Which external HD? LaCie/OWC/MacPower?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by inlimbo, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. inlimbo macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Which external HD?

    I know there are many threads on external HDs but no-one has really talked about the OWC and MacPower drives.

    I never backup my computers and I know I should. So I am going to buy my first external backup drive. The drive is for my Powerbook. I figure I will do a clone. Sounds easier and if my PB dies and can boot from the external drive. (that's correct isn't it?). I'm still not sure what size to get. My PBs drive is 100GB with 40GB free at the moment. So I figured that I should get a drive double in size? Is this good logic?

    The three drives im tossing up between are below. Can you help me choose between them? I am at a loss. Some seemed to be sold in Australia under different names.

    They all have fire wire so I can boot OS X. Also have USB so I can use it on a PC if need be. Some have fire wire 800 but others don't. Is fire wire 800 that useful? I am _not_ doing video editing etc... Mostly it will be a backup drive for my files (loads of Word, PDF etc) and my large music collection.

    They all look pretty cool too. Though they are designed to match the asthetics of the mac mini or the Powermac G5. I think they will still look good next to my PB.

    LaCie d2 Hard Drive Extreme with Triple Interface 250GB
    USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800

    Cost: AU $344.00
    • Has 1 USB port so can use on a PC if need be
    • Bootable via FireWire in OS X
    • Everyone recommends LaCie
    • Macworld claims it has sluggish firewire 800 speeds.


    MacPower M9-DX 250GB Firewire/USB 2.0 Combo Hub 7200rpm 8MB cache drive
    (rebranded Newer Technology Mini Stack)
    Cost: AU $368.00

    • USB 2.0 High-Speed 3-Port Hub
    • Firewire 1394a 3-Port Repeater/Hub
    • Switch for Firewire or USB hard disk mode
    • Smart interactive cooling system with thermal probe automatically regulating fan speed
    • Massive passive heat sink to radiate heat away from hard drive
    • Made of plastic.
    • No Firewire 800.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    FireCube 250GB Gen II FireCube Firewire/USB 2.0 7200rpm 8MB cache drive
    (rebranded OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro FireWire 800/400+USB2
    Combo Storage Solution
    Cost: AU $345
    • Rated highly by Macworld
    • Has 1 USB port so can use on a PC if need be
    • Fast
    • Can boot OS X using FireWire.
    • includes Retrospect Express.
    • USB ports.
    Cons: None?


    MacWorld Reviews
  2. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    That MacPower drive looks like it's designed to fit under a mini. Also, the OWC Mercury Pro drives use MacPower chassis.
  3. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    In terms of looks, I like the FireCube 250GB Gen II /OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro

    Would not mind having one of those sitting next to my Power Mac G5. :)
  4. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    Those are all great drives. Depending on whether you're cheap or flashy, choose the least expensive or best looking one. As far as FW800, I know it hasn't really caught on like apple hoped. I've also heard that the transfer rate of FW800 isn't actually 800 Mbps. Since it's not that popular yet, I'd recommend that if you do get a drive with it you also have some other connections in case FW800 goes out of style.
  5. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2005
    I'm only really here at night.
    Any of those drves should be fine. At least here in the US, 250GB seems to be the sweet spot right now for the price per GB numbers.

    And for merely backing up, have either FW 800 vs FW 400 vs USB 2 wont really make THAT big of a difference speed wise, they are all reasonably fast anyways :D
  6. Frank (Atlanta) macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2004
    I have 3 LaCie drives:

    Two 250gb d2's (attached to my rev A iMac G5)

    One 250gb Porsche Design (it was on-sale; I leave it at my ofc as a back-up drive)

    I've had no problems whatsoever with any of these drives; albeit, the Porsche Design doesn't see tons of use. Also, the Porsche is noisy as heck and gets very warm... I'm happer with my d2's.

    Good luck,
  7. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    one very important thing to consider when choosing is what type of HD is actually INSIDE. this is why i will never buy another Lacie drive again. Lacie firewire enclosures use Western Digital hard drives, which are the crappiest drives in existence IMHO. i would buy an empty chassis and put in your own high quality drive from Seagate or Maxtor or if you must get an off-the-shelf model i recommend the Maxtor firewire 800 series. the one touch software is just a crappy version of Retrospect but the drive itself and the components are good quality.
  8. inlimbo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Just found out that the IceCubes are NOT rebadged OWC drives. They look the same but the IceCubes don't come with Retrospect. Damn! Can't get the OWC in Australia. Can get macpower, lacie and maxtor though.

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