If you just need the external drive without the extra stuff, just buy the dedicated drive itself.
Amazon.com has the 1TB for $289.
Their competitor on their site has it for less but they charge tax and shipping while Amazon doesn't, so everyone prices adds up to the same.
I agree. The 750GB drives are priced much lower per GB than the 1TB drives. For Time Machine, I believe you want a drive that handles small random read/write. The best at that is the WD7500AAKS Western Digital Caviar (and its sister drive with 24/7 rating, the WD7500AYYS.)
If you are capturing video data directly to an external drive using Final Cut Pro or such, the drive with the fastest sustained speed is the Samsung Spinpoint F1. Second fastest is the Seagate 7200.11.
I really like the WD RE series; 500 or 750 GB. Server class, designed to run continuously, 5 year warranty instead of 3. A few dollars more, but worth it, I think, especially if you ever plan on striping or mirroring them in a RAID.
If you're buying one now, get a case that holds 2 or more; you'll probably want to add drives at some point down the road.
We were disappointed with the large sustained transfer performance of the 750GB Samsung SpinPoint F1 in our testing -- especially when mounted inside the Mac Pro (all models). The only large drive (750GB - 1000GB) that was slower was the WD "Green" drive, which is designed for low power consumption rather than speed.
Seeing that Tom's Hardware measured different results on the 1000GB (1 Terabyte) version of the Samsung SpinPoint F1, we obtained one and tested it. We can testify that it is the fastest 7200rpm SATA drive we've ever tested both for large sustained transfers and small random transfers. And it's the quietest of the 1TB drives tested including the WD "green."
We're so impressed, we're ordering a second Samsung 1TB drive.
I went with the 1 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 (internal drive) as my Time Machine drive. It is the fastest in its class. I was using an external 500 GB WD MyBook Premium edition with Firewire 400 connection, but it was bogging down my system because of the slow data transfer.
I can't even tell when the Time Machine backs ups are taking place now and have a free firewire port again.
If you are only backing up video files, then the 1TB Samsung SpinPoint F1 is the fastest drive (108MB/s WRITE in our tests) with the Seagate 7200.11 1TB coming in second (100MB/s WRITE).
If you are also backing up the many small files in random locations on your boot drive, the 1TB Samsung SpinPoint F1 is still the fastest with the Western Digital WD7500AYYS coming in second.
Newegg comments were for an OEM drive, which I have always said is a slight risk and unknown quantity. It may also be it doesn't play well in those users systems running Windows. Does seem to be getting a lot of negatives.
One person here (Ireland?) bought and got a number of DOA WD drives from a trusted vendor.
Spend an extra $20 and get retail drive. Or wait 3-6 months, every vendor tweaks and revises their drive to improve performance and reduce returns and DOAs as they learn more, new chips, firmware, whatever is needed. I have two supposedly identical model/firmware Raptors, but manufactured 9 months apart and nearly 10MB/sec difference in max and minimum range of each.
Hatter, I appreciate your contributions but I often long for you to be more specific. In Obama words, you offer a fine piece of chocolate but then you only let us have one bite, sometimes.
I suppose one can find a 750GB (WD) drive for $168 at OWC but I understand the choices of external enclosures are staggering. Does $67 buy you something reliable, with a fan? Is the SeriTek/1EN2 an unnecessary waste of money? What should one look for in a quality dual-drive enclosure? Is Aluminum the only requirement?
As for the PCIe Controller Card, I hear many of the choices are buggy for the 2008 Mac Pros. I also hear it's better to go with 4-port cards to take advantage of two-lane throughput. 2-port cards seem to have limitations and if you aspire to grow your system towards Port Multiplier Enclosures, limitations can halt you. I haven't seen a reliably tested PCIe card for a 2008 MacPro for under $184. What gives?
I wouldn't recommend the $67 case or any other if I didn't use them, they have fan, they work fine for two direct connect drives.
People who want PM should invest $750 for controller and case. Then add drives.
The SeriTek cases are excellent and provide 3-speed fan.
I pointed out options. Anyone then needs to do their own research and decide if their budget and needs favors A, B, or C.
You are as short on details and generalizing "many" of the "choices" are "buggy."
RocketRAID vs Sonnet or what? If that is what your research says about the card you want and the AMUG review bears that out, then that is what you have to decide.
A two channel card and case is a lot better than any USB or FW case, which was what was under consideration, NOT a full fledged 20 drive array. Sonnet and Firmtek and Caldigit have 2-ch cards and you can find Highpoint in the under $200. Check OWC and MacGurus after reading the reviews on AMUG.
Hatter ~ I was curious where you purchased this dual drive casing for ~67$ ??
i too have purchased a few those WD 750 AAKS drives, one i determined DOA as it has a loud repetitive hum, like a very low frequencybuzz like a failed component i tired it in different systems, external case everything did it while i was formatting it for NTFS after installing Leopard on it. too many formats in one day? lol
but im looking for a external case that i can utilize, 45$ for a cheap one on newegg doesnt really fancy me right now, anything that someone ahs used and could sort of give a good recommendation would be great!
The ONLY way I have managed to create NTFS partitions was:
Convert FAT to NTFS in Vista;
Delete FAT and create in Vista (essential to install Vista)
Format a drive as MBR in Disk Utility and use MacFuse + 3g