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  1. #1
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Posted in da cut

    External Hard Drive?

    My 80g hd on my laptop is just about finished thanks to tons of music, pics and video. Anyways I was thinking of getting a external HD, but I'm not sure what's a good brand. I would perfer to just pick something up at Costco, CC or BB. I was thinink something in the $100-$140 range.

    Anybody have any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    SF Bay Area
    Western Digital has a reputation for making some of the fastest drives on the market. But, Western Digital has also had inconsistent reliability on its drives over the years.

    I've heard good things about Maxtor's external drives, but the company was acquired a few months ago by Seagate, so I don't know how this will affect the customer support. In the short term, you might be able to find some closeouts as Seagate phases out the Maxtor products. From what I've heard, Seagate probably has the most consistent reliability. Their lower end drives aren't always the fastest, but they are very well built and come with a five-year warranty. These drives use the same 3.5" platters as desktop hard drives. They're heavier and require an external power cable, but they run faster and give you higher capacity for the price.

    Another option is to go with a smaller capacity external drive that uses a 2.5" platter (same size as a laptop hard drive) connects directly to the USB 2.0 port and gets its power from the USB port. Disadvantage is that these drives have lower capacity and run at slower speeds. But, they're nice in that you don't have to carry a power cord and they're much lighter. The more popular ones I've seen include Western Digital, Seagate, Hitachi (formerly IBM), and Iomega.
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  3. #3
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Laptop harddrives (2.5") are about twice the cost per GB as 3.5". You could buy a bigger 2.5" drop it in you laptop and then take the old one and put it in an enclosure you buy separately. But economically you'll get more external GB with a 3.5"

    My an enclosure and the HD separately, online. The enclosure is good forever, and when you have bigger things to store or your drive fails you just drop the new one in the enclosure.

    I've always bought IBM/Hitachi drives both 2.5" and 3.5". Of the 6 or so I bought, one failed inside the end of it's 3 year warranty and was replaced for free. Our tech support recommends Seagate and I see they now sport a 5 year warranty.

    There's lots of vendors online to buy from. I usually buy from Other World Computign ( You might save $5 elsewhere but that's who I've always used with no problem. Others have suggested I'm sure there's more.

    The sweet spot right now for value in $$ per Gig is around the 250GB drive size. For a good specs on a 250GB for ballpark $90 (enclosure).
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ATA/6 7200RPM 16MB Buffer with 5yr Seagate Warranty (SEAST3250624A)

    Enclosures vary from ~$40-$100 depending on how many ways you want them to connect to your computer. Beware of old USB1.1 (SLOW).

    Also drives now come as IDE/ATA or SATA. SATA is new and potentially faster but not a lot of hardware is out yet to support it.

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