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External Hard Drive

hey guys, i am looking to get a 250GB 8MB cache 7200 RPM drive that is external. I was looking at the LACIE 300703U 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IEEE1394a External Hard Drive - Retail which my laptop does have a firewire port, however not alot of other computers do. I basically want a plug and play hard drive that i can throw files on and then use them elsewhere. i will use it as a backup mainly. any ideas on what to get as the best external HDD?


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Staff member
Political User
I would get a USB drive, firewire is faster but the speed of the hard drive isnt going to go over ~55MB/s so dont worry about that. Just get USB so you can use it on other computers :)


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Staff member
Political User
I would get a Maxtor, Western digital, and even Iomega. Ill see if I can find anything on newegg


- geek -
I would say go FireWire for sure. Don't go USB if you can help it, will suck your CPU and is overall slower. I got a LaCie d2 160GB and love it. I use it as my main drive on my Mac mini.


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
I have an external USB/Firewire Maxtor OneTouch drive and I have found that when used with USB I can often receive Windows delayed Write Failures that render backups made to the drive useless. With Firewire these have not been a problem - it seems that Firewire is the superior architecture - and maybe you want to consider a drive with both interfaces available?
does the drive that i mentioned above in my first post, does it just mount as a normal drive so that i can drag and drop files to it? just curious. With maxtor i don't think i would use the one touch backup portion for that reason.


There is no answer!
Political User
USB 2.0 goes to 480mb/s i believe with firewire running at 800mb/s. OH and a lot of drives can r/w at 100mb/s, so the only bottleneck for usb really is the cpu and possibly the mainboard, but as others have said the firewire port used far less power and demands less of the system. A lot of new pc's are now coming with firewire and most laptops have it now as well, you can get a conversion plug you stick on a firewire cable that turns it into a usb plug, i looked but cannot find them, but i think best buy has them.

Or you could buy this enclosure as well

Then you can use either usb OR firewire depending on what you're doing.


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Staff member
Political User
I dont think you can get over 100MB/s on a hdd; if you raid them maybe you can get a hdd that fast. I have never heard of a retail hdd that goes that fast.... also, they might be trying to fool you, 100mb/s is diff from 100MB/s
El Pescador said:
BTW, you can boot from an internal SATA HDD mounted in an external enclosure kit as referred to below - try that with USB or FireWire.
Good post, but I do boot my system from a FireWire drive just fine. ;) I think of the 3 USB is the only one you can't boot from (without issues anyhoo).
I agree with El Pescador. Go for external SATA!!! LaCie is already offering external hard disks with this connection, it even delivers it with a module to get a SATA port at the back of your PC!

Another note: the overhead of USB 2 is much larger than the overhead of FireWire, which makes FireWire faster... As proven in virtually all external hdd reviews!


OSNN Addict
IMHO, if you want a drive that you can throw files on and then take them off onto another computer, go with USB. Firewire may be great, but I know in my personal experience USB is much more available. For example none of the computers we had at University had firewire, none of the computers where I work have firewire, and very few of the computers I have worked with on my own time have firewire, yet 99% of them have had USB. I use 4 USB drives with WinXP MCE 2005, so far I have never run into a problem with them. I use them to host my FTP server/Store PVR files/store my nightly backup.

You mentioned that you wanted to use the drive with a laptop, from what I found on the net the drive comes with an AC adapter, meaning I assume that it's not BUS powered. This is going to be a pain if you plan on carting the thing around. You might want to look into a 2.5" laptop drive and then purchase a bus powered external case. I have one where I bought a 40GB 2.5" HDD and a bus powered case, the thing only measures 3.5"x2"x0.5", since it's bus powered I can use it with any computer that has USB ports, and it's easy to carry around, although something like this would probably cost more.

If you looking for a drive that is just going to sit at home then the one you have linked to above would probably be great, if your looking for something portable that you can use with other computers then look at possbily buying a laptop drive with a bus powered case, and make sure it's either USB or firewire/USB combo .

Admiral Michael

Michaelsoft Systems CEO
To make things easier I would get a USB/Firewire Drive. That way when Firewire is available you can use it.

I have a the Vantex NexStar USB/Firewire enclosure and I like the dual option, just font like the enclosure cause its bulky.


I'd get this one: (I'd like to get this one and use the USB/Firewire to IDE circuitry for other purposes.)


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