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2/25/2005
Macworld
OWC Mercury Elite 800 Pro Rated 4 1/2 Mice, Editors Choice.

http://www.macworld.com/2005/02/reviews/fwharddrive/index1.php

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FireWire Hard Drives
Portable, Desktop External Storage Devices Compared
By James Galbraith and Jeffy Milstead

External Desktop FireWire Drives

Our tests for external desktop FireWire drives included the following models: LaCie’s d2 Hard Drive Extreme with Triple Interface 200GB and Hard Drive by F.A. Porsche; Medéa’s G-Drive 400GB; OWC’s Mercury Elite 800 Pro; WiebeTech’s ToughTech 800; and Western Digital’s External Hard Drive 250GB. Here’s what we discovered:

  • LaCie d2 Hard Drive Extreme with Triple Interface 200GB: The d2 features an attractive case design and a competitive price. The drive supports both flavors of FireWire as well as USB, but had somewhat sluggish FireWire 800 speeds.
  • LaCie Hard Drive by F.A. Porsche: This drive has a very simple design and low, low price tag— good choice for those without a FireWire 800-capable computer or the need for huge capacity.
  • Medéa G-Drive 400GB: This fast drive really complements the design of a PowerMac G5 and offers great performance and tons of storage capacity, but it is expensive.
  • OWC Mercury Elite 800 Pro: The Mercury Elite 800 Pro is a high capacity, high performance desktop drive for those more concerned with speed and performance than design details.
  • WiebeTech ToughTech 800: The ToughTech might cost a little bit more than most drives, but has great FireWire 800 performance, sports a USB 2.0 connector, and is designed to take a beating.
  • Western Digital External Hard Drive 250GB: Designed to be a desktop backup device, this drive features a one-button backup via the included Retrospect Express. We found its FireWire 400 performance was a little sluggish. A version with featuring a built-in memory card reader is available for $299.
 External Desktop FireWire Drives
Product
Capacity (GB)
Price/GB
Drive Speed (rpm)
Connectors
Dimensions (length x width x height, in inches)
Lab Test: Copy 1GB to Drive
Lab Test: Duplicate 1GB on drive
Lab Test: Low Memory Photoshop Suite
LaCie d2 Hard Drive
Extreme with Triple Interface 200GB
200
$1.13
7,200
FireWire 400 (1), FireWire 800 (1), USB 2.0 (1)
6.3 x 6.8 x 1.7
0:44
1:12
1:44
LaCie Hard Drive
by F.A. Porsch
160
$0.93
7,200
FireWire 400 (2)
7.4 x 4.4 x 1.4
1:00
1:23
1:51
Medéa G-Drive
400GB
400
$1.40
7,200
FireWire 400 (1), FireWire 800 (2)
9.3x 5.1x 1.8
0:35
0:57
1:32
OWC Mercury
Elite 800 Pro
(OWCME8P7400GB8)
400
$1.13
7,200
FireWire 400 (1), FireWire 800 (2)
9 x 5.5 x 1.5
0:35
0:57
1:31
WiebeTech
ToughTech 800
(TT8-250)
250
$1.36
7,200
FireWire 800 (2), USB 2.0 (1)
9 x 5.25 x 1.5
0:39
1:12
1:28
Western Digital
External Hard Drive
250GB
250
$1.12
7,200
FireWire 400 (2), USB 2.0 (1)
8.6 x 6.1 x 1.7
1:06
1:33
1:53
Editor's Choice in bold
How We Tested: We ran all tests with the FireWire drives connected to a dual-2.5GHz Power Mac G5 with Mac OS X 10.3.7 and 512MB RAM. We copied a folder containing 1GB of data from our Mac’s hard drive to the external hard drive to test the drive’s read speed. We then duplicated that file on the external drive to test both read and write speeds. We also ran a low-memory Adobe Photoshop suite consisting of four tasks using a 150MB file residing on the external drive with Photoshop CS’s memory partition set to 50 percent, using the external drive as the scratch disk. Times are in minutes:seconds, best results are in bold.—Macworld Lab Testing by James Galbraith and Jeffy K. Milstead
 Summary

d2 Hard Drive Extreme with Triple Interface 200GB

Pros: Triple interface for wide compatibility; bootable via FireWire in OS X Cons: Sluggish FireWire 800 speeds. Price as rated: $229 Best Current Price: $190.55 (via ProductFinder) Company: LaCie, www.lacie.com
Hard Drive by F.A. Porsche Pros: Low price per gigabyte; bootable via FireWire in OS X. Cons: No USB; low capacity.
Company: LaCie, www.lacie.com Price as rated: $149
G-Drive 400GB Pros: Fast, FireWire 400 and 800; bootable via FireWire in OS X. Cons: No USB; expensive.

Price as rated: $559

Company: Medéa, www.medea.com

 

Mercury Elite 800 Pro (OWCME8P7400GB8)

 

Pros: Fast FireWire 400 and 800; bootable via FireWire in OS X. Cons: No USB.

Price as rated: $450

Company: OWC, www.macsales.com

ToughTech 800 (TT8-250)

Pros: Rugged, fast, USB and FireWire connectors; bootable via FireWire in OS X. Cons: No USB; expensive. Company: WiebeTech, www.wiebetech.com
Price as rated: $340

External Hard Drive 250GB

Pros: Programmable buttons for backup; Retrospect Express software included; USB and FireWire connectors; bootable via FireWire in OS X Cons: Sluggish.

Price as rated: $279

Company: Western Digital, www.wdc.com

 

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