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Thread: External Hard Drives

  1. #1
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    External Hard Drives

    Hi,

    I'm a new poster with a question that I'm hoping some of you could help me with.. Firstly, a brief introduction. Although I'm not a computer genius I'm fairly able and understand a fair bit, though Hardware is by far my weakest area. I own a Mac Powerbook 15", 1gb Ram, 80gb Harddrive on OSX Tiger.

    Before I start, could any mac haters please think before they post an unhelpful list of 101 reasons why you should not buy a mac

    Anyway, I'm in the market for an external hard drive. I know the options avaiable but not the pros and cons of each. I'd imagine buying an enclosure and HD seperately is cheaper than an all ready made thing. Or even an enclosure-drive combo.

    I appreciate most modern drives are now 'SATA' though I'm unsure whether it would be worth making the step upwards.

    I would expect to be able to run music and movies off the drive, though would be willing to accept that games and intensive applications (maple, photoshop, dreamweaver) should be run off the internal HD.

    Having a mac, I have firewire which I believe is 800, though I also have USB. Firewire 400 is of no use because USB is 440, but firewire 800 would be a non-essential bonus.

    So what am I looking for:

    120gb+ BUT I am really looking for 200-250
    USB2.0 - however Firewire800 is a bonus
    7200rpm speed I have kind of assumed would be the way forward
    haha, here's the catch: Low low low prices!

    Being a student, every pound I save is worth a pint (quids in, hell yeah). A maximum would certainly be £100.

    I have looked at an "Icy Box" fitted with 200gb drive for £85 (inc VAT and delivery).. I will make it known now that I'd be happy to pay around £10 extra for something with a touch of class to sit proudly next to my Powerbook

    So, your turn? any suggestions? I emphasised price.. but don't let price come in the way of reliability.

    Any answers would be appreciated..

    Thanks,

    Mark

    PS- If anyone has any mac questions I could do my best to answer them

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    the speed will be limited by one of two things, the drive transfer rate which will peak at around 60-70mb/s or the rate at which the data is converted from pata/sata to usb/firewire (i think this is the most important as i tried to get an external 5.25" box that could handle 16x dvd writes and it was damn hard)

    so anything will do as long as its not usb 1.x

    the icy boxes are apparently good, you can always get an empty one for about £30-35 and buy a drive separately (250gb for £50) then you are assured of the quality of the drive and it will be a bit bigger than the one you mentioned for the same price

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    hmm actually im wrong, firewire is 400mbit/s which is 50mb/s so you will lose out slightly, but that will only be on the fastest part of the disk

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    Quote Originally Posted by -ChEM-
    hmm actually im wrong, firewire is 400mbit/s which is 50mb/s so you will lose out slightly, but that will only be on the fastest part of the disk

    I'm probably wrong, but I believe firewire 400 is 400mbits, and 800 is 800mbits

    I might be wrong though, as I said hardware is a weakness for me

    Oh and thanks for the icy box comment.. i'll look into that.. I haven't yet seen many retaillers online stock them though.. I'll keep looking.

    Any more comments?

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    I'd go for a Seagate 7200.10 320GB. They're supposed to faster than the previous generation of Barracudas, and they've got a five year warranty.
    "Well, there was your Uncle Tiberius who died wrapped in cabbage leaves but we assumed that was a freak accident."

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    • madman045's system
      • Motherboard:
      • P9X79 Pro
      • CPU:
      • I7-3820
      • Memory:
      • 32GB
      • Storage:
      • Not enough!
      • Graphics card(s):
      • HD7970
      • PSU:
      • 850w Corsair
      • Case:
      • Corsair Carbide 300R
      • Operating System:
      • Win 7 Ultimate X64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2713HM & 2007WFP
      • Internet:
      • Plusnet FTTC - 30mbit/7mbit
    I've got two 400GB seagate externals, both with USB2 and Firewire 400, both silent, spin down when not it use so there is a slight delay when you want to reaccess them.

    They wasnt exactly cheap at £200 each mind you....

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    yeah keep in mind that price is a high priority here.. I'll look into the seagate drive

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    • alcor's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASUS P5W DH DELUXE
      • CPU:
      • E6600
      • Memory:
      • 4Gb (4X1GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC5400 (667)
      • Storage:
      • 320GB Seagate Barracuda + 2x 500GB Seagate Barracuda
      • Graphics card(s):
      • XFX 8800GTX
      • PSU:
      • 650W Enermax Infinity
      • Case:
      • ANTEC P180
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2407WFP
      • Internet:
      • 8MB SKY
    I have a Maxtor one touch II, 300GB external. It is USB 2 and is fantastic, no probs watching movies off it, and it is very fast.

    I bought it for arround £140, however i think they may now be onto the one touch III, and the price has come down. I think you can also get a usb and firewire version also.

    Basically if the price is right then i would reccomend this drive.

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    Thanks I'll look into that drive

  10. #10
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    • alcor's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASUS P5W DH DELUXE
      • CPU:
      • E6600
      • Memory:
      • 4Gb (4X1GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC5400 (667)
      • Storage:
      • 320GB Seagate Barracuda + 2x 500GB Seagate Barracuda
      • Graphics card(s):
      • XFX 8800GTX
      • PSU:
      • 650W Enermax Infinity
      • Case:
      • ANTEC P180
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2407WFP
      • Internet:
      • 8MB SKY
    No probs, if u want any more specific info about my drive just give me a shout.

  11. #11
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    congrats on your first posts mark

    i also am in the market for an external hd, but under 200gb wont cut it. and fortunately i dont use a mac
    anyway let us know how you get on with your chosen drive!

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    Hey thanks, I'm still looking..

    the one i was looking at was http://www.lowestonweb.com/Products/...B-C1EE59F64E4E

    Mainly because it just looks so cool. but I'm taking into consideration the comment that you can't tell if they'll put a cheap hard drive in there

  13. #13
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    Firewir v's USB

    My understanding is Firewire uses only a fraction of the CPU cycles of USB.

    Where less CPU usage is important go for firewire.

  14. #14
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    Well i did a fair amount of looking around, and it seems the best option is an external caddy and and internal hdd.
    I think the best looking caddy would be the Vantec Nexstar 3 eSata, but as they are not "Widely" available yet in the uk , the Icybox will suffice. I would opt for the IB-351-StUS-Black model, which has an Sata (I or II) internal connector, and both usb2.0 and sata external connectors, so you can transport it about easily on usb, and if you require higher speeds you can use the sata ports.
    I am probably going to get this combo myself, with a samsung sp2504 250gb probably, so its not too loud
    not bad for £75 from scan!
    Last edited by jackofalltrades; 27-07-2006 at 01:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackofalltrades
    Well i did a fair amount of looking around...
    I think the best looking caddy would be the Vantec Nexstar 3 eSata, but as they are not available yet in the uk
    Well, you didn't look around enough!

    First link on google:
    http://www.dcs-online.biz/shop/produ...oducts_id/6494

    W.

  16. #16
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    Wow, nice spot, i wouldnt of known how to find that! however, there are no black ones left in stock and only 1 blue one!
    I asked scan about the contents and they said the icybox just comes with an AC power adapter and USB cable.
    But on DCS it seems the Nexstar3 comes with:
    Driver Disc, User Manual, 3.5" SATA HDD Enclosure, Power Adaptor, Power Cable, eSATA Cable, USB Cable, SATA to eSATA Bracket, Vertical Stand, and Screws.

    Has anyone else bought an icybox and knows whats included?

    The shipping for the nexstar starts at £6 and the product is £2.50 more expensive so i think you will be looking at an extra £10 for the nexstar :S

    Makes its a tough decision, guess i will have to mull it over :S

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