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back to article Ten... FireWire 800 hard drives

FireWire interfacing has been around since the mid-1990s and, as far as Apple is concerned, looks set to be ousted by its new Thunderbolt technology in due course. However, it still features on most new Macs, is available for PCs and remains popular in desktop audio and video environments. It's also a convenient option for …

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CT

Bus-powered?

Handy to have drives powered by the firewire connection, saves yet another cable and power sockets are in short supply in my "office" (2-bed Victorian terrace). Any ideas which of these might be?

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Meh

Re: Bus-powered?

all of 'em?

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Gimp

Uninspiring

As someone has has 8 or so Firewire 800 drives, I don't find any of these very inspiring. I have an earlier version of the WD unit which started to have problems because as the drive aged it became apparent that the PSU somehow no longer had enough grunt to spin up the drives. Not uncommon with external drives that have PSU's rated closely to the rated current draw of the drive (as drives get older they seem to need slightly more power to spin up).

My favourite Firewire 800 drives are the Lacie rugged drives. I carry mine everywhere with me and they've travelled thousands of miles without any problems at all (and they have really taken a hammering). Adore them and they have Firewire 400 and USB on them as well. Normally not a fan of Lacie but these drives are something special.

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Re: Uninspiring

I've had 2 LaCie Rugged drives break on me. 1 hard drive failed and the other's USB connector snapped off from the circuit board. I could still connect over Firewire but it didn't strike me as rugged.

Obviously your milage does vary, but make sure you keep your receipt.

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Devil

Re: Uninspiring

I'll back you up on the Lacie Rugged. We had one go phut, they sent a replacement, and it quit working about ten minutes after its warranty expired. Maybe they had a bad batch from a supplier, but still ...

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Unhappy

Re: Uninspiring

I've had more than one Lacie unit go bad on me; mind you, I have a Freecom 2TB data tank that's more use as a paperweight than anything.

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Alternatives

How about some reviews of disk caddies? 2.5s, 3.5s etc with such connections. I use an OWC with FW800, 400, USB and eSATA on it and it's not exactly difficult for a novice to load in a drive.

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Why no mention of sound levels?

The best drives I have are two WD Studio 2TB drives, the ones with plastic cases and e-labels. 2xFW800+USB. My previous Studio and Studio II drives were quite quiet, but these are exceptionally so. I don't hear them even when seeking.

I've just managed to order a 3TB Studio drive from someone who still had stock of the discontinued LX e-label type, which I hope is as quiet. Is the latest model which lacks e-labels as quiet?

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Re: Why no mention of sound levels?

I'm wary of the WD studio drives as I found them to be using their green drives. The green controller of one went kaput and the device would go into a spiral of spin-up, spin-down when trying to access data before eventually falling silent. Took me nearly five whole evenings to get their data off of the 750GB sample. Never again. Always use a caddy and select the internal drive you use rather than potentially have the vendor shift their old stock.

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Paris Hilton

G Tech - A blact from the past

for those of us old enough to remember Sun's SCSI Drive enclosures.

I still have one like this (the panel with the holes in it) connected to my SunFire.

Paris becaise her past keep coming back to haunt her.

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So, what conclusion ?

Where's the roundup table? where's the conclusion? This article is lacking in providing a clear view of the 10 contenders.

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Iomega Mac companion is rubbish

Have you actually tested that thing ?

Hook it up through firewire and the high power port is just that : a high power charger. you lose ALL USB capability.

Hook it up using USB and you lose the high power charger port. it becomes a dumb usb hub. Firewire disables as well.

You cannot hook it up using both cables. It is or USb, or Firewire ... not BOTH. and you need to sacrifice the usb ports or the high power charger ...

on USB the drive als o has the annoyance that it keeps waking up the MAc from sleep mode.

THe LEd's in the front require installation of a special piece of software form iomega that is also buggy. ...

In other words : FAIL. And, yes , i do have one. Sandpaper exterior. Works fine as a drive .. but that's it. the additional stuff doesn't work right.

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No review of Lacie Rugged triple? (FW800, USB3.0/2.0)

http://www.lacie.com/uk/products/product.htm?id=10553

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Anonymous Coward

Realistically anyone thinking of the G-Raid would be better to go for something with a Thunderbolt connection (yes newer Macs only I know) but Firewire tops out at about 80Mb per second - the Lacie RAID (thunderbolt) drive I now use gets 320-330Mb per second.

If you want 'cheaper' storage (i.e. for backups etc.) and are happy with Firewire's limitation then the best value drive is probably the 'Western Digital My Book Studio II' as it costs barely any more than the drives it contains. So worst case you could use it now and may be able to buy a Thunderbolt enclosure in the future and re-home the drives.

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