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Old 11-19-2010, 21:48   #1
wavetrain75
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2 TB External Harddrive for under $200 - any of them better than another?

Will be connected to a Mac Mini.

Reliability is the big thing, naturally. It will be my dedicated media drive for video editing so I'll be importing HD video in 1 to 30 minute clips. It's mini DV so I'm already limited to no faster than real time.

I don't have an available firewire port (is there such a thing as a firewire hub?) but I can easily get a USB hub.

Toshiba, Iomega, Western Digital, HP, LaCie, Fantom, Edge, Buffalo and several others all meet the price and size requirements.

Or is this just the nerd's version of the 9 vs .45 question?

And I just found a Seagate 3TB for $200.
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Old 11-20-2010, 00:14   #2
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$200 sounds like a lot, considering i just picked up a 2tb samsung internal for $80. i would expect a 2tb in an external enclosure to run closer to the $140 range.

and, if you get a 2tb disk around the same price i did, you could be looking at closer to $100/110 if you buy your own external enclosure.


before i got the samsung, i did a bunch of reading on the WD's available because i've had good results from the wd 1tb external drive i've had for the last year.

the reviews and discussions about the wd 2tb disks i read were not really great, about 60% negative and 40% positive. and these were more technical discussions than just 'this drive sux'. i don't know where wd went wrong between the 1tb disks and the 2tb ones, but it made me look at the samsung and seagate as alternatives.

i've had lots of experience with every drive manufacturer over the years personally and in business. i've seen probably close to 150 drives fail over the years from various manufacturers. it's not really a matter of if, but when considering they're an electro-mechanical device.

sign up for newegg's email news letters and you'll see some really great deals on external drives and internal drives and enclosures as we approach next weekend. the deal i got was their early black friday sale last week.

personally, i'd shy away from wd in the 2tb range. and, be aware, buffalo and iomega and all those other non-hdd mfgr brands don't make drives, they use someone else's (like wd/toshiba/samsung/seagate) in their enclosure and sell it with their name on it.
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Old 11-20-2010, 00:18   #3
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also, you can get a usb hub or a firewire hub, your choice. whichever method you go with, make sure you get an enclosure with the appropriate interface in it.

best would be esata, then would be firewire 800, then usb2.0 (~480mb/s), and firewire 400.

you should check to see which speed the firewire ports on your mac are, if they're firewire 800, i'd go that route with a fw hub since it will be significantly faster than a usb2.0 drive.

google will help you find retailers of firewire hubs if you decide to go that route.
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:33   #4
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Some of the 2TBs are 5400 rpm.

I've had some experience with customers who bought 1.5 TB internal 5400 rpm drives and they are slower than the 7200 rpm version.
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:53   #5
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I've had bad luck with LaCie external drives. The company bought 4 of them to try for rotating external backups, and every one failed within a few months of use.

The system would suddenly report the drive wasn't formatted. So format and copy the files back onto it, and it might last a day, a week, or a couple of weeks before it would do the same thing.

It wasn't the drives themselves, they were Western Digital, it was the enclosure that had problems. I took the drives out of each, threw away the LaCie enclosures, and put the WD drives into PC's and they are still working fine.
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Old 11-20-2010, 09:31   #6
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I found the basic Western Digital 2tb for $120, that's the front runner at this point.
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Old 11-20-2010, 09:34   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kc8ykd View Post
you should check to see which speed the firewire ports on your mac are, if they're firewire 800, i'd go that route with a fw hub since it will be significantly faster than a usb2.0 drive.
It's a firewire 800.

Either way if I go with a firewire hub it means that the camera and the hard drive will be fighting over the same port while I'm capturing. Any idea if it would be faster to use a USB hard drive in that situation?
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Old 11-20-2010, 15:42   #8
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Devil's advocate...

What are you backing up your Video to? Any 'Plan B' when the 2Tb monster fails???

Just asking...
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Old 11-20-2010, 15:57   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Graham View Post
Some of the 2TBs are 5400 rpm.

I've had some experience with customers who bought 1.5 TB internal 5400 rpm drives and they are slower than the 7200 rpm version.

?? Would that be because 5400rpm is slower than 7200rpm? Perhaps your statement is ambiguous and I'm misreading it.
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Old 11-21-2010, 18:10   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srhoades View Post
?? Would that be because 5400rpm is slower than 7200rpm? Perhaps your statement is ambiguous and I'm misreading it.
No, you read it right.
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Old 11-21-2010, 20:48   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wavetrain75 View Post
It's a firewire 800.

Either way if I go with a firewire hub it means that the camera and the hard drive will be fighting over the same port while I'm capturing. Any idea if it would be faster to use a USB hard drive in that situation?
theoretically, they'd be splitting the bandwidth, so they'd be getting ~400mb/s each, which is slightly less than usb2.0 doing it that way.

could you capture to the internal disk and then move it to the external afterwords?

that way you'd get the full 800 when capturing, and 800 moving to and editing while it's on the external disk. as opposed to being stuck at ~480 all the time w/usb2.0
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:33   #12
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if you have the options to choose brands, i'd go with seagate or western digital. I'd also look for a drive with 32 MB of cache, and at least a 7200 RPM drive
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:44   #13
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Seagate, 2T, $110 delivered from Wally World Online No problems so far.
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:18   #14
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i'm a big proponent of seagate... always served me well.
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Old 11-22-2010, 20:04   #15
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<---has stacks of dead WD HDDS.
I'm looking online for that 2TB Seagate drive right now, thank you!
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Old 11-22-2010, 20:19   #16
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I really wouldn't like that much data stored on a single device. My team lead had a smaller external device holding all his ripped movies and it got tipped over while running. Killed it and he lost all his movies. For a lot storage, I'd rather have 3 smaller drives in a raid configuration. Lose one drive, you still have the possibility of recovering the data.

For strictly back up purposes or temp storage, it would be ok.
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Old 11-22-2010, 20:22   #17
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you know how i know about seagate's good warranty ?

20+ dead 75g, 50g, and 30g scsi disks that died at the 4 year mark of the 5 year warranty a while back.

was good that we were using them in raid 5 arrays at the time.


every manufacturer makes drives that die, that said, the wd 2tb disks didn't look that appealing to me when i looked into them. problems with the click of death and excessive head parking.
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