Which External Hard Drive should I buy?

Which HD? Please comment on your selection. If other please suggest an alternative!

  • Iomega UltraMax

    Votes: 1 2.5%
  • Lacie d2 Quadra

    Votes: 5 12.5%
  • Western Digital MyBook Pro

    Votes: 17 42.5%
  • Seagate FreeAgent Pro

    Votes: 7 17.5%
  • Go for a different HD - the ones above are all rubbish!!!

    Votes: 10 25.0%

  • Total voters
    40

applemax

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 22, 2005
1,032
3
I'm going to buy an HD this week.

It needs to be:

Minimum 500GB
Fast
Reliable
Firewire and USB Interface (FW 800 if possible!)
AirPort Disk compatible
Time Machine compatible
Quiet
Relatively good cooling/fans
Good quality support/warranty/guarantee
Perfect for a Mac user

I have shorlisted 3 models so far. Please tell me what you think and share any stories about your HD experiences and please, please suggest other HDs and alternatives. Thanks!
 

chrisgeleven

macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2002
466
41
Manchester, NH
I am a huge fan of anything Seagate. I built computers for over 3 years and vary rarely do Seagate HD's have problems (while Maxtor and WD gave us all sorts of issues).

Not to mention, Seagate offers a 5-year warranty. Can't beat that.
 
Comment

applemax

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 22, 2005
1,032
3
I am a huge fan of anything Seagate. I built computers for over 3 years and vary rarely do Seagate HD's have problems (while Maxtor and WD gave us all sorts of issues).

Not to mention, Seagate offers a 5-year warranty. Can't beat that.
Thanks! By the way, I should mention I live in the UK. Will that warranty cover me still? And how does it work with a Mac and AirPort Disk?

Thanks

P.S. Oh - Is it quiet? :D I'd love to know!
 
Comment

themanfromvlad

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2006
262
1
Montreal
I just bought a Western Digital MyBook Premium Edition 500GB for $159.00 Canadian at Costco one week ago. Works fine, maybe slightly louder than others, maybe.
 
Comment

applemax

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 22, 2005
1,032
3
OK

I think I might go for this:

Seagate FreeAgent Desktop 500GB USB2 connected to AirPort Disk for Time Machine Use - For general backups.

Seagate FreeAgent Go 160GB USB2 - For critical backups kept in safe.

Is that a good setup?

Also, does anyone know where I can buy a SeaGate FreeAgent Go Small 12GB Drive in the UK? I can't find it anywhere.

Thanks
 
Comment

Rookie1986

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2007
415
0
I went with a my book pro when i bought my iMac and its awesome, very easy to set up, matches the new alu look apple have been going for and doesnt make much noise. a good choice if u ask me!
 
Comment

benpatient

macrumors 68000
Nov 4, 2003
1,870
0
Some advice:

I recently purchased a mybook pro 500 gb with the firewire800/usb interface.

It holds a lot.

Using USB it is slow. Using FW400, it is reasonably fast. Using FW800 is pretty nice.

But it is loud from fan noise and vibrations when it is not sleeping. I'm not terribly impressed with the read/write speeds either.


It's fine I suppose.

I will say that I'm more than impressed with something else I just bought:

a seagate 7200.10 ATA hard drive (300 gb) and a 25 dollar firewire/usb external enclosure with a fan and external power supply.

The Seagate drive is much faster than the one in the WD mybook pro. It is also quieter and seems to be more responsive in initial activity...it doesn't hang when it's been unused for awhile and gets some attention suddenly, which the mybook does connected to the same machine.

It is really very quiet and I can only just barely hear the case fan. I got my enclosure from newegg..."Anywhere" was the manufacturer name. I just wanted a cheap enclosure for a drive I had been using as an internal drive (the seagate 7200.10) in my PC, and this fit the bill. Turns out it's better than the mybook pro as long as you don't need FW800, and from what I can tell, it's more responsive even compared to FW800 when you look at random access, because the drive itself is faster. I don't think the mybook pro's drive is as fast as the FW400 interface in most situations, so having FW800 support is nice but not necessarily important.

newegg has the seagate 7200.10 (ST3500630A) for 119.99 right now, which is the ATA version of their new 500 gb drive.

The also have the Anyware ME-720U2FSV, which is USB 2.0 and FW400 with an ATA interface and a fan. It isn't the most beautiful thing in the world, but it isn't terribly ugly. It's easy to set up and effective.

I'd go with that if I were you. I've been very happy with it so far...
 
Comment

applemax

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 22, 2005
1,032
3
Some advice:

I recently purchased a mybook pro 500 gb with the firewire800/usb interface.

It holds a lot.

Using USB it is slow. Using FW400, it is reasonably fast. Using FW800 is pretty nice.

But it is loud from fan noise and vibrations when it is not sleeping. I'm not terribly impressed with the read/write speeds either.


It's fine I suppose.

I will say that I'm more than impressed with something else I just bought:

a seagate 7200.10 ATA hard drive (300 gb) and a 25 dollar firewire/usb external enclosure with a fan and external power supply.

The Seagate drive is much faster than the one in the WD mybook pro. It is also quieter and seems to be more responsive in initial activity...it doesn't hang when it's been unused for awhile and gets some attention suddenly, which the mybook does connected to the same machine.

It is really very quiet and I can only just barely hear the case fan. I got my enclosure from newegg..."Anywhere" was the manufacturer name. I just wanted a cheap enclosure for a drive I had been using as an internal drive (the seagate 7200.10) in my PC, and this fit the bill. Turns out it's better than the mybook pro as long as you don't need FW800, and from what I can tell, it's more responsive even compared to FW800 when you look at random access, because the drive itself is faster. I don't think the mybook pro's drive is as fast as the FW400 interface in most situations, so having FW800 support is nice but not necessarily important.

newegg has the seagate 7200.10 (ST3500630A) for 119.99 right now, which is the ATA version of their new 500 gb drive.

The also have the Anyware ME-720U2FSV, which is USB 2.0 and FW400 with an ATA interface and a fan. It isn't the most beautiful thing in the world, but it isn't terribly ugly. It's easy to set up and effective.

I'd go with that if I were you. I've been very happy with it so far...
Isn't USB 2 400mbps anyway? It'll be plugged into (FreeAgent) my Airport Extreme for AirDisk use so Firewire won't really work.
 
Comment

applemax

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 22, 2005
1,032
3
Also any decent auto-backup software for mac? Not just files, but emails, preferences, contacts, - all that kinda stuff.

Thanks
 
Comment

applemax

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 22, 2005
1,032
3
Also, does anyone know where I can buy a SeaGate FreeAgent Go Small 12GB Drive in the UK? I can't find it anywhere.

Thanks
 
Comment

lord patton

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,050
4
Chicago
Really? Does Time Machine do *all* that? Also - is a 500GB AirPort Disk enough for TimeMachine for 3 Macs? Thanks
AFAIK, it backs up everything. You can tell it to just back up certain things, if you want (home folder, pictures, files of a certain type, etc.)

I don't know if the backup could function as a bootable clone in the case of drive failure, but all your stuff would still exist.

How big for back-up? Since it keeps copies of older files, I'd imagine a certain percentage bigger than the drive you're trying to back-up. What that percentage is, I don't know, but am looking forward to finding out, real real soon.

cheers.
 
Comment

superleccy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2004
978
22
That there big London
It needs to be:

<snip>

Reliable

<snip>

Good quality support/warranty/guarantee

<snip>
Every brand of hard drive will have supporters and naysayers on this forum. It doesn't matter how reliable a hard drive is. It will die at some point and take all its data with it. Even if it has good "support/warranty/guarantee", the best that will do is repair/replace your hard drive, not recover your data.

So, get whatever brand of hard drive you fancy. But unless you could bear to loose the data you'll store on it, make you've a duplicate of it's data somewhere.

Also any decent auto-backup software for mac? Not just files, but emails, preferences, contacts, - all that kinda stuff.
Time machine in Leopard, and/or SuperDuper.

Time machine will let you zoom back to any point in time to recover individual files. Super Duper will give you an emergency bootable clone of your entire system. Personally I do both (although I use Retrospect instead of Time Machine at the moment - same idea but daunting interface).

Good Luck
SL
 
Comment

applemax

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 22, 2005
1,032
3
Also, does anyone know where I can buy a SeaGate FreeAgent Go Small 12GB Drive in the UK? I can't find it anywhere.

Thanks
 
Comment

Mundy

macrumors regular
Sep 8, 2006
141
0
I'm a big fan of OWC's line of Mercury Elite Pro Aluminum drives. Their 250 GB FW400/USB 2.0 model has served me well for almost two years now, and I'm about to pick up an additional 500 GB FW800/FW400 model. My 2 cents.
 
Comment

neilhart

macrumors 6502
Oct 11, 2007
289
0
SF Bay Area - Fremont
Maxtor One Touch III

So I have had my MBP for about three months and first used SuperDuper with a USB external drive. This was fairly slow but I came out the other end with a bootable drive image. This is about 55GB image in about 80 minutes. Then I purchased the 320GB Maxtor One Touch III (at Frys) and repeated the backup. Using the FW800 interface, the bootable image took 38 minutes.

Now with TM coming, I will probably use the USB drive to hold an image of my Tiger machine, and upgrade to Leopard. Then use the Maxtor to hold Leopard image(s). I'm not sure how TM works with a laptop when you are only connected only intermittently. I am looking foreword to learning all about it.

Neil
 
Comment

phillipjfry

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2006
847
1
Peace in Plainfield
Man I just don't feel right buying 750gb external if it's not known how much Leopard's TM is going to use up in teh first place. I thought 1:1 would be fine in terms of size, but thinking about how much space TM will actually use for every file's version changing, everything that changes and whatever else it holds. Im babbling at this point but you get what I'm saying. I wouldn't nose dive into buying external drives in prep for Leopard until it's better known how much space TM needs to do everything
 
Comment

chrisgeleven

macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2002
466
41
Manchester, NH
Thanks! By the way, I should mention I live in the UK. Will that warranty cover me still? And how does it work with a Mac and AirPort Disk?

Thanks

P.S. Oh - Is it quiet? :D I'd love to know!
No idea on UK (I live in the US), but I don't see why the warranty wouldn't be the same there.

I don't own an Airport Extreme (yet...gotta run it by the finance committee, one of those deals), but again, it is a USB External HD, so I don't see why it wouldn't work.

In my experience, Seagate drives are usually pretty quiet. I have an External 120GB Seagate drive that is a few years old, but works great.
 
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