10 Replies Latest reply: Aug 20, 2013 10:53 AM by Alfredo Jahn
Alfredo Jahn Level 3 Level 3 (805 points)

My current iMac (Spring 2011) has firewire 800. For many many years I've used firewire (400) for my external drives.I currenly have 2 externals that have firewire 400 and USB 2. One is my TimeMachine backup. I recently have started to have issues with the TM external one. I realize I'm not getting the full power of firewire since I'm only using 400, and not 800, but I didn't what to have to buy new external cases, and I'm on a bugdet.

 

Anyway, here is the advise I seek. I recently saw a good deal on an external Seagate 3TB USB 3. I realize I my iMac doesn't support USB 3, but it seems like the future is to move away from firewire and go to USB 3 and thunderbolt on macs. Generally I pay extra for firewire. My questions is, for just backup like TM, am I ok with USB 2.0? My other 2TB external is firewire and works great with Final Cut X, etc.

 

Any advice would be appreciated. At this point I am not backing up so I need to make a decision quickly. Also moving up to 3TB would allow me to not only backup my internal 500G, but alot of the stuff on my FW external what I now manually backup once a month or so.

 

Thanks


iMac 3.06 GHz Intel Core i3, Mac OS X (10.6.8), 12GB RAM, iPhone 3gs, iPhone 4s
  • 1. Re: Need advice on external drive
    rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (42,145 points)

    USB 2 is fine for backing up Time Machine. However I'd recommend a high quality drive and enclosure, the ones OWC (www.macsales.com) are second to none in quality and reasonably priced. We are all on a budget but when it comes to backing up, you should spend the money....it's your life line.

  • 2. Re: Need advice on external drive
    Chessie 01 Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)

    I have a LaCie "Rugged" 1TB external HD used with Time Machine. My internal HD is 1TB. I bought it because it's small and fits into available space on my desk.  I've had to use it only once.  I had to restore some financial records on which I made a mistake and wanted to return to a time before the error occurred.  It worked fine.

  • 3. Re: Need advice on external drive
    Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (30,450 points)

    Avoid bus-powered drives if at all possible. Get one with an independent power supply.

     

    If you buy other than an OWC external drive (I won't buy anything else, having suffered through two "name-brand" external drives) and don't need to share the drive with a Windows computer, use Disk Utility to erase and reformat the drive for Mac

     

    I still prefer FireWire. Even FW400 beats the socks off USB2 in real-world situations.

  • 4. Re: Need advice on external drive
    Alfredo Jahn Level 3 Level 3 (805 points)

    Thanks for the advise. I actually have 4 OWC cases, I actaully buy my own drives and put them in there... Do you really think that paying for the whole drive/case from OWC is better? Do they use better drives? Do they test them?

     

    Thanks

  • 5. Re: Need advice on external drive
    rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (42,145 points)

    The way you have been doing it with OWC is just fine and will save you a few dollars. I'd recommend buying the HD you want and fitting it to an OWC enclosure.

  • 6. Re: Need advice on external drive
    Alfredo Jahn Level 3 Level 3 (805 points)

    I just talked to tech support at OWC. It was interesting to find out that the drives they use in their Mercury Elite Pros are high performance 7200rpm drives. I always get the cheaper "green" 5400rpm Seagate or WD drives. The tech told me they steer away from those. So maybe, $157 for a 2TB isn't as expensive as I thought. They warranty them for 3 years and they test them before they sell them. I think I may bite the bullet and just fork out the few extra bucks. It may be worth less agrivation.

     

    Thanks

  • 7. Re: Need advice on external drive
    Cymrukiwi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You can get some great deals on a Firewire 800 external drive. I recently purchased a WD Studio 2TB which can be networked too, Its had a pounding as I'm a photographer and use it as one of my back ups. When choosing drives you will want something reliable too, not try to get good quality and good value too.

  • 8. Re: Need advice on external drive
    Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (30,450 points)

    WD drives are great but their enclosures are not. I had one for a while and it was so troublesome that, even thought it was marked "Mac Edition," was so Mac-unfriendly that I ripped out the bare drive (a WD Green) and put it in an OWC enclosure and reformatted it with Disk Utility. Works like a charm now.

  • 9. Re: Need advice on external drive
    Alfredo Jahn Level 3 Level 3 (805 points)

    Unfortunatly, with all the FW 400 externals I have, adding a 800 won't buy me anything, since the other 400s on the bus will pull it down to 400 anyway.

     

    I did find a good deal on a OWC Mercury Elite Pro with FW 800 and USB 3. I may just swich to one external runnig FW800 and hook the other one for TM to the USB port. Not sure if I'll notice the speed increase going from 5400rpm w/FW400 and the new 7200rpm w/FW800. What do you think?

  • 10. Re: Need advice on external drive
    Alfredo Jahn Level 3 Level 3 (805 points)

    Thanks everybody for your suggestions! I decided to not cheap out, and just orderd the OWC Mercury Elite Pro 2.0TB Firewire 800 drive.

     

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/ME3QH7T2.0/

     

    I found it on Amazon for a few bucks cheaper and Prime 2 day free shipping. After talking to OWC, I decided it was worth the extra money to get a better quality drive. I'll probably move the data from my other 2TB (5400rpm FW400) and only run this one on the bus by itself. Then use the other 2TB for my TM backups connected to the USB port.

     

    Any thoughts on that?

     

    Thanks