View Full Version : External Hard Drive Suggestions

2005-10-17, 20:31
I am in the market for a good external hard drive. What are some suggestions? What is good for speed and cache etc? I was looking at 200gb or more with firewire 800. I wanted to use it to backup all my school files on it, as well as music, pictures, and movies. What should I need and what should I want? (The two are different most times.)
I saw a Maxtor one touch II 250gb for $225 on Amazon. Good Price? Good Drive?

2005-10-17, 20:37
i have a maxtor 200 gig usb 2.0 and its ok, i wish i woulda got a firewire...ive been thinking about getting an external hdd and getting theRosewill RX-30 U2FA (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817173003) external case from newegg.com. you get that great mac feel and its a great looking product...plus you can put any size hdd in it and have it run under $200 because usually internal hdd's are on sale

2005-10-17, 23:29
I got a separate HD and an external case, and everything's working good. I'd highly recommend that route, as you can usually find one or both parts on sale somewhere. As long as you choose a good case, you shouldn't run into any problems.

2005-10-18, 00:18
As long as you choose a good case, you shouldn't run into any problems.
What's a good case? How can someone tell?

2005-10-18, 03:02
What's a good case? How can someone tell?
I have no idea. :) I just chose the one that was on sale at the local Fry's at the time. Fortunately, it turned out rather well. I'll let the more knowledgeable members tell you how you should decide.

2005-10-18, 08:33
Most any case will do. I have 6 different firewire 400 external cases and all of them work just fine. I bought 4 of them from newegg, 1 from ebay and 1 from OWC.

This is absolutely the cheapest route to go. About a year ago I bought a dual bay external firewire drive off of ebay for $80 (new) and 2 Maxtor 250GB 16MB cache HD for $90/each. For $260 I got 500gb of HD space. Not too bad.

2005-10-18, 20:23
How much work is it to put together a hard drive? It looks as if it would only save about $20 - 30.

2005-10-18, 21:37
Most likely it's an one minute job, no tools. You'll spend more time thinking about where on your desk it looks best. Only way to goof is to buy a SATA enclosure and IDE drive or vice versa.

edit: to clarify, it seems that some of them are tool-less installs and some have mounting screws. I have no actual experience with external cases. When they're tool-less, that would make them somewhat faster and easier to install than inside a PC tower case, which I do have experience with. PC cases usually use the screws for mounting. In that case I'll guess three minutes for install, and you have to have a small Philips screwdriver (cross head).

2005-10-18, 21:51
Yeah, it takes very little time at all. With mine, the hardest part was popping the case open. After that, it's just a matter of plugging the power and data connectors into the hard drive. Very easy.

2005-10-18, 22:07
What are the afvantages of a Firewire external drive versus an USB 2.0? (my iMac has Firewire 400)

2005-10-19, 08:14
Putting a HD into a external enclosure is about a 5 minute job, if that.

What are the afvantages of a Firewire external drive versus an USB 2.0? (my iMac has Firewire 400)

Everything below holds true (IMHO) for windows and OS X.

Firewire (400) is faster than USB 2. USB 2 is theoritically faster, but in real world use I have never had a USB 2 external HD preform faster than a firewire 400 external HD (everything else being equal).

Also, using USB 2 requires some processor power while firewire does not 'use' your processor (most of the 'processing' is done on the firewire chipset).

In my experience, firewire is also more stable than USB for external HD's.
I can't tell you the number of times that I have had a multi-gigabyte 'upload' from/to a USB (1 or 2) external HD just freeze. Sometimes requiring a reboot.

I can count on 1 hand the number of times this has happened on a firewire (400 or 800) external HD.