What external hard drive should I get?

I'm getting a Retina Macbook Pro for my film class and I want some extra storage because I won't only be using the computer for video but also for my musical endeavors as well. I want to get some serious external storage to back up all these files that I'm going to have and I was wondering what external hard drive is the best. I'm looking for at least 1TB if not more. What drive would be the best quality for the best value?



I'm also looking into getting a Thunderbolt compatible external hd as well. 10 gigabits per second vs usb 3.0 has 5. They are a little more expensive it seems, do you think its worth it?

3 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are two parts to any external drive...

    -- A case

    -- The actual hard disk drive inside the case.

    Considerations for the case are...

    -- Materials. Plastic is cheap, metal is so much better at dissipating heat. Drives last longer if they don't stay too hot.

    -- Outside connection type. Thunderbolt or Firewire 800 are good choices for your computer. See last link below for a T-bolt. YES, IT IS WORTH IT, THE FASTEST BY FAR.

    -- Internal connection. Should be SATA because new drives are that.

    Considerations for the HDD are...

    -- Form factor (physical measurements with a ruler). The 3.5" form is more reliable and can have greater data capacity than the 2.5" form factor.

    -- Connection type. All 1 TB and larger drives are SATA, so get that.

    -- Rotational speed. Faster is better (Shocking news!). Get 7200 RPM. A new type of drive is called "solid-state drive" or SSD, and they have no moving parts, so no rotational speed. They are more expensive and lower capacity.

    -- Storage space. New SATA drives can be anything from 320 GB to 3 TB. Reliability reports suggest that drives at the top of the current technology for size are less reliable. That means a new 3 TB drive you buy today may not be as reliable as a new 2 TB drive same brand that you buy today. If you want to use Time Machine, get an external drive that is at least double the size of all the possible data you will have on the internal drive.

    Brands are all about the same. People get hung up on whatever they used before, but that could be a mistake. Plenty of PC geeks loved Maxtor in the 1990s. They went bankrupt because of huge failure rates (Dopes put their firmware ON THE PLATTER ITSELF!!!). I have both WD and Seagate HDDs in this Mac, and prefer Seagate because they have temp sensors that read to my software for monitoring. Also, it's hard to shop for WD, since they are not forthcoming with specs. Often they do not mention rotational speed in any spec sheets sent to vendors, so you have to go to their site, and plug in the exact model number, just to find out they are selling a 5400 for the same price as Hitachi or Seagate 7200.

    My favorite case is the Macally at the link below. It looks a bit too cute (like a toy Mac Pro), but it has ports for USB 2.0, eSATA 3.0, FW400, and FW800. Has aluminum (aluminium if you speak British English) case for fast heat dissipation.

    You will have two "good" choices for formatting the drive. "Mac OS Extended (journaled)" format can be used only with OS X and is required for Time Machine, or with a Windows computer that has MacDrive software installed. NTFS format can be used with OS X if NTFS-3G (*special steps below) or "Paragon NTFS for Mac" is installed. It can be used with any modern Windows computer. The NTFS-3G software can format any currently available size of drive (or partition) as NTFS. Some Windows formatting apps, such as the one in Win XP original edition, limit the partition size to 137GB. Main limitation is cannot use Time Machine with NTFS.

    There is a not-so-good format called FAT-32. The cluster size grows rapidly with volume size, so it is slow with large drive volumes, and has a limit of 4GB for individual files. Some video files (and all DVD movie images) may be larger than 4GB. The more recent exFAT overcomes the 4 GB file size limit, but has the efficiency faults, so for all these limits, just mark all FAT formats off your list ("cut the FAT"). Even Microsoft does not recommend it now.

    * To use NTFS drive volumes as read-write in OS 10.7 or later...

    -- Download and install OSXFuse, link below. You must install this first.

    -- Download NTFS-3G, link below.

    -- Mount the NTFS-3G image, but do not install--It has two packages inside, and will try to install the defunct MacFuse first, which would fail. Instead....

    -- Right-click the "Install NTFS-3G.mpkg" file, and choose "Show Package Contents".

    -- A new Finder window will open. Change the view option to list or columns.

    -- Navigate to Contents > Packages.

    -- Open "NTFS-3G.pkg" and install.

    Source(s): http://tinyurl.com/4456vh4 (3.5" case, USB, FW400, FW800, eSATA) http://tinyurl.com/atn79qb (3.5" HDD, 7200 RPM, 2 TB) http://www.macmall.com/p/LaCie-External-Hard-Drive... (Thunderbolt drive) >
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I would start checking newegg and amazon for a special.

    Most of them will offer to purchase extended warranty so for extra 7$ you can have three year warranty coverage.

    External drives are pretty much offer the same functionality so it s only a matter of getting a best deal

  • 8 years ago

    Maybe Hitachi Will be good

    you can find hitachi hdd in most of hp laptops and pc

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