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Help in buying a 1 terabyte hard drive

Last response: in Storage
May 3, 2009 5:59:04 PM

I'm going to buy a 1 terabyte hard drive for backup, and could use some help since I'm completely clueless on all the details - internal or external?

Also, I understand that the 2 recommended manufacturers are Western Digital and Seagate. Anyone here can recommend a specific model?

May 5, 2009 6:32:09 PM

Internal v. External:

Internals are cheaper. If you buy from a retailer like Newegg, it will cost about $100. They also have a nice fast connection.

Externals are more expense. If you connect via USB, then it will be much slower than an internal drive. For large backup images, that could be an annoyance. A WD Black has a avg write throughput of 85 MB/s; some reviews I have seen for USB external HDDs give an avg write throughput at around 15-20MB/s (so 20 min to write a 100gig backup image file or an hour and a half). eSATA, however, solves this problem, assuming you have a eSATA port on your computer. The benefit, of course is portability. If you want an external it would probably be a good bit cheaper to buy an internal drive and an external enclosure, thus making your own.

Specific Models:

Western Digital makes good stuff. The Green edition and Black edition cost the same, one is low power, one is high performance. If you go external, then go Green edition. If you go internal then go Black.

I use Hitachi because they are cheap. I haven't had any trouble. But I would rather have Western Digital.
May 5, 2009 6:46:55 PM

I have a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black. 7200 RPM, 32MB Cache, super stable and a 5 year warranty IIRC, all for about $110. It's the same drive as Western Digital's Enterprise Class RE3 minus the stress testing. I ripped out my old Seagate and will never look back.
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a b G Storage
May 5, 2009 7:20:52 PM

Generally speaking, an external drive is ideal for a permanent back-up drive because it is portable and not tied to the computer in the event that something goes kablooey. You can snag a 1TB Western Digital external drive from Newegg for $120.

Another option is to buy an external enclosure and fill it with whatever drive you prefer, nice thing about this idea is that you can swap drives out as they get filled and external enclosures also have multiple connectors like eSATA, USB, and firewire.
a b G Storage
May 5, 2009 7:22:56 PM

I have a couple of WD 1TB Greens for auxillary storage in one of my computers. Virtually silent. They are a little slow for a primary drive, but they are great for what I bought them for.
a b G Storage
May 5, 2009 7:52:42 PM

I would suggest the WD Black internal drive.

This drive is faster but louder than the green version. It's not as portable, as it's an internal drive, but if you wanted to take it on the go, it's not real hard to pop the side of the case off and pull it out.