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External or Internal?

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Chixofnix

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Location
Kansas City, KS USA
Here I was, happily ready to purchase a 1.5TB, WD Green internal HDD (5400RPM, low power/noise/heat), when it occurred to me...

Link: http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136351

It turns out for almost the same price (+$10) I can get an EXTERNAL WD 1.5TB HDD.

Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QEBMBY/?tag=dealswoot-20

The convenience factor of an external HDD is something I've never put much weight into (HDD's are portable if you have a screwdriver!)... but this same-ballpark pricing has me wondering...

Is there an actual performance hit with low-RPM USB 2.0 external drives relative to internal equivalents? Specifically, in the task of very specifically storing, accessing, and reading a mass of digital photos / videos?

I do edit my photos in an amateur fashion through Picasa, so I'd like to not have that task severely hampered... is the USB2.0 interface going to ruin my day?
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
USB drives are pretty slow yes. I would personally only use USB for storage, not heavy use.
 

Mr Alpha

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
The Western Digital Green drive has an average read speed of something like 70-80 MBps. USB 2.0 will limit that to around 35MBps. Enough to watch videos off, but if you are going to do something more advanced than that then it will be slow.
 

ou_phidelt

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Location
Rockingham, NC
If you want external put the money into E-SATA, USB is just to slow for large transfers. If you are going to just store and not pull back often then it may not be to bad. But if you are going to be transferring often then I wouldn't go with USB.
 

neonblingbling

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2004
Just curious, are the warranties both for three years?

Also, it's not a huge issue, but I don't like retail external drives for two reasons:
1) You can't take them apart. This would only be an issue if the drive stopped working, and you wanted to rule out the external enclosure electronics being the issue.
2) Inadequate cooling. Maybe it won't be an issue with the green drives, but I noticed many external enclosures being used (relatively) heavily get very warm/hot. I don't like hot drives.
 

BossBorot

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
I am also always overly scared that someone will come along and knock my external drive off a table or something. I just like the safety that internal storage offers
 

CompuTamer

Member with Some Fancy Text Under His Name
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Location
Brandon Mississippi
If you pull a lot of pics off of it, then i wouldn't use an external drive. USB just can't keep up. Get an internal drive or an eSATA drive.
 
OP
Chixofnix

Chixofnix

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Location
Kansas City, KS USA
Thanks all for the collective thoughts/advice!

I had trouble putting it to words but I share a number of the same general concerns regarding warranty, take-apart-able-ness and cooling.

It sounds like internal is the way to go though regardless as there would be a significant/noticeable performance hit over USB. :)
 

Marshmallow64

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Location
California
I personally just use my 500 GB Western digital external as backup storage. I make the transfers then I put it on the shelf somewhere for protection.