Which external hard drive should I buy - Seagate vs. LaCie vs ????

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by steel balloon, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. steel balloon macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2010
    I'm looking to buy an external hard drive for my MBP & I'm not really sure what to get. I have been looking and looking & the reviews on multiple sites are always mixed.

    I want a hard drive with 1Tb, 7200 & I hear that cache is also important though I'm not sure how much I really need. My mac has a port for firewire & from what I have read, this is much faster than USB, so that would be preferable. Also I'm trying to stay under $200 & would like to be closer to $150 (if possible).

    These are the two drives I have narrowed this down to as of right now, but I am open to suggestions if people think there is a far superior drive out their in this price range.

    LaCie d2 Quadra External Hard Drive - 301442U

    Seagate FreeAgent Desktop 1TB USB 2.0 & FireWire 400/800 External Hard Drive for Mac - ST310005FJA105-RK

    Here is a side by side comparison of the two on newegg (+ various other sites have info on these two drives):


    Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions you can offer me!!! :apple:

    P.S. I am running Snow Leopard & want something that works with this (as I'm hearing not all external hard drives seem to do this well yet) ~Thanks!!!
  2. FearlessFreep macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2008
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I have the Lacie Quadra d2 you listed. It is a well made product in a fairly heavy aluminum enclosure. You didn't mention how important portability is for you. The Qudra is a bit on the heavy and bulky side, not something I would consider more portable.
    I have had good experience with the drive, though I have seen others have issues.
  3. NewRevolution88 macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2010
    Wow, didn't realized externals had gotten so cheap lately (1TB under $100 seems like quite an advancement). Have there been recent breakthroughs in SSD's lately and the cheap ones are still standard hard drives or something like that? Anyway with how cheap I've been able to find externals in the past few days I'm in the market too, appreciate any comments on experiences with those or similar drives. Cheers
  4. macfem macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2010
    I owned Seagate, WD and Lacie...that said I will never use anything but a Lacie from now on. I have had so many failures with WD drives that the mention of their name send shivers down my spine to this day...my Lacie drive (I have 4 1tb) have never had any issues. I move them frequently for different projects, so I know I can trust them where other have failed. I say go with Lacie. [​IMG]
  5. sishaw macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2005
    I don't know, I had a Lacie drive fail after 6 months and am now using a Seagate, and I'm going to add a second backup. I think any drive can fail.
  6. Cinematographer macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2005
    far away
    That describes exactly my own experience with the LaCie drives. :)
  7. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Here's the way I look at it:

    With the cost of drives continuing to drop as size increases, it almost doesn't matter what you go with. Sure, one person might have issues with LaCie while others say it's flawless. Truth is all makers will have drives that give people issues. I have been using a mix of Maxtor and WD over the years with a couple of other makers thrown in for good measure.

    I buy a new external probably every year or so, retiring an older one in the process generally...or keeping it in the mix as additional backup.

    So, bottom line...from the makers that you have mentioned, I don't think you necessarily have a clear-cut choice to go for one over the other. You will drive yourself nuts looking over the issues with each drive out there. Of course some drives stick out like a sore thumb with complaints and problems. That's easy to see on the various shopping site reviews.

    Be ready to spend about $100 next year for 2TB of storage or something even crazier. :) I think we might see some 1TB drives for close to $50 soon.
  8. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    GMK's guide that he posted above is a good resource. Personally, I own and almost daily use two Seagate external drives and one Lacie external drive. Both brands have been great and served me well for several years without any problems. If your final choice is between these two then I think you will be satisfied with either as a final choice. Additonally, I think your wise in going with FW as opposed to USB only.
  9. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009

    Dont let "brand name" be your guide.

    What are you using it for?

    Just backup? USB 2 is fine.

    1TB USB 2 drives can be found for $80 if you just look around.
  10. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    ^ That's quite the positive outlook you've got going on there sport. ;)
  11. steel balloon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2010
    WOW! That External Hard Drives site posted by thegoldenmackid was chock-full of info. Thanks to everyone for all of the great advice so far. I have been talking to my buddy (who used to work at Mac) & he told me a lot of the same stuff you guys said on here (so thanks for the great info)

    I'm going to be using the drive for backup & also to run all of my movies & media & stuff off of so I think the firewire connection is worth the few extra bucks. I think I'm leaning towards the lacie, knowing that no matter what I buy it may die right off the bat or last me until i'm ready to upgrade (i'm hoping for the later haha). Only time will tell.
  12. steel balloon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2010
    Well I just went for it...based on what you guys were saying I figured I just needed to buy one & hope for the best in terms of its life expectancy.

    So I got the LaCie d2 1 TB External hard drive (for around $150 on buy.com), now I just have to wait until I get it & hope I like it.

    Thanks again everyone!
  13. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    I'm glad the guide is getting some use. I'll add the opinions above sometime soon.

    Added: FearlessFreep, macfem, sishaw & Cinematographer.
  14. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    Seagate operates with 5 year warranty on some of their hard drives. I've started using them for this reason.
    Never had a problem with my WDs either, and those I had for the longest.
    I do have at least doubje back up of all my important stuff though. Siecially my HD footage
  15. m houle macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2009
    it's true - you have to assume all drives will fail at one point or another. I always buy 2 of the same external drive and every night automatically mirror them using super duper that way when one drive fails, all you have to do is buy another one and you still have all your data immediately.

    count on your drive dying or you will be like my 30 friends who bring their lacies to me begging me to save the lost data after a crash.
  16. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    I have both those drives and they are both really good!
    If they costs roughly the same, then go for the LaCie.
    The LaCie case is a bit more sturdy and the Freeagent have a cheap looking light effect, the whole case is blinking when used :D
  17. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Backup AND host movies & media from it? Where's the backup for said movies and media?

    Best to let this one be a backup and get another for movies and media or vice versa. And even with hosting media, FW vs. USB doesn't really make a difference. Now with video editing and the like, it would, but with serving up files like this, no.

    BTW I got a WD 1.5TB from Best Buy for $139 right before Christmas. It is awesome because I have a choice of FW, USB and eSata from the same drive, plus the drive can be daisy chained...meaning it has a FW port on the back. I use it as FW, but still have an open port this way. I also have a 500GB drive from Buy.com and have had zero issues so far...enjoy the extra storage!
  18. jennyquatro macrumors newbie


    Jan 5, 2009
    LaCies have the worst customer service I've ever dealt with. Mine has failed twice in less than two years. Even though they have a 3 year warranty, you have to send the unit in on your own dime and they don't even have an 800 number - it's a toll call. Yes, the case is sturdy, but it's the insides that count.

    In fact, tonight, my relatively new iMac wouldn't wake up from sleep - black screens intermittently yesterday as well. As soon as I disconnected the LaCie, all was well. They have known power supply failures which I think this might be - the first time it was a total external drive crash. Google LaCie & power supply failures - or ck out Amazon. I will never, ever do business with this company again.

    Good luck to you - you may want to buy a cheap Square Trade warranty - they totally reimburse you if the unit (no matter what electronic - even from eBay) if your issue can't be fixed within 5 days.
  19. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    You'll appreciate ALL the cables they include with the drive! Mine came with FW800, FW400, USB and an ESATA cable. Even from monoprice.com, that is like $12.00 in cables.

    Everyone will have bad things to say about EVERY Manufacturer. I have used my LaCie D2 EVERYDAY for hours. Nothing bad has happened yet. I got mine from Apple. It is funny, their US headquarters is like 10 or 15 minutes down the road from here.
  20. applesupergeek macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2009
    Good luck with that lacie, they are for sure some of the worst in terms of drive quality and failure rates, but boy are they the most wonderfully designed ones, not the cheesy neil pulton ones, but some of their aluminum nas ones say, they are just industrial design par excellence.
  21. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2008
    Fort Collins Colorado
    The last LaCie drive I bought came with two Seagate drives in it from the factory. I don't know if they are still using Seagate drives or if they are getting drives from other manufacturers. LaCie doesn't make hard drives, only the enclosures that the drives go into.

    I've owned my LaCie drive for almost two years now and it's still going strong. You may want to pick another title for this thread because in reality, it is Seagate VS. Seagate....
  22. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Feb 15, 2006
    Kent. UK
    FWIW, I've had 7 Lacie's fail in the past 4 years. All Desktop models. For some it's been the HDD (Hitachi, Seagate), some the internal electronics, and the most recent the power block/transformer. So you can understand that I don't have many good things to say about this brand. (Why did I keep buying them? I live in the middle of the desert and you buy what's available!)

    I would go for WD nowadays, mainly because of the long warranty. I have now got a Drobo, so have managed to consolidate a lot of my storage. I've also got a GTech, and would highly recommend this brand, though the price can be prohibitive.
  23. applesupergeek macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2009
    Hey man what are you doing in Saudi Arabia, a nice apple fan like yourself in the middle of the desert?

    My vote to g tech too, the porche of hard drive enclosures/externals etc. Superb and beautiful products.

    As far as nas enclosures go let me also namedrop synology a company that is probably the most mac aware in the nas market and has some great software to complement their nas's (can act as iphone servers for music eg.). These cats are the shrewdest in terms of r&d.
  24. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007

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