Recommend: external FW drives(/enclosures)

Discussion in 'Apple' started by curtis.batt, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. curtis.batt

    curtis.batt Guest

    I'm trying to find a good FW400 drive or drive enclosure that is
    reliable and fast and works well with OSX 10.4.5. I have never
    purchased an external drive before so I'm a bit ignorant of some of the
    criteria.

    In doing my research I found some references to a chipset called
    "Oxford 911" which appears to be the bridge between the FW and IDE
    interfaces. Its performance (in 2001, when most reviews of external
    drives seem to have last ben made) was supposed to be fantastic and was
    highly recommended.

    In 2006 does the Oxford911 chipset really matter anymore? Is there any
    real discernable differences between drives/enclosures and if so what
    should I be looking for?

    (PS. I figure that I could use extra drive speed because I'll be doing
    a bunch of audio recording and manipulation)

    Thanks in advance for your responses.
     
    curtis.batt, Mar 15, 2006
    #1
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  2. curtis.batt

    Davoud Guest

    Davoud, Mar 15, 2006
    #2
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  3. The La Cie drives are not bad either.
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    Thomas Hauber, Mar 15, 2006
    #3
  4. curtis.batt

    memyselfandi Guest


    I'm using a Fantom drive, it works well and is very quiet (aluminum case
    and no fans, it stands upright).
     
    memyselfandi, Mar 16, 2006
    #4
  5. Look for 7200 RPM and at least 8-Meg of cache

    --
     
    Ralph E Lindberg, Mar 16, 2006
    #5
  6. curtis.batt

    zit Guest

    They all SHOULD "just work" but many (most?) DON'T "just work"!

    You are well advised to look into it before purchace, not just
    to avoid wasting money, but also to avoid wasting many hours of time,
    and loosing your data.
    YES, it STILL matters.
    The chipset is the MOST important factor, even more important than
    cooling, or having an extra firewire port, or a USB2 port, or an on/off
    switch.
    Do not get any drive with a Prolific chip set.
    Not even if it is being sold by a dealer who specializes in Macs.
    You can Google for lots of horror stories, so I'll be brief.

    I got a 3.5" case with a heavy aluminum extruded "heat sink" box.
    The Mac wouldn't boot from it.
    Nor would it boot from any OTHER drive on the bus, as long as that evil
    thing was involved!
    I gave it to a friend running Windows XP / USB2.
    You don't say what size of drive you want.
    Big fast 3.5" drives run HOT, and you might want a fan if the case is
    all plastic

    Just a month ago, I got a 2.5" FireWire / USB2 case [PHR-250CC] from
    MCE Technologies. [Their product number was TPU0GKIT2-M].
    They obviously didn't do their homework.
    Neither Backup.app, nor the Finder could copy 100GB from this drive to
    my backup drive on the same bus.
    The drive would repeatedly unmount/remount itself during the backup.
    Backup.app indicated that the full backup was SUCCESSFUL, even though
    only around 10% had been copied.
    Always the same results, except the amount copied varried from around
    3G to 13G.
    Finder copy crapped out on the first I/O error, with about 10% copied,
    so at least I knew that I didn't have a backup.
    That is not as good as HAVING a backup, but much better than Backup's
    "backup".
    Putting the drive in an older Oxford case fixed the problem, with no
    other changes.
    The case is crap because of the chip set, regardless of the expensive
    metal box.
    2.5" drives run cool as cucumbers, so case material is not important.

    That's more than enough about that.
    I am running the latest OS X (10.4.5 Build 8H14) on a 1G 800mhz TiBook.
    It's possible that your Mac may not behave like mine, but it sure would
    be nice if you tried the above test before saying so :)
    The copy was to a sparse disk image. That's what Backup.app does. Kinda
    nice really. It was copying files alphabetically, so I could later
    mount the .dmg and see how far it got. Hundreds of empty directories
    beginning in the B's i think :-(

    Executive Summary:
    If it doesn't specify the chipset, assume Prolific and don't buy it.
    Sales people ONLY talk about the good features of a product.
    If it HAD a quality chip, they WOULD say so.
    You learn more by studying what they don't say.
     
    zit, Mar 19, 2006
    #6
  7. curtis.batt

    George Guest

    I do a lot of video and audio. All the mechanisms in my external
    drives are 400 Gig Seagates based on the Oxford set. So far these have
    proven to be the most reliable HDs I ever owned.

    One thing I noticed that *single drive* external FireWire enclosures
    tend to go toast quickly. (Not the drive, just the enclosure.) For a
    long time I thought that cheap, crappy, failing FireWire enclosures
    are simply a fact of computer life, until I bought a 9-bay FireWire
    tower enclosure off Ebay for $300. I haven't had a single crash since
    I began using it on my G5, stuffing it with 400 Gig Seagates. Even OSX
    zips smoother now, as if I found the rocket propulsion switch for it.
     
    George, Mar 19, 2006
    #7
  8. curtis.batt

    Norm Guest

    Might take a look at WiebeTECH. I've had good luck and good support when
    questions.

    http://www.wiebetech.com/home.php
     
    Norm, Mar 19, 2006
    #8
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