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External Enclosure


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I want an external drive to hook up to my laptop. I only have a firewire card for my ipod and don't have usb 2.0.

I want to be able to use it with a dvd burner (not purchased yet) and if possible a secondary hard drive (not purchased)

is there anything i need to know before buying the drive? I was just planning on grabbing it from ebay if possible.


thanks for any info


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Make sure it has an internal fan. They get pretty hot, so an internal fan is a necessity.


USB2.0/Firewire combo is nice, but more expensive. But, it gives you the added flexibility that you can take it to friend's places & you know that it will work.


My enclosure is a pain in the ass to add/remove drives (you can't easily get to the screws to secure the drive), but there's really no way to know that until you have it in hand.

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If you're going for a FireWire enclosure for your HD, get one with an "Oxford" chipset (it's the bridge between the IDE connector on the drive and the FW interface on the enclosure). Oxford is a high-performance chipset that will give you decent speed from the drive, a lot of cheap boxes use cheap bridges which will effectively slow down your data rate.


Last time i checked, very few if any USB 2.0 enclosures could match FW in terms of throughput, but to be honest I haven't seen specs in several months, so the USB 2 boxes may have caught up (FireWire boxes were slow at first too, until the Oxford boxes arrived).

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They are pretty neck and neck now from what I was reading, but Firewire still has a slight edge. Not that I'd ever notice the difference. :) Personally I use the FW port, just because it keeps a USB port open on my computer.


Unfortunately it can be difficult to determine the chipset from online stores and manufacturer's sites. I found an awful lot of inconsistancies, and finally just ordered one, on a "best guess" of what I was getting.

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