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Good portable external HD?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 BrianShort

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Posted April 22 2008 - 11:01 AM

I realize this could go in the general computer forum, but since now I'm part of the Cult of Mac ®, I thought I'd ask here! Posted Image

I currently have a Western Digital MyBook External HD, but it's the desktop model, and only 160gb, so it's not like I'll be able to take it on the road with me for backups. So I'm looking at some portable externals... I kind of have my eye on one of the 250gb models that Iomega makes. They have a silver one that would really go great with my MBP! - Does that make me sound like a woman saying a new pair of shoes really goes great with the new dress she bought last week? Posted Image

Er... so anyway, I've read that most HDs today are basically all the same as far as reliability goes, so I'm just seeing what people like. They have both Firewire and USB models, so I'll probably go with the Firewire version.

Brian

#2 of 8 Carlo Medina

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Posted April 22 2008 - 05:03 PM

What are you looking for in an external HD?

Portability?
Lack of external power supply?
Bootability? (not all Firewire external HDs support booting from them)
Capacity?
RPM?
Price range?
Connections? (USB2.0, Firewire400/800)

After we know more, we can make some recommendations.

#3 of 8 BrianShort

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Posted April 23 2008 - 12:05 AM

I mentioned I'd like one of the portable models, probably in firewire, so not requiring an external power source would be a big plus. My current HD is my MBP is 160 gigs, though it's only about 1/3 full, but I'd like the extra capacity if I start working with video (which I'd like to at some point) From other places I've asked, Firewire seems to be preferred. Faster, and doesn't take up a USB slot. Price, doesn't really matter too much, I haven't seen any drives that seem rediculously overpriced yet.

#4 of 8 Michael_K_Sr

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Posted April 23 2008 - 12:18 AM

I still prefer the portable drives from Other World Computing. The physical design of the case hasn't changed in years--save for the addition of extra ports and a faster chipset, but they are very reliable and fast. I also like the mini drives from G-Technology with their anodized aluminum cases (they even make a mini portable RAID), but their drives are overpriced. Wish they would just sell their enclosures and let you drop in the drive of your choice.

#5 of 8 Christian Behrens

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Posted April 29 2008 - 02:30 PM

Also, you can get Firewire 800 (twice the speed of regular FW) from OWC, so if speed is a concern, that's where I would look.

-Christian
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Benjamin Franklin)

#6 of 8 ErichH

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Posted April 29 2008 - 07:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianShort
I mentioned I'd like one of the portable models, probably in firewire, so not requiring an external power source would be a big plus. My current HD is my MBP is 160 gigs, though it's only about 1/3 full, but I'd like the extra capacity if I start working with video (which I'd like to at some point) From other places I've asked, Firewire seems to be preferred. Faster, and doesn't take up a USB slot. Price, doesn't really matter too much, I haven't seen any drives that seem rediculously overpriced yet.


Not all drives are created equal. I recommend you scan Real World Speed Tests for Performance Minded Mac Users and determine what is a good drive for your purpose. One of Rob's passions over the years has been a careful study of the best drives for use in a Mac, and external use. No single company holds the crown each year or in all ranges of Mac model compatibility.
The case surrounding the drive is important. Micheal and Christian's suggestions on OWCs products are a good tip. They make a quality case.
You might discover pre packaged externals contain less than top notch drives. 10 minutes with a screwdriver could net you a better solution for about the same price.

Good Luck

#7 of 8 BrianShort

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Posted April 29 2008 - 10:10 PM

Thanks for the replies so far. I'm still looking at different options. I found a Macally housing that is getting good reviews on Newegg, but I've also been thinking about the option of (not so?) simply replacing the internal HD with a larger one, like this one from Western Digital (320gb 5200rpm), and then putting the 160 gig that's in my MBP right now into my 20 gig PS3. What with the newer PS3 games requiring rather large installs (GT5P, GTA4, etc.), I've basically run out of space on the 20 gig with just game data.

Have any MBP owners here gone through the adventure of installing a new HD? I've read that it will not void the warranty for the entire computer, just parts involving the HD. I've read the directions at iFixIt, and it doesn't look TOO difficult, but I'd still be nervous opening up a $2000 machine. How easy is it to peel away the ribbon cable that is glued to the HD?

#8 of 8 Andrew Pratt

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Posted April 30 2008 - 04:10 AM

If you're going to install a new drive in your MBP the only one's I'd consider at the 7200 RMP versions...as for warranty its not a user replaceable part so IMO unless there's a very strong reason to upgrade I'd wait till the warranty is over before attempting it.