Some help choosing the right external hard disc drive


I need an external hard disc drive for my laptop, but it’s hard to choose since it would be my first one.

I’m going to use it to store my photo’s and music. But not just as a backup. Both, the photo’s and the music, i need a lot. The music speaks for itself. The photo’s however aren’t just for looking them back. I’m making a book which contains a lot of photo’s. Therefore i use adobe indesign and photoshop.

What i need is an external drive which allows me to work just like (or close to) how i can with the photo’s on my laptop. So without slowing me down (so much). As for the music I’d like to play them, via my laptop but only saven on my external drive.

Does anyone has a good suggestion what i should be looking for?

There are many possibilities.

If your computer has an eSATA port, the disk will be as fast as the internal drive, and you’ll notice no difference in speed (except maybe using benchmarks).

The best portability will be with an USB 2.5" drive because no external PSU is needed, but if your computer cannot provide enough power to the USB port (something not so rare too bad :doh:) then this solution is not good.

If you need a high capacity drive and you can bare with an external PSU, then you can get a 3.5" drive.

You can also get an internal drive and install it on a box by yourself.

What is your budget? What is the capacity you need? 500GB is sufficient? maybe you need a 2 TB drive? Do you prefer portability or only performance is the most important factor?

Thanks Geno888,

Portabilty is needed since I’m not only working at home. I was thinking about a 1TB Drive.
My budget isn’t very high. I was hoping for something around 90 euro’s. Or less if possible.

You’re welcome :slight_smile:

1 TB 2.5" drives have very high prices too bad, but a 500GB one is priced around €90. see here an example

Browsing in local stores maybe you can find a better price :slight_smile:

A solution to make a 3.5" 1 TB drive portable is a docking station like this, so you don’t actually need to buy a new drive but you can use a spare drive you already have… Too bad, these, like every external box, have an external PSU, but if you absolutely need a high capacity, a 3.5" drive is the only option :slight_smile:

Thanks again,

The second option wont work for me. The Western Digital seems pretty good to me. But I think I like one with 1TB better. 500GB will be enough to start with, but I’m not planning to buy a second one, so 1 TB gives me a longer range of use.

Does it really matter if I buy a Western Digital or some other brand? I hear good things about Western Digital, but will I really notice the difference with other drives?

I’ve two Western Digital 250GB passport drives and so far both work pretty well. I’ve used mine on a wide range of laptops since I got it and so far haven’t encountered any that could not power it. However, when it comes to desktop PCs, the front USB ports don’t always provide enough power, but generally it always works fine on a rear USB port.

To give an idea of the size, the following is one against a DVD and a pen. The HDD itself is exactly half the size of a DVD case:

I haven’t had much experience with other brands, so can’t really comment. Note that DIY kits, where you buy the 2.5" case and HDD separate tend to need a 2nd USB cable for additional power, as I’ve tried three different 2.5" HDD cases and all required two USB cables (with with a laptop) to spin up the HDD, where as both my WD Passports work fine with the single cable.

The new WD passport models are actually a little smaller than the above, but the 750GB and 1TB models are fatter.

The following shows the performance benchmark (in HD Tune) of my WD 250GB:

Thanks Seán,
I think I’ll check where I can buy a Western Digital drive. As I want to use it for a long time, I should get a good quality drive. Thanks for the tip to check for a second USB cable.

The size is great, can take it anywhere.