Which External Drive

BWhaler

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jan 8, 2003
2,917
3,111
I am looking for an external HD to back-up my G5.

Can anyone recommend a drive or good manufacturer. Any thoughts on size?

Thanks so much.
 

AstroManLuca

macrumors member
Mar 18, 2005
86
0
Minnesota
Normally I would suggest buying the drive and enclosure separately, because you will spend less money that way. On the other hand, LaCie's Porsche line of Firewire hard drives are only very slightly more expensive than that, so you might want to get one of those instead.

As for capacity, right now the sweet spot for price per gigabyte is around the 160-250 GB range. If you go below or above that range, drives tend to cost more for the storage you get. You could always just get one that is equal in capacity to your G5's internal drive, but I'd recommend maybe getting a 250 GB instead even if your G5 only has an 80 or 160 GB drive.

Have you considered just getting another internal hard drive? The PowerMac G5 can fit up to two internal SATA drives. That would save you the cost of the enclosure ($40-$50).
 

ham_man

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2005
2,265
0
I was going to get one of the 160 gb LaCie drives, but then my old VAIO's motherboard crapped out (a week after I got the PB :p). So I am just going to take the 80 gb hard drive out of there, wipe it clean, put in an external, and use it! :)
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
AstroManLuca said:
Normally I would suggest buying the drive and enclosure separately, because you will spend less money that way. On the other hand, LaCie's Porsche line of Firewire hard drives are only very slightly more expensive than that, so you might want to get one of those instead....Have you considered just getting another internal hard drive? The PowerMac G5 can fit up to two internal SATA drives. That would save you the cost of the enclosure ($40-$50).
Far better the Lacie D2 than the Porsche enclosure. Whichever you get, go with Firewire not USB2.0, unless you may be switch-hitting with WIndows, in that case a combo drive.

MacAlly also has a decent Aluminium 3.5" FW/USB combo case if you want to build up your own with an internal drive mechanism. I like the Seagate Barracuda internal IDE drives, which now come with 5 year warranty (although their external firewire drives only come with one year)

One problem I have run into with Maxtor's external drive line is that you are not permitted to open them up to get at the hard drive to recover data should the external drive fail - you void the warranty if you open the case. (This may be the case with other brands, too; however my direct experience is with Maxtor)

> Have you considered just getting another internal hard drive?

One of the biggest points of having your backup external is that you can carry it to another machine and keep working if your machine goes down.

Thanks
Trevor
CanadaRAM.com
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,922
169
Lacie D2 / Big Disk Extreme (triple interface): the biggest you can afford.
Seriously good...
 

eRondeau

macrumors 65816
Mar 3, 2004
1,029
115
Canada's South Coast
Lacie FW800 Extreme

I've got a 160GB Lacie d2 Extreme and I am very happy with it. Make sure you buy one with a FW800 interface as well as FW400. Even if you don't have a FW800 port right now, your next computer probably will -- and you'll save half the time doing backups. BTW, the FW800 connection is fully downward-compatible with the FW400, so I use an adapter cable to plug my iBook's FW400 port into the Lacie FW800 and it works perfectly. Not only does that free-up the Lacie's only FW400 connector for my DVD Burner, but the FW800 plug seems to be a much more secure fit than the FW400, so it won't get loose and slide out like the FW400 can.

These high-capacity external drives are cheap enough right now that anyone who is truly paranoid about their data should do regular backups and store the backup drive in another location, in the event your house burns down or somebody breaks-in and steals all your computer gear. Especially now that we're archiving irreplacable photos and videos on our Macs -- I've got many pictures of my niece and nephew on my computer that don't exist anywhere else.
 

devman

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,235
4
AU
Blue Velvet said:
Lacie D2 / Big Disk Extreme (triple interface): the biggest you can afford.
Seriously good...
I have the LaCie D2 1TB Big Disk Extreme and I'm sorry, but I cannot recommend it. The drive is UNBEARABLY noisy. It does not make noise right away, but does so within 30 minutes of use and once the noise starts it does not stop.

I've exchanged the drive but the problem is the same. Someone else I spoke with on this site has the same drive and the same problem.
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,922
169
devman said:
I have the LaCie D2 1TB Big Disk Extreme and I'm sorry, but I cannot recommend it. The drive is UNBEARABLY noisy.
Can't say I've noticed but our office is quite noisy anyway and the Lacie sits under a desk about 3m away... I guess if I had one at home or in a quiet working space it would annoy the hell out of me. After all, I did fit a expensive silencing kit to my G4 at home...

In terms of build, reliability and speed on FW800, I still can't fault it.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
devman said:
I have the LaCie D2 1TB Big Disk Extreme and I'm sorry, but I cannot recommend it. The drive is UNBEARABLY noisy. It does not make noise right away, but does so within 30 minutes of use and once the noise starts it does not stop.

I've exchanged the drive but the problem is the same. Someone else I spoke with on this site has the same drive and the same problem.
Remember the Extreme units have 2 or more two drive mechanisms installed in the one case, multiple mechanisms = twice the drive noise and twice the heat to pump out with a fan. The single-drive units should be quieter.

The Extremes couple two (or more) drives together in a RAID 0 (striped) pair which improves access time and throughput for intense graphic/video/audio work. But for backup purposes, the RAID 0 speed improvement is mostly immaterial, and running RAID 0 actually makes it more likely to fail than a single drive (A problem with any any one of the mechanisms takes out all the data on both). I would go with a large, single mechanism unit for backup, or two separate externals if the data size needed it. 250 Gb is about the sweet spot at the moment.

Thanks
Trevor
CanadaRAM.com
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jan 8, 2003
2,917
3,111
This is great advice. And most helpful.

Thank you so much everyone.
 
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