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Recommendation needed for external drive enclosure

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ashnan, Apr 28, 2004.

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  1. ashnan

    ashnan Thread Starter

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    I would like to add an external drive enclosure so I can use cheaper internal IDE Hard drive(s) and an internal IDE DVD writer.

    I have a Win XP Laptop with USB 2.0 and a Win ME PC with Firewire. My PC already has a second hard drive, internal DVD-ROM and CD-RW drives, and no free PCI ports. My Laptop has an internal DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive.

    The primary use is for Video capture, editing and DVD burning. So speed is my primary concern, both with Hard drives and DVD writer. I'd like to be able to use the external enclosure between the two computers, and also swap out the IDE devices in the enclosure as required.

    Given that SATA hard drives are out there now, what are my options, given my above requirements and hardware constraints?

    I obviously need a 5.25" external enclosure with both USB 2.0 and Firewire at the minimum. I'm wondering if there is something that will enable me to use SATA as well. I can get rid of my modem on my PC to free up a PCI port if I need to install a controller card, since I'm on a broadband home network.

    Any ideas/suggestions?

    Thanks

    Ash
     
  2. ashnan

    ashnan Thread Starter

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    Anyone?
     
  3. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

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    Just saw a good deal on a 3.5 external case.. Don't know why you'd need 5.25 unless your planning to make a CDRW portable.

    Argosy Aluminum USB 2.0 Enclosure $35 at DealSonic.com

    DealSonic has the Argosy HD-360U2 3.5" USB 2.0 HDD External Enclosure for $30 + $5 shipping = $35 shipped. Supports up to 250GB, with no cooling fan needed due to the Aluminum body design.

    http://www.dealsonic.com/arhdal3usb20.html
     
  4. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

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  5. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

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    Found a 5.25 if your interested:

    Aluminum 5.25" USB 2.0 Enclosure $35 at www.iocombo.com

    Search for item 08OG to find the Mapower Deluxe Aluminum External Enclosure For 5.25 Inch Optical Drives for $40 - $5 coupon code 04042801 [Exp 4/30] = $35 + shipping. Shipping starts at $6. Take a look at the extra pictures, as this enclosure looks well designed.
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Newegg has a 5.25" enclosure for $30, and it's the type I've used a number of times.
     
  7. ashnan

    ashnan Thread Starter

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    Thanks for all the suggestions guys.

    I guess I'm repeating myself, but please let me explain, my primary goal is to be able to work with video; capture, editing and burning. I'd like an external USB 2.0 / FireWire combo enclosure because :
    1. My internal drive bays are all maxed out.
    2. I can use with my FireWire equipped PC and my USB 2.0 equipped Laptop.

    In addition to the above, if I bought a much cheaper USB 2.0 only enclosure I'd have to add a USB 2.0 PCI card to my PC. That would be OK, except that I don't have any empty PCI slots.
    Or, if I bought a Firewire only enclosure (don't know why I'd do that except that it may be cheaper than a combo enclosure) I'd have to buy a Type II PC Card for my laptop. Hmmm...??!! :(

    The only problem I think I see with my limited knowledge, with the external devices, as far as video is concerned, is data transfer rate. So, even if I use a 7200 rpm 8mb cache hard drive is there a chance I may get dropped frames during capture; or coaster DVD disks with an 8X DVD writer??

    The theoretical top data transfer speeds is supposed to be 480 MBps for USB 2.0 and 400 MBps for IEEE 1394 (FireWire 400).
    But, isn't Firewire better than USB 2.0 for video capture to an External Hard Drive, and for burning DVD with an External DVD writer?
    Or is that not necessarily true? Firewire 800 is still too expensive for me at this point.

    Thanks gotrootdude, for the note on reduced DVD burning speed with an external unit. Now this has got me worried... :confused: Anyhow, the iocombo.com deal is USB 2.0 only, not the combo that I want. I'm looking for something like the $45 Bytecc at NewEgg http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=17-145-316&depa=0. Maybe I'll give it a try if I can get some answers to my burning (pun intended) question below:

    Has anyone had any experience burning DVD's with an external DVD writer or with an Internal IDE DVD R/W drive inside an External Enclosure? If so, what's the connection (USB 2.0 or IEEE 1394) of your external unit? And what's your verdict on speed and DVD burning problems?

    I've seen some reviews for external enclosures at NewEgg, but don't know how much I can trust them...??!! User feedback shows many have had random problems with either USB 2.0 or Firewire not working.

    Having both USB and FW connections means atleast one might work for me.

    Thanks everyone for their input.

    Ash

    Dell Dimension 8100, Win ME
    Intel P4, 1.4 GHz, 400 MHz FSB
    256 MB RDRAM, nVidia GEForce2 Ultra
    Creative SB Live value, 3COM 10/100 NIC w/WOL
    40 GB WD ATA 100 8mb cache, 80 GB WD ATA 100 8mb
    8X DVD-ROM, 12X CD-RW, D-Link DFE-530TX+ NIC
    Pinnacle 2 port FireWire PCI, Zoom 56 kbps Modem
    LinkSys 4 port Router, LinkSys WAP11
    IBM PC Camera Pro, UMAX 4000 U Scanner
    Sony PC-120BT MiniDV
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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  9. CAPSLOCK

    CAPSLOCK

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    Yeah,
    In theory, USB 2.0 should reign supreme, but firewire still kicks but.
    NewEgg.com's sales volume is out of this world.
    Of course they are going to sell an occasional factory defect, (less than 1% usually) and yes, people will gripe about it.
    I buy from NewEgg occasionally and I have had no problem with them.
    It is usually the manufacturer.

    P.S. I usually buy from www.cpusolutions.com ...great company, but I don't think they carry those.
     
  10. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I've run USB 2.0 disks and Firewire disks, and Firewire is significantly faster. OTOH, since USB is truly universal, I buy almost exclusively USB 2.0 disks, because the difference in speed does not justify the lack of compatibility with 95% of the computers that I encounter. :)
     
  11. ashnan

    ashnan Thread Starter

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    Thanks, I'll go with the USB/Firewire combo so I can get the speed for video work as well as compatibility with my Win98/WinME/WinXP PC's.

    Appreciate all your input.
     
  12. storage_man

    storage_man

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    ASHNAM

    I think you are going to be disappointed with both Firewire or USB external drives. Here are some bench marks that I did a while back. This is strictly backup via GHOST CLONE.

    6 gb IDE -> IDE = 13min
    6 gb IDE -> USB 2.0 = 55 min
    6 gb IDE -> USB 1.1 = 103 min
    6 gb IDE -> 1394 = 46 min

    The same partition was used for each back up.

    If you can live with every save of a video file that takes 3 times as long
    more power to you.

    Storage_man


    I decided to make room for my 160gb video disk under IDE. I spend more
    time editing and copying video files.
     
  13. ashnan

    ashnan Thread Starter

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    Thanks storage_man, it makes sense.

    Based on your valuable input I think I'll :

    1. Put my new 200 GB hard drive in my PC's IDE and use for capture and editing. I'll put my old 80 GB drive (existing second drive in my PC) in a USB/FireWire combo external enclosure for storing finished video projects. When my drives are full, and as internal IDE drives become cheaper, I can buy more later, and swap in and out of my enclosure.

    2. Replace my existing internal 12X CD/RW in my PC with a new 8X DVD writer and forget about burning DVD's in the external enclosure. I can use the old 12X CD R/W drive in USB 1.1 mode in my old, CD-ROM only, Win 98 PC, to backup/take data off it.

    Appreciate the help.
     
  14. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I'm not sure what you're doing wrong with your USB 2.0 disks, but I copy to mine at 12mb/sec from this machine. True, it's somewhat slower than a raw IDE, but I can copy 6 gigs of files in about 8.5 minutes to my USB 2.0 drives. I'm a bit surprised you're having such a performance issue...
     
  15. storage_man

    storage_man

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    Johnwill

    What kind of USB 2.0 unit do you have. Those are impressive numbers. What kind of software are you using ?

    Storage_man
     
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