External HDD/ Media Storage

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by chocolate, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. chocolate

    chocolate TPF Noob!

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    hi all,

    since i have been shooting raw , i found that my current hdd isnt really sufficient for all the photos. I am looking for a external hdd.

    can anyone suggest something that is faster than the normal usb format??

    and how much space (gb) is worth buying at this moment..?:blushing:
     
  2. Atropine

    Atropine TPF Noob!

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    A little more info would have helped. What OS are you using and for what purpose is the HDD? Simply for storage or are you actually going to work on the files?

    PC:
    e-SATA is probably the solution that provides the best performance, but not all PCs have this option. USB and Firewire are similar in file transmission speed, but only Firewire provides full duplex (read and write at the same time). So if you are only going to backup the files, you're probably well off with USB, but if you're actually going to work with the files, Firewire will be faster.

    Mac:
    I would say Firewire. Simply because their implementation of the USB standard is not really good from what I've heard. And besides, most macs are equipped with Firewire from start.

    At the moment I use a 1TB Western Digital MyBook Studio Edition, but I am actually only able to use 500GB since I run it in Raid1 mode for extra safety. Even if you double the size of the HDD that you think you need you will probably end up filling it sooner than you think so buy as big as you can afford. (Ooops, just knocked out a half a cup of coffee on my desk!)

    If you need the HDD only for storage use, you should probably look for a model with a hardware flickswitch so you have full control when it's on and off. Models with software switch tend to live their own life and it's a bit annoying since it freezes he computer each time they power up.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    PC or Mac regardless if you're after some longer term archiving I would suggest getting some network attached storage. These are getting pretty cheap these days and come in redundant arrays. RAID1 is the magic feature you're after. Two drives each identical with data mirrored on them. If one fails the worst that happens is you get an email saying it's time to replace it.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    PC or MAC, I like Lacie branded externals. If you are a Mac user, I'd suggest getting one with firewire capabilities. eSATA is a very good performing option but you'll probably need to invest into a eSATA expansion card.

    As for size, get as large of an external you can afford.

    I'd also back Garbz recommendation BUT only if you are willing to put a little extra effort to setup and manage a NAS device. It isn't really that hard but I have assisted a few laymen computer families that purchased such a product with their frustrations.
     
  5. mcnewby

    mcnewby TPF Noob!

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    I agree with the RAID discussion, Western Digital makes a RAIDed MyBook for both USB and NAS. You can also buy a RAS enclosure and install your own drives, but some technical knowhow is required for this.

    On that note it should be added that a NAS drive will only go as fast as your LAN connection. Most wireless only goes up to 54Mbps, wired will go up to 1Gbps if you have a router and/or switch that can do 1Gbps, otherwise it is generally 100Mbps. With that in mind USB (version 2) can do 480Mbps whereas eSATA will do 1.5Gbps (SATA I) or 3Gbps (SATA II). As usayit mentioned if you go the eSATA route you will likely need to invest in an eSATA card.
     

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