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Questions about external firewire hard drive / enc


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Hi everyone,

 

I'm looking for a good external hard drive storage solution for my Mac G4. I want at least 120 GB and a firewire connection. I've been looking at complete external hard drives like the Maxtor one-touch series, but after checking the prices, it seems like it would be more affordable to get a good hard drive and an external enclosure. But I'm not entirely certain how to look for the best combination of drive and enclosure.

 

Here's what I'm thinking - I'd like the drive to be at least 7,200 RPM with an 8 MB buffer. I'm not sure exactly how necessary this is or how much of a difference it would make - I intend to use the drive for backup, not as a primary drive with the OS on it. Should I still consider 5,400 RPM drives or 7,200 RPM drives with only a 2 MB buffer? Are Maxtor and Western Digital still good choices, or are there other brands I should consider as well?

 

And I'm not quite sure about what specifics I should look for in an enclosure. I've been reading that I should get one with the Oxford 911 chipset. Is this still the best? And should I consider trying to find an enclosure with a fan? My last internal hard drive burnt out and I'm a little concerned about heat issues. Finally, what are some good brands for enclosures? All the ones I'm seeing are stuff I've never heard of.

 

Oh, and are there any other compatibility issues with Mac that I should be aware of?

 

Thanks for your help,

Eric

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Oxford 911 is still good for a FW400 speed connector, but if you plan on getting a G5 sometime you might want to get an Oxford 922 enclosure which will do FW800 speed.

 

However, if you are only going to use the drive for backup (which I take to be literally copying your files to it so you have redundant copies), then don't worry about the speed so much.

 

As far as enclosures, DO get one with a fan, but consider replacing the built-in fan with a Vantech Stealth fan if noise is a concern.

 

For specific enclosure recommendations, check out XLR8YourMac.com which has a section all about Firewire HDs with performance reviews and testimonials:

 

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/firewire.html

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