External Mac Fire Wire Drives
March 3, 2007 12:50 PM   Subscribe

What's the best option for external Mac Fire Wire Drives?

I have GBs of music and video. And I do Final Cut editing. I'm looking for a high-end solution but not RAID or SATA. I am considering either the G-Drive Q or the G-Drive, both from g-tech. (anyone happen to know if there's a performace difference between those two?)

posted by captainscared to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I would guess that the interface in the Q may be slightly faster. They also put a drive with a 16MB cache in the Q vs the 8 in the G. If your just using FW400 though, I doubt you would see much of a difference between them.
posted by -t at 1:40 PM on March 3, 2007

It looks like the difference between those two is that the Q model contains a SATA II drive, while the other probably doesn't. I say probably because they documentation doesn't specify. The SATA drive is likely to support more throughput and hence have better performance.
posted by procrastination at 1:42 PM on March 3, 2007

It depends on the type of FCP editing you're doing. If all youre doing is DV, then honestly it really doesnt matter, in my experience, what FW drive you use, so long as it has an Oxford 911/922 bridge in it, and preferably a FW800 option...although FW400 is more than enough to edit DV footage with. I edit 8 TV shows a month on my Macbook Pro (and formerly on a 12" Powerbook) using a "consumer" grade, Maxtor OneTouch II FW drive that i bought at CompUSA. It--to my surprise--has worked flawlessly for nearly 2 years now.

Also, there is no such thing as a "Mac Firewire Drive". Hard drives are hard drives, so don't be suckered by companies that try to market external drive solutions that are "specialized" for Macs. That said, the G-tech drives are definitely nice, and are well regarded among video geeks. Personally though, I don't see the need to pay the premium that they charge for their stuff, especially for DV/DVCAM based workflows.
posted by melorama at 1:55 PM on March 3, 2007

Response by poster: I phrased my question incorrectly. Any suggestions on alternative drives for what I'm looking for? Sorry for the confusion.
posted by captainscared at 1:56 PM on March 3, 2007

I'm a big fan of Other World Computing. For example, this quad-interface external drive. I don't have any of their 3.5" products, but I've been happy with everything else I've gotten from there.
posted by raf at 1:57 PM on March 3, 2007

You didn't really give a hint on your budget range, but since you said "high end", I would recommend Wiebetech drives. They're extremely well built, small form factors, and most of them are bus-powered, so you dont have to carry around a wall-wort everywhere you want to use the drive.

Wiebetech is generally the first name people in desktop video circles think of when they need "high end" portable drive solutions.
posted by melorama at 2:13 PM on March 3, 2007

I've always had wonderful experiences with the Other World Computing (OWC) external drives...
posted by drinkspiller at 3:09 PM on March 3, 2007

I heart my Western Digital triple-interface MyBook Pro drive. It needs external power, but it uses a brick-type so you don't waste any spaces on your surge protector. FW800 is teh quickness.

My local Costco in SoCal had a great discount on the triple-interface 50 GB drive two or three weeks ago. You might get lucky.
posted by infinitewindow at 3:44 PM on March 3, 2007

I love the MyBook drives too, but they have an annoying tendency to spin themselves down when they've been idle for a while. It makes them unusable for video editing, IMO.

But for backup, they rock. I use several MyBooks as automatic backup drives (using the wondergful ChronoSync utility) on all our workstations in our editing facility.
posted by melorama at 4:40 PM on March 3, 2007

g-tech is the only way to fly for media. you get what you pay for. after three failed LaCies, one IBM Deathstar and one WD, i've been running a g-tech raid and haven't had a single problem.
posted by Señor Pantalones at 5:12 PM on March 3, 2007

I've been a big fan of the firewire drives at Pacific Pro Audio for years now, and I've never had a problem with them, even during periods of heavy use doing multitrack audio recording.
posted by umbú at 12:12 PM on March 4, 2007

I have to agree about Other World Computing. Their technical support rocks. They've helped me with problems which turned out to have nothing to do with the equipment they sold me, but they stayed on the line with me and found a solution. I haven't bought firewire from them, but I bought a processor upgrade, internal drive and RAM upgrade and all rae flawless.
posted by ljshapiro at 11:26 AM on March 5, 2007

I was looking around a friend's sound studio (go see Zodiac, everyone!) and they use a metric assload of those OWC Mercury drives for project files. They said they're excellent.
posted by wzcx at 12:38 PM on March 6, 2007

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