Which external hard drive?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iParis, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. iParis macrumors 68040

    iParis

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #1
    I need help deciding on which external hard drive to get.

    Let me give you a little bit of background information first -
    I have a piece of crap Gateway laptop that has a 1GB ram, an 80GB hard drive, Vista, and a broken power supply.
    Since it has 1GB of ram and Vista it runs like ****.
    And since it has a broken power supply I have to charge the battery with my mom's computer, thus forcing me to turn it off every hour and a half.
    Because it only has an 80GB HD I can't keep everything on it, nor do I trust to have everything on it.

    I currently have an 160GB WD portable external hard drive that I keep the majority of my library on, the rest is on my computer.
    I have a total of about 200GB of media on my iTunes.
    I would have more but I have stopped downloading stuff since I maxed out my external hard drive.

    Currently I am looking a new external HD since there's no more room on the one I have now.
    At the moment I can't decide whether I want a portable or a desktop.
    Reasons why I want a portable - I have been using one for awhile, convenient, convenient, convenient... need I say more?
    Reasons why I want a desktop - Speed, more storage, probably going to last longer.

    Right now I am debating between a Segate or a Western Digital.

    Any Help?
    Thanks in advance! ^_^

    PS ~ Speed is a factor, especially for when I transfer my whole library onto it since my computer only last an hour and half.
     
  2. bengal85 macrumors regular

    bengal85

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    I like WD that is the only brand I would buy unless I could find just a great deal on something else
     
  3. iParis thread starter macrumors 68040

    iParis

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #3
    Ya, this will probably be a Christmas present from my mom.
    She got me the 160GB last year on black friday, it was usually $110 and she got it for $60.
    No matter the product, she will most likely be getting it on black friday, and there's a very slim change you are going to find something it's usually price (unless it's a MacBook or something like that).
     
  4. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #4
    WD? Worst brand after Maxtor. SeaGate or Hitachi in an enclosure.
     
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #5
    And you qualified that so eloquently.


    There is a division of preference here. I've had Lacie's and Hitachi's that have died on me. I've had a Maxtor die on me as well. I have (knock on synthetic wood) had a WD die on me. What is best? Well, personally I like WD drives. However, this is personal use and I haven't had a problem. I can find documentation that would support why IBM/Hitachi, specifically their Deskstar (death star) is a bad drive. It has a high failure rate among a variety of users. I am unable to find such documentation that would support a huge influx of failure among Seagate and WD. I would buy either tbh but in my case I have a MacPro and a desktop full of internal and external WD drives.
     
  6. iParis thread starter macrumors 68040

    iParis

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #6
    Hitachi is expensive.
    I forgot to mention it can't be over like $130 since my mom is already spending $270 on drivers ed that I am taking during winter break.
     
  7. iParis thread starter macrumors 68040

    iParis

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #7
    Thanks for your input.
    What is tbh?
     
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #8
    To be honest.
    And btw, the write speed of any drive will not have much to do if you're looking for a drive that only transfers via USB. I may have missed whether you said anything about FW or USB. You can have a 10,000 RPM with a 32MG cache drive and it'll still transfer only at the rate the USB can transfer at.
     
  9. iParis thread starter macrumors 68040

    iParis

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #9
    OH, USB.
    I haven't seen many PC's lately with FW.
    I mentioned speed because I know that the desktops are faster than the portable.
     
  10. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #10
    Ditto that.

    WD is nothing like they used to be, and I wouldn't even look at Maxtor. Unless drive failure Rogers your Hammerstein.

    Segate for internal hands down, Lacie for external. (just b/c they have nice enclosures, they're very quiet, and they've held up for me thusfar without incident)
     
  11. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #11
    I recently bought a LaCie d2 quadra 500GB external hard drive. Works with Windows and Macs. It has 1 eSATA port, 2 FW 800 ports, 1 FW 400 port, and 1 USB 2.0 port. It also came with the cables. It is very quiet and doesn't generate too much heat. I highly recommend it.
     
  12. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #12
    The "Deathstars" (appropriately named) were in circulation quite a few years ago, and haven't been on the market for maybe 10 years, and I'm pretty sure they belong to the pre-Hitachi era. They were IDE drives. So, there's no need to warn against them, since the OP isn't going into the used IDE drive market.

    OP, you could consider assembling your own. You can get a 500 or 750 gig drive for $70-$100 or so (bare Seagate drive) and an enclosure. I've used Vantec USB/FW/eSATA enclosures and they are fine. The MacAlly Mac Pro-imitating drive case (G-S350SUA) looks pretty cool and can be had for about $50. The advantage of assemble-your-own is that you can keep the case and swap in a new drive if you need more capacity.
     
  13. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    Europe
  14. Direct macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    #14
    Caveat emptor always

    Since external drives are notorious for failing within the first year of use, best to place product support ahead of storage space and performance. I just bought an EHD. But before I did I emphasized product support as I do with EVERY electronic item I buy. And that would include things like laptops, cameras, battery chargers, MP3 players, etc. With that mindset, you need to call the manufacturer BEFORE you buy their product to test them and to ask them 5 or 6 basic need-to-know questions. Sometimes you have to call them twice. You'd be surprised. Sometimes the answers you get are not always consistent.

    Seagate's gets a D letter grade in customer support. They have remote access, which is great. 10 points there. But once you register the unit you get ONLY 30 days of support rendered over the phone. After those 30 days are up you must pay $15 per call. Do you feel lucky? $15 per call sucks compared to an unlimited call plan. It sucks cause you can't trust a technician to do what's right all of the time. So your 15 bucks might, or might not, go down the drain. And that's terrribly frustrating to the consumer. Better hope that whatever goes wrong with your Seagate happens within the first 30 days of registration. Screw that policy and since it stinks best to avoid Seagate.

    Western Digital does not have remote access. Minus 10 points there. Their tech support plan rendered over the phone is like Seagate's in that it's good for only 30 days but as of this writing you can extend it out for another 11 months for just 15 bucks. Within those 12 months you can call an unlimited number of times. Better yet, once your 12 months are up, you can renew the contract for one more year for 15 measely dollars. Twenty points there. I give Western Digital a C or a B minus. If they had remote access I'd give them an A. Of course, product replacement is another HUGE detail that will affect a companies grade.

    There are 5 or 6 other equally important things a discriminating shopper must get answers to/must consider, that will ultimately affect a companies overall grade.
    One of them for instance is how long a wait time the manufacturer subjects the customer to. I called Hitachi yesterday and I had to wait 33 minutes on the phone in order to talk to one of their techs. They don't have remote access and that's bad, real bad. Considering all the other answers I got, I gave Hitachi an F. I tend to buy my gear from a store that has a super liberal return policy. The store I bought my EHD from will allow me to return the unit up to the next 5 or so years, as long as I can get the store managers approval. The EHD I bought yesterday was a portable 500GB Toshiba.
     
  15. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
  16. dwdrums macrumors newbie

    dwdrums

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Pa, USA
    #16
    hahaha no kidding. I like G-tech...
     
  17. iWoz macrumors 6502a

    iWoz

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Location:
    East Midlands, U.K
    #17
    I just purchased a WD 1tb Elements External Hardrive, Thus being my first External Hard drive, It's awesome! I have only used it with time machine on my macbook pro to back up all the data because im purchasing the new iMac.

    It didnt recognise on my windows laptop, I think its because I need to change the format to NTFS:confused:
     
  18. MinorBidoh macrumors 6502

    MinorBidoh

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    uk
    #18
    I have the G-Tech D-Drive 1Tb and it's fantastic. Yes not too cheap but it's sturdy, quiet and fw800 is tickety-boo. Well worth it. I can imagine they'd look pretty cool stacked.
     
  19. Bbusyb macrumors member

    Bbusyb

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Notts, UK / Alex, Egypt
    #19
    I've bought quiet a few drives over the years and though I'll share some thoughts.

    I used to be in the school of just getting a Naked drive and put it in your own casing, but after a while I realised that I was not getting any real benefit out of it, as the cases were usually bigger, and were not any more reliable. As for swapping out the drives in the case, I did not do that often, as whenever I got a new drive, I moved the older drive to a backup so the case was still in use.

    So in buying External drives, I've bought mainly from Buffalo and WD and I've been quiet happy with the WD drives so far. The Mybook's are pretty compact and have a small power supply (Important when you travel with them) and have behaved pretty well over they years. Of the five WD Drives I have, I've not had any issues over the last 3 years.

    Best of all with drives being available with USB, Firewire and ESATA for a few dollars more then the plain USB mode you can get a drive which is very flexible. A WD Mybook 1TB is available for $99 as is a 500GB Passport for the same price on Amazon, so there are plenty of options.
     

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