Canadian Mac Forums at ehMac banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
848 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Within the next 3-4 days I need to get an external hard drive. Time is crucial. I have been using the search button non-stop, googling, and checking out bestbuy, futureshop, tiger direct, canada comp..etc.

I just don't know what kind of drive to get. I know I want something in the 500 gig range, and I also don't want to break the bank.

IDE drive? SATA? esata? what the heck do all these terms mean? I want something fast, so I can transfer over large files, movies, etc, from the comp. to the external drive. I hear people talking about enclosures, and enclosure problems, i have my brother-in-law telling me not to pay anything over $125 (although he is pretty tight with money)...

i'm just confused, I don't know what these terms mean. I found a WD 500 Premium edition at costco for $200.00 Includes Firewire400 and USB. Is that a rip off? good deal? What about this whole esata thing? What the heck is an esata cable?

Please help and thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
650 Posts
Within the next 3-4 days I need to get an external hard drive. Time is crucial. I have been using the search button non-stop, googling, and checking out bestbuy, futureshop, tiger direct, canada comp..etc.

I just don't know what kind of drive to get. I know I want something in the 500 gig range, and I also don't want to break the bank.

IDE drive? SATA? esata? what the heck do all these terms mean? I want something fast, so I can transfer over large files, movies, etc, from the comp. to the external drive. I hear people talking about enclosures, and enclosure problems, i have my brother-in-law telling me not to pay anything over $125 (although he is pretty tight with money)...

i'm just confused, I don't know what these terms mean. I found a WD 500 Premium edition at costco for $200.00 Includes Firewire400 and USB. Is that a rip off? good deal? What about this whole esata thing? What the heck is an esata cable?

Please help and thank you.
First off, we have currently 2 types of hard drive (for consumers). PATA (often called IDE) and SATA. eSATA is basically an external SATA.

If you want fast (in theory) SATA is the best option connected via eSATA (if you choose and external drive). In theory SATA (or eSATA) is rated at 1.5gbps (SATA I) or 3gbps(SATA II), while a USB 1 is only rated at 12 mbps or USB 2.0 at 480 mbps and Firewire 400 FW400 (iee1394a) speed is 400mbps and FW800 (ieee1394b) is 800 mbps. Most drives today are SATA II. An OEM SATA or IDE drive around 500 GB will cost you around 110 dollars (give or take 10 dollars or so). They are trying to phase out IDE (PATA) for a few years now. Most new computers, desktop or laptops uses SATA connection.

A SATA enclosure can cost around 20 to as much as 100 dollars. So it would probably cost you around $150 (thats what I got mine for anyway) for a 500 GB plus an enclosure (I chose my enclosure with USB and eSATA).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
Yeah that eSATA route is a lot cheaper than Firewire+USB enclosures for some reason too.

I was recently in the same boat... I wanted Firewire 800/400 + USB.... but I opted for just Firewire 400 + USB. It's much cheaper than triple interface enclosures and decided I didn't need the extra speed of FW 800.

I went with the AMS Venus DS3 and a Seagate 250gig.

Just remember, if you're going to buy an enclosure and put a hard drive in it, it really doesn't matter what interface the internal drive is. What matters is the interface of the enclosure to your comp.

From fastest to slowest:
eSATA, FW 800, FW 400, USB 2.0, USB 1

Not sure which 'ready to go' external harddrive brands are the best... Lacie D2 Extreme, Western Digital MyBook?.... but to get the best bang for your buck, get an enclosure and a HD to go in it.

don't know if that helped but....:cool:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,709 Posts
If buying the Costco versions ensure that you get what the box says, as there were some reports of people switching out the drives in them. The good part is that Costco knows about it, and will easily swap the purchase for you (as is their routine).

But don't be afraid of going the build your own route. Four screws, two minutes, there you go.

Alternatively, MacDoc and other ehMac sources have good prices and guarantees and people say nice things about them.

And since no one has said, "crash" and "hard drives" in the thread title was ironic, no?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
650 Posts
If buying the Costco versions ensure that you get what the box says, as there were some reports of people switching out the drives in them. The good part is that Costco knows about it, and will easily swap the purchase for you (as is their routine).
What do you mean by that? Is it because it is cheaper than buying a 1TB HDD?
 

·
Bald by choice
Joined
·
9,055 Posts
Mmmm! "CRASH" course, probably not the best choice of words when talking Hard drives.:yikes:

jb.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,709 Posts
Mmmm! "CRASH" course, probably not the best choice of words when talking Hard drives.:yikes:

jb.
Yes, see post 4, above.

What do you mean by that? Is it because it is cheaper than buying a 1TB HDD?
I mean in a few instances people were found to be swapping out the internal hard drives with crap, failed hard drives, or working, smaller drives and re-wrapping them and returning them. If they went back on the shelves, the next customer found out the hard way--and was sometimes wrongly blamed. Caveat emptor.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,103 Posts
Just remember, if you're going to buy an enclosure and put a hard drive in it, it really doesn't matter what interface the internal drive is. What matters is the interface of the enclosure to your comp.
Careful how you put it!

We had a few cases here on the forum where people were ready to buy a SATA drive and an enclosure with an IDE-to-Firewire interface for the drive.

The interface inside the enclose has to match the hard drive you want to put in it; the interface from the enclosure itself (on the outside) has to match what you Mac will support.
eSATA, FW 800, FW 400, USB 2.0, USB 1 are interfaces between the enclosure and the Mac; IDE (PATA) and SATA are interfaces between the hard drive and the enclosure.
The enclosure has a bridge in it that converts IDE (PATA) or SATA (from the hard drive) to one or more of eSATA, FW 800, FW 400, USB 2.0 to connect to the appropriate port on the Mac (or PC for that matter).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
569 Posts
I would suggest that you get your Brother in Law

Within the next 3-4 days I need to get an external hard drive. Time is crucial. I have been using the search button non-stop, googling, and checking out bestbuy, futureshop, tiger direct, canada comp..etc.

I just don't know what kind of drive to get. I know I want something in the 500 gig range, and I also don't want to break the bank.

IDE drive? SATA? esata? what the heck do all these terms mean? I want something fast, so I can transfer over large files, movies, etc, from the comp. to the external drive. I hear people talking about enclosures, and enclosure problems, i have my brother-in-law telling me not to pay anything over $125 (although he is pretty tight with money)...

i'm just confused, I don't know what these terms mean. I found a WD 500 Premium edition at costco for $200.00 Includes Firewire400 and USB. Is that a rip off? good deal? What about this whole esata thing? What the heck is an esata cable?

Please help and thank you.
to purchase the drive and enclosure for you and make sure that HE will provide a TOTAL 3 to 5 year warranty at his expense .

This will ensure

(1) he does not know what he is talking about
(2) your complete satisfaction and/or
(3) completly destroy the relationship between your wife and her brother

While I have never been a fan of WD drives over the years it's what Apple has chosen to put in my intel 20" iMac and its covered by AppleCare so I am not worried.

The Costco drive seems to be reasonably priced or their 1 TB drive at twice that price shown above

IMHO.............brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
848 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the replies... few more questions, please don't laugh...

where is my esata drive port? I can see my 2 usb's..(1 doesn't work) i can see my FW400 port on one side and my FW800 is on the other side of my PB. Where is my esata?

Also, if it is easy to just buy the components separetly and put them together, can anyone recommend a place to go...tiger direct? canada comp?

1) what internal drive to get, (i'd rather get an esata if I can support it) for the faster speeds

2) what external case to buy?

Reliable, dependable and as I said something that will not break the bank for 500 gigs or so. If anyone has anything like that running right now, I wouldn't mind figuring out where you purchased all of your parts from and easy/hard it was to assemble.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,415 Posts
where is my esata drive port? I can see my 2 usb's..(1 doesn't work) i can see my FW400 port on one side and my FW800 is on the other side of my PB. Where is my esata?
You don't have an eSATA port on the PB. Not even the MBPs have it. You need to get a PC Card for eSATA Connections, something like this:
Canada Computers - I/O Controllers > SATA Adapters : Sabrent SATA-CB2P Serial ATA (eSATA) 2 Port PCMCIA CardBus Host Card Adapter 1.5 Gb/s (1500 Mb/s).

Also, if it is easy to just buy the components separetly and put them together, can anyone recommend a place to go...tiger direct? canada comp?
Canada Computers before Tiger Direct :D

what internal drive to get, (i'd rather get an esata if I can support it) for the faster speeds
For eSATA, you should get an SATA-II drive -- prefereably seagate, as they have the best warranty for OEM drives. Try something like this:

Canada Computers - Hard Drives > S-ATA Drives : Seagate Barracuda (ST3500630AS) 7200.10 SATA NCQ 3.0Gb/s 500GB 16MB Cache (OEM).

what external case to buy?
People have had okay luck with Vantec eSATA drive enclosures, again here's a link to give you an idea:

Canada Computers - Drive Enclosure : Vantec NexStar3 NST-360SU-BL (Blue) USB2.0 3.5" Aluminum External SATA Hard Drive Enclosure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
848 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
fyrefly,

Will drive to automatic updates on its own? Can the mac be programmed for that? I ask, only because some externals, ready to go, like the WD, have an automatic back-up feature. I think it might be useful.

thanks for all the help, that sounds a pretty good, 100 for the drive, 40 for the case, 20 for the card, all in all, taxes, probably looking at roughly 200. The Costco WD, is 200 + tax and from what I can tell does not have esata, correct me if i'm wrong. 3gbps sounds awesome
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,103 Posts
macmac -

Which Mac do you actually have that you want this external drive for. I didn't see anything in this thread where you identify the specific model.
The new MBPs have an Expresscard/34 slot, the older ones I think a PC Card slot or PCMCIA slot. They are quite different



So you need to make sure you get the right interface card if that is the way you want to go.
Fyrefly posted a link to a 1.5 Gb/s PCMCIA card.
The absolute fastest throughput you can get between the Mac and your external drive is determined by the slowest link in the chain, in this case the 1.5 Gb/s card, so with the hardware listed above you won't get 3.0 Gb/s even if your drive and enclosure can handle that. All you will get is 1.5 Gb/s which is still pretty damn fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
848 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
krs,

I currently have a Powerbook 17", 1.67ghz, but will be getting a new 17"MBP.

The idea here is to store my data on the new drive.... get the new comp, and transfer the data back. Since i'll be getting a new drive, (external) I would like something fast. I always thought FW was faster than USB, so I was looking for a FW connector.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,103 Posts
krs,

I currently have a Powerbook 17", 1.67ghz, but will be getting a new 17"MBP.

The idea here is to store my data on the new drive.... get the new comp, and transfer the data back. Since i'll be getting a new drive, (external) I would like something fast. I always thought FW was faster than USB, so I was looking for a FW connector.
FireWire is faster than USB, even FW400.

If you want maximum throughput and compatibility with your existing Mac as well as with your new Mac, FW800 is the way to go. But a FW800 enclosure tends to be a lot more than a FW400 enclosure, something to think about.
I'm sure you can find some links on the net where they did real time transfer speed tests of FW400 vs FW800.
I would keep the ExpressCard/34 slot on the new MBP for something else. here is a list of possible uses:
ExpressCard/34: How To Use The ExpressCard/34 In Your MacBook Pro » Free Mac Blog

BTW - Firewire 400 is officially called IEEE-1394a, and Firewire 800 is IEEE-1394b, you may see that terminology as well.

A FW400 enclosure is around $40-$60, a FW800 enclose at least double that or more.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,709 Posts
why not keep it simple?

500G USB 2.0 for $149

LaCie Porsche 500GB 7200 8MB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive 301103U


and in retail stores
Because...

tigerdirect.ca said:
What You Should Know
Important Note: OEM hard drives do not include cables, software, or hardware (screws, brackets, etc.).


Limited Warranty
This Item's Warranty is:
- 12 Months Parts
- 12 Months Labor
Warranty provided by
- LaCie
- View Warranty Info
What is the store's return/restocking policy? Where does this drive go for warranty repair?

Compare the Seagate's 5 year warranty if you buy the drive and install it in an enclosure yourself; a very simple install. Not that I don't see the benefits and savings from this item. Except that it's USB only.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
My 2 cents is to keep it simple as well. If you can get a drive with BOTH USB and Firewire connections, I think that would give you the most flexibility, and you wouldn't need a expansion card for your MBP.

If you are keeping the Powerbook around after you get your new MBP, the external drive could be used as an emergency boot disk for the PB - in Firewire mode. And, as a boot disk for the MBP in USB mode. (if I remember correctly)
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top