View Full Version : Bus powered external Hard Drive

2005-03-01, 16:12
I want to purchase a bus powered hard drive but am a little unsure of what to buy. Has anyone had any experience with this? Its for a PB and im sick to death of plugging my others in. Is this the cheapest way to go? Is buying an enclosure and getting a hard drive for it going to be bus powered?? I dont really have a clue when it comes to this. Thanks a million!

2005-03-01, 16:50
I'd get a LaCie PocketDrive (http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=LaCie+PocketDrive&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8).

2005-03-01, 17:03
Thats awesome. Thanks. Is this the cheapest option? There seems to be a massive leap in prices from a normal external to a bus powered one. Is this normal?

I just checked. I can get a 250gb external for the same price as a 60gb bus powered one. This seems a bit high. Is it really that expensive just to run from the PB? Or am i missing something?

2005-03-01, 17:22
If you Search (http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=external+FireWire+drive+reviews&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8),
you'll find cool (http://www.cooldrives.com/) products and examples (http://www.wiebetech.com/home.php) of alternative designs (http://www.newegg.com/app/manufact.asp?catalog=414&DEPA=0), sometimes with handy reviews (http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/firewire.html) or Buyer's Guides (http://www.macreviewzone.com/html/reviews/guides/hardware/harddrives-firewire.shtml) to answer some questions.

Generally, 'portable' bus powered units contain 2.5" drives, which are more expensive than standard (non-bus-powered) units which contain cheaper (and higher capacity) 3.5" drives.

2005-03-01, 18:57
No offense curious, but those links you provided aren't too helpful. They are kind of confusing and jumbled even to me - obviously trav wants a bus-powered hard drive, so why not give him one instead of overwhelming him with all sorts of other stuff?

I for one am a fan of putting together your own external bus-powered hard drive. You can save a lot of money compared to what it costs to buy one with a hard drive included. Installing the drive is as simple as opening the case (often times a no-tools affair), snapping the drive into place, and closing it up again.

You can find enclosures for around $30 (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=17-145-330&depa=0) or $40 (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=17-146-604&depa=0), and the drives will vary based on their capacity and speed. Here (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-152-501&depa=0) is a particularly good deal on a 40 GB, 5400 RPM hard drive. 60 GB (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-153-010&depa=0) and 80 GB (http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-144-376&depa=0) laptop drives are available as well.

2005-03-01, 19:06
Luca, my sense was that he had some newbie questions, so I pointed him at some sources for wider perspective, more options to compare, and background knowledge. Sorry if my list seemed confusing.

For purely comparison and purchasing advice on bus-powered stuff, he also asked why larger drives were cheaper, so I though a review site might illustrate pros and cons.

Wiebetech, LaCie, Firefly, and a few others seem to be the preferred options across many sites if you're looking for prebuilt FW bus-powered drives in small footprint.

Many might suggest the d.i.y. method with enclosures and drives ordered separately (and cheaper).
I've assembled a small bus-powered 60GB external for a client recently, wasn't tough.

2005-03-01, 19:14
Ok that helps things a bit. Thanks everyone. It was a bit confusing before. I was looking for a cheap way to get a bus powered drive, so ill look into making one myself. Cheers

2005-03-01, 20:51
I've rolled quite a few of my own. If you don't need the USB2 connectivity I'd go for one of these (http://transintl.com/store/category.cfm?Category=2517). I've got both the 400 and 800 versions (which are suspiciously missing from the site...) and they work great. Get a nice Hitachi 5K80 or 7K60 2.5" HD from wherever and you're set. Bus-powered drives are generally more expensive, but you can ease that pain a bit by putting them together yourself.

The only place I know of that has a full-sized bus-powered enclosure is WiebeTech (http://www.wiebetech.com/products/toughtech.php). If you need bigger storage at the cheaper 3.5" prices, you might want to look at one of those. I've not bought one yet, but it's next on my list.

[edit]: Dammit. I was thinking of this (http://www.wiebetech.com/products/ultragbplus.php) WiebeTech drive. Doesn't look like it's available as an enclosure. Well shit.

2005-03-02, 19:29
Another quick question. I want to put work from FCP straight onto the external. What speed drive can i settle for? i dont think i can find a 7200rpm one where im looking. Would a 5400 be suitable? Also i wnated one for songs and movies to run off so there not hogging my internal. Is a 4200 enough for this? Thanks

2005-03-02, 19:41
Hitachi actually makes a 7200 RPM laptop drive. It's 60 GB and costs about $150 US, but I see you're in Australia so that doesn't make things easy. I'm sure you'll be able to get one there but it'll be more expensive. It's also not as fast as your typical 7200 RPM desktop hard drive, but it's closer to desktop performance than any other laptop drive.

Even for general use like storage, I'd still recommend a 5400 RPM hard drive. They're just barely more expensive than their 4200 RPM counterparts, and you'll be happy to have a 5400 RPM when it comes time to transfer large files over.

2005-03-02, 20:33
I know its considerably more expensive, but you might look into an iPod. Needing an external bus powered drive is a good excuse. Don't boot off it, but its good enough for storage, unless u need over 60 gigs.

Also, I don't know if they have these as bus powered, but you can often get the external casing and a separate drive for cheaper than getting both together. It also lets you get exactly the drive you want. Something to check out.

EDIT: Just noticed that others already mentioned the external enclosures. Thats what I get for not reading through the whole thread first.

2005-03-02, 21:41
Yeah i am about to get a 60gb iPod shortly. What is that like with video footage and stuff. In terms of write speads and stuff. How fast is the drive? I only have like 15gb of music so the rest would be for my photos and then i could use it for my storage and stuff. Anyone using it like this? Thanks

2005-03-02, 21:44
The iPod is about the slowest hard drive you can get. I'd only recommend it for backing up files. For video work, I wouldn't want to use it - you'd be better off saving a couple hundred bucks by buying a lower capacity iPod since you don't have that much music, and then using it to buy a 7200 RPM laptop drive and an external enclosure for it.

2005-03-02, 22:15
Ok thanks Luca. Looks like ill be making my own then. Never done it before, so that should be interesting. Thanks everyone!