External harddrives

Hey, i recently just got my paycheck and i am interested in getting something to store all my data. I want to get an external hard drive but im skeptical abouat the reliabiltiy of them and how long they last. When using an external hard drive, do a lot of problems come up and do external hard drives have a short life? Any reccomendations. Need feedback.

I dont know about externals, but why not an internal drive?

There are a lot of members here using external HD’s. None that I no of have any complaints. Just make sure that you get an external unit that is at least USB2.0, Firewire is good too, and that it has a cooling fan. There are many who do not use the cooling fan, and their HD’s are still going strong, but I prefer the good old fashioned air cooling method…

I have had a maxtor 1 touch 250gb for 1 year now - and it gets pretty heavy usage (rip all my DVD backups onto it and burn from that onto my external burner) - it is on firewire and has reasonable speeds - I can burn at x16 (faster than my laptop hardrive, but I suppose no where near an internal SATA drive for example)

Hi :slight_smile:
As with anything how you use & look after external hd’s is the important thing. Get this right & they’ll last years.
Maxtor’s are good & fast, but be aware that no ext drive will match an internal drive of similar spec.
Personally I’d get one from the Maxtor range. Make sure good airflow when in use. Keep protected when not.
I’ve used ext drives for years & never had a failure yet. Mind you I’ve built them myself & tend to upgrade about every 18 months.

get an ide hd+external enclosure its much better as nearly all external hds have 1yr warranty (maxtor have 2 but only in europe) also in alot of cases the buffer in external hds is smaller (2mb) then the one youll get with ide hd & ext enc in similar price (8/16 mb) , i suggest youll get a seagate hd (they have 5yr warranty) and some nice external enclosure i recommend ams venus ds3 its aluminum and have 80mm fan and have usb+firewire (in the DS-2316CBK model at least the other have usb only) also it supports big hds , anyway its best to use firewire and firewire pci/pcmcia cards are preety cheap

it Works out cheeper if you buy a Hard Disk & an External Caddy to incert it into…Make sure caddy is Aluminium…Your choice whether its a 2MB or 8Mbt cach…

Hey, thanks for the replies. I’ve made my decision to get an internal drive and get an external closure for it. I’m planning on getting a Maxtor 6L300S0
Hard Drive and it has a 16mb cache, but im not sure about the external enclosure yet. I’ll check out phil_'s suggestion. I want an enclosure thatll keep the drive cool all the time and will have a 1394 connection as well as usb. Whats a chipset that everyone is talking about for an external enclosure? Also does it matter if the drive is ATA or SATA? If the external enclosure only has a 8mb buffer but the harddrive has a 16mb cache will the cache level be limited to what the enclosure has? Do any of you think a harddrive with and external enclosure lasts longer than an external harddrive?

the Maxtor 6L300S0 is an sata hd ext enclosures for those are rare better get ide , also as i alredy said seagate hds have 5yr warranty maxtor only have 3 , the ext enc i recommended fits those requirements it have usb+fw and an 80mm fan and its aluminum made , ext enclosures dont have a buffer that depends on the hd only , as for the last one nearly all external hds dont have a fan so i think an hd+ext enclosure that have a fan will last longer hds get preety hot

Okay, i’ve decided on this ext enclosure http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817145657 which I hope is the one you reccomended. As for the harddrive I want to get either http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144183 or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144187 . I know seagate has a longer warranty, but you get a bigger cache and more features with the maxtors. Does that look good?

If at all possible and/or you can afford it, I would recommend the Maxtor MaxLineIII/DiamondMax10 series of HDDs (which I see you are choosing from). They’re currently the top choice for desktop storage at StorageReview.com (http://www.storagereview.com/articles/200410/200410087B300S0-2_1.html). You can opt for the smaller 200GB size but you can never have too much HDD space :wink: (says one with over 1TB of HDDs). The 16MB cache 250GB is just slightly more expensive than the 200GB with the 300GB version coming in a ~$30 more for an additional 100GB of space.

Also the MaxLineIII version has a 5yr warranty versus the 3yr warranty of the DM10 version (the former is geared towards the Enterprise market and the latter to the Desktop market). The less-than-$10 premium for an addtl 2 years of warranty is definitely worth it IMHO.

Here are links to more choices (to confuse you ;)):

250GB/16MB cache MaxLineIII: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144236
250GB/16MB cache DiamondMax10: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144422

300GB/16MB cache MLIII:
300GB/16MB cache DM10:

Too bad the MLIII 300GB is sold-out (weekend sale) but the Egg gets stock pretty quickly.

For the external enclosure, I highly recommend getting one with Firewire400/A or Firewire800/B (if your mobo/controller supports FW800 that is). The FW protocol has a slightly slower theoretical burst bandwidth than USB2.0 (~50MB/s versus ~60MB/s) but has better sustained throughput, is more stable and is daisy-chainable. There’s a reason why digital A/V transfer is preferably done via FW as opposed to USB2.0.

my choices for an HDD and Ext enclosure:

Maxtor MaxLineIII 300GB w/16MB cache and 5yr warranty -



Rosewill RX30-U2FA USB2.0/FW400 with the Chipset Oxford 911+ Cypress AT2 Bridge -

and liking this Rosewill external case for an ODD drive -


Too bad the Rosewill HDD ext enclosure is sold-out at newgg…and i wish they made them in black though to match my case…

Currently my one external HDD is a Maxtor OneTouchII 300GB/16MB cache (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144365) which I purchased at BestBuy because I desperately needed a backup solution when two of my 250GB SATA drives failed. The price is actually just a little more than the above combo I outlined but with the terrible 1yr warranty only (so the above combo is clearly a better choice). My Maxtor ext is on 24/7 with Audio/Video constantly streaming back and forth from it (hooked up via Firewire). There’s no fan on it but it stays very cool on top of my aluminum case (the Maxtor’s cases are a very nice aluminum design) so the heat conducts quite well. Though I haven’t taken it apart, I believe the internal drive is from the same lineage as the MLIII/DM10 given the specs.

Would it be good enough if i just got the venus ds3 ext enclosure? What features differ to that of the rosewill rx30?

The Venus enclosure will definitely be good enough…I was just presenting another option. They both use the Oxford 911 chipset for the Firewire bridge and both use a Cypress chipset for the USB2.0 bridge - not sure if there’s a difference between the Cypress chipset of the two though. Again, I recommend using FW instead of USB2.0 like _phil did above.

Some differences between the two enclosures are…

  1. They’re both aluminum but the Venus has more plastic than the Rosewill (at least from the outside it seems). Not sure if this would affect the heat dissipation in any way or construction quality.

  2. The Venus has a fan so might be cooler but noisier than the fanless Rosewill (important if noise is a concern).

  3. Price…

Personally I think the Rosewill is aesthetically more pleasing but this may not be of any concern to you.

There are a ton of external enclosures to choose from. As long as you choose one with good bridge chipsets then the rest is pretty much a matter of personal preference (i.e. fan/fanless, noise, aesthetics) and construction quality (just get one from a reputable manufacturer). It can be difficult to gauge some of these qualities when purchasing online however.

Kingwin also makes some nice external enclosures with the latest Oxford and Cypress chipsets.

If you’re only planning on putting an internal HDD in the enclosure, then a 3.5" one is fine. You can also increase future expansion possibilities by going with a 5.25" enclosure that can accept both HDDs and ODDs if you ever want to put an older burner in it. That’s a whole other discussion however because you get into other chipsets e.g. Prolific.

external hard drive Vs internal hard drive ???

to get more speed…wt should be done … install one intenal ide with one external ide ?// or two internal hards ?//
like i have seagate internal ide 80gb…if i want more space should i purchase 200gb maxtor (external+my old int ide)…or small 120gb internal …??? i want to have best speed…
wt abt chache ??? it should be same ?? or internal should have greater cache ???

according to the features the fan should be “ultra silent” and user reviews confirm it

it is :smiley: ,

i guess youll have to decide whats best for you , imo warranty is more important and 5yr might save you money on the long run if it will go bad before the 5yr warranty ends but if youll get a maxtor and it will go bad after 3yrs then youll have to spend money on a new one

@zshan000 standard “internal” hds are faster and in most cases the buffer of external hds is smaller (2mb versus 8/16mb on the standards) also the warranty is much shorter (1-2yrs versus 3/5 on the standards) also getting a regular hd+ext enclosure is cheaper in alot of cases and gives much better value

Which is why I recommended the MaxLineIII version over the DiamonMax10 version of the Maxtor. :flower:

The MXLIII/DM10 has proven to perform better than the 7200.8 series from Seagate overall as well :iagree:


for the harddrives does the 250g/16mb maxline hd differ from the 200g/16mb diamondmax10 besides the space. The diamondmax10 seems to have more features, but are they that important?

Hi :slight_smile:
If by extra features you mean stuff like NCQ. Then the answer is no to, my knowledge there’s currently no support for external HD’s.

They’re virtually the same drive save for the warranty terms. Supposedly the MXLIII drives use higher quality components and are geared towards the enterprise market where limiting downtime is crucial. For all intents and purposes, the two lines function identically.

Maxtor has also recently announced the DiamondMax 10 series. The higher capacity DM10 units (250 GB and 300 GB) feature construction similar to the MaXLine III right down to the 16 MB buffer. As a result, these high-end DM10 drives are functionally identical to the MaXLine III. Maxtor claims that the MaXLine uses select premium components and premium testing and manufacturing. In the end, however, the performance figures that follow also apply to the 300 GB DiamondMax 10.

mm mm good…Firewire 800 is the good shit for an external HDD: