Which is the best External Hard Drive?

I’m looking to purchase an external hard drive for my laptop pc and was hoping for some input on what is a reliable and dependable hard drive.

What make would you recommend?

Pick whatever is the most reliable and dependable internal hard drive, and put it in an external enclosure. Problem solved. :wink:

I don’t think that solved it :disagree: :confused:

i agree with gurm for several reasons
a) its cheaper
b) if theres an external hdd with a fan i havnt seen any and it might last longer with cooling
c) nearly all external hdd’s have only a 2mb buffer which is very bad imo,dont settle for any hdd with less then 8mb

just get a good ide hdd along with an external enclosure its much better,seagate offers the longest warranty 5 years unlike 3 years the others offer (except wd raptor which also have 5) but if you want a real big hdd maxtor or wd might be a better choice as they have hdds with 16mb buffer on the high capacities that is 200gb at least,anyway heres some info bout external enclosures

a) there are 2 types 3.5 and 5.25 , 3.5 is for hard drives and 5.25 is for optical drives

b) material some are made from plastic and some from aluminium
aluminium is much better then plastic with heat disposition so aluminium is better

c) fan, some external enclosures have a fan (40mm on 5.25 / 80mm on 3.5)
in general its better to have one with a fan as the drive might last longer if cooled

d) some have usb and some have usb+firewire,firewire is faster then usb (about 19 mb/s with usb and 33 mb/s with firewire)

e) not critical , most have an on/off switch but some doesnt

its best to use firewire besides the fact its faster firewire also takes less resources then usb,if you dont have firewire built in a firewire pcmcia card costs only 20-23$

I’d actually get an enclosure and drive separate too. Now on USB or firewire, the amount of cache on the hard drive isn’t going to make a dang bit of difference because the link is too slow. I have a cheapo USB 2.0 enclosure with a maxtor 40GB 2mb cache 7200 rpm drive, and it gets 26mb/s in the sandra bench. 5400 RPM drives are getting rare, but they’re IDEAL for USB enclosures because they run cooler. I’d make sure whatever enclosure you get does have a fan, because the drive will get hot in there without it, even if it’s a 5400 RPM drive. Now if an 8mb cache drive is only a couple $$ more, get it, but the 16mb drives are kinda pricey. Even internally, my 120gb 8mb cache 7200 RPM maxtor, and the 300GB 7200 rpm 16mb cache drives perform almost identically, the 120 is actually a little faster! On USB or firewire, it’s not going to make a dang bit of difference. Also, the Cypress chipset for USB 2.0 is fine for hard drives, but avoid it for optical drives. There’s a thread around here on external enclosures, see if you can find it. Then just look for the best deal you can find on a hard drive to put in it! :iagree:

OK thanks for the info.
I’m so use to getting external hardware for my laptop, but this sounds like a great idea to get an enclosure for an internal hard drive.

Thats what I’m going to do. And cheaper too, no doubt about it.
Now I have to decide what hard drive I’m going to get.

I know theres pros and cons for everything, and I’ve been searching here and other places and Seagate looks like it could be the winner.

Now the heading of this thread doesn’t really fit any more :bigsmile:

I would go for the Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 Plus 200GB (ST3200822A).

For the case, I recommend the MaPower MAP-KC31C1 (USB/Firewire Combo).
It’s a great case, very solid, great quality, superbe performace and has a nice design :slight_smile:

Thanks for that, but is there an enclosure with a fan, for Seagate 200gb?

You don’t need to look for an enclosure “for” a Seagate, any 3.5" enclosure will work with any hard drive.

Also, since no one else has suggested it, if I were you I’d watch for a nice deal to come up over at SlickDeals on the Hot Deals forum. There’s usually a bunch of good deals on Seagate/Maxtor/Westen Digital drives there. Just be sure it’s not a SATA drive, those won’t work with any enclosure you pick.

Personally, I like Samsung’s hard drives, mainly because they were engineered to run cool and whisper quiet. Nothing wrong with a Seagate though, and that 5 year warrantee is pretty nice.

Check these out… Bytecc’s are among the best enclosures…

I didn’t know anything about these enclosures before I posted this thread.
Like I said I have always used external devices, but I really like this idea.

So all I have to do is look for any 3.5 enclosure, that has what I’m looking for in it, and it will work?

Very kewl indeed :smiley:

I’m checking out the links now.

take a look at bestbuy.com …a bunch of their external HDDs are on sale right now…

I changed my mind about an external HDD during this thread, so now I’m looking into an internal drive with an enclosure.
So the title of this thread is misleading now :doh:

still doesn’t hurt to look :wink:

Very true… going there now.
Who knows what I’ll find :slight_smile:

Didn’t realise it was that easy, but now I do :slight_smile:

I did want to update this thread, since it’s not clear to me if one can go cheaper with an internal HDD + good external enclosure. My research indicates LaCie makes really good External HDDs and their enclosures and good also. I’ve read about WD, Maxtor and Seagate all now seeming to have really crappy enclosures and despite Seagate having 5-yr warranty, it’s Indian tech support and worthless–whereas the LaCie is tech support in Oregon, although for the External HDDs designed by Neil Poulton, it’s a 2-yr warranty and the 500 GB (= 465 GB in binary) is currently $84 delivered on pricegrabber.com.

If someone does have a cheaper but better internal HDD + good external enclosure for cheaper, please list them and the prices.

Hey I came across this thread while searching for cheap external hdd.

I didn’t know you could enclose an internal hd… so upon reading about it here in this thread, I think I’d rather choose that option.

Here’s why: internal hdd last longer than external hdd - it’s a matter of fact.

The poster before me mentioned htat LaCie’s external hdds are cheaper than an internal hdd + encloser. I guess their prices have increased:

LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Disk 1 TB = $ 280


Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM = $110


SATA enclosures: $30


Actually, going with the LaCie Niel Poulton external enclosure is the best-priced external HDD offering I’ve found and what I referred to. Iomega also has excellent external HDD offerings and buy.com had some incredible prices on the portable external HDDs. Anyway, I got the LaCie 750GB USB 2.0 7200RPM Desktop External Hard Drive - Design by Neil Poulton for $102 delivered. Oddly enough, 2 weeks later than that it was on sale for $10 less. At the time I priced enclosures + internal drives, the best price combination I found was $10 more than even what I paid and the cooling wasn’t any better than available with the LaCie anyway (everyone says only leave the drive powered for as long as one needs it, then shut it off, regardless of if you make your own or buy one). The problem with the enclosure listed is that it’s also fanless, so the cooling is no better again this way, whereas at least the Neil Poulton design does allow better passive cooling than the aluminum enclosure linked to.

I love some Lacie harddrives :slight_smile:

Plus the one I listed has free 2-yr. US-based tech support out of Oregon–NOT like the ‘normal’ Indian-based ‘tech support’ that Seagate has been sporting for a while now (and other places too).