Which external HD to buy (USB/Firewire) for old iMac G5

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by magilla, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. magilla macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    #1
    If I wanted to pick up an external HD fairly cheaply, is there any clear consensus about USB vs. Firewire? Any manufacturer preferences? I was thinking of looking @ about a 1TB drive.

    Thanks.
    Bill:confused:
     
  2. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    #2
    I can't remember the name of it but I think it's the WD MyStudio that might have a 500GB or a 1TB drive that can be used with Firewire 400.
     
  3. mike457 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario
    #3
    Yes. Firewire 400 offers slightly faster (and more reliable) transfer speeds than USB2. Firewire 800 offers about double the speed of USB2. The manufacturer question is fairly open. I've had success/bad luck with just about everybody. My preference has been to buy an enclosure from OWC and install my own hard drive choice. I tend to have a lot of hard drives lying around, for some reason. :)
     
  4. spyguy10709 macrumors 6502a

    spyguy10709

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    One Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA
    #4
    I'd pick a FireWire drive for sure. Based on an amazon search and price comparison, this guy seems like a good drive for you. http://www.amazon.com/Book-Studio-FireWire-External-Drive/dp/B004QGXOOS/ref=pd_sxp_grid_pt_1_2/191-8418030-9935628
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #5
    ^^^This!

    Always cheaper to buy an enclosure and a bare hard drive. Insert the drive into the enclosure and there you go.

    The manufacturers rip you off. You're paying for "features" and software. Some of that stuff is good, but it's all just icing on the cake. You are still essentially buying a hard drive and a hard drive enclosure. The manufacturer just makes it easier for you by making it all in one piece.
     
  6. magilla thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    #6
    Saw several threads about doing the build-your-own thing just never really thought about going that route (not that I'm not that mechanically inclined) but that leads to my second question - don't I need drive specific software for installation or will my Leopard's Disk Utility fully cover that?

    Bill

    ----------

    I'm really looking for a bus-powered drive (don't want any more power cables snaking all over the place that I absolutely have to have) so I really have to shop around.

    Since this old iMac G5 only offers FW400 speeds and many of the drives available are FW800 (but backwardly compatible) if I consider sometime in the near/distant future getting a brand new system, do I need to think about FORWARD compatibility with an external drive? I know USB 3.0 is here and 3.1 is just about to be released to the developers this fall, do you have any feel for what THAT's going to bring?

    :confused:

    ----------

    Thanks, will take a look at them.
     
  7. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #7
    You do not need any software, drivers, or anything else for an external drive. Plug it in and OS X will ask if you want to format the drive. That's it.

    The beauty of this is that you are not limited to IDE/PATA drives. You can buy large SATA drives with a SATA enclosure. You can buy laptop drives and get a laptop drive enclosure for space saving. It's really just dependent on what you want/need.

    As far as only having bus power, you may have to look hard for a FW case like that. The only bus powered only enclosures I am aware of are USB.
     
  8. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #9
    Actually, a good enclosure + bare drive is usually more expensive than ready made drives.

    That's why some people buy external enclosures when they need a bare drive, and why vendors like WD sometimes use proprietary connectors inside their ready-made drives.

    The point about building yourself is to have the exact case and mechanism that you want. Also, if one of the two fails, you send just that for warranty. With ready made drives you usually have to choose between exercising warranty and losing your data or voiding warranty and maybe keeping your data.
     
  9. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #10
    Really?

    I can go down to Frys Electronics in Phoenix (where I live) and buy an external case for $10-20. I can then buy a bare drive for around $20-80 depending on size. If I buy a small drive and a $10 enclosure I've spent maybe $20-50.

    Can you show me a manufactured external that is not on sale for roughly that price?
     
  10. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #11
    You might find it cheaper if you buy a random case and/or random drive instead of current quality technology.
     
  11. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #12
    FW is definitely better and in my opinion, the better way to go(especially with PPC Macs)

    I love Western Digital and would recommend their products to anyone. I agree with eyoungren though that you should get a bare hard drive. I would not recommend and enclosure though because I think that can be as limiting as having a manufacturer's pre-assembled external.

    Instead(and what I do now), buy a HDD docking station. You can get them with usb 2.0 and FW I/O and this way you can swap out drives much easier, and because the drive is in a docking station it won't maintain the higher temperatures for as long as it would in an enclosure.

    I'm currently using a Thermaltake usb 2.0 docking station that I use for media/files that I don't normally access. One of the extra bare hard drives I have now is a clone of my wife's OS that I update once every week or so.

    Having this also saved me a lot of money when I decided to replace the HDD on my iMac. The service itself was only $50 + the cost of the drive, but the service price for reinstalling the OS would have been $100. So buying the docking station saved me about $50.
     
  12. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #13
    Does it matter?

    http://www.frys.com/product/5528570?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG


    http://www.frys.com/product/4446976?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG


    http://www.frys.com/product/6112779?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG


    http://www.frys.com/product/4602838?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG


    Note that the only non-name brand above is the last one in the list.

    ----------

    Docking stations also a good idea. I'd forgotten about those.
     
  13. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #14
  14. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #15
    ok.
     
  15. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    looking for trash files
    #16
    the pointy end of the screwdriver goes first.

    as you're in the US, you might have a look at OWC and when the main page comes up type;

    garage.sale

    in the search box on the top left. select external enclosures from the list on the left and search away.

    i'd recommend a FW800 as it will down clock for now with a 800/400 cable, but would be faster in the future if you upgrade your system. works now and later. if you can build basic lego sets, you can handle a build like this. best of luck.
     
  16. magilla thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    #17
    Yeah, the FW800 + 800/400 cable is pretty much the way I've decided to go based on what's been posted. Actually, OWC is the first place I looked and was absolutely befuddled by the choices both in pre-manufactured and build-it-yourself components. Like I said in my original posting, I wanted about 1Tb of storage and of course what initially popped up on OWC's site was the banner for their On-the-Go series of drives. Physical size isn't a determining factor nor really is disk speed (5400 vs. 7200). From what I've read now heat production CAN be a factor and not knowing what kind of heat output is generated by these drives can certainly determine what kind of enclosure to look for (plastic vs. aluminum).

    Thanks for the input.

    ----------

    Actually, this is the first thing I saw when I went searching initially.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  17. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #18
    I think that's a pretty good choice but make sure that connecting it via FW is also supported for it being bus-powered. Because there is a slot for an AC adapter and with most of the drives that are bus-powered being usb, I would just make sure.

    The reason they have the AC adapter is on their website as well and you might actually need it depending on what your Mac is able to provide for power and also depending on the drive you choose to put in that enclosure.
     
  18. magilla thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    #19
    I'm running an old iMac G5 under Leopard 10.5.8 that someone gave me for an upcoming trip (going to Montana where there's no cable/satellite access - only a landline connection with the outside world hence the iMac with the dialup in it) and wanted to cart along a drive for backups sake.

    I'll have to speak with someone @ OWC about the FW/power question. I just assumed that a FW plugin drive would operate like their USB counterparts.

    Thanks again.
     

Share This Page