320Gb External Hard drive. Which to get?

  Garnett 10:53 24 Nov 2006

Hi there. I was hoping someone could help me out.

I'm after a medium sized external HDD to backup photos, and music and free up space on my laptop.

I've seen two:

LaCie 320GB 8MB Cache USB2.0 External HDD Design by F.A. Porsche £76.48

Maxtor 320GB 16MB Cache USB2.0 External HDD £79.95

Apparently the Maxtor is 'plasticy' and feels a bit cheap. But then it is made by Maxtor who are a big name in the business.

The Lacie has half the cache, which may be a problem, but it has a decent metal case, and is easier on the eye.

Can anyone tell me I'm mad not just to go for more cache, or that it's worth getting something you can bear to look at on your desk all day, or that for the same money or less there is something much better out there?

I'll be extremely grateful for any assistance anyone can offer.



  Stuartli 11:10 24 Nov 2006

As standard internal hard drives are available in 2MB or 8MB cache form, half the cache size in the Le Cie is not likely to make all that much difference.

  I am Spartacus 12:06 24 Nov 2006

Although the Lacie case looks like metal it is actually plastic. Well it is on the 250GB version that I've got. After saying that it does look good and it's only when you dismantle it that you can easily tell.

  FatboySlim71 19:55 24 Nov 2006

I purchased the Western Digital My book 320GB last week from the site below, and its absolutely fantastic, whisper quiet and very fast, I can highly recommend it!

click here

  sean-278262 20:11 24 Nov 2006

I got and only really trust seagate. 320gb drives available at ebuyer and dabs and on offer at the same price at PCworld at the minute.

  Ikelos 22:07 24 Nov 2006

i have also got the "WD my book", an ace bit of kit..

  Garnett 22:53 26 Nov 2006

Thanks for the replies.

Stuart, I reckon you're right. Cache isn't too important.

I am Spartacus - What do you think of your drive? How do you switch the drive off. I don't think it has an on/off switch. Can you switch it off at any time, or is it possible to damage the drive because of this?

Fatboyslim7, why only Seagate? Have you experienced problems with other drives? As far as I can tell Maxtor are owned by Seagate. Does this have any bearing?

Creature of the Nite, and Ikelos, I love the look of the WD drives, and they look more advanced than the Lacie and the Maxtor (with their automatic on/off) but they only have a 1 year warranty, as opposed to the maxtor's and LaCie's 2. I think I'd rather go for longer backing from the company (unless you know different...)

  terryf 01:11 27 Nov 2006

Have you considered buying a suitable external drive case and then fitting whichever drive you choose, that way you will not be constrained.

  Garnett 11:53 27 Nov 2006

Thanks Terry,

I've looked into building one myself, and that does seem like a good option.

It looks like I can get a decent aluminium case for about £22 (click here), and a 300gb drive for about £65 (click here).

This is slightly more expensive than the drives I was looking at, but I like the idea.

I have a few questions:

Is there anywhere cheaper than this?
Is there anything else I need to buy that might push the costs up further?
Is assembling this sort of thing straight forward?

Thanks for any more info...

  Garnett 11:57 27 Nov 2006

Oooo. Sorry. One other thing - all the enclosures seem to require IDE HDDs. Is SATA much better?

  spuds 12:00 27 Nov 2006

I see that PC World had some special offers on the past week, with external hard-drives.

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