 TB Hitachi or 3 TB WD) in the next months.

    Btw:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=15047023#post15047023
     
  8. Spybe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 8, 2011
    #8
    yes indeed, the Lacie has this technology !
     
  9. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

    Joined:
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    #9
    Are you going to use this on both Windows and Mac?

    I ask this because dependable on how you format the disk there could be problems.

    At least 2 times today there were people having trouble with NTFS Tuxera drivers here.
     
  10. Spybe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    #10
    well I plan to make 2 partitions on the hard disk : one HFS for mac and one NTFS for windows (MBR system)

    Another alternative would be the ExFAT format which is compatible with both windows and mac. But I need to perform some test in order to be sure it works perfectly.

    Finally I think I'll go for the Lacie P'9233 2TB. according to this topic games do not suffer from the 5400 rpm drives
     
  11. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #11
    That's smart.
     
  12. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #12
    AFAIK, LaCie supports USB 3.0, but not the UASP.
     
  13. Spybe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 8, 2011
    #13
  14. kjbarth macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    #14
    I was just looking around today for this and the best price/capacity/performance mix I found for an external portable USB 3.0 bus-powered drive was the "Seagate 1TB Backup Plus Portable".

    I have no idea if it supports the UASP that others have mentioned (I never even heard of that until reading this thread).

    Well, I picked this up for £69, so I thouhg it was pretty inexpensive for what it gives you. It was in several top 5 lists (CNET, some PC Mag, etc), and so I went for it.

    One good thing about these "Backup Plus Portable" drives is that they are "easily" transformed to support other interface standards (thunderbolt, firewire, etc), although the thunderbolt one is quite pricey. Hopefully at some point not too far off, the price will be more reasonable and I can upgrade to that.
     
  15. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #15
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #16
    "What would you choose between those 2 hard disks? I really like the lacie one but the fast that it has a 5400 RPM drive scares me a bit for the access time."

    I wouldn't choose either of those products.

    You DO NOT want a 5400rpm drive if you can buy something faster.

    If "appearance" isn't all that important to you, you might consider a USB/SATA docking station.
    Here's an amazon link to USB3 models:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=USB3+sata+dock
    (many items shown, they all work the same, just pick one you like that's cheap)

    Then, combine it with one or more bare SATA hard drives of your choice.

    You'll find having one of these gadgets around can be very handy….
     
  17. Fed macrumors 6502

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    Jul 7, 2012
    Location:
    Liverpool.
    #17
    I thoroughly endorse this hard drive.

    It replaced another Western Digital hard drive I had which was plagued with problems. Despite knocking it over several times, yanking it out at inappropriate times and being lunged around in my bag - it's worked a charm. Very fast and excellent quality.
     
  18. designs216 macrumors 65816

    designs216

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    Oct 26, 2009
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    #18
    What about the Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro? It's a backwards compatible 500GB USB3 drive with a 7200RPM spindle speed. This drive is bus powered and somewhat resembles the iPhone 4.
     
  19. speedplay1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #19
    Thoughts about thoughts...

    There are a number of USB 3.0 external drives on the market, many of which use the new USB A to micro B connector. Many of these new external drives are passively vented and only contain 5,400 rpm drives to minimize heat build-up. Depending on an individual's need and frequency of use, the 5,400 rpm drive offers little speed advantage with USB 3.0. Only a few companies offer USB 3.0 external drives only, such as OWC. Several companies, such as G-Technology, still bundle external drives with Firewire, which is becoming an obsolete technology except for older devices. My OWC On-the-Go, 500 Gb external drive, can transfer and write a 4.5 Gb file to its hard drive (7,200 rpm) in around 45 seconds from my MacAir (i7, 8 Gb, 512 SSD). The only problem with my external hard drive is the USB connecting cable: Nearly all USB 3.0 cables use the micro B connector. The B connector is small and, for lack of a better term, "delicate." It does not sit flush or securely in the USB plug receptacle and can easily be wiggled with one's pinky finger. Unfortunately, this is true of nearly all USB 3.0 cables with nearly all external drives from major manufacturers (as experienced from personal examination). This is a problem that needs to be addressed by external hard drive manufacturers. Finally, few external hard drives come with cables less than 3' in length. My external drive sits less than 6" from my computer on a table no wider than three and a half feet. If one is looking for a cable shorter than 3', an extensive Internet search is needed since USB 3.0 cables are a long way from massive production.
     

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