Macworld Buying Guides: Portable hard drives
Posted 01 April 2009 - 05:47 AM
Posted 01 April 2009 - 08:07 AM
You can buy a 500gB SATA 2.5" drive for $100 and a self-powered enclosure for $20. The assembly skill involved wouldn't even challenge a worker at GM and it would take you 2 minutes vs. 60 in Detroit,
As for the LaCie rugged, you really should dismantle your test products before recommending them. The 'ruggedness' consists of a bottom of the line Seagate drive, four bits of rubber inside and a rubber sleeve. A 60% premium for that? I know, as my 'rugged' was decidedly less so after its HDD gave out and I replaced it with a reliable Japanese drive.
Get real and start trying to save your readers money before you all lose your jobs. And start testing what you recommend, rather than just repeating press releases.
Posted 01 April 2009 - 10:26 AM
But I won't try to tell you it is fast, even on FW 800. I've not benchmarked the drive, but my sense of it is so-so on speed.
On the other hand, I just bought a new Western Digital 500GB WD5000MT "My Passport Studio Portable HD.
Zing. Comes with FW 800 and includes FW 400 to 800 cable. Runs on USB 2, but advises may require a two plug USB cable.
ALSO comes with WD "Turbo" Drivers for Mac. Says they work with FW and USB. I tried it briefly without the drivers, and it was plenty fast. Added the drivers, and it was plenty fast. Don't know if the drivers make it faster, but if you were having to run such a drive USB, it sure would be nice.
Oh. And the cost. $199 on the Apple Store, paid $40 less through Amazon.
My daughter has been using hers for weeks moving huge graphic files for work. Mine is new. I recommend this one strongly for value, capacity, and speed. Obviously, haven't had enough time to comment on longevity.
Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:17 AM
Now contrast this with OWC which replaced a defective desktop external drive within 24 hours. I don't know about the rest of you, but I can't go without my portable drives for weeks.
Posted 01 April 2009 - 01:47 PM
I am now using a Seagate FreeAgent Go which I bought after the first WD crashed. Rock solid, runs cooler and was cheaper than the WD.
Posted 01 April 2009 - 04:10 PM
Posted 01 April 2009 - 05:25 PM
Manual says "Maximum Drop Height: 86.6 in. / 2.2 m in non-operating mode (dropping is not recommended in operating mode)". What are the operating maximum vibration specs in x,y, and z axis?
Also, as many people have noted before OWC has fantastic service, and LaCie's service is in my experience extremely poor to non-existent, plus their drives easily konk out.
Posted 01 April 2009 - 07:09 PM
Posted 02 April 2009 - 06:10 AM
1. Check out drives at Newegg and Amazon for reader comments and only buy drives with around 5% negatives (the approximate failure rate for good drives).
2. Do the same for an external enclosure. McAlly is the best value to performance ratio.
3. Build your drive.
Should you desire a pre-built, OWC is by far the best solution. They do NOT make hard drives, thus are not a "brand" per se, but they do select top-notch drives to put into the enclosures that they do make.
For those not inclined to build their own, OWC has for years been the best choice.
Posted 04 April 2009 - 09:34 AM
My understanding is that the warranty lengths are based on factory mean-time-between-failure rates. A longer warranty should equate with a longer-lasting hard drive.
That said, I do have one of the LaCie Rugged drives, and it's been great.