MAC OS X: Forum

Newbie External Drive Question

COW Forums : Apple OS X

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Elizabeth ErwinNewbie External Drive Question
by on Jan 8, 2011 at 9:27:28 pm

Hi everyone,

I should start by saying I'm pretty much computer illiterate so please excuse this question if the answer is obvious. I'm looking for a way to move a significant amount of video files I have saved on my iMac to another source so as to free up my hard drive. The video files are largely youtube clips that I will be running through iMovie for a school project. Someone suggested an external drive and I was wondering if there are any specific brands you all would recommend. I'm trying to do this as inexpensively as possible. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!


Return to posts index

Chris GordonRe: Newbie External Drive Question
by on Jan 8, 2011 at 10:27:51 pm

Are you going to edit from this drive or just want somewhere to store the videos?

If you're just going to store them and not edit from the disk, you can get a USB connected disk. If you plan to edit from the disk, then spend the extra money and get a firewire connected disk. I personally use a number of Western Digital drives for Time Machine and other storage/backup copies of things. You can also look at places like G-Technology or OWC ( for more Mac oriented drives.

Return to posts index

Jeff GreenbergRe: Newbie External Drive Question
by on Jan 9, 2011 at 6:10:51 pm


I watch many people fret and worry about drives. The reality is that all drives will eventually break. They write it on the side of the drive (MTBF = mean time between failure) and rate it in tens of thousands of hours.

I try to personally buy from companies like GTech and LaCie - but I've professionally had drives die from every manufacturer. There's a great internal study google did that the age of the drive (24 months) for professional use.

There's not much 'major' to worry are the big items.

USB is the cheapest type of connect and works for most uses. Your mac also has FireWire as an option - usually drives with firewire are more expensive.
The advantage of a physically larger drive is that it'll have its own power supply and fan.
The advantage of a physically smaller drive is that it's more portable and likely you're paying for that portability.

Drives have a 'speed' to them - faster is better, and for professional video, it's better to have faster drives. Stuff you download from youtube for iMovie? This won't be a factor. 4200, 5400, 7200, 10,000 are amongst some of the numbers you'll see.

One of my favorite places to find deals on drives is dealnews

Hope that helps!


Jeff G

Return to posts index

Elizabeth ErwinRe: Newbie External Drive Question
by on Jan 10, 2011 at 2:14:36 am

Thanks for the advice. I didn't know that about external drives so I think I'll just use your USB suggestion. I appreciate it!

Return to posts index

Zane BarkerRe: Newbie External Drive Question
by on Jan 10, 2011 at 2:42:17 am

[Elizabeth Erwin] " I'll just use your USB suggestion"

If your editing video from the drive DONT use USB.

USB works via bursts of data so it cannot keep up with the high constant data rates needed for editing video.

**Hindsight is always 1080p**

Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 All Rights Reserved