External Hard Drive questions

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Jeff 152, Sep 29, 2008.

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  1. Jeff 152 Registered Senior Member

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    i dont know much about hard drives but i need one so i have a few questions.

    1. Are there any advantages or disadvantages between the different interfaces?(usb, firewire, esata) Is there any difference in speed or reliability or anything like that?

    2. I need one that is compatible with both pc and mac (notably the new time machine application). Are most hard drives pretty much plug and play and will work on any machine, or do i need to specifically find a mac compatible one?

    3. Are there any other meaningful statistics i should be looking at? I know about capacity and spindle speed but is there anything else?

    4. Whats the best place to buy one? I have been looking at tiger direct and newegg but is there anywhere else you would recommend?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    19,084
    1. USB is slower, but more commonplace, use it if you have to move the hd around on different computers.
    Firewire is faster and more reliable than USB, use it if your pc has firewire port and you don't plan to carry the hd around.
    Don't know much about esata.

    2. These drives work on both Windows and MacOS, most have no problems with Linux too.

    3. Nah, that's about it, but take in mind cache/buffer - the more the better. 2mb is little, but might be enough for storage, 8mb is good.

    4. I live too far away to advise on that.
     
  3. Challenger78 Valued Senior Member

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    Isn't there a Firewire adapter?>
     
  4. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    No, there is no USB-Firewire adapter. The technologies are too incompatible.
     
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